How to Save Money on Car Shipping?

How to Save Money on Car Shipping?

Moving is a task that doesn’t elicit excitement, as it requires constant mental effort to avoid forgetting important things. Above all, it’s expensive!

And Shipping the Car to a new location comes with a list of fears: What if it gets damaged on the way? How do I trust the transporter? What if it doesn’t reach the destination?

How am I going to manage in the new city without the car? 

The overthinking continues, and it doesn’t help that your employer only reimburses a portion of your move. 

In such cases, you must do some digging to save your dollars. And let me assure you that you’ve reached the right destination.

In this blog, we will discuss how shipping works in the US, the driving vs. shipping comparison, and ultimately, with the proven experience and expertise in shipping car for almost two decades, RCG logistics will  share some industry-inside tips on saving money on car shipping while your life takes a U-turn.

Car Shipping vs. Car Driving to the Destination: Which Option is Better?

Some people are even skeptical about car shipping as the only option.  As they believe that driving a few hundred miles could save money on car shipping. 

Suppose you want to ship your car from Colorado (Denver) to California (Los Angeles), a 15- to 17-hour journey. If you drive for 8 hours a day, it would take almost two days, and you’d need to stay overnight in a motel and spend money on food. 

So, considering gas, food, and accommodation expenses, you might save approximately $300 to $500 compared to shipping the car.

 However, there are the following opportunity costs to consider before making a decision.

  • Embarking on a 2 or 3-day road trip may require you to take a day off from work, resulting in a loss of pay. 
  • Furthermore, if you have yet to factor in moving your household belongings, it could add extra hassle to the process.
  • While the distance from Denver to Los Angeles is manageable, only a few possess the physical bandwidth to drive for 8 hours a day. 
  • If an accident or mishap happens during the long journey, it could lead to damaging the car and costing for its repair and maintenance.
  • Moreover, road injuries can pose fatal risks to both the passengers and the driver of the vehicle. According to the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety), nearly 39,000 crashes occurred in 2021. 

Shipping your car with a transport broker may cost a little more, but it’s much safer than driving yourself. The extra expense is worth avoiding the significant risks of driving long distances. Saving money on car shipping is a wise choice compared to the dangers of taking the risky driving route.

How Much Does Shipping the Car Cost in the US?

Car Shipping vs. Car Driving to the Destination: Which Option is Better?

Shipping the car in the US heavily relies on the following five aspects  

  • Distance between pickup and drop locations
  • Weight of the vehicle
  • Time of the year 
  • Type of shipping mode chosen: open or enclosed transport
  • If your car is operable and safe to drive

Let’s say you must move across the country, from New York to Miami. It will cost you anywhere between $1000 to $1500, but have you considered other aspects that can add to your expenses?

Peak Season

Choosing peak seasons like summer or Christmas will dent your budget with a few thousand. Moreover, urgent shipping means you have to pay the surge prices.

Luxurious or Vintage Car

If your car is a luxurious one or a vintage model, you might have to go with a more protected shipping method option, which can also contribute to increasing the budget.

The Condition of the Car

Shipping an inoperable car includes a list of added costs like loading, unloading, and carefully putting it in a carrier.

Now that we know how shipping works and what can weigh down the cost factor even more, let’s move toward the solution part.  

7 Tips to Save Money on Car Shipping

7 Tips to Save Money on Car Shipping

These eight money-saving tips will be all you want to refer to when shipping your car to the new location. Drawing from our elaborate experience at RCG logistics, we’ve compiled these tips to help you navigate the car shipping process smoothly while saving some money. 

Let’s dive in and make your car shipping experience a breeze by saving a few bucks!

1. Open Shipping vs. Enclosed Shipping

Before deciding on “the shipping method,” you must know how they work thoroughly.

Open Shipping: In this method, your car will be loaded onto a multi-layered carrier alongside several other vehicles. The cars are positioned diagonally, and your car will be exposed to all natural elements, such as the road and weather conditions during transportation.

Enclosed Shipping: With enclosed car shipping, your car receives an extra layer of protection as it is placed inside a container. This container seals your car from the outside environment, ensuring that external problems like weather or road debris won’t affect your vehicle during shipping.

So, which one saves money on car shipping? Yes, you have guessed it right! Open shipping. Given that it distributes cost among all the five or ten vehicles it has on the carrier. These car owners pay a portion of the shipping cost, making it a clear winner.

However, the dynamic quickly changes depending on the type of car you own. 

Open shipping is convenient and cost-effective if you own daily-use cars like Honda Civic or Chevrolet Cruze. Since your vehicle already has scratches and some other problems with the paint, so the risk of additional wear and tear during open shipping might be less concerning.

But assuming you have Buggati Veyron or Ford Mustang Shelby, saving costs in open shipping might end up later in maintenance from what your car has been through on the road for several days. Even minor scratches or dents can be costly for such exclusive and rare vehicles. 

Ultimately, the choice between open and enclosed shipping depends on the type of car you own and your priorities. Whether it is saving on transportation and spending even more on maintenance or choosing enclosed shipping to avoid incurring additional expenses while you ship your luxury car.

2. Opting For Port or Terminal Shipping

Opting for port or terminal shipping can be a light-on-pocket choice on a busy moving day when you’re trying to save money on car shipping. Instead of door-to-door car shipping, drop your vehicle at the terminal and pay only for the extra gas used for those additional miles. Seek a friend’s help or use public transport to reach the terminal.

Once your car reaches the terminal, find a way to get there, like taking a cab or public transport. Doing this for both pick-up and drop-off can easily save you up to two hundred dollars. Plan it well, and you’ll enjoy the savings without much hassle.

Transport companies often work faster with terminal-to-terminal shipping because the car is already at the terminal, reducing unloading time at the destination. To compensate for this convenience and speed, they may charge extra. This additional cost is the opportunity cost for sending your car directly to the terminal and saving time.

Once you understand the shipper’s POV (point of view) it’s easier to make a few adjustments, and take some extra hassle in order to save your hard-earned money.

3.  Choose End-to-End Car Shipping Insurance

Choose End-to-End Car Shipping Insurance

Opting for Car Shipping Insurance might seem like an added expense, and you might wonder if it contradicts your goal of cutting costs, but in reality, it’s a way to save money on car shipping.

However, if you choose a package that doesn’t include insurance coverage in quest of saving those extra bucks,  let me tell you it’s anything but saving.  

The damages to your car during transit may be a hefty price you must pay, and there is no guarantee that your vehicle will return to its original condition. To avoid such risks, you must allocate a portion of your moving budget for car shipping insurance from reliable companies like RCG Logistics. This way, during the 10-12 days of car shipping, you can have peace of mind, knowing that your car will be taken care of in case of mishaps. 

You won’t need to worry about unexpected expenses from minor accidents, making it a short-term investment for long-term benefits—like safeguarding your car’s voyage on unknown hurdles.

5.  Inquire About the Hidden Charges in Advance

When you request a car shipping quote and select a package from an auto transport broker. It can be frustrating to discover later that you have been charged hundreds of dollars in various surcharges. Such as liftgate assistance, storage fees, loading and unloading charges,  vehicle dimensional charges, and some you may not even understand.

These unexpected fees can put a massive dent in your wallet. To avoid this, asking the broker about any potential charges before finalizing your decision is important. You can also read reviews and ask for referrals to find a transparent and trustworthy broker.

Additionally, if you are presented with unexpected charges, you have the right to refuse to pay them and request a clear explanation from the transporter.

At RCG Logistics, we prioritize transparency and strive to provide our clients with transparent and upfront pricing. You can trust us to provide a reliable, stress-free auto transport experience without hidden fees or surprises.

6 . Send Your Car for Maintenance Before the Shipment

Send Your Car for Maintenance Before the Shipment

It is recommended that you send your car for maintenance before shipping it. If your car has mechanical problems or is not in running condition, the transporter may need to use a forklift to load and unload it, which can be complicated and costly. To avoid these issues, it’s best to repair your car beforehand so it can be easily driven onto and off the truck.

Furthermore, if your car is inoperable at the end of the shipment, it can result in additional costs and wasted time spent on repairs and maintenance in a new location. You can save money on car shipping by ensuring that your car is in good condition before shipping it. 

Don’t risk incurring extra costs for inoperable car shipping. To prevent this, have your car inspected and serviced before shipping to ensure it’s running smoothly and avoid the added expense and inconvenience of repairs upon arrival.

7.  Stretch Your Time Horizon

By stretching your time horizon and booking your auto transport in advance, you can save money and avoid extra charges. The transport broker can prioritize your shipment and apply regular charges when you book in advance.

However, if you book urgently, the broker may have a long list of deliveries by then and delay your shipment by several days or charge you extra for employing additional resources.

To avoid these extra charges and delays, planning ahead and booking your auto transport broker in advance is important. 

With RCG Logistics, we have a larger bandwidth to accommodate your sudden moves so we won’t impose hefty charges on you. Planning ahead and working with a reliable and flexible transporter can save money on car shipping and ensure a smooth and stress-free auto transport experience.

8.  Obtain Quotes from Multiple Auto Transport Companies

To find the best auto transport company, prepare an Excel sheet and compare multiple companies’ costs, insurance, and hidden fees. Don’t just focus on the price; some companies may offer lower prices but not provide basic facilities or adequate insurance coverage. 

Take the time to read reviews and evaluate the company’s track record in different circumstances to ensure they will take good care of your car. By conducting an elaborate screening process, you can avoid the risk of damaging your car and enjoy a stress-free car shipping experience.

FAQs: How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car in the Us?

How can I Obtain Discounts from Auto Transport Brokers?

To obtain discounts from auto transport brokers, it’s a good idea to ask about any discounts they offer, such as off-season booking or flexible pickup and delivery dates. Negotiating with brokers can also help you secure the best deal.

Are There Any Alternatives to Car Shipping?

If you’re looking for alternatives to car shipping, you could consider driving the car yourself or hiring a professional driver to drive it for you. However, these options may not be practical or cost-effective for long distances. Another option is to use a train or plane to transport your car, although these methods may be more expensive and less flexible than auto transport.

Is Towing My Car with Another Vehicle a Viable Option?

While towing your car with another vehicle may seem like a viable option, it’s not recommended for long-distance like cross country transport. Towing your car can be dangerous and put additional strain on both vehicles. It’s best to use a reliable transport broker for Shipping a Car Across the Country to ensure the safe and secure transport of your vehicle.

Conclusion: How To Save Money on Car Shipping

In conclusion, saving money on car shipping can be difficult, but there are ways to do it. Making minor adjustments such as stretching your time horizon, paying in cash, and ensuring your car is in good condition with solid insurance coverage can help. 

However, finding a reliable auto transport broker with a strong network and positive client reviews is the most challenging part.

Driving a long distance yourself can also adversely affect your health and your vehicle’s condition. Instead, consider using a professional auto transport company like RCG Logistics, that takes care of your car like their own and ensures it arrives on time and in the same condition as before.

Choosing a reliable auto transport broker like RCG logistics can make your car shipping experience smoother and more cost-effective.

About the Author: RCG LSS



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