Guide to Auto Shipping: What Is It?

Are you moving and not sure how to take your car with you? Driving it to your destination yourself isn’t always an option, and that kind of mileage might put a big strain on your vehicle. Moving is already stressful enough without worrying about your car. Auto shipping is an option in which your car is transported for you so you don’t have to worry about getting it to your destination.

How does auto shipping work and how do you coordinate this process yourself? You might be surprised to learn you have a lot of options, and it’s not as expensive as you might think.If you’re moving across the country with a classic or luxury car, shipping is a must to ensure your car is safe from start to finish.

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Shipping Options for Your Vehicle

First, let’s discuss the types of shipping options you have available. According to the leading car shipper, there are two main options (source:

First is terminal-to-terminal services. This is when your vehicle arrives and departs from a designation location. This means your car will travel with other vehicles in a similar fashion, so it’ll likely cost less.

The second option is door-to-door services. This is when a professional will pick up your car from a designated location and drop it in your destination as soon as possible. Thisis not as affordable, but it gives you more flexibility in your timeline and you can feel confident in the safety of your car.

Choosing a Company

Now that you understand the options for transporting your car, let’s talk about the importance of choosing the right company. There are a number of quality auto shippers on the market today, but they won’t all offer the same type of service. Beyond terminal-to-terminal and door-to-door, you have additional decisions to make.

Most companies will either offer open auto shipping or enclosed auto shipping.

Open shipping is when your car is attached to a large trailer like the kind you see stacked on the highway. While this is likely more affordable, your car will be exposed to the elements. Depending on the distance your car is traveling, it might be exposed for a long period of time to things like rocks and weather.

The other option is enclosed auto shipping. These include hard or soft sided carriers that only have a few vehicles at a time. You can expect to pay more for this method, but you know your car won’t be exposed to the elements.

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Understanding the Cost

A lot of people don’t realize the costs of auto shipping. Depending on your distance and the type of transport, it can be more affordable than you think. You can start calculating costs today by using a free online auto shipping calculator based on your needs.

Here are a few variables that will impact the overall cost of transport:

  • Type of vehicle you’re shipping
  • Weight of your vehicle
  • Functionality of your vehicle
  • Time of year (some seasons offer lower rates)
  • Distance your car will travel
  • Door-to-door vs terminal-to-terminal

Going across the country in an open trailer will cost around $1,000 for a lower-value car, for example. On the other hand, a luxury vehicle in an enclosed trailer will cost over $1,500 in most cases. Rates can change depending on routes and availability. The best way to receive a fair price is to start planning as early as possible and to shop around for the best option.

Ultimately, shipping your car is a hassle-free way to get your vehicle to your destination. Not everyone can manage driving their vehicle to a new place, and it’s not always a safe choice depending on your car type. Auto shipping is a safe, secure alternative that does the heavy lifting for you.


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