PRELIMINARY research is the key to successfully shipping your car.

My experience working at a vehicle transport company will help you find an effective auto shipping plan within your budget without you breaking a sweat.

Open carrier auto shipping


Open carrier auto shippingCredit: Getty

When you book your appointment, your shipping service, and your vehicle’s specs are three primary factors that will influence your car transport quote.

Do your best to book your appointment 2-4 weeks ahead of your vehicle’s ideal departure date.

This timeframe ensures that a shipping company can offer you availability and your preferred service.

Most car transport organizations don’t allow their customers to book more than a month ahead.

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This 30-day pre-booking limit ensures that a shipping company doesn’t have to change your quote based on continually-shifting market factors like time of year.

Domestic car shipping is typically completed via open or enclosed transport.

Airfreight shipping tends to be reserved for high-end supercars or rare vintage models.

Open carrier transport is the most frequently used domestic auto shipping method since it’s the least expensive—but it carries some risk.

Open carrier shipping doesn’t shield your car from environmental hazards during transport like lousy weather, dirt, or flying rocks.

Drivers wishing to ground ship their vehicle quickly will benefit from an open carrier service.

Open carrier transport tends to be faster than enclosed auto shipping since there’s more market demand.

Increased market demand means that there’s higher availability of truckers that can take your request along speedier mainstream routes.

Enclosed ground shipping houses your car in a trailer that typically loads vehicles in and out through a hydraulic lift.

Hydraulic lifts lower the likelihood of your car scraping its undercarriage during loading and unloading.

Enclosed car transport traveling along a Western interstate


Enclosed car transport traveling along a Western interstateCredit: Getty

Keep an eye out for these red flags when checking out an auto transport company:

  • Low online ratings
  • Guaranteed pickup or delivery times 
  • Online records of scam audits 
  • Unavailable required legal info like DOT and MC permitting numbers
  • A poorly-built website

A quality auto shipping company will offer liability and cargo insurance covering damages to your vehicle that might occur during transit.

It’s best to verify that your transport organization’s insurance covers your vehicle’s actual value.

Your car’s size and weight are vital elements that will impact your final quote.

More sizable vehicles will cost extra to transport since they take up more hauler room and carry more mass.  

Enclosed auto transport


Enclosed auto transportCredit: Getty

Vehicles with modifications may require specialized shipping and handling, which increases your quote.

Like car modifications, a non-functioning vehicle will cost more since there’s more work to be done during loading and unloading.

Shipping discounts are standard within the auto transport industry.

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Ask an auto transport service you’re consulting with if you’re eligible for any discounts. 

Car shipping price breaks are typically given to groups like military members, students, and first-time customers.