Vehicles are our primary means of transportation, and the industry around the selling of vehicles is getting bigger by the year. Whether you’re buying a car across the country in person from a reliable seller, car dealership, or buying online, it goes without saying that driving it all the way back can be extremely exhausting.
When in this situation, your best bet would be to have someone ship the car to your destination. Luckily for you, there are services out there that specialize in the shipping of vehicles across both sea and land.
Vehicle shipping companies offer a simple but highly wanted service to the public. The service of safely transporting vehicles across the country and internationally isn’t a small task. Luckily, the companies who do specialize in it are season pros who know the ins and outs of the industry. In this article, we are going to talk about these services.
How Does The Vehicle Transport Industry Work?
For the shipping of vehicles across the country, these companies provide a service based on multiple factors. The most important factor in the industry is the budget. Namely, when we talk about budget, it usually goes down to whether the carriers responsible for transporting your vehicle are enclosed or open. We are going to talk about both types of carriers in greater detail.
The most common type of vehicle carrier that you’ll see on the road is the open type. Vehicle shipping companies use open carriers for most of their transportation, and they are widely used by vehicle manufacturers to get their models onto car lots. Open carriers are essentially what they sound. They load your car onto the back, which is open, and harness it to keep it safe. The driver then drives across the country to deliver your vehicle safely. Usually, open carriers can transport up to eight or nine vehicles at ones.
Unlike open carriers, enclosed carriers are your best option if you’re transporting exotic cars, classics, and even old-timers. Enclosed carriers offer more protection from the natural elements, as well as, provide cover so one knows what vehicle is actually being transported. However, enclosed carriers can cost up to 100% more than open carriers, making them not a very cost-effective method of transportation.
Open carriers are also faster than enclosed. This might come to a surprise to most people, but enclosed carriers need to be extra careful since they will transport exotic cars most of the time. Open carriers are best if you’re transporting anything but expensive vehicles.
What Are the Costs For Transporting?
Naturally, shipping your vehicle across the country will cost you money. But the total amount will depend on a few factors. The first and most important one is the distance; other factors include car weight, size, and means of transportation, pick up location, and time. To ship a four-door sedan, on average it will cost you anything between $400 and $2,000. To ship a truck or SUV, it will cost you anything between $500 and $2,500.
As for how your vehicle will arrive, you have two options to choose from which are door-to-door and terminal shipping.
Door-to-door shipping costs more than terminal shipping. You will pay a premium for this type of shipping, but the vehicle will arrive at your door, which is the ultimate and most convenient move.
On the other hand, terminal shipping is a less expensive method of shipping as it transports your vehicle directly to a terminal. The extra costs for door-to-door shipping don’t exist, but you do have to watch out for various facility fees.
During the summer months, the costs for shipping vehicles tend to increase. These are the busy periods of the year and cots can increase anything from $100 and $400. It also goes without saying that it will cost you more to ship a larger vehicle, and you will pay even more if the vehicle isn’t drivable.
We mentioned that there are a lot of companies that specialize in auto transport, and in most cases, it is far better to leave that job to professionals.
Full-Service Movers Also Offer Vehicle Transport
Most of the cross country vehicle transportation happens because a family resettles. In this case, you can ask your full-service movers if they provide vehicle shipping services. Some do and some don’t, but you should always know that vehicle shipping isn’t the primary service of full-service movers. They specialize in moving all of your belongings from your previous home onto your new one, and shipping vehicles is considered a secondary.
How Long Does Vehicle Shipping Usually Take?
We mentioned that there are a couple of factors when determining the costs of vehicle shipping. We should also mention that there are also factors that determine how long it will take until your car arrives. For both of these, distance is the main factor. Most vehicle shipping companies will give you a timetable between three days and ten days. While we understand that this won’t apply for all companies, most of them tend to stick to this time table.
However, below we will explain the shipping time by a distance that most companies use:
- For shipping distance of 0 miles and 500 miles, it will take anything between one and three days for the company to transport your vehicle.
- For distances between 501 and 999 miles, it will take between two and four days to ship your vehicle.
- For distances between 1000 and 1499 miles, it will take an average of three to five days to transport your vehicle.
- For distances between 1500 and 2100 miles, an average of five to seven days
- For distances of 2101 miles and above, you will have to wait for anything between seven and fourteen days for your vehicle to arrive.
We should also mention that various external factors such as bad weather and traffic also play a huge role on the delivery time of your vehicle. Most vehicle shipping companies will provide tracking information on your vehicle, and some even provide a free rental car if your vehicle is delayed.