Cheap Car Shipping: Is It Common?

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Vehicle shipping is very demanding, especially when it comes to traveling long distances, relocating or attending vehicle contests in different cities or states. Therefore, many thousands of car movers opt for transportation services that ensure their vehicle’s safety, as well as great pricing and successful deliveries. 


In case you’re wondering what the shipping rates of vehicle shipping are, unfortunately, that basically depends on many different factors. Starting from company policies to vehicle features, shipping rates tend to fluctuate constantly; that’s why giving an exact price range is practically impossible. 


However, determining the cheapest way to ship an automobile is actually possible. Frequent car shippers follow certain tips and steps in order to ship their vehicles with affordable shipping rates. 


So, if you’re planning your next vehicle move and looking for a cheap way to ship it, here we will give you the best tips and ideas on how to request your service with the price range you’re opting to. 


Requesting an Auto Shipping Service

When hiring a shipping service with an auto transport company, you’ll be asked to choose among several options for transporting your vehicle at your delivery location. You may choose between:


  • Open or enclosed transport

  • Terminal-to-terminal shipping or door-to-door shipping 


Finding the Cheapest Way To Ship a Car

There is a wide range of transport options and methods when it comes to vehicle shipping. The two most popular and relevant among the industry are open transport and enclosed transport. 


Open transport ships vehicles in open haulers, which are completely exposed to the outdoors and the environment. Enclosed transport is the opposite; vehicles are shipped in completely enclosed haulers, protecting vehicles from any outdoor situation. 


Enclosed shipping tends to be much more expensive than open transport, since it requires more equipment for loading and unloading, availability of carriers is fewer, and the whole procedure is a bit more tedious and complicated.


As such, open transport is considered as the cheapest way to ship an automobile or any other kind of vehicle. Why is it?

Car Shipping Journey

Open Transport

Open transport is definitely the cheapest way to ship a car, since it provides multiple benefits and systems that allow the journey and the whole procedure to be much more simple and affordable to consumers. For car movers who are looking for cheap services to transport their common vehicles, this is the best alternative. 


Check out the benefits:

  • Transport carriers have availability for up to 10 cars on each truck, with simply one driver. 

  • Availability of car carriers is higher, since there are more open carriers than enclosed carriers on the road.

  • Open carriers can handle almost any type of vehicle, regardless of weight, size, style, among others. 

Enclosed Transport 

As mentioned above, open transport is a great car shipping option for most car movers. It’s a great way of transporting a particular and common vehicle, since there’s no need to over protect it during transit. 


However, enclosed transport tends to be more expensive than open transport in terms of costs to ship, and is the cheapest option for car movers who want to ship their valuable vehicles from point to point. 


Enclosed transport ensures a vehicle's safety by the entire protection it provides to the car during transportation. It’s a method that is chosen by car movers who want to transport vehicles such as:

  • Vintage cars 

  • Classic cars

  • Collection cars

  • Exotic vehicles

  • Brand new cars 


Among other types of vehicles that require additional protection during shipment. 

Car Shipping Pickup and Delivery

Terminal-to-Terminal Car Shipping

Now, in terms of choosing the cheapest way of delivering and picking up your car, terminal-to-terminal transport is definitely the cheapest way to ship a car. Terminal-to-terminal transport consists of picking up and delivering your vehicle at a designated terminal by the auto transport company. 


However, it is not the favorite option for most car movers unless it's absolutely necessary. Car carriers that work on terminals are usually slower on their shipping procedures and services, and the loading and unloading processes tend to be more riskier because spaces on terminals are commonly limited, and storage fees can detract from it being cost-effective. 

Door-to-Door Car Shipping

Door-to-door pickup and delivery is the most recommended method of transportation. Although it’s not the cheapest alternative, it’s definitely the safest one. 


Door-to-door shipping consists of a hauler picking up your vehicle and delivering it to you straight at your door. The whole procedure is done in front of your pickup and delivery location, which can be your own home, office, or any other place. 

How Are Car Shipping Costs Determined?

Car shipping costs are determined by a number of factors:


  • Seasons


The seasonality of demand affects car shipping prices. Because many people want to transport their vehicles in the spring and summertime, prices are higher during those seasons. In the fall and winter, demand is lower and prices are cheaper. 


  • Location


If you need to ship your vehicle to a location that is on one of the most popular routes for the auto shipping company, they may offer a reduced quote. If you need your vehicle shipped to a rural area where the carrier has to diverge from their main route, they will likely charge more for shipping. 


  • Shipping Method


As mentioned before, selecting your auto transport method among open, enclosed, door-to-door, and terminal-to-terminal transport, are high factors considered for determining the final shipping rate.


  • Vehicle Size and Weight


The bigger a vehicle, the more space it takes up. Carriers charge more for hauling larger cars like SUVs or pickups than for smaller cars such as mini coopers or regular sedans. 


Smaller vehicles such as mid-size cars, compact SUVs, and two-door trucks may actually bring the carrier’s price down. On the other hand, transporting a large car means transporting fewer cars overall. 

Car Shipping Quotes

Remember you can request free car shipping quotes on the majority of the auto transport companies in the industry. These quotes will give you an estimate of what your total shipping rate will be, allowing you to select the best alternatives for a cheap car transport, and therefore, save some money. 


At AmeriFreight, you can request a quote on our website’s free quote calculator. Rates are quoted based on the timeframe you consider it necessary to ship.

How to Avoid Having Extra Costs During Car Shipping

Vehicle shipping doesn’t consist only of allowing your auto transport company to pick up your vehicle, transport it, and deliver it to your desired destination. Although the majority of the responsibility is taken by them, a huge part of the car’s delivery success also relies on you. 

  1. Guarantee that your auto transport company is a federally licensed car shipping company in the U.S. This provides you security when selecting a vehicle shipping company.
  2. Make sure you get full insurance coverage, especially for long distance transports. Damage during your vehicle's transportation is not common, but the risk is always there.
  3. Last but not least, look if your auto transport company offers special discounts. Some of them give special offers to their customers.