Every single car transport company has criteria when it comes to compiling and pricing a shipment. Note first and foremost that the quote you receive through our free quote form has no hidden fees or costs associated with it. In other words, what you see is what you pay.
At the same time, there are factors that are “hidden” from customers that can have drastic effects on your auto transport price in general. It’s not that they’re hidden from you; it’s just that they’re not talked about often.
In this article we’re going to discuss some of the factors that auto transporters like us look at and use to price your shipment, and explain why these different factors impact your quotes in such drastic ways. You can also read more about auto transport quotes here and here, so you get a full understanding of what you’re getting into when you start shopping for services.
Some of the things that auto shipping companies look at when compiling your quotes are:
Pickup and Dropoff Locations
This one is kind of a no-brainer, as it is the main determining factor for your auto transport price. Auto shipping companies look at where you are shipping from and to and the mileage between the two and basically use that as a baseline when compiling your quote.
Type of vehicle you are shipping
Larger vehicles will cost more to ship, end of story. Many pickup trucks, SUV’s, minivans and cargo vans come with varying “oversize/overweight shipping fees.” These are assessed based on the size and weight of the vehicle you are shipping, and are included in the price you ultimately get.
This is why shipping a large pickup truck will cost more than a standard car on that same route. Cars sized up to full-size sedans are not subject to oversize/overweight car shipping fees.
Condition of your vehicle
Something that a lot of people don’t think about is the condition of the vehicle they are shipping. Most of the time this refers to whether or not the vehicle is in running or driving condition. For instance, non-operational vehicles can cost up to $150 more than the cost of a running vehicle of the same make and model along the same route.
This is because auto shippers have to have a special winch in order to get non-op vehicles onto and off the truck. Most cars are simply driven onto the transport truck and then secured in place, but shipping companies cannot do that with non-running vehicles. Vehicles without wheels are even more expensive to ship, so keep that in mind as well. Wrecked or totaled vehicles will also cost more than even non-running vehicles, especially if they are in such bad condition they need a flatbed transport truck to haul them.
Type of carrier you are requesting
Most auto transport companies provide standard shipping quotes on an open auto transport carrier, which is the most common type of carrier in the industry today.
However, not all vehicles can be shipped on an open carrier. Some vehicles, such as high-end sports cars (Lamborghini), antiques, or high-value luxury vehicles (Maserati, Bentley, etc) usually require enclosed transportation services in order to protect their high value, and that will cost more.
Not only that but it will likely take more time to find an enclosed truck capable of handling your specific shipment, and this will not only add to the cost but also the pickup window.
When you need it shipped
Most auto transport companies will give you a standard pickup window, generally 1-10 days from the day you book your order, but customers who need it shipped more quickly can opt for expedited shipping services, which will cost more money than standard shipping.
You can also request standby shipping services, which is where you pay a lower price on purpose knowing full well it could take longer to get your vehicle picked up and transported.
All of these factors are considered and calculated into your quote before it is sent to you, so you can rest assured that there won’t be any hidden fees based on any of the criteria above.
The car shipping industry is a fluid one at the end of the day; route prices depend heavily on carrier availability on the route in question and fuel prices, which can have drastic impacts on the base price for many routes.
To get a free auto transport quote, call us directly at 800-930-7417 to speak to a live agent. They can give you a quote, answer questions, or even book your order if you’re ready. You can also fill out our free online quote form and get an auto shipping quote immediately.