Diesel Prices Increase, Car Transport Prices Follow Suit
The average cost for a gallon of diesel rose 2.5 cents to settle at $3.147. This price is the highest since December 10th, 2018, and is the result of a trend that started months ago. With rising diesel costs comes rising car transport prices, and rising prices for other goods as well. Prices are up nearly seven cents since the beginning of April, according to CCJ Digital.
Prices, of course, vary from region to region, with California seeing the highest cost of diesel and the Gulf Coast seeing the lowest. The price for a gallon of diesel in California has topped $4/gallon. The area with the next-highest prices is the Central Atlantic region, at $3.37/gallon.
California’s prices are interesting in that the rest of the West Coast seems to be pretty stable at $3.30. The 70 cent difference appears to be taxes for diesel fuel consumption in the state.
The impact diesel has on car transport prices
We’ve written a bit about diesel prices before and we’ve touched a bit on how diesel impacts car transport prices. But, as the summer shipping season looms and the industry starts picking up speed, more and more customers are going to need to ship their cars. More and more carriers are going to be on the road to ship those cars. And that means diesel is going to be in high demand.
There’s debate on just how much impact diesel prices have on the price you pay to ship your vehicle. Some industry experts downplay how important prices are and how much they affect the price you pay. Others, however, hang their hat on diesel being the motivating factor in changing car transport prices.
The truth, however, tends to be somewhere in the middle. It’s true that diesel prices impact customer prices. There’s no denying the link between the rising cost of diesel fuel and the rising cost of auto transport.
Let’s face it – being a long haul trucker isn’t glamorous. This is especially true for car shippers, who run routes and go from car to car just trying to stay afloat more often than not. If diesel prices go up, it’s added pressure on the carriers. Many times, they have no choice but to raise prices if diesel goes up.
Other factors that impact car transport services
It’s not just the price of diesel that affects your price, though. Many factors will be used to determine your auto transportation prices. Where you’re shipping from and to tends to be the most important factor. Nationwide shipments cost more than local shipments, as the distance is greater. Big trucks cost more than small cars because of the added bulk and weight. If there’s a lot of freight on the route, prices go up because it’s easier for carriers to take the highest-paying loads.
These are all things that impact the prices you pay. So it’s not just one thing that’s going to make or break your price. Diesel is but one factor, just as the route is but one factor, and the size is but one factor.
That being said, though, the price of diesel is often the most volatile factor that will affect how much you pay to ship your vehicle. Long distance haulers will routinely spend hundreds at the truck stop when they refill. If a truck can carry a total of 150 gallons of fuel, and diesel costs $3/gallon, that’s $450 per fill up if they run til empty. Considering most trucks get about 6 miles per gallon, they usually have to fill up three times a week. If the average price of a fill is even just $400, that’s $1200 per week just on fuel.
That’s a lot of money.
What you can do to mitigate the costs
Really, there’s not a lot you can do when it comes to saving money on your car transport services. Going with the cheapest option available to you isn’t great because carriers likely won’t take the vehicle unless they’re desperate. Going with the highest rate will help get your vehicle moved, but usually the highest rate isn’t the best rate.
The best thing you can do is be flexible regarding pricing and services. Be understanding of price fluctuations and their impacts on the market. Auto transport is a demand-based industry, so prices go up on routes that have a lot of freight. Prices will also be higher on routes that don’t have much traffic.
Also, understand a bit about why prices are the way they are. California is a very popular car transport hub, especially San Francisco and Los Angeles. With diesel prices near or over $4/gallon, and with the overall volume of freight, prices to and from California are high. Keep that in mind when you start getting quotes and finding a company to haul your vehicle.
You can – and should – get a quote from us before deciding. Fill out our online quote request form or call us any time at 800-930-7417. We can give you a free quote, answer questions, and explain more about how prices in the car shipping industry work.
Since 2007 Dave has written all the content and blogs for American Auto Shipping and during this time added the duties of customer support and transport logistics.
He currently resides in Washington with his three kids and their mom and cat. A fan of Marvel movies and good stories, when not shipping cars Dave can be found working on his novel, enjoying a good book or playing some tournament HALO.
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