The Best Ways to Save Money Shipping a Car
Everyone likes saving money. Whether you’re just going shopping at the grocery store, buying designer clothes, tickets for travel – saving money is always great. So it’s not surprising that people would want to save money shipping a car. Wouldn’t you?
Of course, saving money is easier said than done. Sometimes, you just have to pay the going rate, and there’s little else you can do if you want the services provided. But most of the time, there’s at least something you can do to save some dough.
In this blog post, we’re going to talk about some of the primary means customers have to save money shipping a car. We’re also going to talk about some misconceptions about the practice, and highlight ways customers think they can save money, but it doesn’t usually work out the way they want it to.
So keep reading to see how you can save money shipping a car with American Auto Shipping.
Can you actually save money shipping a car?
Believe it or not, you can! While car transport is less “save 50% when you buy two” and more “if you do these things you can save some cash,” it’s still possible.
But transporting a vehicle is a lot different than buying something at Macy’s. Or, you know, off of Amazon. In fact, it’s a pretty far cry from shopping on Amazon. For starters, auto transport services are not done on-demand. You have to book your shipment, wait for a carrier to be scheduled, and then be there for pickup and delivery. So it’s a bit more involved than most other forms of online shopping.
However, you can definitely save money when shipping a car, and that’s what we’re covering today. From figuring out what discounts you’re eligible for, to standing by for a cheaper carrier, there’s definitely ways. They may not all apply to you and your shipment, of course, but usually there’s at least something that does.
And before we continue, let’s put this out there right now: these savings are a minor part of your overall cost. Discounts will usually save you $25-75 at most. Standby shipping can save hundreds, but takes a lot of time. So you have to remember there are caveats to the tips and tricks that will be supplied in this blog post. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t save money – you can!
Choose popular pickup and delivery locations
One of the best ways to save money shipping a car is to choose popular locations. It’s also something you don’t have much control over. You do have more control over it than, say, when you’re needing to ship your vehicle. But that’s beside the point.
In the auto transport world, shippers – i.e., the truck drivers – like to operate along popular routes. These routes go from, to, and through big cities across the country. And by “big,” we mean “major metropolitan areas.” Think Los Angeles, San Diego, Dallas, Miami, Atlanta, New York, etc. These areas are popular because they’re chock full of people. The more people there are in an area, the more loads there are for carriers to ship.
This is pretty big, and for those of you that have pickups or deliveries that sit off the beaten path, it can make it more expensive to ship. Carriers that service customers picking up or delivering to rural areas have to spend more to get to those locations. Fuel, maintenance, and time are all major parts of a carrier’s day-to-day expenses. So, the more they have to spend to get to a vehicle, the more it will cost.
By moving your pickup or delivery location out of the boonies and into a major metro area, you can potentially save hundreds on your shipment. It may cost a bit more in fuel for you, but you don’t have to buy $300-500 worth of diesel at each stop.
Be flexible on when you ship
The car shipping industry is a seasonal one. What does this mean? We’ve talked about it before, but basically, the summer season is very busy, and the winter is not. This means that prices tend to go up along most routes during the summer months. More demand for shipping services lets carriers pick and choose the highest-paying loads first. Those are the ones that move on time, and those that pay less end up waiting around.
By moving your shipping time to the fall or winter, you stand to save a fair amount of money depending on your specific route. Most routes, aside from those that see a lot of inclement weather (the Great Lakes, for instance), will see prices fall in comparison to their summer counterparts.
Of course, this isn’t always an option for people. You have to ship when you have to ship, and nothing can change it, right? Well, that’s true. If you need your car moved, you’re just going to have to pay for it. But if you have some time to wait around, changing which season you ship in may be a good way to save some cash.
Speaking of saving money by waiting…
Standby shipping services
Standby auto transport services are a great way to save some money if you’re not pressed for time. Many people move their vehicles pretty much as soon as they know they have to. Whether it’s for a move, or you’re selling a car to someone else, it doesn’t matter. Most people need car transport services immediately.
But there are plenty of people out there that can benefit from standby shipping. Standby is where you pay a lower price than the going rate on purpose. This is designed to find a carrier that doesn’t necessarily require your vehicle to be profitable, but it’s better than running with an empty slot on their truck. So carriers in this situation will happily take lower-paying loads because it’s just money on top.
There are, of course, many other reasons why carriers might take loads at less than the going rate. But regardless, they are out there, and if you’re not needing to ship right away, standby might be a great way to go.
This is especially true in the summer months when prices are at their peak. Don’t need to move it right away? You can choose standby shipping and just wait until the right opportunity comes around. Many times, as prices go down around Labor Day, those cars that were posted low end up getting picked up because there’s not as much freight on the route to go around.
If you’re interested in standby shipping be sure to speak to a representative who can explain it in more detail.
Looks for discounts!
Ah, the oldest trick in the book – discounts! Many car transporters will offer discounts to help customers save money shipping a car. The question, of course, is what they provide discounts for.
The most common discount is the military discount. Almost every single shipping company you can book with will offer discounts for military members. Most will do it for active or retired, but some will only do it for active members. Also, most companies will offer a discount for combat veterans, though many will lump that into their overall military discount.
Other discounts that are popular are senior citizen discounts, returning customer discounts, and student discounts. Senior citizen discounts are, of course, tailored to older people who are looking to ship. As many senior citizens are on fixed incomes, these are often higher than other discounts. Students are the same way – if you’re moving to college, for instance, a student ID can save you a bit of money.
Returning customer discounts usually only apply to people who have already shipped with the company. These are also fairly common, though you of course have to be a returning customer to apply.
Along those same lines are dealership and mechanical shop discounts, which are designed for commercial entities that ship cars often. Fleet shipping is another discount that some companies offer (though not many), and multi-car discounts are popular as well.
There are a lot of potential discounts out there. You should always ask a representative over the phone what discounts their company offers.
Save money shipping a car with American Auto Shipping
If you’re interested in shipping a car at a great rate, you can’t go wrong with us. In business since 1999, we know what it takes to move a vehicle at a great rate and on time. We offer a multitude of discounts, can help you find better pickup and delivery locations, and much more.
If you’re interested in shipping with us, take a minute to fill out our online quote form. Doing so will get you a free quote to ship right away and if you like the price you see you can book your order right there!
Of course, you can call us any time toll-free and speak to a representative. They can answer questions, give details about our services, give you a quote over the phone, book your shipment over the phone, and more. So no matter what you’re looking for, what you need, or what your budget is, we can help you.