Why Auto Transport Prices Are So Expensive (And Tips for Lowering Your Cost)
Auto transportation services, as you likely are aware by now, are not the same as going to the store and buying a candy bar – and they cost a heck of a lot more, too.
Boring, expensive and time-consuming, auto transportation is here because it has to be, because there are people who need it.
Whether it’s because they bought a car online and need it shipped back to them, or they’re moving across the country to start a new job and don’t have time to drive, or dealerships swapping inventory, it doesn’t matter who the customers are, so long as they pay – and for auto transportation companies the price is just about everything.
Shipping a car is expensive because it needs to be, and there are areas of the country that are generally going to be cheaper to ship to than others for a multitude of reasons, some of the biggest of which will be explained below.
1. Auto transporters like metro areas
If you own or operate a business, you understand that location is everything, and is so cliched at this point that the phrase “location, location location” is synonymous with success, even if it isn’t.
However, location does play a vital role in the price of auto transport, and the closer you are to more people, generally the cheaper it’s going to be to transport your vehicle. Auto transporters, as you likely know, want to stick to major metropolitan areas because that’s where the people are, and areas with higher people tend to mean more loads, which means more money.
This is good news for car transport companies because they can quickly get from one major metro area to another to keep the cash flowing. Moving to and from areas that have few people means fewer loads, which generally means higher costs for people traveling or needing shipping services along those routes.
2. Florida is probably the cheapest place to ship a vehicle to
Florida is seriously one of the cheapest and most popular auto transport locations in the country (and the former is almost definitely a major result of the latter), which is great news if you’re shipping to or from the Sunshine State but bad news if you’re shipping just about anywhere else, at least in the winter.
Florida is cheap because a) it has a ton of people living there, b) a ton of people moving there, and c) snowbirds. Snowbirds are, simply put, people who live in the north during the spring and summer and the south in fall and winter. Like birds that migrate, snowbirds tend to want the best out of life, even if that means relocation thousands of miles for 4-6 months at a time to achieve it.
Snowbirds help keep auto transportation companies afloat during the slow times, and generally this means lower prices to and from Florida since there are so many loads going there.
3. Snow sucks for car shippers
If you’re shipping into or out of an area prone to heavy snow in the winter, be prepared for longer wait times and possibly higher prices, depending on the weather at the time. Areas such as New England, the Great Lakes and the Midwest can be greatly affected by inclement weather, or even the threat of inclement weather, and as such they aren’t all that popular with auto transportation companies.
Snow can cause serious delays – they don’t want to drive through it because it’s such a huge liability if they get into an accident, and the amount of time it takes to prepare for snowy areas isn’t worth it for a person who has to drive across the country to pickup and deliver cars. It also doesn’t help that not a lot of people are actively looking for auto transportation to or from those areas during the winter, so carriers stay where it’s warm and where the customers tend to be, which usually is the east coast, California, the southern U.S. and Florida.
The best way to approach this whole thing is to either give us a call or fill out our free online quote request form. If you do the former, you’ll get in direct contact with one of our live agents – no waiting on hold or navigating menus over the phone. Just a person on the other end who’s willing and happy to answer your questions, help you navigate our site, give you basic auto transportation information and get you a quote right over the phone.
If you do the latter, and just fill out our free online form, you’ll get a free quote to ship your vehicle right away. Either way, you can get a quote, get your questions answered, place a reservation to ship, and more. So find out what American Auto Shipping can do for you!