Bargain Auto Shipping

Cost to ship a carEveryone wants a good deal nowadays. No matter the product or service needed, we are all looking for a bargain. But there are times when going for the lowest price can end up costing you more, and with auto shipping that is especially true.

As tempting as a budget shipping quote may be, it may not be such a great deal in the long run.

One common misconception about auto shipping is that the quotes provided are guaranteed set prices from each individual company. However, every quote you receive is from an auto shipping broker who will use that estimate to contract an independent hauler.

Each hauler accepts the jobs they want at the price that they feel is acceptable. Their routes may vary from week to week depending on the jobs available. The drivers themselves are not available to provide quotes for their services to customers, as they are on the road. The haulers go through the brokers listings for ready jobs and always accept the best paying jobs first. (And really, if you were a driver, wouldn’t you prefer the best paying jobs?)

If a potential auto shipper makes an offer to potential haulers that is too low, it will be ignored by the well-rated drivers. No matter how long you wait, if your offer is not acceptable to a driver it will not get set.

Even if you have given your credit card information to a broker, your final auto shipping contract requires hauler acceptance. So even if a broker is willing to make a low offer on your behalf, your final price is dependent on a hauler agreeing to it.

Also – keep in mind that if a low, low price does book a carrier, it’s often a “you get what you pay for” situation. Often, the lowest auto shipping offers only appeal to desperate drivers: those who don’t have a great track record and/or those who aren’t paying insurance premiums.

Is saving $50 – 100 worth risking your transport with a shady hauler?

At Ship a Car Direct, we make sure all of our transports are booked with well-rated and fully insured haulers.

Our auto shipping quotes aren’t always the lowest, but they are realistic for timely bookings. And in our experience, starting with a fair price for a quick and safe transport is actually the best bargain.

Looking For Auto Shipping Quotes?

Auto Shipping QuotesIf you have a large move coming up, and you’ve decided that shipping your car instead of driving it will make your move easier to manager, you will need to collect a number of auto shipping quotes. There are many companies that transport cars from one state to another or completely across the country. Whatever your budget might be, understanding the shipping quotes might be difficult if you don’t know what you’re looking at.

Give Safe-Direct Car Shipping a call, or chat with us online and we’ll answer all your questions about your getting a quote, and how the entire process works.  If you have any questions about your quote, don’t hesitate to ask.

Here are some factors that will affect your auto shipping quote.

1. Size and weight of your car.
This could impact the cost of shipping it from one place to another. Some companies may have a flat rate for all sedans and a higher rate for an SUV, for example.

2.  Destination.

In addition to the make and model of your car, the destination will have the largest impact on the cost of shipping. Whether you are moving completely across the country or to a neighboring state will determine how long and how much it costs to get your car shipped.  Currently we DO offer shipping to Hawaii, but not to Alaska.

3.  Type of car carrier.
Many auto transport companies offer different methods of shipping. You can choose an open carrier, where the car is securely fastened to a truck or flatbed, but in the open air, where it is subject to weather, dust and other elements, or a closed carrier, where your car is protected inside a carrier container. There are pros and cons to both shipping methods, and you should always expect to pay more if you are using a closed carrier.

4.  Advanced notice or scheduling doesn’t equal lower prices.It would seem to make sense that scheduling your car shipping date months in advance might save you money, but it doesn’t.  A few days notice is all that is required.  We have so many carriers in our network that whenever you have your car ready, we can have someone there to pick it up and have it on its way to your desired location.

Review all of the auto shipping quotes you receive before you make a decision.  If you have any questions about your quote, ask for an explanation before you sign any paperwork.

Finally, do NOT pay an upfront deposit!  You should never have to pay a dime until you’re given your car carriers info and have the opportunity to review your options.

Free Car Shipping Quote


Understanding The Nature Of Auto Transport

Auto TransportLike many industries, fluctuating demand and availability will affect the price of goods or services such as cleaning, catering, or doing contract work. The same is true of auto transportation. Other factors also contribute to the variability of shipping prices, making it impossible for a customer or a shipping agent to nail down a specific quote for services weeks in advance.

This is why it’s not always recommended to make arrangements too far ahead of your travel date. For instance, if you know you will need your car moved to a different state three months from now, wait until a week or two before you depart to try and book services. While one might secure a copy of a long-awaited CD, book, or latest tech gadget, in advance (and maybe enjoy a discount for early ordering), this is not the case with auto carriers.

With auto transport, early booking does not equal paying less.

With most carriers, prices have yet to be set. Gas prices and demand for shipping will affect the price.

This doesn’t mean you can’t prepare in advance. Whatever causes prices to fluctuate will apply to every agency, so comparing one to another is a good idea. Check their testimonials, FAQs, pricing policies, and other policies. When you have found the one that seems to offer the best service for the best price, be prepared to put your name on the roster about a week before you need your car to be somewhere. It will be waiting for you when you head to a warm state for an extended holiday.

Being flexible can be beneficial for everyone. For instance, if you can ship during a slow time, you may get a better rate, and carriers can keep a steady auto shipping schedule.

Please contact us if you have any questions about auto transport, or click below for a free quote!

Free Car Shipping Quote

What Do Auto Shippers Do And Why Do You Need Them?

Auto ShippersTransporting a vehicle from one location to another requires care, experience and coordination, especially since some car transports require moving vehicles long distances. Auto shippers perform an important role not just for the automotive and sales industries but also for many other industries that require the use of vehicles for operations. Dealers, brokers, manufacturers and businesses may require the services of car shippers at some point, but what exactly do they do?

The Car Transport Process
The process of automobile shipping may seem complicated, but can be simple if you understand how the process works.

Auto shippers are in charge of coordinating the time, day and manner with which vehicles must be transported. Depending on the location, preferences of the buyer or client or special circumstances, auto shippers may choose to transport cars by open or closed trucks. These are known as car carriers.

Prior to transportation, however, each vehicle must be inspected and carefully documented. The inspection is done in order to assess the condition of the car and to take note of important information such as make, model, brand, special features, plate number (when available), etc. In case of secondhand or used cars, automobile shippers must also take careful note of markings and damages. Assessing and recording the observable condition of the cars are important to shippers since the records can prove that they are not liable for any damages that may be present. Records will also prove that the damage occurred prior to transport.

Once documents have been prepared and forwarded, the carrier then proceeds with the transport of the car. Vehicles are delivered or shipped to a central point and later transferred, usually by truck to their destination, such as a car dealership, a showroom or a specific address.

Auto shippers are responsible for preparing inspection reports during pick up and prior to actual delivery. They should also ensure proper and accurate coordination with other parties to ensure that the vehicles are picked up at the right schedule and location and delivered in a timely manner to the right recipient.

To say that auto shippers are critical to the economy and to the success of many businesses in a wide range of industries would be an understatement. Car transport is not only a major supporting player for businesses, they have become increasingly popular and necessary for individual car owners as well.

Auto Transportation Scheduling

Auto TransportWe love receiving online feedback from our customers following their auto transportation. Not only does it let us know how we are doing, but it also helps to inform future customers about what to expect from the auto transportation process. When potential customers begin researching their transport options, they often have expectations about the process based on other services. For example, many customers assume the scheduling of auto transportation is like scheduling a flight through an airline, but are later surprised to find that is not the case.

Auto Transport Scheduling:

We recently received an online review from a customer named Marie who had a common expectation about transport scheduling. Marie had never shipped a car before, and assumed by placing her order in advance that she would receive a firm schedule in advance. Her Safe Direct Car Shipping Customer Service Representative was Jason, and he was available for her questions while waiting on confirmation. Here is how she put it: “As the first date of pick up got closer I was very concerned that I didn’t have a carrier, but Jason kept assuring me we had time…and on Monday a transportation company called and said they’d be at my house in 2 hours for my car.”

At first, it is hard for many customers to comprehend that auto transportation schedules are more changeable than other transit schedules. The truth is that every auto transport run is unique based on the different customer addresses each time. That, along with issues like weather and road conditions and traffic there isn’t a way for drivers to micro-manage their drive times to conform to advance planning. Carriers are most likely to confirm availability within 24-48 hours of a customer’s pick-up window – and even then, the times provided are estimates.

We understand that providing estimates within 24-48 hours of pick-up can be less convenient for customers than providing a firm time well in advance, but the nature of affordable auto transportation doesn’t allow for precise advance scheduling. We prefer to inform customers what to reasonably expect from the door-to-door transport service. Our customer Marie said: “This was my first and probably only experience with car transportation, but it all worked out just as Jason said it would.”

If you have any questions about anything you’ve read in online reviews about auto transportation or if you want to know more about what to expect during your auto transport, please give us at Safe Direct Car Shipping a call!

Auto Shipping Across The United States

Auto Shipping

All over the United States drivers see cars being transported in big auto carriers. That might seem like a convenient method of auto shipping if only you could access these services as a private customer. The truth is that you can.

The internet has made it easy to find something you want that is located a considerable distance away, even a car. The challenge of buying large items, such as a car, has always been how to transport the item long distances at a reasonable cost.

That is where auto shipping companies like Safe-Direct Car Shipping come in.  Is it possible without using a car shipping company?  Yes, you could fly in and drive out, or invite a friend to take a long road trip and drive the new car back., however, this also can become costly. Arranging for the car to be shipped saves time and effort you could put into something else, like gathering the parts and materials or purchasing some upgrades for the new car!

It only takes a minute to get a free estimate of the price you could pay for auto transport.  After indicating the type and condition of a car and how far it will travel, our online auto shipping calculator will suggest a cost, though this will be set by an agent when you decide for certain that you want to have a car shipped to your home.

Another piece of good news is that the vehicle will come directly to your home. The carrier will park out front of your townhouse, house, or condo with the vehicle and a form to sign. This is a waiver, indicating that you have completed the transaction and will not be pursuing compensation for damages to the car. Check the car over before you sign. Damages during auto shipping are rare, but they do happen, so be sure you document any damage.

Moreover, do not hand over a penny until this point. We don’t recommend that you pay any money up front, but some companies will.
Check out the quick video below for some tips on auto shipping scheduling and pick up dates.

Please contact us if you have any questions, or request a free quote online.

Free Car Shipping Quote

Auto Transport Companies – You Don’t Have to Be Scared

If you are unfamiliar to the auto transport industry, you are not alone. Luckily, there are folks who have gone before you and can confirm it can be done without issue!

One of the most common confessions we hear when we speak to new customers is that they have never shipped a car before but have read a bunch of horror stories on-line. But the truth is that thousands of cars are successfully shipped each week, from many different auto transport companies, – the success stories just don’t tend to get posted.

auto transportHere is what one of our actual customers had to say about her experience:

Safe-Direct was our broker (organizes the shipment initially) and C&D Auto Transport was our carrier (truck who drove our car across the country): 

These days, we all don’t have a lot of change laying around so $795 to ship a car was a gamble to us and we’re glad it paid off. Out of the dozens of quotes I received, Safe-Direct gave me one of the cheapest quotes. I read numerous reviews about auto transport brokers & carriers before choosing Safe-Direct (the broker). 

At one point, I had high hopes for a website called, but it was confusing and the quotes were much higher. Other reviewers of U-Ship noted that the website charged brokers/carriers too much, which made customer’s final costs high. So I wouldn’t use U-Ship, just pick up the phone and call Safe-Direct directly. 

Anyways, I chose Safe-Direct because the emails from Jason were very clear and helpful. One of his emails included links to informational, short youtube clips about shipping a car from Safe-Direct’s owner. I watched them all in a matter of minutes, and most of my questions were answered by the videos. 

I called Jason’s direct line and he was very helpful. I wanted the car to be picked up on the May 25th (hooray, it was picked up by the carrier on May 25th). But I didn’t want it to be delivered to our destination until we arrived on June 4th (about ten days later). Both Jason and the carrier’s dispatch assured me it shouldn’t be a problem. 

When our car was picked up by C&D, I overheard the driver saying that they were going to be at the destination on Wednesday, May 30th. So it was going to take just five short days to go from CA to FL. So as long as your car is picked up, it seems like they ship cars very fast. 

We flew into FL late night on June 4th and rented a car for one day. The neighborhood where we were staying had small, windy roads and we didn’t want to wait in some parking lot for the delivery so we decided to meet them instead. The next day we met C&D outside of their yard in Miami where our car was probably stored for a couple days. We handed over the cashiers check for $600 (the rest of the total balance; $200 ish was paid via credit card to Safe-Direct at the time of booking) and we got our car & key. The car turned on perfectly and has been driving just fine. 

Here are some tips: 
-Watch all the videos Safe-Direct sends you 
-When Jason or whomever sends you a secured link in a quote email, make sure you fill it out immediately in order to get set up with a carrier. 
-For the pickup, try a big parking lot if your neighborhood’s roads are small. We chose what we thought was a big parking lot, but the turn into the lot was deemed difficult by the driver. So the carrier just stopped on Ocean blvd (not too busy of a 2 lane road) blocking one of the lanes and loaded the car from there. It was not much of a problem and they were finished loading within ten minutes. 
-We had an air bed mattress and a small box in our trunk. The driver didn’t open our trunk upon pick up and it was all there upon delivery. 
-Try to have just a tiny amount of gas in the tank upon pickup. The lighter the car is, the better it is for the carrier. 
-However, upon delivery make sure you map out a nearby gas station to fill up ahead of time. 
-Keep in contact with the carrier company. Make sure you have several phone numbers for them. We spoke and texted with Yoe (she was like the dispatch for C&D – carrier company). We were always able to reach her on her cell. We updated her a few days before, the day before, and the day of our arrival and desired “delivery time.” 
-Unfortunately, you won’t be able to have your car picked up and delivered at an airport, so plan on renting a car or arranging other transportation if you are flying and will be shipping your car. 
-I was most unsure about C&D, the carrier, since they had a few negative reviews online. However, everything turned out fine. So try not to worry. 
-Write a review when all is said and done 🙂 

I would highly recommend both the Safe-Direct and C&D Auto Transportation companies based on my experience. They both delivered on their promises and we paid what we were quoted. Best wishes! 

Thanks for the helpful feedback, Pamela! That should help calm some first-time fears. But if you still have questions, like Pamela said, “…just pick up the phone and call Safe-Direct…!”

Car Shipping Reviews – Customer Karen R. says “Use with confidence”!

Shipping a car across the country is something most people only do once a lifetime (if at all), so the process is unfamiliar. A great way to gain confidence about it is to read one of our car shipping reviews from an actual customer.

car transport reviewsOur customer Karen R. left feedback for us after she transported her car from California to Maryland. She even had a false start with another transporter before finding us. Here is what she says about the experience:

Needed to move my SUV across country from CA to MD. Had used another transport service for move from MD to CA and was very dissatisfied. Had to sign an upfront contract and pay an upfront deposit for service with that company. They did not keep me informed and contacting them was difficult (long hold times, etc.) 30 days past my original pick up date, they finally did find a carrier but when the carrier contacted me for pick up directly, I was asked for several hundred dollars over contracted amount. Obviously, hadn’t been notified of this in advance by the transport service.

Dealing with Safe Direct was an entirely different experience. Selected them by the Transport reviews and ratings. No upfront signing of a contract, no deposit until a carrier was assigned. Company provided very informative video links explaining all aspects of transport process. David, who was my contact person, kept me well informed throughout via email or telephone.

When no carrier had picked up my transport five days after my initial available date, David worked with me to make sure my vehicle was picked up within the time parameter I had provided.

I did end up having to ‘sweeten the deal’ somewhat to make my transport more attractive to a prospective carrier and also had to be willing to adjust my drop off destination somewhat, which amounted to my being willing to drive a little over an hour to a nearby destination. However, I did not feel manipulated into paying more than my estimated amount by Safe Direct because David was very forthcoming with information on the trips in my time-frame that had been picked up, the rates agreed to, etc.

After a carrier was assigned to me, David was accessible in case I had any problems and followed up after my transport was complete.

The carrier that ultimately accepted my transport (M&T Transport) turned out to be very professional and in the end, actually delivered my car early to my destination! They also were very good about keeping in contact with me about the status of their arrival and most importantly, my vehicle was delivered to me in the same excellent condition it was picked up in.

I would definitely recommend Safe Direct and plan to use them again in the future based on this experience.

How’s that for informative feedback?!  Thanks, Karen!!

If Karen’s experience inspires any questions about car shipping, please give us a call. Our friendly representatives are happy to explain the process and the quotes are free!


Auto Transport Reviews that really help

Here’s a great recommendation from an auto transport review site. Not only was the customer happy, but also he raised some good points about the transport process. Of course we love hearing auto transport reviews when a customer is pleased with the service and that is exactly what many potential customers want to read when they are doing their research on us. But car shipping reviews can also be very informative and help first-time shippers gain more insight into the process. All of the most common shipper concerns were mentioned in Charlie’s feedback, so let’s take a closer look…

“I have a friend in the industry so I knew the general issues, the fact that you have to find a market price to get someone to take your car, etc. Tom helped me understand his pricing proposal.”

We’ve all gotten used to a fair amount of belt-tightening, coupon-clipping and bargain hunting, but looking for the cheapest price on your transport may lead to misunderstandings about pricing in the transport industry. The cheapest quote you get may not be the best bargain, as it might not be priced to confirm a carrier immediately (or in your time frame). It is important to be aware that carrier availability is regular, but not always available “on demand” for a budget-friendly price. Your needs may require a pricing adjustment so it’s important to find a representative – like ours – who takes the time to assess your situation and suggest your pricing options.

“Tom helped me understand … the logistics in that my first available date was the last day I was in town. He worked to get my neighbor’s information if he was the person that gave the keys to the carrier.”

As mentioned earlier, carrier availability is regular but it is not always immediate or “on-demand”. (And that’s true no matter how much notice you give us when you place your order.) It’s always a good idea to allow for some flexibility – either with your timing or with your pricing. In Charlie’s case, he needed his car up to his last day in town. Some customers can make their cars available a day or two before their “drop-dead” deadline. Or some customers have a friend or family member as a back-up, like Charlie did. Or some customers prefer to let a better price point be their “back-up”.  Let us know where you can be flexible as well as your restrictions so we can help you troubleshoot your move.

“The carrier…allowed me to send a couple boxes in the trunk.”

This is an interesting point, because we don’t actually recommend shipping personal belongings in your vehicle. We can’t, because technically our license doesn’t allow us to accommodate that. But in practice, some drivers will overlook a box or a bag of non-valuable items left in the trunk. You definitely don’t want to try to cram your vehicle with the contents of your bedroom, or all of your favorite computer equipment, or your grandpa’s violin collection. A driver can’t overlook that, for a few reasons. If it affects the weight of their load, it requires them to charge you more or make you remove items. Hundreds of pounds of additional weight can also increase the chance of undercarriage damage to your vehicle. Not to mention that items left in the vehicle can’t be insured (because technically they aren’t supposed to be there.) In this case, Charlie and his driver took a risk. But even if you are willing to chance it, ultimately it’s the driver’s decision.

Thanks to Charlie for the great recommendation and food for thought! As you read car shipping reviews, consider the issues and expectations other customers have especially if they match your concerns. Please give us a call or shoot us an email if you have any questions about any auto transport review or our comments here. Happy shipping!