Pricing is a big factor in decision-making for most potential car shippers, but it’s arguably the most confusing part. There are lots of companies eager to offer quotes, but it can seem like prices are all over the map. How can first time car shippers compare estimates when nothing seems set in stone in advance?
The truth is that every company offering a quote for shipping a car is a broker, who will then use that price to confirm an independent carrier. Your final price is dependent on a small hauler contracting your job through the broker, there is no standardized fleet for shipping a car door-to-door. While it may seem more direct to just hire a trucker without a “middle-man”, the carrier companies don’t have the resources to handle the customer service part themselves. It is only cost-effective for them to focus on the driving and the truck maintenance, so they rely on broker listings to find the best jobs compatible with their service area.
Carriers set their routes based on the customers available in a given area, and select the best paying jobs that logistically match their run that week. Because the customers are unique, routes may vary from week to week and seasonally. Gas prices vary as well, which affects the offers that carriers can accept (or not). There are some areas that are more affected by seasonal moves, so different rates will apply whether you are shipping in the summer or in the winter.
Another factor that affects final price is vehicle size. Different types of SUVs, for example, take up more space on a carrier, they require greater pay than a standard sedan. However, the final cost will vary depending on the other vehicles on the same load.
For all of these reasons, brokers provide potential car shippers with a quote to be confirmed when a trucking company accepts the job for the offered pay. Reputable brokers offer best estimates in good faith, but from time to time it can be necessary to increase the offer slightly to confirm a carrier for under-served areas, for vehicle size, or for seasonal changes affecting the market.
If you have any questions about your quote or factors that may affect your pricing, give us a call at 866-221-1664. We are always happy to explain the pricing process to first-time car shippers.