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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to Your Car Moving Questions
The hardest thing for people researching car moving companies to understand is that the prices they are getting are not hard and fast gaurantees, but rather ESTIMATES of what one company thinks it will take to get a vehicle moved promptly versus another company's opinion of what it will take. Don't be fooled, there are not carriers committed to take your vehicle at these quoted prices, the company you choose will still have to get to work getting a carrier to commit to move it at the price they quote you.
Your total price breaks down into two parts, the broker's fee (or 'deposit' as everyone calls it) and the carriers fee (your COD amount) Make no mistake about this, EVERYONE YOU ARE GETTING SALES CALLS FROM IS GOING TO BROKER YOUR MOVE. In this industry, there are brokers who try to fool you into thinking that they are the actual carriers and there are an equal amount of carriers who sell themselves on the fact that they have a truck or two but are not being honest about the fact that they broker out 90% of the orders they book. Here is a quick easy way to tell, if a company takes an up front fee, whether they call it a deposit or any other name, they are a broker. Carriers do not take any payment until the vehicle is delivered.
In our opinion, you are crazy to do so. Have you ever been paid up front for the work that you perform for your employer? Why would you pay a fee up front when there are reliable and trustworthy companies like ours that won't ask for it until we provide you with your carriers details?
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will be between one and two weeks. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.