Need the cost to ship your car?


16 MUST-KNOW CAR SHIPPING TIPS TO AVOID A CATASTROPHE

BUYER BEWARE!

1. What NOT TO DO When Getting Quotes. 

Don’t fill out multiple quote forms on different sites! When you fill out an online quote, most shipping websites will sell your information to 10 to 20 different shipping companies. If you unknowingly fill out forms on different sites, you are likely to have 20 different companies contacting you at once.

Save yourself the annoyance and frustration and just fill out one auto transport quote form (we have a really easy one right on this page). WE DON’T SELL YOUR INFORMATION. You can be confident you’re getting the best price, quality and reliable service from the leading car shipping company in the industry without the hassle.  

 
PREPPING YOUR CAR FOR SHIPPING
 When it comes to shipping your car, there are some simple things that you can do to make it easier for yourself. Here’s the inside scoop straight from the pros:
 

2. The NUMBER ONE THING you can do to make your pick up faster.

Prepare your car before it’s picked up. This will save you time and money in the long run. It will also slash the amount of time required to inspect the car. Here are some quick and painless ways you can prepare your car for shipping. 

It sounds silly, but the best thing you can do when getting your car ready for pick up is . . . (drumroll, please) . . .  wash it. Tah dah!

Yep. If the outside of your vehicle is squeaky clean, the pick up inspection you and the driver do before loading will be fast and thorough. You both will be able to identify any scratches or dings (or lack of scratches and dings) so there’s no question to the condition of your car when it was shipped.

So wah-lah! When your vehicle arrives at its destination, it will be easy to confirm the car has arrived in the same condition as it was shipped. Likewise, you’ll also be able to identify if there’s anything that wasn’t there when it was loaded. It makes sending and receiving your car so much faster and removes any doubt or question when it’s delivered. 

KEEPING PERSONAL ITEMS SAFE

3. WHY you need to hide those treasures (and where to tuck them for transport).

Any personal items transported inside your vehicle will not be covered if lost or stolen during transit. So if you decide to leave some belongings in your car to hitch a ride to its destination, please be sure to hide them in the car so they are out of sight. Locking them inside your trunk is preferred, even though this does not guarantee they can not be stolen by a curious thief.

HOW MUCH PERSONAL ITEMS

4. How much stuff can you stow away? 

Due to the regulations regarding how much weight a truck can carry, most auto transport companies will not allow you more than 100 lbs. of personal belongings in the vehicle. If you have more than 100 lbs in your vehicle when it is being moved, it’s totally up to the driver’s discretion whether to charge you for the extra weight. After all, it costs him in fees and fuel.  

KEEPING INSURANCE ON CAR

5. Confirm you have insurance for assurance. 

It’s always better to err on the side of caution. We do recommend you verify your personal insurance covers your vehicle as it’s being transported. Most transport companies will not repair damages due to normal travel hazards, road conditions or elements of nature.

The transporter is only responsible when the car is directly damaged by the auto transport company and only while the car is on the truck. For example, if your car was damaged while sitting in a parking lot, even if your vehicle was in the possession of the transport company, your insurance is responsible. The carrier is not responsible. 

KEEPING PERSONAL ITEMS SAFE

6. How much gas should you LEAVE IN your car?

Should you top off the tank for transport? Heck no.

Before shipping, make sure you only have a quarter tank of gas. No more, no less. This is to ensure the car has enough gas for loading and unloading by the shipping company. It also ensures your vehicle is as light as possible.

A full gas tank does nothing but add extra, unnecessary weight to the transport and if every car does that, it can equate to hundreds of pounds when the driver goes through the weigh station.  

VEHICLE RUNNING PROPERLY

7. This ONE THING can cost you hundreds more to ship your car.

Inoperable and modified vehicles cost more to ship. So yes! Those flat tires or that amazing lift kit is guaranteed to add some bucks to the bottom line when it’s time to ship your car. 

Overall, transport companies will charge more if your vehicle can’t be driven up on the truck. In many cases a truck with special equipment will have to be scheduled to get the car up on the carrier. 

TAKE THE EASY ROAD

If it’s something as simple as replacing a battery, we recommend you get the car running and save the money. If not, just let your United support team rep know you’ll need some extra umph in the truck they assign to move your vehicle because it doesn’t have enough get up and go. 

WHAT ABOUT MAUDE MODS

The same applies if your vehicle has been modified, has a camper shell, is lifted or even over-sized. Anything that makes your car larger or wider than a regular vehicle makes it harder to ship. Therefore, you can take it to the bank, that hot rod will cost more for shipping. 

KEEP A SET OF KEYS

8. We’ll give you this ONE KEY to save you from this disaster!

Actually, there’s TWO KEYS to save you from disaster. When your driver pulls up to load your car, hand him one set of keys, then tuck another set into your purse or pocket so you have another set with you when the car arrives. 

This way the shipping company will have access to load and unload your vehicle. You will also have an extra set in the off chance something happens and keys are lost or misplaced.

BASED ON A TRUE STORY

We know one company who had a customer whose plane was late arriving. They requested the driver deliver their vehicle to a parking lot and put the keys in the glove box. The driver did as requested and locked the doors to make sure no one could harm the vehicle while it was waiting for the owner. 

But when the owner arrived, they had to call a locksmith because they didn’t have an extra set of keys. Yikes. 

It’s also a pretty smart move to make sure both sets of keys unlock the doors and start the ignition. We’d hate to see you work so hard to do everything right then something go so wrong. 

TURN OFF CAR ALARM

9. This HUGE mistake could be the most alarming! 

Has anyone ever set off your car alarm and you can’t find your keys fast enough to stop it’s relentless honking? All heads turned toward the car . . . everyone feels a ping of embarrassment for the person it belongs to and slightly irritated at the fact it hasn’t stopped.

Imagining a transport driver digging frantically through his keys, pointing each at the load of cars behind him until he finally finds the set that silences the madness is entertaining. However, we want to skip that part of the drama. So please make sure your alarm is disabled during transport and won’t be accidentally set off during the move. 

MAKE SURE YOUR AVAILABLE

10. Give us your best digits! (This ONE MISTAKE has cost people hundreds!) 

Don’t forget! We’re going to need to call you with updates on progress and details for delivery. We can only call you at the number you leave us so make sure you give us the best number

A driver has to keep rolling, so timing pickups and deliveries is a have-to. Because the timing is so important, your driver will contact you before pick up and again before delivery to let you know when they estimate arriving to your designated location. If you miss the call, call them back as soon as you can. 

We’ve been forced to reschedule pick ups because the owner never answered their phone. In other instances, the driver has delivered cars to the closest terminal because the party receiving the vehicle didn’t answer their calls. Bad news is, if a driver is forced to deliver a vehicle to a terminal where it will accrue fees, the cost of delivering your car just went up.

PREPPING FOR THE COLD

11. This is the MOST IMPORTANT THING to remember when shipping your car to and from cold weather. 

If you’re moving to a colder climate, you definitely want to check all the fluids (especially the antifreeze) in your car before shipping.  Making sure your engine won’t be harmed while it’s exposed to frigid temperatures is a must. Unfortunately, the shipping company isn’t responsible for problems they didn’t cause directly. 

CAR SHIPPING IS EASY AS 123

12. Relax, and take a deep breath.

We know your car is your prized possession; your wheels, possibly your sole transportation, and even a money-maker for others.  We want you to relax and kick back.

We ship hundreds of cars every month all over the globe. If you have taken the time to complete these simple steps before shipping your vehicle, you’re well on your way to successful pickup and delivery. It’s our job to do the hard work, so let us take care of the rest. 

STAYING AHEAD OF THINGS
13. The BIGGEST REASON your quote could go up (and why it could save you big to book now)!
We guarantee all our quotes for 30 days. That doesn’t mean you have to ship within 30 days, but you do have to book within 30 days of receiving our quote to get our fixed-rate guarantee. Because trucks are so big, and haul so much weight, they drink diesel like a kid drinks kool-aid. Each truck can hold up to 100 gallons of diesel fuel and there’s no doubt (outside of truck repairs) diesel is the biggest expense for drivers. Not to mention, trucks run on fuel and use a lot of petroleum-based products for lubrication and hydraulics. This explains why an increase of fuel prices directly affect the cost to transport your car. So booking your move in the 30 day window will ensure you get the best rate, regardless of fuel costs. Bonus: There’s not much anyone can do to bring the cost down, but transporting a car in the winter is always cheaper than summer. This doesn’t have anything to do with the cost of fuel, but more supply and demand. Most people move vehicles in the summer and not in the winter.
WATCH OUT!

BIG BONUS: PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THESE 3 BIG SCAMS!

Run from up-front deposit scams.

Run, Forest, run! A lot of unethical car shipping companies are giving low quotes to sucker customers in. 

But you’re at their mercy. If you refuse, they keep your deposit. You’re left empty-handed and out hundreds of dollars, calling another company because your car still needs to be moved.

The best way to avoid this situation is to ignore significantly lower prices no matter how tempting it may be. Choose a reputable company with awesome reviews (check ours out!) and a customer support team you feel confident will be by you the entire way.

We never require a deposit. We will never have you pay a driver directly. You will not be charged until the driver picks up your car. Even then, your driver will not be paid until they deliver so they remain highly motivated to complete the task. 

If it's too good to be true, we promise . . . IT IS!

This scam works well with the first one. The story goes like this:

The unethical car shipping company hooks you with a low price. 

They intentionally bid low, fingers crossed, hoping they can find someone to move your vehicle for cheap.

When they can’t, they come back to YOU, hands out, asking for more money. Because they’ve probably already taken your deposit, they have the upper hand.

Yep. They hold hundreds of YOUR dollars hostage (and who wants to lose money!?!). It’s not like you can just call the police. You can refute the charge with your credit card company, but that’s super annoying and takes time to get the funds back.

So while they withhold your money, they just insist you pay more for the job — or else. Or else? Or else your car won’t be picked up and they keep the deposit. Or worse, they already have it and say they won’t deliver. 

We’ve heard stories of transporters holding cars hostage, demanding hundreds of dollars more. How do you avoid this? Get quotes from reputable companies and STAY AWAY from obviously low prices, because in this business, if it sounds too good to be true — IT IS. 

 

BEWARE: Car shipping companies are going out of business could take your car with them.

If we haven’t terrified you enough, there have been times people have placed their car on carriers never to see them again. If a driver or a company doesn’t understand the economics of moving vehicles, they will go belly up.

Truck operators who make cheap runs will never stay in business. We’ve heard of drivers who ran out of resources and simply parked their transporter, full of cars, on the side of the road and disappeared. 

We have even talked to people who’s car was picked up and never saw it again. They have no recourse to go after the company because the owner, the company and the staff have all disappeared. In most instances, the driver is the owner/operator and there are even fewer options for recovery or recompense then.

There’s no doubt you want to choose a reliable auto transport company. You need a shipping company with a proven track record. A support team you feel confident will be by your side and on your side the entire move. 

We are absolutely sold on good service and going the extra mile. Our reviews prove it. We love shipping cars and engaging with our customers, many who return to us when they need to move again. We don’t ask for deposits, honor our guaranteed quotes and deliver 100% of the time. That’s exactly why United’s auto transport services are the top in the industry. 

HOW DO YOU WANT TO RIDE?
In this section we break down the difference between open carrier and enclosed carrier. If you have the extra money we recommend enclosed shipping.

Enclosed Auto Transport
An enclosed carrier describes the type of transporter. In this type of truck, your vehicle is parked inside the back of the truck, fully enclosed. It is absolute protection for from the elements.

Choosing to ship your car enclosed will protect your vehicle from weather, rocks and theft. It is the most complete protection against any elements your car would otherwise be subject to. Therefore, this is why enclosed transport is the number one choice for shipping classic cars, antique cars, expensive cars and vehicles that are of high sentimental value. 

In most cases enclosed car transport will cost double of what it would cost to ship on an open carrier. Enclosed transport drivers have more experience with high-end vehicles. Enclosed car shipping companies tend to give more…

Open Auto Transport
Definition of open carrier – This is car shipping that does not protect your vehicle from the elements.

Shipping your vehicle on a open carrier exposes it to the weather, but the open auto shipping companies can fit more vehicles on their truck and this lowers the cost of vehicle shipping. Damages from the elements are rare, but can occur. Most people are willing to take the small risk to save a considerable…

Carrier or Broker

If you need to utilize the services of a car transport company, there are some basic things you should know before choosing a dependable company. The first is which type of company to use. You have two options, car transporter carrier or broker? Both can get your car from point A to point B, but there are some distinct differences you should know before you settle on an auto transport company.

Auto Transport Carrier
Auto Transport Broker

The auto transport carriers will move your car; they are the ones that own trucks, carry insurance and have the authority to move your car…

The auto transport brokers do not have trucks and use a network of open and enclosed auto transport companies to move cars for them. So they just…

Payment

Its important that you make sure the company accepts your preferred payment type. Not all companies except credit cards and some don’t except cash. If the company doesn’t have their payment types posted on their website, it best to give them a call and ask.

Top Questions

Its important that you make sure the company accepts your preferred payment type. Not all companies except credit cards and some don’t except cash. If the company doesn’t have their payment types posted on their website, it best to give them a call and ask.

The normal time for pickuo, transport and delivery of your vehicle is approximately anywhere from the same day to 14 days. During this time, all cars are being loaded on a Car Shipping or a truck with other cars. Below, are some basic ideas to help you along the way. These times are estimated and should not be considered as guarantees. 
East Coast to West Coast Auto Transport – approx. 7-14 days
Midwest to East Coast Auto Transport – approx. 5-8 days
South to North Auto Transport – approx. 5-8 days

Door-to-door service in the Car Shipping industry means the truck driver will get as close to your door as he can legally and safely. Many cities have restrictions on large trucks that prohibit them from driving into some residential areas. Auto Transport trucks are massive and need lots of space to maneuver and turn around. If your home is restricted by narrow streets, low-hanging trees, speed bumps or tight turns, the driver may ask you to meet the truck at a different destination. If you are ready to go, please fill out our Transport quote form to receive a quote for your move.

 

The car shipping company thats shipping your vehicle will provide you with a number that you can call and receive your information.

 

The car shipping company thats shipping your vehicle will provide you with insurance. This insurance covers all damages caused by accidents while the vehicle is being loaded, major changes in the vehicle’s condition, and unforeseeable damage that is a result of mishandling by the carrier.

 

Cash, cahier check, money orders, visa and master cards will be accepted. No personal checks and no business checks will be accepted. Payment must be arranged prior to pick up.

 

The US Department of Transport prohibits the carrying of personal items on a truck licensed only for carrying automobiles. By violating this federal law, the company shipping your vehicle can be fined up to $10,000. All personal belongings that are left inside the vehicle will not be insured and no company is responsible for missing or damaged items.

 

It depends on what day your vehicle is scheduled for pickup and delivery. If the carrier cannot pickup/deliver your vehicle(s) due to scheduling conflicts, inaccessible areas or both. All terminals used are secured, licensed, and fully insured. If the auto transport company must drop your vehicle off at a terminal, you will be contacted before hand.

 

All car shipping shipments are based on weight that a truck can legally carry. This is why there may be a small price difference.