What’s the cheapest way to ship my car?

If you want to ship your car from one location to the other, choosing the right method is not just about choosing the cheapest one. As with all things in life, what you pay for is what you get. And this is especially important if you are transporting a high-value car.

There are many different ways to transport a car, you can ship it on a closed or opened carrier, you can hire a driver, or ask a friend/family member for a favor. In some instances, you can even hitch the car or transport it by boat or plane.

The cheapest and probably the safest method of car transportation is an opened car carrier as it usually costs way less compared to an enclosed carrier, and there are loads of these about. Hiring a dedicated transport company with designated terminals near your area is probably the best way to transport your car.

You should also ask your family members and friends if they can transport the car for you if they are traveling in the same direction. Whatever you opt for, just be sure to get lots of quotes from different companies and make sure your car is ready for transport.

Open carrier transport

Probably the most common method of car transportation is through an open-air carrier. Open-air carriers have loads of benefits and drawbacks compared to an enclosed carrier and opting for either one of these two is highly dependant on the car in question and the travel distance.

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Open carriers are readily available and there are loads of different companies out there that offer these types of services. A typical modern-day car carrier can usually take up to 12 cars on 2 levels that are safely strapped down for longer distances.

These carriers are relatively cheap compared to an enclosed one, but they do offer lots of drawbacks as well. An obvious drawback is a fact that the car is exposed to the elements throughout the entire trip, if the trip is long you are likely looking at a dirty car by the end of it.

Furthermore, as these types of carriers carry lots of cars, they can also often go off route and load/unload more cars. This means that the delivery date is very frequently pushed back, and this is a huge problem if you are not able to wait an additional day or two if needed.

Enclosed carriers

You’d think that most shipping gigs are carried out using an enclosed carrier as these types of carriers are way more secure. But that’s hardly ever the case as these types of carriers can cost $0.25-$0-50/per mile more compared to an opened carrier.

This is mostly because these types of carriers are equipped to transport 1 to 3 or sometimes even 5-6 cars max. This means that if you opt for a single car carrier you are the one paying for the entire process, if you opt for a 3 car carrier, the costs are shared between multiples parties.

But these types of carriers do make more sense if you transporting a highly valuable luxury or classic car. You don’t want your Ferrari or Porsche to be exposed on every single highway rest stop now, do you? Another obvious benefit of an enclosed carrier is the fact that these types of carriers usually do arrive in time.

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Security-wise, an enclosed carrier is way better compared to a regular opened carrier as it protects your car more effectively, and no one even has to know that the car being transported is indeed a high-value luxury or classic car.

Other ways to ship your car

There are also a few different ways one can relocate a car from one destination to the other such as hitchhiking or hiring a driver. There are also some individuals out there that will transport your car on a single-car trailer whenever, wherever, but these types of relocation services are usually the most expensive ones.

You could also hire a driver if the distance is not too far and you need your car asap. Or you could ask a friend of a family member to relocate the car for you if they are both traveling in the same direction.

There are loads of different ways to relocate a car, and you should be well aware of all the benefits and drawbacks of each. Try to get as many quotes as possible and you should always look for legitimate customer reviews before entrusting your car to anyone.

FAQ Section

How much does it cost to ship a car?

Car shipping prices vary drastically depending on the size and more importantly the weight of your vehicle as heavier cars tend to cost more. It also depends on the distance in question as longer journeys that span through multiple countries always cost more compared to interstate travel.

If you are planning to transport a highly valuable car, the shipping company has to put more emphasis on keeping the car as secure as possible, which also drives the price up. If you are planning to transport your car during the summer, expect to pay way more as the demand for summer relocation services is a lot higher.

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What should I do before I ship my car?

Before shipping, make sure you check the fuel levels as the car should not have more than ¼ of the maximum fuel level. Always empty the car from all personal belongings and anything else that might get stolen or attract attention at rest stops, especially so if you are using an open carrier.

Go ahead and check your tires and make sure that they are as inflated as recommended and in a good condition. You should also check the car’s battery, especially so if the car is off on a long trip. If you are transporting an EV, always make sure the car is as fully charged as it can be.

Should I transport my car or should I rent one?

If you are going on a vacation, you could also just rent a car without the need for costly relocation services. It costs way less to just rent a decent car than what it costs to ship a car from one country to another.

This is especially so if the trip is relatively short in duration. But, lots of car enthusiasts and supercar owners enjoy driving their cars during the summer, and they are not all that likely to rent out a Nissan Altima in Monaco or Saint-Tropez.

Marko Mikulic

Why do you love writing about cars? I love writing about cars as cars are a huge personal interest of mine. I was raised in a car enthusiast community and ever since I was young, I always wanted to do car-related work.

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