Today, a new car costs over $47,000, and you probably can’t afford one, especially if you’re relocating soon. Your current vehicle is a reliable steed, so the smartest thing to do is to bring it with you instead of selling it.
You’ve got a tight budget though, so you need to make every dollar count. It’s cheaper and less stressful to have your car shipped instead of driving it yourself, but you need to figure out how much it costs first. That way, you won’t have any surprises.
Read on for a guide on using a car shipping calculator so you know what to expect.
Put in Your Details
You’ll want to first browse your choices to see which auto transport companies are the best. Checking reviews can give you a good idea of whether or not they’re reputable.
From there, you’ll be able to find their car shipping cost calculators on their websites. Here, you’ll put in the important details of your move, such as:
- Starting location
- Ending location
- Pick up date
- Vehicle size
- Enclosed or open shipping
On the next screen, the company will ask for your contact details so they can send you the resulting quote.
The beauty of online car shipping cost calculators is you can play around with the details to find better prices, even within one company! So don’t just jump on the first low price you see; input various conditions to see if you can get better deals.
Here are some ways you can adjust the parameters to get lower prices:
Change the Pickup and Dropoff Locations
There’s a base price charged for the distance traveled. So an easy way to lower your costs is to shorten the distance between the pickup and dropoff locations. You might have to spend extra time getting to and from these places, but the savings could be worth it.
That’s not all you can do though! Most people don’t realize this, but the cities you pick will matter significantly.
If you select major metropolitan areas, this can push prices down further. Because the tracker doesn’t have to go out of its way to pick your vehicle up from rural places, this saves on both time and gas. And as a result, you won’t have to pay as much!
Choose Open Shipping
An open hauler can fit more vehicles per trip, plus the majority of drivers have open haulers. Not only will it be easier to make a booking without sacrificing your ideal date and time, but prices will be lower too.
However, we’d suggest spending a little extra on enclosed shipping if you have a classic or luxury car. These haulers offer protection from the elements and thieves.
Opt For Off-Peak Seasons
This might not be possible for everyone, as it requires lots of flexibility. But If you aren’t in a hurry to have your vehicle, choose to have it shipped in off-peak seasons.
Summer is the worst time to transport your car since everyone else is too. It’ll be hard to find a trucker and if you do, the prices will be astronomical.
Choose spring or fall for the lowest prices around.
Pick Economy or Standard Shipping
Do you need to have your vehicle within a certain time frame? Then you might not be able to wait for off-peak seasons. However, you can still lower costs by picking economy or standard shipping over expedited shipping.
It can take a while for the driver to come to pick up your car with economy or standard shipping, so it’s best if you book ASAP. Expedited shipping should only be used in cases of emergency, as they can pick up your car on the same day or the next day.
Confirm Your Booking
After you’ve found the parameters that best suit your needs and budget, you can go ahead with booking auto shipping services.
You’ll receive a confirmation email that also tells you how to prep your vehicle before the big day. For example, you’ll need to clean its interior and exterior, remove your personal belongings, and disable alarms and toll passes. You should also leave your gas tank 1/4th full so you have enough gas for a pickup but won’t weigh the hauler down too much.
Have Your Car Picked Up and Dropped Off
On the day, the trucker will come to the pickup location and do an inspection with you before hauling your car away. You can then pay for the services at this point or you can wait until you receive your car at the final destination.
Once the driver’s arrived, you’ll then inspect the vehicle together again. You’ll both sign the bill of lading and you’re free to take your car home!
If there’s any damage found that’s been sustained in transit, inform the auto shipper. They’ll file a claim on their insurance policy and will reimburse you accordingly. You won’t have to worry about paying a cent!
Use a Car Shipping Calculator to Find the Lowest Prices
A car shipping calculator is very handy to use. This free tool can show you how much you’d pay for car shipping, as well as what dates are available.
So when you’re shipping a car, make sure you take full advantage of these calculators before you make a booking. It can make a huge difference in what you spend on your move and leave more money in your pocket!
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