Affordable car shipping for college students

Affordable Car Shipping for College Students

Budget-Friendly Car Transport: College Students' Ultimate Choice

Every year, as summer fades away, thousands of college students across the United States gear up to embark on a new chapter in their lives.

Alongside the excitement of starting college, many dream of driving their cars on campus and exploring the local area, but for those whose homes are hundreds of miles away, the logistics can be daunting.

Thankfully, there’s a solution that’s often overlooked: car shipping services for college students.

Unfortunately, a common misconception is that college student car transport is prohibitively expensive.

However, the reality is quite the opposite. A student auto transport service is affordable and a wise choice compared to driving long distances.

Advantages of Shipping Your Car to College

  1. Secure Your Belongings: By getting your vehicle shipped, you can safely pack some of your belongings in the trunk, minimizing the risk of theft during transit.
  2. Safety: Long-distance driving can be exhausting and increases the chances of accidents.
  3. Convenience: Relying on an experienced auto transport company ensures a faster, safer, and reasonably priced journey.

Affording Car Transport Services

Now that you might be intrigued, you must be wondering how a student can afford car transport services.

Well, we’ve got you covered with some helpful tips:

Hire a reputable Car Shipping Company

Choosing a reputable auto transport company is crucial to ensure a smooth and reliable shipping process.

Additionally, you can avoid falling prey to scams or overpaying for shipping your vehicle.

Here are some guidelines to follow when selecting a provider:

  • Verify that the company is registered and holds a valid MC number;
  • Ensure the company has provided you with an honest quote;
  • To assess a company’s performance, it is helpful to read customer reviews. However, keep in mind that negative feedback is not uncommon. More important than that is to consider how the company handles such feedback;
  • Opt for a company that offers insurance coverage for any potential damage during transit.

    If you want to learn how to choose the best car shipping company, take  a look at our comprehensive guide –> Car Shipping Guide 2024.

Want to know the exact cost of shipping a car with us?
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Prepare Your Car for Shipping

To make your car shipping experience hassle-free, prepare your vehicle accordingly:

  • Remove all personal items from the car unless the transport company allows secured items in the trunk;
  • Leave the fuel tank at about one-quarter full to cover the loading and unloading process without unnecessary fuel expenses.

We have prepared a comprehensive article with detailed tips on preparing your car for shipping.

Please take a look to ensure your car is adequately prepared for the journey:
Car Shipping Guide: How to prepare your car for transport.

Calculating Car Transport Service Costs

Naturally, cost is a significant consideration for any college student.

The price of car shipping can vary depending on several factors:

  • Distance: The farther the destination, the higher the cost;
  • Shipping Time: Booking a few weeks in advance can yield better prices;
  • Get Instant Quotes: Utilize quote calculators like ours to estimate the cost from Unlimited Auto Trans LLC

Make sure to read our detailed guide of how to properly use a car shipping calculator here.

And if you want to know how much it will cost you to ship your car to college with Unlimited Auto Trans, use our instant quote calculator here:  Request a Car Shipping Quote

booking with multiple auto transport companies

Ways To Save On Car Transport Services For College Students

As a college student on a budget, you’ll be glad to know there are various ways to save on car transport services:

  • Choose Open Transport

When choosing car shipping services, you generally have two choices.

Enclosed car transport is usually 30% to 40% more expensive than open car transport. This method is ideal for shipping high-end, customized, or vintage cars but not necessary for regular vehicles.

Open car transport is the most affordable option for standard vehicles and is simpler to coordinate.

  • Operable Cars

Ensure your car is in working condition to save on transport costs.

  • Popular Routes

Select popular pick-up and delivery locations along well-traveled routes to reduce expenses. These tend to be between larger cities across the country.

Most reputable companies are offering Door-to-Door Auto Transport, however, it comes with some restrictions. You can read more about it here: How Your Car’s Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations Affect Car Shipping Costs

  • Flexibility

Flexibility with pick-up and delivery times can lead to better rates and discounts.

If you delay until the final moments, you might incur significantly higher costs. The best time to arrange your car shipment is 7 to 10 days prior your vehicle is ready for pick-up.

  • Smaller Cars, Lower Costs

Smaller cars occupy less space on transport trailers and are more cost-effective to ship.

  • Compare Prices

You can shop around and compare quotes from different car transport companies for the best deals. Keep in mind that the lowest price is only sometimes the best. Look for a fair value and honest auto transport specialist. 

  • Consider the Best Time to Ship Your Car

Keep in mind that the time of year affects car transport costs.

Non-peak times, avoiding holidays, and planning can all contribute to lower rates.

To see why seasonality is essential when shipping your car, check our article: The impact of seasonality on car shipping cost.

  • Ask About Discounts

When you contact a car transport company, please ask about available discounts.

Many companies offer student discounts or discounted rates for specific booking days.

  • Choose the Discounted Cash Rate

Consider the Cash on Delivery option when booking, as it can sometimes offer better deals than paying in full with a credit or debit card.

Look at our guide on what factors affect car shipping costs here: 9 Tips And Tricks To Save Big On Car Shipping in 2024.


There are several alternative transportation options for college students who don’t bring a car to campus:

  • Campus or public transit
  • Carpooling with friends
  • Using a bike, skateboard, or scooter
  • Mopeds or motorized scooters
  • Car-sharing services like Zipcar, Getaround and etc.

To save on transportation costs during college, students can explore these options:

  • Utilize free bus passes provided by the college or city
  • Participate in bike-sharing programs
  • Carpool with fellow students
  • Check for parking fee waivers offered by the college
  • Use apps like Gas Buddy to save money on gas
  • Seek student discounts on auto insurance
  • Use ride-sharing services like Lyft or Uber

The best way for college students to transport their cars is by utilizing car shipping services.

It is a cost-effective and safer alternative to driving long distances.

Bringing a car to college has its advantages, such as providing flexibility, easy access to amenities, and the ability to travel back home.

However, it comes with added responsibilities and expenses, including insurance, maintenance, and parking fees.

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