Reducing car shipping cost

Reducing Car Shipping Cost: Price Negotiation Strategies

How to negotiate the best deal when choosing a car shipping service?

When planning on transporting your vehicle, you can use several tips and strategies to help reduce your car shipping expenses.

  • Ensure your vehicle is operable,
  • Be flexible regarding pick-up and delivery dates,
  • Choose easily accessible locations for Pickup and Delivery,
  • Choose open-transport over enclosed options,
  • Opt-in for terminal-to-terminal shipping.

Don’t just choose the first option you see – research multiple car shipping companies and request various quotes to compare offers. Feel free to negotiate and ask for a discount. You can avoid paying with a card – offer to pay with cash or money order.

This guide will discuss strategies to save money on car shipping.

What You Need to Know About Car Shipping Cost?

Car shipping is the process of transporting your vehicle from one location to another. The cost can vary depending on the transport company, the distance between pick-up and delivery and other factors. Read more about them in this article: What factors are used to calculate the cost of car shipping?

However, knowing how to negotiate with auto transport brokers can help you save a significant amount of money.

How to Negotiate a Better Car Shipping Cost?

1. Research Car Shipping Companies

Before speaking with an auto transport brokerage, research the current market rates for vehicle shipping. Visit their website and use the car shipping calculator for a FREE quote. If the company does not provide an instant and free car shipping quote on its website, I advise you to move to the next one on your list.

Check between 3 to 5 companies, and this will give you a better understanding of what to expect.

Try our quote calculator here: Request a car shipping quote now

Completing this step, now you are ready to pick up the phone and call your broker:

booking with multiple auto transport companies

2. Offer to Pay with Cash or Money Order

When negotiating with the broker, offer to pay with cash, a money order, or a certified check

Many brokers will be willing to offer a discount of at least 3% on their rates if you pay with cash. This could save you significant money, especially if you’re shipping a high-value vehicle or transporting multiple cars.  

By using this payment method, the broker company saves on transaction fees. Therefore, they can offer you a discount.

Please remember that broker will need a card on file to charge a partial payment of $150-$250. The deposit will take a bit of time. Reputable companies will find a truck first and then charge the card on file to secure the spot for your vehicle.

3. Ensure Your Vehicle is Operable

Ensure your vehicle is operable before shipping to avoid additional charges and experience a smooth shipping process. Confirm that it can start and drive without any technical or mechanical issues

Brokers will charge extra for non-operable vehicles because they need to use special equipment when loading and unloading the car.

4. Remove any personal items from your car before shipping.

Personal items can cause damage to the interior of your vehicle. The cargo insurance will not cover that.

Moreover, personal items inside the vehicle always mean more expensive quotes for car shipping.

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5. Be Flexible On Pick-Up and Delivery Dates

Being flexible with your schedule for both pickup and delivery can help you negotiate a better price and help you save money. 

Shipping your car during the summer, weekends, or holidays will cost more.

You can try to choose a period when auto transport service demand is low. Fall and Spring are the perfect time to move your vehicle if that fits your schedule.

Remember that carriers have multiple pickups and drop-offs; being flexible and patient can save you money. Make sure you mention it when speaking with the broker and use it to your advantage to ask for a discount.

6. Choose Easily Accessible Locations for Pickup and Delivery

When selecting pickup and delivery locations, choose areas easily accessible for large trucks. The drivers do not like small residential streets, sharp turns, low-hanging trees, and wires. Most communities and bridges have weight restrictions.

You want to select convenient locations for the driver, such as wide streets, parking lots, or other areas allowing easy maneuvering, loading, and unloading operations

Choosing difficult-to-access areas may lead to additional fees or additional time and effort by the carrier, ultimately driving up overall car shipping costs.

While the term “Door to Door Car Shipping” may imply that your vehicle will be conveniently picked up and dropped off directly at your driveway, it’s essential to understand that this service does not always guarantee such locations.

Local regulations, street accessibility, and safety considerations may affect the exact pickup and drop-off points.

It’s recommended to communicate your preferences and address any concerns with the car shipping company to make sure you understand the logistics involved in your specific shipment.

door to door auto transport

7. Choose Open Transport Over Enclosed Transport

Brokers offer two auto transport options: OPEN or ENCLOSED

Open transport is the most affordable type of car shipping service. Open trailers can carry multiple cars at a time, which reduces the cost per vehicle. 

By contrast, enclosed trailers usually transport fewer vehicles, and, as a result, the shipping rates per car are higher. 

In general, open transport is suitable for cars that do not require extra protection.

Check out details here: OPEN transport or ENCLOSED transport.

8. Opt-in For Terminal-to-Terminal Transport

Choosing terminal-to-terminal auto transport instead of door-to-door service can save you money. 

This option involves dropping off your vehicle at a designated terminal and picking it up from another terminal at the destination

This option reduces the cost of shipping since carriers transport only between terminals rather than door-to-door. Terminals are usually close to major highways in the outskirts of the major cities in the US.

9. When to ask for a price match

Negotiating and asking for a price match can help reduce car shipping costs. Brokers are hesitant to offer a price match. However, let them know you’re considering other companies and see if they will match or beat a competitor’s price.

Our take:

It is important to be mindful of the factors determining car shipping cost, so you can apply certain negotiation strategies like being flexible with dates and choosing accessible locations. 

Please remember to make sure your vehicle is operable, choose an open trailer, and remove personal items.

Offer to pay with cash, cashier’s check, or money order to save around 5%.

If you are looking for an experienced and reliable car shipping company that can work with your budget without sacrificing service quality and delivery speed, contact our team today! 

We specialize in innovative solutions that prioritize customer satisfaction. Let us take the hassle out of transporting your vehicle so you can easily save money and get where you want to go.

Start now and try our car shipping calculator: https://www.unlimitedautotrans.com/

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