Author Topic: Car Transportation Service  (Read 3891 times)

Bruised_Pepper

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Car Transportation Service
« on: December 05, 2015, 06:01:55 PM »
I've been living car-free for a while now, and it's a perfectly feasible lifestyle for me, but I've been considering getting a cheap, gas efficient car for the times where it's really convenient to have a car.  A family member just bought a new (to them) car, and they offered to give me their old car, which is great.  The only thing I need to do is get it out of their driveway and into mine.  They live on the opposite coast, so I was looking into getting it shipped.  The problem is, I don't know anything about shipping a car, and I don't think I know anyone who has done it before.

Does anyone have any insight/experience with getting a car shipped over a long distance?  Any recommendations for companies to use (in the USA)?  The car is small, over 100k miles and not worth much more than $3,000, so I wouldn't think it needs any special accommodations/protections.

cavewoman

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Re: Car Transportation Service
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2015, 06:05:35 PM »
Roadtrip!

If you don't like that sort of thing, then price out the one way flight plus gas and if it's cheaper for you than shipping then I'll take a vacation and do the roadtrip for you :-)

Bruised_Pepper

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Re: Car Transportation Service
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2015, 06:28:35 PM »
Roadtrip!

If you don't like that sort of thing, then price out the one way flight plus gas and if it's cheaper for you than shipping then I'll take a vacation and do the roadtrip for you :-)

I've thought about that.  I drove coast-to-coast once and it was a lot of fun.  I don't think it's going to be cheaper to do it that way, and there are a few reasons why I don't want to do it, but I'm definitely going to compare that cost once I get some car shipping quotes.

mandy_2002

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Re: Car Transportation Service
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2015, 11:06:11 PM »
If you choose to do the one way trip route, also price out a flight with a return (sometimes this ends up being cheaper even if you can't get credit for the return, but make sure the flight you don't take is the second one because they may cancel your entire itinerary if you don't take the first flight) and a train ticket, keeping the additional time spent on the train in mind.

orangewarner

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Re: Car Transportation Service
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2015, 07:43:19 AM »
I have purchased a dozen or so cars that had to be shipped to me. It's generally $1000-1500 no matter where or size, it has seemed. The way it works is there is a ton of brokers and a ton of carriers. You're a nobody, so don't try to beat the system. Google auto transport and then call the top 2-3 that pop up for your area (they may not be in your area, but that doesn't matter). Whoever you sign with will post it to the transport board and then when a carrier wants the haul, they will accept it, and then the broker will notify you. Depending on how far away you and the vehicle are from major interstate roads and hubs will determine how long you'll have to wait until someone accepts the load, and how much it'll cost you.



All things considered, this will cost you and your generous family more than the car is worth. Maybe that's ok though? Up to you to decide.


Just as additional info: you may have to wait weeks or months for someone to want to detour from their normal route to pick up a single car in the suburbs or bfe or wherever. And then drop it at your neighborhood. It's a pain in their butts, so anticipate an easy 1500-2000 and months of waiting.... 


I hope that helps?!!

Joggernot

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Re: Car Transportation Service
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2015, 08:45:52 AM »
Out here a posting on Craig's List will get you several people who would be willing to drive the car anywhere you want as long as you pay their expenses and air fare back home.  Cost would be expenses plus their negotiable fee.  If the person has family where you want the car, then they might do it for a very low fee.  I'd check the driver out pretty good before going this way.  Good luck.

yuka

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Re: Car Transportation Service
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2015, 12:09:57 PM »
If you can take some time, I really recommend the road trip. It looks from your post as if you're single, so that really makes it a great time. If you can find a friend who wants to join you, that's way better yet.

Depending on the direction (east -> west or west -> east) and time of year you want to do it, there's all sorts of good national parks that you might not otherwise reach. I did a Northern route back in June with my fiancee, and it was awesome. A tent, plus airbnb when you get tired of living outside, can really keep lodging costs down.

Bruised_Pepper

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Re: Car Transportation Service
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2015, 03:30:35 PM »
Thanks everyone who responded pro-road-trip.  As I mentioned, I've been leaning against that option, but was still considering it.  I didn't realize how low gas prices have gotten (I haven't had to pay attention to gas prices in 2 years and I live in a state with high gas prices.)  I'm willing to pay a bit of a premium to have the car shipped, but I'm starting to think I could save more than just a couple hundred dollars driving it myself.... 

I have purchased a dozen or so cars that had to be shipped to me. It's generally $1000-1500 no matter where or size, it has seemed. The way it works is there is a ton of brokers and a ton of carriers. You're a nobody, so don't try to beat the system. Google auto transport and then call the top 2-3 that pop up for your area (they may not be in your area, but that doesn't matter). Whoever you sign with will post it to the transport board and then when a carrier wants the haul, they will accept it, and then the broker will notify you. Depending on how far away you and the vehicle are from major interstate roads and hubs will determine how long you'll have to wait until someone accepts the load, and how much it'll cost you.



All things considered, this will cost you and your generous family more than the car is worth. Maybe that's ok though? Up to you to decide.


Just as additional info: you may have to wait weeks or months for someone to want to detour from their normal route to pick up a single car in the suburbs or bfe or wherever. And then drop it at your neighborhood. It's a pain in their butts, so anticipate an easy 1500-2000 and months of waiting.... 


I hope that helps?!!

I appreciate the detailed response.  I've started to get some quotes online--going to start calling places on Monday--and I've been seeing some low-end quotes more in the $900-$1,100 range.  I know you said $1,500-$2,000, so I just wanted to ask a few follow up questions, if you don't mind.

Do you go for open carry or closed?
Door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal? 
Are there generally hidden fees or extras, or have the initial quotes you've received been pretty much the final cost? 
Is there anything specific you look for in a carrier where you wouldn't just go for the lowest bid?

Thanks again for your help.  I don't really know anyone who has ever had their car shipped, so I suspect it's not terribly common for an individual to have knowledge on this.

csprof

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Re: Car Transportation Service
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2015, 03:53:53 PM »
Prices vary seasonally and based upon demand.  I shipped mine (nearly) cost-to-coast in August, for $1389.  (Note that they're serious when they say you must pay in cash when they offload your car, and note also that there can be a lot of variance in when they pick your car up vs when they estimate that.)  I also saw some $1100-ish estimates, but somehow they disappeared when I tried to commit.  YMMV - maybe it was just timing.

JJ saves

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Re: Car Transportation Service
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2015, 04:06:00 PM »
I had a 1965 mustang shipped from Wisconsin to CA about 10yrs ago, and cost me close to 1000$ I wouldn't do that again.

Have you looked into taking a train oneway?

Bruised_Pepper

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Re: Car Transportation Service
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2015, 05:34:14 PM »
Prices vary seasonally and based upon demand.  I shipped mine (nearly) cost-to-coast in August, for $1389.  (Note that they're serious when they say you must pay in cash when they offload your car, and note also that there can be a lot of variance in when they pick your car up vs when they estimate that.)  I also saw some $1100-ish estimates, but somehow they disappeared when I tried to commit.  YMMV - maybe it was just timing.

This is precisely what I'm worried about.  I've seen/heard about this sort of thing from insurance, cable and phone companies.  You go online to get a quote; they spit out an agreeable rate; then when you're about to pay, they tell you about all the extra fees and that your low rate is based on some stupid condition (the condition usually being that you give them more money for something else).

One of the online quotes I got would charge about $50 more to pay all at once as opposed to an up-front deposit and paying the driver the rest in cash.

I had a 1965 mustang shipped from Wisconsin to CA about 10yrs ago, and cost me close to 1000$ I wouldn't do that again.

Have you looked into taking a train oneway?

I think some of the companies charge different (higher) rates for classic cars.  Some of the quote forms you fill out online have an option for classic cars at least, so in goes into the rate calculus somehow. 

Part of the reason I was leaning against driving the car myself was that it would require burning 3-5 days driving.  Taking a train would just add another 2-4 days to the trip.  Thanks for the suggestion, though.

cavewoman

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Re: Car Transportation Service
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2015, 01:59:42 PM »
If you do decide to roadtrip, I really recommend using gasbuddy .com.  You can do it on the fly, but what I really like is the trip calculator from the desktop site. You can get the best gas stations to stop at the whole way. Ever filled up on a trip only to go 10 miles and find way cheaper gas? That's what this can combat. I don't even necessarily stop at the exact stations listed, but it gives me a good guideline. Also a good estimate of total cost

catccc

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Re: Car Transportation Service
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2015, 02:08:24 PM »
I looked into this because I was considering a prius on the opposite coast, where they had better incentives.  Anyway, it was just under $1K.  I can't see how it would be much less based on the value of the car, the fact is they gotta move a big thing from point a to point b.


thingamabobs

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Re: Car Transportation Service
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2015, 09:46:07 AM »
Quick tip, if you decide to put in for estimates online, don't put in your phone number. You'll be inundated with phone calls for days, even after you've either decided not to ship the car or have decided on a broker/shipper.

A year ago here's what I did. Put all the info on one of the shipping estimates. i got a bunch of emails back from the major brokers and their prices. Looked up their ratings and reviews on the several auto transporter sites. I ended up using 4 corners transport who had a reasonable price and reviews and had a good experience with them. Our driver actually ended up delivering the car a day earlier than expected! I would not look for the lowest price as those bids will tend to just sit for a while.

I used open carrier, which in an older car which likely has cosmetic damage it should be fine. There is an extra cost for door to door, so if you can get the car to a terminal and pick it up from one it'll save you $100 or $200 depending on the area. Be aware that you may still have to meet them if you do door to door as the car carriers aren't suitable for most residential streets. We drove to a nearby shopping mall and picked up from one.