Affordable Car Shipping Services
Car shippers make getting a vehicle to a new location fast and easy, and often at a decent price when compared to driving the vehicle yourself. Avoiding the time sink of a long road trip – as well as mechanical pitfalls – shipping a car can do a lot to ease your mind when you’re relocating. During a move, especially, shipping a car is useful since it allows you time to do other things such as driving the moving van. Here is a quick rundown of the various services that we at Affordable Auto Transportation offer, so make sure to read about it and call us with any questions.
Auto transport services and delivery methods
- Open auto shipping
Open car shipping is the standard method of transporting a vehicle. They’re used most by people shipping “normal” vehicles – things that they drive most every day. Coupes and sedans, minivans and pickup trucks, most any vehicle can be shipped on an open auto shipping carrier. Many open haulers can transport up to ten vehicles at at time, which maximizes how much they can make on a route while also helping to reduce prices per-customer. While open shippers keep the vehicles they transport open to the elements, the configuration of the truck often offers additional protection over simply driving it yourself.
- Enclosed auto shipping
Enclosed auto shipping is used when a vehicle that needs to be shipped is quite valuable. Exotic, rare, or valuable vehicles are the ones that often need enclosed auto shipping. Enclosed haulers can ship 2-4 vehicles at a time, which increases the price you pay over the cost of open auto shipping. However, enclosed carriers protect the vehicles they ship far better than any open carrier. The “how” is in the name – they completely enclose every vehicle in an airtight container. This means zero exposure to elements, road debris and other hazards that come with open transportation services. Note, however, that costs do go up over the price of open shipping, so make sure to speak to an agent to figure out which is best for your vehicle.
- Flatbed transportation
Flatbed transportation is used when a vehicle that needs to be shipped cannot fit on a standard open or enclosed carrier. It is not an on-demand service like enclosed or open shipping – in other words, your agent will tell you if you need a flatbed and not the other way around. Typically vehicles that need flatbed transportation include construction equipment, lifted pickup trucks, oversize cargo vans, and other large, non-standard vehicles. Of the “big three” methods – open, enclosed and flatbed – flatbed transportation tends to be the most expensive.
- Auto shipping by rail
For a long time auto shipping by rail was easy to find, but today routes are limited thanks to the rise in over-the-road shippers. Open trucks are getting cheaper to buy, operate and maintain, and they yield more profit than shipping via a train. As such, people looking to get into the industry on the service side stick to trucks. Rail shipping confines your vehicle to a train that’s stuck on one route, unlike over-the-road shipping where trucks can go anywhere. This is a big reason in its decline. Speak to an agent to see whether your route has auto shipping by rail services available, but chances are it won’t.
- Ship a car via a dolly
Another option for some people is to ship a car via a dolly. A dolly is available through some car shipping companies and is usually just a tow trailer that attaches to another vehicle, usually a pickup truck. Some companies offer dollies attached to a company-owned truck that is driven by one of their employees. Others just rent them out for days at a time. This can be a cheaper method of shipping your vehicle, especially if you’re still looking to drive the distance yourself but don’t want to drive your car. Insurance riders may be added if you use a dolly, and we recommend you speak to your insurance agent to make sure your vehicle will be covered if you ship your vehicle via a dolly.
- International auto transport
If you are looking to ship your vehicle to another country, international auto transport will be needed. International shippers use large cargo ships that go across the ocean to international ports. Shipping internationally via a plane is often cost-prohibitive, hence the overseas shipping services they offer. There is additional paperwork to fill out when shipping internationally as well, so we recommend speaking to an agent about it.
Choose the services that you need
If you’re shipping a car you drive to work every day, chances are all you’ll need is an open carrier. Remember that vehicles – even brand new ones – depreciate in value starting when you drive them off the lot. Many of them bottom out before they’re ten years old, so their value is usually going to be low. Shipping them on an open hauler won’t affect their price much at all, even if you have to file a damage claim. Shipping with a service you don’t need can take longer, cost more and be less effective than simply going with what works. And if you have questions, don’t hesitate to call and ask.
- "Being a rather large SUV that needed shipped from California to Nebraska, there were a few challenges. The first truck that arrived refused to pickup the vehicle due to it's size. However, Mike worked diligently and within one week he had a hotshot lined up. The operators of the hotshot were incredibly communicative and accommodating. The vehicle arrived withing 3 days with no damage at all. Although there was the one hiccup, in the end the service received was top notch. I would be happy to ship with Mike in the future." - Miles/California
- "Never needing to use an auto transport service, I was a bit nervous and overwhelmed with all of the different company/broker options. After reading tons of reviews and visiting the Better Business Bureau website, I contacted Affordable Auto Transportation. The stars aligned and Jared Z. was my main point of contact. He made this experience super easy and relaxed my anxieties. I would highly recommend this company for my family and friends. " - Jared Z/Washington