How to Ship a Car on the Cheap

The key to cheap car shipping is finding a balance between a fair price all while hiring a trustworthy service. Unlike other industries, auto transport is riddled with bad players. This is something many don’t find out until they are deep into the process and then unfortunately, it can be too late.

What Can Go Wrong Even if The Price Seems Right

Let’s face it. Even if you get cheap car shipping along with good service, moving a car can set you back a few hundred dollars.  So, it’s common to be swayed by a nicely made website and a low price. This is usually the main reason things can go wrong. If it’s a phenomenal deal, then it’s probably not what it seems.

The fact is you cannot just simply rely on the cheap price of the service. Not all auto transport is created equal, and as many find out it could be an absolute nightmare. From various hidden fees buried in a long contract, to plain old bait and switch, and even significant damage.

It’s a very common practice to give an initial price and then after it’s too late to figure out another option, and you give in.

Another common issue is dealing with a lead farming site. They look like auto transporters, spit out a fake price, but mine information like your name and phone number to sell off to random shipping brokers you did not find on your own. You’ll want to throw your phone out the window after getting non-stop phone calls, text messages, and emails. So avoid them if you can.

There is also the issue of safety. As nearly all auto shipping is done by brokers, some can also hire cheap carriers that can be less than careful. For most a vehicle is one of the biggest purchases they will make. If something goes wrong, it could mean a huge financial burden.

Not All Good Deals Are Bad

To be fair, a bargain deal does not always mean trouble. It’s true that a reputable auto transport company that moves a lot of cars has good rates because they do so much business, having established a relationship with good carriers.

The trick is, if you get rates from well-reviewed auto transporters that are kind of close to each other, chances are all you are dealing with what the real price should be.

Also, there are times during the year that are slower than others and carriers are willing to take less money to keep the wheels on the truck rolling and money in the bank.

How To Get Cheap Auto Shipping That’s Reliable and Safe

Reviews, Reviews, Reviews….

It’s using a shipper that has the balance between a good and low-priced car transport, but also has a reputation backed up by positive reviews. It’s far more likely that a customer will leave a bad review on their own, so if there is a problem you will hear about it from others using the service.  In auto shipping, it’s easy for those to pile up if the company is shady.

It’s a fact that any company that values their reputation will have good reviews. There’s no doubt about it. People want to leave you a review if the auto shipper has taken the time to make it enjoyable working with a company.

On the other hand, Over 73% of customers leaving negative reviews do it to warn others to not have the same experience.  In general, only 2-4% leave a good review without being asked, and that number doubles for those angry with a business. 

Avoid Lead Companies When Sourcing Cheap Car Shipping

If the auto shipping website you are visiting does not have an MC Number (motor carrier number) then they are a lead farming site.  These sites look like they are auto shipping companies. No MC Number, stay away.

Read The Contract

Seems basic enough, but you’d be surprised what can be in there. From saying the price is not guaranteed even after you pay a deposit, to your money not being refundable if they fail in finding a carrier to pick up your vehicle.

Not only should you read everything, but you should also not agree to pay any money if you haven’t seen the contract.

Pay No Upfront Fees

The best auto transport companies will never charge you to in order to arrange the shipping. It is possible that they may take a cardon file when the order is set up. But there should not be a charge made to your account until a carrier is on the way and you have proof of it.

To be fair, this is not a hard-set rule, but a good one to follow. It seems that when the broker already has the money in hand, they tend to work less for it. You’re also locked in because it’s a hassle to put another deposit somewhere else and have money hanging elsewhere.

Use Common Sense when Looking for Transporters!

In a nutshell, if everyone is saying $700 and you get one oddball for $399 then there you should be more than a little cautious.

A customer service professional is just that. Professional. If the person on the line when you call sounds off, take it as a sign that something is off on the deal to begin with.

A legitimate auto transport company has a phone system and a professional website. Look for red flags that indicate otherwise like a cel phone voicemail or self-made website.

Remember to Plan and Research For The Win

The planning involved in shipping a car should not be stressful. With proper research you will come out winning. Plan on how to ship and who you plan to use for the job. This will allow you to make it painless and simple. Remember, reviews are key. Experience is a must. Finally, pick the right kind of company for the job.

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