Did you know that over 15.9 million people moved base in 2020 alone in the US? While pandemic has certainly escalated the rate of relocation, Americans tend to keep moving. According to the latest report in October 2021, an average American moves at least 12 times in their life.
The same report states that 9.8 percent of Americans move every year, and 3 million people move interstate annually. No wonder, there are around 50,000 moving trucks in the US.
Moving presents a plethora of questions, with the main concern being relocating large assets like furniture and cars. While there are efficient movers and packers to take care of your furniture and other assets, shipping a car can prove to be a little tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. There are several options available for transporting a car without actually having to drive it from point A to point B.
The most common methods include cargo train, flight transportation, and cargo ships. However, there are also a lot of risks involved in these methods, and it would be best to hire a dedicated car shipping service. That way, you will have control over several factors, such as car transportation methods, negotiating fees, and much more. Here’s a detailed guide to help you ship your car from one location to another.
Private Car Driver or Car Transportation?
As mentioned before, some of the common options are cargo train, ship, and flights. However, since cars are precious and expensive, it’s best to go with a service that offers safety and personalized customer care. Keeping that in mind, the following two options are best suited.
The first option is a drive-away service that involves hiring a driver who will drive your car from point A to point B for a fee. This is a good option to consider if mileage is not a concern. Some of the pros of this method include more control over the timeline of shipping, one on one attention on the car, the ability to negotiate price, hauling additional items in the car, and some others.
However, cons might include unpredictable wear and tear of the car. Drivers not familiar with your car may cause damage to one or more components, and the price rates might be steep. Keep in mind that you will also have to pay for the driver’s return journey.
The best option would be to hire a car shipping service provider. Since they usually haul on average several cars on the same route, it translates to better rates for the customer. You can further lower the cost by opting for open carriers instead of closed carriers, which we will explain further in this article. Let’s take a look at why car shipping services are the best option.
Why is Car Transportation a Better Option?
As dictated by the US Department of Transportation, commercial car shipping services can haul a maximum of 80,000 pounds at a time. This translates to an average of five to nine cars per assignment, and thus more affordable rates. However, there are a few factors to keep in mind.
Car shipping services offer open and enclosed carrier options. The former is open rack car transport trucks, which are often seen on the interstate with cars visibly strapped to a hauler. This option is good for regular and sturdy cars. However, if the car is a rare or a luxury model, it would be best to opt for an enclosed carrier. The closed carrier option is also better if there is a prediction of bad weather.
The best part about opting for car shipping services is that there won’t be any wear and tear on the vehicle, shipping companies have professional handlers as well as drivers to take care of the car, which is less expensive and more secure. Moreover, in case of any mishaps, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration maintains a public record of the shipper’s insurance record, license, and complaints, which is an added peace of mind.
Lastly, there are various regulations in different states before shipping a car. If you have to ship a car to Florida, the travel time for the haul is permissible only between 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunrise if the fleet includes pilot cars and escorts. Your car transportation service provider will be aware of these regulations and ensure smooth shipping.
Shipping a Vintage Car?
Let’s elaborate a little on the open and enclosed car carriers as it’s crucial to understand how the car will be moved. As is self-explanatory by the name, the enclosed car carriers are trucks with containers, which can accommodate four cars at any given time. This method protects the car against weather elements, debris, and prying eyes, making it perfect for luxury or vintage cars.
On the other hand, open car carriers can accommodate 10 vehicles at a time and are more economical. According to Move.org, the average rate for open car shipping is 40 percent less than that of enclosed carriers. Best suited for regular sedans and hatchbacks, open car carriers are also safe with minimal risk, with the only caveat being your car is exposed to all. These carriers usually have one or two racks on which cars are secured to prevent movement during transportation.
Don’t Get Duped By Shady Car Transporters
It goes without saying that for proper care and safety of your beloved car, it would be best to hire a legitimate car-transport service. When zeroing down on a provider, check their credentials on the Safety and Fitness Electronic Records site of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Additionally, a good and legitimate car transport company will have an MC number from FMCSA and a USDOT number from the US Department of Transportation. Ensure that the service provider you pick has both these numbers to confirm their legitimacy. Additionally, a reliable car shipping company will always have a working email id and a phone number listed on their website.
Know What Factors Determine Car Shipping Fee
Car hauling rates in the US vary based on the total mileage or distance covered. According to the latest Forbes research, the industry average is $2 per mile for a distance less than 200 miles and $0.58 per mile for long-distance shipping exceeding 1,500 miles. The shipping cost is further affected by factors, such as car size or terminal shipping, where customers drop and pick the car from the nearest terminal. Sometimes it can also depend on the season.
To elaborate, bigger cars are heavier and add to the freight weight and thus will cost more to ship as compared to a compact car. Moreover, it will also add to the overall shipping cost if a customer opts for doorstep pickup and delivery. However, if you choose to ship your car in winter when there’s less demand, you can save a bit on the shipping cost. It’s best to get multiple quotes from various operators or compare quotes online to get the best deal.
So there you have it. You now know everything there’s to know about shipping a car in Florida or anywhere else in the country. Make sure to pick a legitimate car transporter, select the appropriate transport option depending on your car and weather, and compare prices before zeroing down on a car transporter. That’s all there’s to it.