Category Archive: Car Shipping Quotes Calculator

Car Shipping Advice For College Students

Every August we see a spike in college student car shipping. We offer here some good advice on how best to go about it. A big reason that make college student car shipping orders so very different from nearly every other type has to do with … emotions … and parents. In the car shipping business there are few guarantees or certainties. It’s not like shipping a package folks. You can’t overnight it. Car shipping is much more involved with plenty of variables. 

Actually the college kids are pretty chill about the car shipping process and seem understanding, but their parents are often less so. They love their children and don’t want them inconvenienced in the least. We get it. Fortunately, most universities require freshman to live in dorms on campus and forbid them from having vehicles. The separation anxiety for many parents that freshman year accompanied by also shipping a car to their kid might be toxic for auto shippers. It is only slightly less so for upperclassmen. Like sticking a square peg in a round hole, parents insist on precise performance, guaranties and much more in a car shipping business that is ill equipped to deliver that level of service for anyone. We all would if we could, but we cannot guarantee what we cannot control. Nobody can. We just try our best and hope for the best.

How Best To Schedule The College Student Car Shipment

1. Determine the date the student will arrive on campus and add a day for receiving your vehicle. Who wants to meet a car shipping driver the same day you move into your dorm? Nobody. Too much other stuff going on and why put stress on top of stress? Add a day. Of course, we are assuming that the college student does not want his or her vehicle to beat them to school, because there likely won’t be anybody to receive the car and pay the driver. So an example might look like this:college_student_car Shipper

August 22 – arrive on campus and move in
August 23 – first date available to receive vehicle at destination (because we add a day)

2. Determine the distance from point of origin, probably home, to the destination, the university. Let’s say it’s 2,300 miles. As it happens, car shipping drivers are not allowed to drive more than 500 miles in a day, according to DOT rules, which are strictly enforced for everyone’s safety. That means the driver will be at least five days on the road. Therefore, it would be unwise to make your college student’s vehicle available any sooner than five days before it could possibly be received. Therefore, knowing the student cannot receive the vehicle before August 23rd, please make it available on …

August 18 – First date available to ship college student car

3. Having selected August 18th as the first date available only makes good sense because it takes a minimum of five car shipping days transit time, and August 23rd is the earliest receiving date. However, that does not mean the car will ship on August 18th, and there begins the problem for college students and notably their parents. There has to be several other vehicles also shipping within close proximity of both the origin and destination. It does not happen every day. It usually does happen within one week if both the origination and destination are well populated areas. If either is in a remote spot, it can slow things down considerably as there is less truck traffic. Even in ideal circumstances, it means that most likely the college student will be without a vehicle for a few days and perhaps over a week. For a car shipping company, tell that to a parent … then duck for cover.Car Shipping College Students

Nobody can control the car shipping dates with any sort of precision. At the time the order is placed, it is unknown which carrier will be shipping your college student’s vehicle, or whether it will be assigned a driver on the first day available … or third day … or fifth day … and so on. All we know are the probabilities, and there’s no guaranties on probabilities. Well, alright, in Vegas they can guarantee that the house will win 90% of the time, but for the rest of us probabilities are not guarantees.

Can A College Student Increase The Probable Chances Of Car Shipping Success?

Yes they can. Direct Express Auto Transport offers three car shipping rate levels: Standard, Expedited and Rush. The first one, Standard Rate, is plenty fine for most people as their vehicles get assigned a carrier between 1 and 7 days of availability over 80% of the time. It offers the best deal on car shipping, especially for those on a budget, and most people are fine waiting a few extra days. A high percentage actually ship within a couple days and do so at that lower rate. But by selecting the Expedited Rate, which the car shipping quote calculator adds $75, the probability of success increases to 85% and the number of days reduced to 1 to 4. What that does is scoot your Expedited order in front of the other market rate vehicles, and maybe a driver chooses your vehicle over another. Or maybe he drives a little out of his way to fetch or deliver your college student’s car. That extra $75 is often well spent if a parent is stressing over car shipping. It’s like front cutting at the water cooler without the guilt. And then of course there are some people who just don’t want to mess around and go Full Monty, selecting the Rush Rate, which is $150 more than the Standard Rate. If there is a carrier anywhere in the vicinity of the origination and heading anywhere near the destination, that extra $150 is enough to … in the words of Van Halen … go ahead and JUMP! The odds of success increase to 90% and the days to assign a driver reduced to an astounding 1-2 days. None of it guaranteed, of course, but the probability is exceptionally high.

Final Words of Advice To Parents of Car Shipping College Students

Most university campuses have an efficient mass transit system and most college kids are fine with it. They often meet and make friends in the process. So until your college student’s vehicle arrives, hopefully he or she can make the best of it. College Campus BusSometimes life’s little inconveniences can be blessings in disguise. You know, Paul McCartney introduced John Lennon to George Harrison on a bus. That seemed to work out fine. The kids make do and learn to fend for themselves. You love your kid, we understand, but take a deep breath and know that it will all work out in the end. Want to see our Standard, Expedited and Rush rates? Please use our car shipping quote calculator on this page. You can also learn more about the car shipping industry by going here.

The Big Chill For Auto Shippers

2014 Snowstorm in Atlanta

2014 Snowstorm in Atlanta

The recent bitter cold snap blasting down from the North Pole, or what scientifically is known as the polar vortex, reached deep into the lower 48 United States causing enormous difficulty for auto transport carriers. Everything about it is unusual as it appears we are witnessing the harsher side of Global Climate Change. Subzero temperatures and snowstorms have pelted the Plains, Midwest, New England and Atlantic Seaboard. But the reach has not stopped there as now the Southern states are getting hit hard too.

There have been many delays for the “snowbirds” wanting to ship their vehicles south to the usually warmer weather states of Florida, Texas, Arizona and southern California. The number of cars waiting to ship have log jammed the transportation system, as many carriers have little other choice but to park their trucks and wait out one storm wave after another. Customers get frustrated along with the truck drivers. The former are anxious to receive their vehicles as they have already flown to the destination, and they only plan to be there about 4 or 5 months. The latter are missing out on income derived from delivering those vehicles. You don’t work – you don’t get paid. It’s as simple as that.

Why Do Carriers Avoid Freezing Temperatures & Blizzards?

The answer might seem obvious but to many customers it is not, as they still expect their cars to be picked up and on its way in a timely fashion. In freezing temperatures, especially subzero, the oil in a truck engine gets thick and the performance suffers greatly. Nothing works as smooth as it should. The transmission, differential, steering and transfer case all move slower through the crankcase and the truck engine will lose power. And if the brake pads freeze or crack, well does anybody want to watch what happens next on a slippery road? As well, for an auto carrier who absolutely depends on the hydraulics performing to get vehicles on and off, that becomes quite an issue if the hydraulics freeze.

Insurance becomes an issue for a car shipping carrier in freezing weather or snowstorms, because the odds of an accident go way up. The truck driver is responsible for the safe transport of 8-10 vehicles, and the cumulative value is bound to be hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is risky then to be transporting freight of that value on an icy or snowy road. The smart thing to do is wait it out.

Fortunately most people are understanding of the logistical problems facing truck drivers in frigid or blizzard conditions. What has been unusual in 2014 is the length, breadth and severity of the harsh winter. Eventually the ice and snow will thaw and those hard working guys and gals will be back on the road.

5 Great Tips For Car Shipping Snowbirds Migrating To Florida

Direct Express Auto Transport Florida Snowbird

Every December retirees from the New England and Midwestern states begin their annual winter trip to Florida, where they will stay until the spring. Florida auto transporters call them “snowbirds”, people who are escaping the colder states for the more hospitable, tropical breeze blowing in from the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.

The snowbirds want their own car in Florida for the 3 to 6 months they typically stay. Some people drive their car to Florida, but many prefer to hire an auto transport company to arrange shipping their car. Is it cheaper to ship a car or drive it? The answer is that it usually is less expensive to drive it … unless one thing goes wrong. That could be a blown tire, transmission, fuel pump or so many other things. Even if nothing goes wrong, the extra miles on the car is a consideration. A round trip from Chicago to Miami is nearly 3,000 miles. There is also wear and tear on the driver and passenger, and that takes a different toll on every person. For tens of thousands of people, the decision to ship a car to Florida rather than drive it is the best option.

So how do Snowbirds go about shipping their vehicle in the smartest way? Here are 5 great tips that will make the process less stressful:

1. When Should A Snowbird Make The Car Available To Ship?

Answer:  Let’s say you personally arrive in Florida on the 10th of the month, and a car shipper can deliver your vehicle (once picked up) in three days. Let us also suppose that there is nobody else in Florida who can receive your vehicle and pay the driver. Therefore, you should not make your vehicle available before the 7th of the month, because you do not want your car to beat you there.

2. When Should A Snowbird Actually Book Their Auto Transport?

Answer: Do not book your vehicle shipment until about a few days before your vehicle is available to ship. Three days ahead is about right. Please know that it does not matter to the carriers when you book your shipment. There are no space reservations, so booking early does nothing for you and might actually hurt your chances of a timely shipment. You are competing with thousands of other snowbirds for limited space, so you want the most current car shipping rates and not something old and stale. The auto shipping rates typically creep up through December and reach their zenith the first week of January. The highest priced loads (cars) typically move first. For the most current auto shipping rates, please use our first of a kind car shipping quote calculator located on this page.

3. What If The Snowbird Leaves Home Before The Car? What Then?

Answer: It is almost impossible to not be inconvenienced at either end of a vehicle shipment when somebody is shipping a car to himself. Usually at the origination, there are family, friends and neighbors who would be kind enough to spend 30 minutes to meet a driver for you. No money changes hands at that meeting, just vehicle inspection, signing the Bill of Lading authorizing the shipment, and handing over a set of keys. That secondary contact of yours relieves so much stress on both you and the auto shipper.

4. How Does A Snowbird Know What Auto Transport Rate To Pay?

Answer: Depending on how much of a hurry the snowbird is in determines the auto shipping cost he should pay. There are many car transport companies who will low ball the auto shipping rate, knowing full well that all the higher priced loads will move first. If you don’t mind waiting weeks or maybe even a month to receive your car in Florida, then okay, book a cheap vehicle shipping rate, but know that you are probably in the back of the line.

Most people want their vehicle in Florida as quick as possible. After all, if the snowbird is only in Florida for 3 months, does he want to waste a month without his car? The more responsible auto transport companies will adhere to the true market rate for shipping a vehicle inside of 7 days from availability. The customer may see a huge disparity in car shipping estimates from numerous brokers. Choose one of the higher rates when shipping to Florida in the winter. It doesn’t have to be the highest, but most certainly don’t bite on the low-ball rates that some are hustling.

Direct Express Auto Transport could book a lot more orders with low-ball rates to Florida, but we prefer to have happy customers whose vehicles ship first and in a timely fashion. Please use our auto transport quotes calculator on this page to see our rates.

5. Should A Snowbird Use The Multiple Quote Forms Found Online?

Answer: It is never a bad idea performing due diligence. However, usually the weaker car shipping companies participate in the multiple quote leads programs. They know they are competing with 9 other brokers, so there is downward pressure on their car shipping rates that is actually a disservice to the customer. They book orders that they know cannot ship in a timely fashion. It’s called bait and switch and they are notorious for it. If you do fill out one of those forms, do not provide your telephone number, as those brokers will call you incessantly. It’s one thing to have your email inbox fill up (move to spam when tired of it) and quite another to have your cell phone bombarded.

Fortunately if you are reading this blog, then you have already found your way to a reliable auto shipping company. So feel confident with Direct Express Auto Transport and use our car shipping rates calculator located on this page. You can even book it online or call us at 800-600-3750.

Car Shipping Tips: Why You Should Pay A Deposit

Paying A Deposit Means Actually Hiring A Company To Ship Your Car!

Once a customer has gone online and used our innovative car shipping quote calculator to receive an auto transport rate, he or she can proceed to the order form and complete setting up the shipment. At the end of the vehicle shipping form, we ask for a nominal deposit before accepting the order. Almost all reputable auto transport brokers do it that way for a very good reason. Good faith! And that’s good faith on both sides of the equation, the customer and us, the car shipper.

Why We Collect An Auto Transport Deposit

We produce hundreds of quotes every day. Are we supposed to go to work on each one without a good faith payment of serious intent? That could be a colossal waste of our time and energy, as some people might want something for nothing. We only go to work for the serious customers who lay down their money for a service. Some people will double, triple or quadruple auto shipping orders using several brokers. First of all that is self-defeating because truck drivers see that sort of thing on the board and stay away for fear that the vehicle might be gone, picked up by someone else, before they get there. The smartest thing then for a driver to do is to stick with only the cars that are listed once, with only one broker, and that usually happens with the brokers who collect a deposit.

Most people are reluctant to pay more than one deposit for a service, which is actually a good thing. The car shippers are attracted to precisely that vehicle, because it won’t be gone when he gets there. The brokers who do not collect a deposit are notoriously wild, listing all sorts of loads that they really don’t have agreements on. That can mess up an auto transport customer big time. Those no collect brokers don’t care because they didn’t collect a deposit, so there is no implied obligation to perform. If the customer hasn’t paid a deposit, have they really hired an auto transport broker? Answer, no they haven’t. Is there any responsibility to the customer? Well there is, but those guys don’t feel it.

So What Is Really Going On With The Car Shipper No Deposits?

Some of those brokers are unable to process credit card transactions. They would collect a deposit if they could, but are so weak financially that they do not qualify for a Merchant Gateway Account. So they put the best face on it and brag that they don’t collect deposits. Secretly, they wish that they could, as it would make life so much easier.

Some of the no deposit auto shipper brokers are close to losing their credit card Merchant Gateway accounts due to too many returns and chargebacks. Our cancellation rate is around 10%, which means we do a great job of pricing our orders. Check out our auto transport rate calculator to see that. But there are scores of vehicle shipping brokers who have cancellation rates over 50%. Can you imagine that? We can’t. So those brokers who do not really know what they are doing, or mess up the pricing, will wait to see which orders they actually got lucky enough to ship, then charge the deposit. They brag about it, but they secretly detest doing business that way. Too often for them, after making the transport arrangement either the customer changes his mind about shipping, or changes the date, or hasn’t the money, or quibbles over price. Do those brokers really want to do business in such a messy way? Not really. They do it because they have little other choice.

Here Is Another Way To Think About It

Do you pay UPS or Federal Express before or after they ship your package?

Do you pay Stub Hub before or after shipping your tickets?

Do you pay Apple Computer before or after shipping your iphone?

The message is that reputable auto transport brokers like us do a very good job performing for customers who have shown enough faith to place a nominal deposit. We in turn go to work in a good faith effort to get the job done. That is the tried and true best method.

 

Auto Shipping to Arlington Virginia

Auto Shipping To Arlington, Virginia with Direct Express Auto Transport

When it comes to auto transport services, Arlington, Virginia is one of the best locations on the east coast. It is ideally located in the middle of the Atlantic Seaboard, right next to another great auto shipping city, Washington, D.C.. Basically, Arlington is a suburb of Washington, as is nearby Alexandria and a few Maryland towns. The entire metropolitan area is a hub of activity as many people are in transition, especially when one presidential administration is exchanged for another. In that situation, there are thousands of people shipping their cars back home, and just as many shipping to the capitol.

 

Washington receives millions of tourists every year and that means plenty of visits to Arlington National Cemetery, where the tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded around the clock. The changing of the guard is a sight to see. The Iwo Jima Memorial is also there, which depicts five Marines raising Old Glory after a WWII battle. The Pentagon is nearby which houses our Defense Department. One thing is for certain as auto transport trucks are a common sight in Arlington, Virginia, as our national military personnel never know where their next assignment may take them? That makes our car shipping quote calculator critical to Defense Department personnel suddenly in need of a vehicle shipping service. They can count on the most sophisticated auto transport quote online and if in a hurry, can even book it immediately.

 

The great thing about Arlington from an auto transport logistics perspective is that it is right on I-95, the main east coast artery that starts in Miami and runs north through Maine until it dead ends in Canada. Arlington is smack dab in the middle of I-95, making it a wonderful spot for car shippers. Route 66 also starts in Virginia and if you follow that west you will end up in California. The best thing to do is use our car shipping quotes calculator, we were the first company with one online, and once you have received your auto transport rate just book it. We make it easy. If you are still unsure of the process, call us at 800-600-3750 to learn more.

Auto Transport Quote Calculator to Chicago

Chicago 2

Our car shipping quote calculator is a must for anyone who wants to know what the auto transport rate would be to the Windy City. Chicago is one big bustling city that just might be the easiest place to ship a car in these United States. We love shipping to Chicago or from it! Oh if it could only be so easy elsewhere. The reason for that is because with so many people living there, chances are good that an auto transport truck can amalgamate a full load going just about anywhere. The other three cities that share a common warm place in the hearts of vehicle shippers are New York City, Los Angeles and Dallas. When an auto shipper goes to Chicago, he wants to know that he can get back out with a full load of 8 to 10 cars. That is easier to do in Chicago than … say Des Moines.

Perhaps no other city, save Los Angeles, is as well mapped by major interstates. They are almost perfectly aligned. I-90 and I-94 merge to cut through Chicago on a north-south direction. I-290 and I-55 spider off in downtown Chicago heading west and intersect I-190, I-294, and I-355. Why an I-355? Well I-55 starts on the outskirts of Chicago in Downers Grove. For good measure, I-80 runs east to west on the south side of Chicago. An auto transport service has little excuse about not being able to get around Chicago. There are almost too many choices. Making it still easier that most auto shippers have a smart phone handy upon which they can pull a Google Map.

Our original car shipping quote calculator usually displays very competitive auto transport rates in Chicago going just about everywhere. If you are in a rural area in Illinois or southern Wisconsin and are in a hurry, think about meeting a vehicle shipper in Chicago. It could make a big difference in how fast your automobile could ship. If not in a hurry, then sit tight and we are sure an auto transport truck will be coming your way soon enough. Call Direct Express Auto Transport at 800-600-3750 to learn more about shipping your vehicle to the Windy City.

Auto Shipping Quote Calculator to Los Angeles

Los Angeles Car Shipping Rates

Auto shipping to Los Angeles is made much easier if you use our car shipping quote calculator to get an auto transport rate. Take extra care to choose the right town or zip code in the Los Angeles Basin, however, because just typing in Los Angeles will probably result in a vehicle shipping quote from downtown L.A.. But what if you are shipping a car from Santa Monica 16 miles away, or Long Beach 24 miles away, or   Santa Ana 32 miles away? It can make a difference in your auto transport quote.

When you think of Los Angeles, you think of Hollywood, glitz, glamour, bright lights, and lots of people. It is the most populous city in California, and one of the most ethnically diverse. It is so spread out. It can take literally two or three hours driving from one end to the other, depending on traffic. But like Randy Newman sang, “We love L.A.!” and for many good auto shipping reasons it is a wonderful place to transport a car. Just like Chicago, it is easy to amalgamate a full load of 8 to 10 vehicles on an auto transport carrier. So for the customer in the Los Angeles area, you benefit from economy of scale … as in big scale! For once all those cars you see on the road actually do you a favor when you need to ship one.

Here is some good advice on what to expect when shipping a car to Los Angeles. In the winter the snowbirds are shipping their cars in large numbers to Palm Springs and elsewhere in the L.A. Basin in large numbers. That drives up the cost for auto transport rates because of the competition for truck space. But that means the reverse is true, that fewer vehicles are transported out of L.A. in the winter and with all those carriers having shipped in, it drives the price down on our very original car shipping quote calculator for those heading out. Oddly, the customer can expect to ship a car faster and cheaper leaving the L.A. Basin in the winter. See there, you were due for a break, right?

Then in the spring all the college students and retirees (snowbirds) head back home, and the auto transport rates are driven back up. All of a sudden our auto shipping quote calculator is cheaper transporting to L.A.. Summertime the auto transport business kind of evens out and a sort of parity exists in the market place that lasts through the fall. So take note of the time of year in which you are shipping your car to see what to expect. Use our car shipping quote calculator or call Direct Express Auto Transport at 800-600-3750 to learn more about transporting your vehicle.

Auto Shipping Quote Calculator to New York

New York

Auto transport service to New York City is a mixed bag. Our innovative car shipping quotes calculator makes it easier to determine an auto transport rate from anywhere to the Big Apple, but it cannot tell the whole story. We would like our quotes to advise, “Please don’t ship your car from Manhattan.” Ever been to Manhattan? It sure is exciting as there is nothing quite like it. Now imagine an auto transport carrier crawling down Fifth Avenue or 42nd Street competing with taxis for the right lane. Yeah, you get the picture. It is no fun for anyone. So would it kill you to go across the Washington Bridge and meet an auto shipper in New Jersey? That is the smartest thing to do. We highly recommend doing that so that your vehicle shipment can happen much faster, and probably much cheaper if you look to see a car shipping quote online from or to New Jersey.

Shipping a car is also easier to Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Yonkers or the Bronx than it is from or to Manhattan. The tolls become a bit of an issue because it can drive up the cost of shipping a vehicle, and frankly are a pain in the butt getting through them, but with so many other cars being shipped there it certainly benefits from economy of scale. So it is better to ship a car in the other boroughs than Manhattan. Except if you are transporting a vehicle to the far end of Long Island, such as Sag Harbor. To an auto shipper it feels like driving to England. We know, you can’t drive to England, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel like it.

Normally we say you can easily go to our website and get an instant car shipping quote and be done with it. But it might be a good idea to pick up the phone and call Direct Express Auto Transport customer service at 800-600-3750 and speak about a good plan for shipping your car to the New York City boroughs.