Category Archive: Auto Transport Quote Calculator

Car Transport Tips For January 2015

Car Transport – What To Expect In January 2015

Car Transport in JanuaryThe Snowbirds Are Coming! The Snowbirds Are Coming!

Allow us to play the part of Paul Revere and announce to the auto shipping nation that in January 2015 … the snowbirds are coming! Pretty safe prediction because it happens every year. For those of you possibly unaware, “snowbirds” are people from the northern states who migrate south in the winter to the warmer states. Most snowbirds are retirees or senior citizens, but not all. Some people simply have the luxury of continuing to work from a warmer location. They come from New England (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island) and the eastern seaboard (New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware, D.C., Virginia). The Midwest too (Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Missouri). Some are from the Plain States and Pacific Northwest. Those are the cold weather regions where the winters can be long and harsh. The snowbirds say, “deal me out”.

What States Do Auto Shipping Snowbirds Flock?Car Shipping To Florida

Where do snowbirds go? Any place warm, preferably with a beach! Florida, California, Texas and Arizona are the top snowbird destinations. However, there are plenty of vehicle shipping snowbirds flocking to Nevada (Las Vegas), New Mexico, Louisiana, and the Gulf Coast of Alabama and Mississippi too. Florida is undoubtedly number one as it has become synonymous with the word “snowbird”. According to a study conducted by the University of Florida, nearly a million “snowbirds” migrate to Florida for the winter. The numbers increase significantly every year. Some of those folks keep a vehicle in Florida year round just for the winter months that they are there, some don’t need a car very often and forego it altogether, but hundreds of thousands of snowbirds choose to ship a car south for the winter. The same holds true for California, Texas, Arizona and elsewhere. Our innovative and first of its kind auto transport quote calculator provides the most accurate rates in the industry.

What Happens Every January In Car Shipping?

Car Shipping in January is the best of times … and the worst of times. What happens every year is that people start booking their vehicle shipments right around the holidays, Christmas thru New Year’s. The drivers have families too and value their time home just like everybody else. There is a distinct drop in the number of vehicles dispatched and on the road the last ten days of December. But the orders from customers begin to mount, and most prefer the first date available to ship their cars, SUV’s, mini-vans, pickup trucks and more to be just after January 1st.. If they hadn’t already done so, customers call or go online to book their vehicle shipment the first week of January. It becomes an EXPLOSION of vehicles on the central board. Let’s break down January week by week.

Highway Snow Auto ShippersFirst week of January: The number of vehicles waiting to ship nearly doubles! That means orders are 200% of normal capacity. Far more vehicles are waiting to ship than carrier space available. Most are heading to the warmer states. So can you guess the vehicles shipping first and which ones sit and wait? The higher priced vehicles, called “loads” in the auto transport industry, generally will ship first. Money talks. We know that and therefore price our customer vehicles toward the top. Even being in the middle of the pack is a prescription for frustration. Customers of course gravitate to lower prices, but those auto transport brokers have extraordinarily high cancellation rates of upwards 70%, and eventually end up at our website or calling us to get a proper quote. Unfortunately those folks waste time and endure stress not getting it done right the first time, but how could they know? We don’t mess around and our customers get shipped among the first. Our customer reviews speak to that.

The customers who are trying to do an otherwise normal shipment, say from Boston to St. Louis, can find their shipment delayed. Why? The carriers can fill up easily heading to Florida instead, and will hustle back to do it again. So the mad snowbird post holiday rush to Florida and elsewhere warm has a ripple effect across the entire auto shipping industry.

Second week of January: The number of vehicles waiting to ship is at 170% of normal capacity. That means there is still upward pressure on pricing. People cancel their orders with the low-ball brokers and find the reputable auto transport brokers (read Direct Express) to price their vehicle proper for timely shipping. The system still has not flushed out the excess inventory of vehicles, as carriers are racing up and down the I-95 corridor and I-75 to fill up and do it again. And again. And so it goes.

Third week of January: The number of vehicles waiting to ship is at 130% of normal capacity. That means the system is beginning to achieve some semblance of balance. The higher priced vehicles of course move faster, but the middle of the pack average priced cars are now starting to get picked up. The cheaper priced vehicles continue to sit, but by now those brokers have had nervous breakdowns. Maybe their customers too. If you think about it, a snowbird is likely to spend four months in Florida or elsewhere. Going without their vehicle while there the first 3 or 4 weeks is a huge imposition. It’s not the carrier’s fault, they are working harder than anybody and often in harsh conditions. Blame the desperate auto shipping broker who should know better.

Fourth week of January: The number of vehicles waiting to ship is at 100% of normal capacity. That means the auto shipping industry has reached parity or equilibrium. Everything returns to normal. Most reasonably priced vehicles that have well populated originations and destinations will ship in a timely manner. Higher priced vehicles first, but the mid-range vehicles as well a few days later. The really cheap stuff is still likely to wait awhile, the very last to move.

So January starts out crazy and takes all month to right itself. Throw in a winter blizzard or two and things really get wild.

Best Car Transport tip for January … pay more not less. You will be glad you did.

Direct Express Auto Transport originated the instant online car shipping quote calculator. We have the lowest cancellation rate in the industry because our system for pricing vehicles is better than any other cheap knockoff out there. You cannot go wrong choosing Direct Express!

Great Advice On Multiple Car Shipping Quote Web Sites

How Do Auto Transport Lead Providers Work?

When a customer searches on the Internet for an auto transport company, it is sometimes hard to tell which sites are in that business from the pretenders who are merely lead generation sites. The multiple auto shipping quotes web sites disguise themselves as real companies, capturing personal information and the particulars of an auto transport shipment, and then turn around and sell that information to nearly 10 brokers. What happens next is often chaos and confusion for the customer.

Multiple QuotesThere are probably about ten former auto transport brokers who for whatever reason decided to give up shipping vehicles and now dominate the multiple quote lead business. The broker business is hyper competitive and takes a toll on most owners, so off they go. The lead providers usually own several sites that they optimize for certain major keywords. Many lead generation sites employ people whose only job is to find ways to push their auto transport web sites higher on Google, Bing and Yahoo. The customer has a hard time discerning the real from the sudo-real companies, and may unwittingly submit his or her personal information that is within seconds sold for $1.00 to $2.00 per lead to several actual brokers. The average total value of a typical multiple quote lead is therefore roughly $10 to the web site owner.

If the auto shipping lead generation site has natural or organic web position, then the $10 collected per lead is pure profit. However, if the site used advertising companies such as Google Adwords to generate the multiple quote lead, then usually that advertising service will get the lion’s share of the $10. Ouch. So most lead providers use a mixture of both methods. It’s all numbers, and some lead providers are simply sharper than some of their lead providing competitors.

Who Buys The Multiple Quote Car Shipping Leads?

Usually, but not always, very aggressive auto transport brokers buy the leads. They have to be aggressive or somebody else will eat their lunch. Think about it. That broker knows that the lead they just received was also sent to as many as 9 other companies at precisely the same time. On average it cost each broker $1.00 to get that lead. Let’s say he buys 100 leads every day, so that’s $100 regardless of whether he books an order. The auto transport broker sends an email to the prospective customer just as soon as he can figure out the quote. But by the time he does that, the customer may have already received 9 other emailed quotes. If that broker’s quote is too high, he is likely to be eliminated from consideration, even though he knows that the order is unlikely to ship anytime soon for less than his quote. For our part, we are oblivious to competitor quotes. We know what it will take to actually ship an order within one week and will not deviate our approach. For that reason, we only occasionally participate in the lead buying business.

What About The Phone Calls?

It gets worse. The lead buying broker will also call the customer right away because his 9 competitors will surely do that. If he is not one of the very first to call, he may encounter a highly agitated and annoyed customer whose cell phone is lighting up from obnoxious sales people who won’t take no for an answer. The customer may find himself regretting having filled out a multiple quote form, and most certainly providing his phone number.

But wait there’s more … many auto transport brokers trash talk one-another and make all sorts of confusing statements about the process. What to do and what not to do? Why the other fella is so bad and so on. Who does the customer believe? And even if a broker books the order, he must contend with 9 other brokers who have his customer’s information and continue to call. For our part, we respect the privacy of our potential customers and do not call their cell number. Nor do we pepper the customer with incessant emails. One emailed quote is enough, don’t you think?

What Usually Happens?

As noted earlier, there is tremendous downward pressure on lead buying brokers to lower their price. If it’s priced too cheap, the carriers drive right by that load and pick up a vehicle elsewhere that pays better. There is something in every industry called market pricing or rates, and that is also true in the auto shipping business. There are no official statistics, but many brokers know that nearly 50% of the multiple quote lead orders end in cancellation because of cheap pricing.

Our Original Car Shipping Quote Calculator

Direct Express Auto Transport was the very first company to offer free online quotes, and to this day nobody does it better.

We don’t ask for any personal information until a customer is ready to order. Give us a try by using our original and innovative auto transport rates calculator. You will find that we are still very competitive but appropriately priced. We know what we are doing, which is the reason that we have only about a 10% cancellation rate. We offer a fair deal for both the customer and the carrier, which is why both love us! Please give us a try today online or call 800-600-3750. Learn more about the auto shipping business by going here.

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 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.