Our Car Shipping Quotes Calculator Explained
Which Company Was First To Provide Auto Transport Quotes Instantly Online?
Direct Express Auto Transport was the first company to offer an instant online auto transport quotes calculator in 2004. We immediately recognized how difficult it was to get a straight answer to the simple question: “How much does it cost to ship my car?”. Calling around to numerous car transport brokers elicited the same response, that a vehicle shipping estimate would only be provided if personal information was provided first. That really did not sit well with us because there is absolutely no legitimate reason for it. Seriously folks, most every other industry will advertise or reveal the price for their goods or services upfront. Why not the car shipping industry?
Direct Express Auto Transport went the opposite way, painstakingly creating an auto transport quotes calculator that could produce accurate shipping rates instantly online from any location to any other in the 48 contiguous United States. Further, we decided not to ask for any personal information, instead trusting the customer to appreciate our auto shipping rate service and honor us with their business. We didn’t stop there. We also decided that it would only be fair to allow the customer to cancel with a full return of the deposit anytime prior to picking up the vehicle. We still do business that way and our customers appreciate it.
Standard, Expedited and Rush Auto Transport Quotes
The first one, our Car Transport Standard Rate, is plenty fine for most people as their vehicles typically get assigned a carrier between 1 and 7 days of availability over 85% of the time. It offers the best deal on auto shipping, especially for those on a tight budget, and most people are fine waiting a few extra days. A high percentage of customers actually ship within a couple days and do so at that lower Standard rate.
But by selecting the Auto Shipping Expedited Rate, the auto shipping quote calculator adds $75 and the probability of success increases to 90% and the number of days reduced to 1 to 4. Your Expedited auto shipping order cuts in front of the other normally priced vehicles, and maybe a driver chooses that over another. Or maybe he drives a little out of his way to fetch or deliver your vehicle. That extra $75 is often well spent if you are in a hurry to ship your car.
There are some people who just don’t want to chance it and go full steam ahead, selecting the Car Shipping 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 often enough to get fast action. The odds of that increase to 95% and the number of days to assign a carrier usually reduced to an astounding 1-2 days. None of it guaranteed, of course, but the probability is exceptionally high. Remember, Direct Express Auto Transport originated the instant online auto shipping quote calculator, which means we have been doing it longer … and we say better!
Why Our Car Transport Rates Calculator Is So Much Better
It was only a few years ago that a couple of car transport brokers tried and failed to copy our car shipping rate calculator. We even recognized our words and descriptions on their sites. Our car transport quotes calculator is a mathematical puzzle that those other cheap knockoffs have not solved. Direct Express Auto Transport has reportedly one of the lowest cancellation rates in the auto shipping industry, which only happens with hard work and a proven formula. We are rightfully proud of our success and know it is because our car transport rates calculator is spot on most of the time. Part of that is the quote calculator and the other part is human. Like a fancy sports car that can blow by the competition but is only as good as the person driving it, our quote calculator needs a driver. Somebody has to know what he’s doing, stay on top of the market, notice trends and punch in the proper numbers. Experience matters a great deal when it comes to auto transportation, ladies and gentlemen, and we have been doing this for over ten years. We know what it takes to ship a car fast and proper.
What Is The Auto Transport Industry?
Whether you realize it or not, dear customer, you are actually competing against other customers for truck space. It is all about supply and demand in the auto transport business. Isn’t that true in every industry? You ask, which vehicles will ship first if there is limited carrier space available? The highest priced ones, of course. If there is a surplus of truck space in the market, then almost everybody ships. The higher priced freight (called loads) cut in front of the lower priced vehicles and ship first. It does not matter when the customer enters his order. The best paying vehicles for the truck driver will always go first, which means somebody new can cut in front of somebody old at any time. We know it well and aim to hit that sweet spot where the customer saves money and the auto carrier considers the deal fair. That’s why we are so good. We find the happy middle ground between the customer and the hauler. We pass up the too low, won’t ship anyway orders, and price our customers’ vehicles properly to ship on average inside of one week. That’s what our vehicle transport rates calculator is doing on this page – producing accurate quotes that you can count on.
The auto transport industry, especially as it exists online, can be separated into three parts: Brokers, Carriers, and Lead Providers. Auto shipping brokers book the overwhelming majority of the orders. They are on the phone with the customer or have an efficient online quote generator and ordering process (ours is best). Auto transport brokers need the carriers to haul their customer’s vehicles. The car carriers are usually independent owner operators (several thousand of them) on the road and unable to fill their truck space themselves. Carriers need the auto shipping brokers to do that. It is actually a very efficient system. No carrier company could even begin to service the entire country. It would be impossible. So the only efficient way to manage it is by having the brokers post their orders, called loads, on a central board. The carriers know to go there to fill their empty truck space for whatever route they are planning. Broker meet carrier. Carrier meet broker. Result is the customer receives good service. Well, that is if the auto shipment is priced properly.
Then comes the car shipping lead providers masquerading as auto transport brokers online with websites that mimic broker sites. The automobile shipping lead providers sell the visitor’s information for $1 to $3 per lead. Multiply by 5-10 desperate car transport brokers and the lead provider will typically earn $10 to $20 per visitor. Some lead providers are upfront about it, informing the visitor that they are a multiple quote service and may send several competitive quotes via email. It sounds okay until it actually happens. The customer fills out a lead form and innocently provides his email address, and even worse his phone number. Mistake. Big mistake. Then the customer gets bombarded by obnoxiously aggressive auto shipping brokers who phone call incessantly and fill up his inbox with scores of messages. The car shipping brokers tend to trash talk their competitors to scare the customer.
Knowing that they are competing against other auto shippers on the multiple quote lead providers list, they often low ball their price in a classic bait and switch. The customer is then left dazed and confused, stuck with a too low to ship price and lots of stress ahead. That is the dark side to the auto transport business and unfortunately it is not likely to go away. The best advice we can give is to not ever provide your email address or phone number until you are actually booking a shipment. Choose an auto transport broker that does not buy leads (like us) and you have probably found one that is not desperate and will provide accurate shipping quotes. Don’t book with any website where the auto shipping brokers know the customer is comparing several quotes at once. The downward pressure on auto shipping quotes on those sites is tremendous, and the truck drivers who actually do the work are likely to turn their nose up at that business. Carriers do not have to pick up any vehicle and won’t if the price does not conform to market rates. Multiple quote sites most often do not conform. For those reasons, the cancellation rates for multiple quote lead orders is horribly high, reportedly over 50%. That percentage of failure works for a baseball hitter and practically nobody else.
By the way, Direct Express Auto Transport ships nearly 90% of customer orders within one week of availability. We are one of the best, maybe the best in the auto transport industry. And we do not buy leads.
What To Expect In December 2016 For Car Shipping
Early to mid December starts out easy enough. The weather across America is not yet harsh and the retirees are just beginning to make their way south for the winter. For the most part, vehicle transports go faster rather than slower and everybody is happy. That’s the calm before the storm, ladies and gentlemen, both literally and figuratively. The day after Christmas the snowbirds start plotting their annual migration south to places like Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California. Most plan on staying in the north through the Christmas and New Years holidays, but they start booking that week. All of a sudden, in a New York second, chaos ensues in the world of auto transport. The cost for car shipping spikes dramatically.
Want some good advice? Don’t book your snowbird auto shipment 30 days in advance. Wait to do that until about one week before the first date available to ship in late December and early January. Why? Because you want the most current pricing at the time of your shipment. It does you no good to have an early December price for a late December or early January vehicle shipment that undoubtedly will require a higher shipping cost to compete with the tens of thousands of other car transport customers for limited space. Things go relatively smoothly in early December through mid December, and it is a a good time to ship your car. Just don’t book too far ahead during that time.
And truth be told, most auto transport brokers dread the holiday rush of auto shipping orders. It is amazing to witness how emotional people become around the holidays. Otherwise kind and civil people become anything but. Direct Express Auto Transport is quick to make the adjustment and alleviate much of the customer stress, but undoubtedly some people will fall between the cracks. We counsel patience and careful planning ahead. Have backup plans, folks!
Auto Transport’s Best Cities Shipping A Car To & From
What are the best cities for auto shipping? The answer is wherever the most people are living. Here are Direct Express Auto Transport’s top 50 metropolitan statistical areas for car transport shipments:
1. New York, New York
2. Los Angeles, California
3. Chicago, Illinois
4. Washington – Baltimore – Arlington area
5. San Francisco – Oakland – San Jose, California
6. Boston, Massachusetts
7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
8. Dallas – Fort Worth, Texas
9. Miami – Fort Lauderdale – Port St. Lucie, Florida
10. Houston, Texas
11. Atlanta, Georgia
12. Detroit – Warren – Ann Arbor, Michigan
13. Seattle – Tacoma, Washington
14. Riverside – San Bernardino, California
15. Phoenix – Mesa – Scottsdale, Arizona
16. Minneapolis – St. Paul, Minnesota
17. Cleveland – Akron – Canton, Ohio
18. Denver – Aurora, Colorado
19. San Diego, California
20. Portland, Oregon
21. Orlando – Daytona Beach, Florida
22. St. Louis, Missouri
23. Tampa – St. Petersburg – Clearwater, Florida
24. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
25. Sacramento, California
26. Charlotte, North Carolina
27. Kansas City, Missouri
28. Salt Lake City – Provo – Orem, Utah
29. Columbus, Ohio
30. Indianapolis, Indiana
31. Las Vegas – Henderson, Nevada
32. San Antonio, Texas
33. Cincinnati, Ohio
34. Milwaukee – Racine – Janesville, Wisconsin
35. Raleigh – Durham – Chapel Hill, North Carolina
36. Nashville – Davidson – Murfreesboro, Tennessee
37. Austin, Texas
38. Virginia Beach – Norfolk, Virginia
39. Greensboro – Winston-Salem, North Carolina
40. Providence, Rhode Island
41. Jacksonville, Florida
42. Hartford, Connecticut
43. Louisville, Kentucky
44. New Orleans – Metairie, Louisiana
45. Grand Rapids, Michigan
46. Greenville – Spartanburg, South Carolina
47. Memphis, Tennessee
48. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
49. Birmingham, Alabama
50. Richmond, Virginia
Do not worry if your city or town is not in the top fifty U.S. cities for car shipping services. We have to cut it off somewhere and there are scores of big towns that just missed making the list. Basically, if your city is on or near a major highway and numbers in the tens of thousands, certainly hundreds of thousands, then there is an excellent chance that some auto transport driver somewhere is making his plans now to ship either to or from your area. Keep hope alive!
A Great Car Shipping Rate! Is There Ever An Opportunity?
Florida is a great example of seasonal disparity in the auto transport industry. After the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays, tens of thousands of retirees who are called “snowbirds” in the vehicle shipping business, all want to ship their automobiles at roughly the same time from New England, the Atlantic eastern seaboard, Midwest and Plain states. However, there is typically far more vehicles attempting to ship in early January than the transportation system can efficiently handle. An auto transport broker can actually put any low price he wants on those vehicle shipping quotes and book a lot of business, and many do just that, but we know that the chickens will come home to roost if those vehicles don’t ship timely. So it makes no sense to us not to price vehicle transport quotes at the proper market rate. Consequently, our customer vehicles are most often among the first to ship. Yea!
Similar situations arise in other parts of the year in the auto shipping business. The Easter holiday and Spring Breaks begin a flurry of shipping activity and heightened demand for truck space. The snowbirds return home in April and May. Families relocate in June, July and August and that is high season for car shippers. September is the time college kids head off to school. Grandma and Grandpa start fixin’ to go south to Florida in October and continue to do so through November and December. An experienced auto broker such as Direct Express Auto Transport knows how to handle the changing seasons.
In the example above, imagine being the guy who is doing the reverse and shipping from Florida in January. Going the opposite way and swimming against the tide, to use a metaphor. There would be a smaller supply of cars in Florida leaving in the winter, and therefore with heightened carrier demand, far too short a supply. That will serve to push down the price for car shipping services dramatically. The customer in Miami can probably get exceptionally fast car shipping service to New York or Boston at nearly half the normal rate. How about that! Our car transport quotes calculator automatically transitions for that scenario, which is classic supply and demand economics.
There are also certain cities that it just seems like the orders ship faster almost year round. Our favorite places to ship in or out of are Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta and San Francisco. We wish we could include New York City, but there are some boroughs that are just plain tough. We discuss that more in depth on our states page.
Auto Shipping FAQs – What You Need To Know
Direct Express Auto Transport gathered together a very helpful list of what to do, what to expect and how to prepare for auto shipping. It’s too exhaustive to place on this page, but we think you will find it valuable. Go to our FAQ page for that.
In the meantime, Direct Express Auto Transport offers three auto shipping rate levels:
Auto Transport Reviews – Why We Are A Five Star Company
Direct Express Auto Transport consistently earns high auto transport reviews, usually five stars on TransportReviews, TrustPilot and Google+ Plus. Some reviewers are offered a small rebate on their deposit, which is not tied to their rating score nor price, as an incentive to share their experience. The thing to remember is that we ship over 10,000 vehicles annually, and while not perfect, we have an amazing track record of success. Our vehicle transport quote calculator does such a fantastic job of providing accurate quotes that we simply have a much higher percentage of satisfied customers. It also helps that Direct Express Auto Transport has an experienced staff of customer service representatives. We care and it shows.