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Shipping Your Car Across the Country in Summer

Shipping a car across the country in the summer can be challenging. The summer is when the weather is warm, and the demand for car shipping services is high. We will explore the ins and outs of car shipping, including the costs involved, the steps to take, and the most affordable and efficient ways to transport your vehicle during summer. 

Section 1: Understanding Car Shipping and Auto Transport

Car shipping, also known as auto transport, is transporting vehicles from one location to another, domestically or internationally. This service is typically provided by professional auto transport companies with specialized equipment, such as open car haulers or enclosed trailers, to safely and efficiently move vehicles over long distances.

1.1 Open vs. Enclosed Auto Transport

Open-Air or Enclosed Auto Transport Service

There are two choices every car shipping customer needs to make regarding the type of transport carrier they prefer. Each has pros and cons, and the cost is a significant consideration. 

Open-Air transport is open or exposed to the elements, including dirt, debris, and weather. About 97% of all vehicle shipments are open-air. Why? Because it is roughly 33% cheaper auto transport than enclosed.

Enclosed transport, on the other hand, offers more protection for your car and involves transporting it in an enclosed trailer. Because fewer vehicles can fit inside an enclosed trailer, it tends to be more expensive. If you have a very expensive car, consider it insurance. People with antique or classic collector cars also should strongly consider shipping enclosed. 

Low-ground clearance vehicles that are 4.5″ inches or lower should go enclosed too. Why? Because enclosed transport carriers can load those vehicles without scratching or damaging the vehicle’s undercarriage. 

1.2 Terminal-to-Terminal vs. Door-to-Door Car Shipping

When it comes to car shipping, there are two main delivery options: terminal-to-terminal and door-to-door. Terminal-to-terminal car shipping involves picking up and dropping off your vehicle at designated terminals, which can be more cost-effective but may require additional travel.

Door-to-door car shipping is more convenient, as your vehicle is picked up and delivered directly to your specified locations. While this service may come at a higher cost, it can save you time and effort in the long run.

Section 2: Factors Affecting Car Shipping Cost

The cost of shipping a car across the country can vary greatly depending on several factors. Understanding these factors can help you find the most affordable and efficient car shipping solution.

2.1 Distance and Location

Distance is the primary factor for our car shipping cost calculator. While the cost per mile inches downward as the distance increases, the overall cost goes up never-the-less the farther we need to transport your vehicle. That makes plenty of sense.

2.2 Vehicle Size and Weight

The size and weight of your vehicle can also impact the car shipping cost, as larger and heavier vehicles require more resources and space on the transport carrier. Smaller, lighter vehicles are typically cheaper to ship.

2.3 Transport Type

As mentioned earlier, the type of transport service you choose (open vs. enclosed, terminal-to-terminal vs. door-to-door) can also affect the cost of shipping your car. Open-air transport and terminal-to-terminal options are generally more affordable, while enclosed and door-to-door services may come at a higher price.

2.4 Time of Year or Seasonality

The time of year can also play a role in car shipping costs, as demand for auto transport services fluctuates throughout the year. Summer tends to be busier and more expensive, while winter may offer lower rates due to decreased demand.

Section 3: Obtaining an Auto Transport Quote

To determine the cost of shipping your car across the country, you’ll need to obtain an auto transport quote from a reputable car shipping company. This can typically be done online using a car shipping cost calculator or by contacting the company directly via phone, email, or live chat.

3.1 Using a Car Shipping Cost Calculator

Many auto transport companies offer online car shipping cost calculators that provide instant quotes based on your information. You’ll need to enter details such as your pickup and delivery locations, vehicle make and model, vehicle condition, transport type, and first available shipping date.

3.2 Contacting a Car Transport Service Directly

If you prefer a more personalized approach, you can also contact a car transport service directly to obtain a quote. This allows you to speak with a shipping advisor who can answer any questions and provide a customized quote based on your specific needs.

Section 4: Booking Your Car Shipping Service

Once you’ve received a good auto transport quote, it’s time to book your car shipping service. Depending on the company’s booking options, this can typically be done online, by phone, or through live chat.

4.1 Online Booking

Many car shipping companies allow you to book your service online by clicking a link in the emailed quote or through their website’s booking portal. You may be required to provide additional information, such as your contact details and payment preferences, during the booking process.

4.2 Phone or Live Chat Booking

Alternatively, you can book your car shipping service by calling the company directly or using their live chat option. This allows you to speak with a representative who can assist with the booking process and provide any necessary support or guidance.

Section 5: Preparing Your Vehicle for Car Shipping

Before your vehicle is picked up for transport, there are several steps you should take to ensure it’s ready for the journey.

5.1 Cleaning and Inspecting Your Vehicle

First, clean your vehicle’s interior and exterior to ensure any pre-existing damage is easily visible during the inspection process. Take photos of your vehicle from multiple angles as a record of its condition prior to shipping.

5.2 Removing Personal Items and Valuables

Be sure to remove any personal items from your vehicle, as most auto transport companies do not allow personal items to be transported. They are mindful of their weight. 

5.3 Checking Fluids and Tire Pressure

Check your vehicle’s fluid levels, including oil, coolant, and gas, and ensure they are appropriate. A quarter gas tank is preferred at most half a tank. Additionally, ensure your tires are correctly inflated to the recommended pressure.

5.4 Securing Loose Parts and Accessories

Secure any loose parts or accessories on your vehicle, such as convertible tops, antennas, or spoilers, to prevent damage during transport.

Section 6: The Car Shipping Process

Once your vehicle is prepared, and the pickup date has been confirmed, the car shipping process begins.

6.1 Vehicle Pickup and Inspection

The auto transport company’s driver will arrive at the specified location to collect your vehicle on the day of pickup. They will perform a thorough inspection, noting any pre-existing damage on the Bill of Lading document, which you’ll need to sign and keep a copy of for your records.

6.2 Transporting Your Vehicle

After the inspection, your vehicle will be loaded onto the transport carrier and secured in place. During transport, the driver will regularly check the vehicle’s condition and make any necessary adjustments to ensure its safety.

6.3 Vehicle Delivery and Inspection

Upon arrival at the destination, the driver will unload your vehicle and perform a final inspection. Compare the condition of your vehicle to the initial Bill of Lading to check for any new damage that may have occurred during transport. If everything is satisfactory, sign the Bill of Lading to confirm the successful delivery of your vehicle.

Section 7: Payment Options and Discounts

When it comes to paying for your car shipping service, you’ll typically have a few different options and the opportunity to take advantage of discounts offered by some auto transport companies.

Section 8: Insurance Coverage

Ensure your vehicle is properly protected with insurance coverage.

8.1 Auto Transport Company’s Insurance

Most reputable auto transport companies, like Direct Express Auto Transport, will have insurance coverage that protects your vehicle in the event of damage or theft during transport. Confirm the details of this coverage, including the limits and any deductibles, before booking your car shipping service.

8.2 Personal Auto Insurance

In addition to the auto transport company’s insurance, you should check with your personal auto insurance provider to determine if your policy offers additional coverage during car shipping. This can provide added peace of mind and financial protection in the event of an issue during transport.

Section 9: Tips for Shipping a Car Across the Country in Summer

Shipping your car during the summer months can come with its own set of challenges due to increased demand and higher temperatures. To ensure a smooth and successful car shipping experience, consider the following tips:

9.1 Book Early

As demand for car shipping services tends to be higher in the summer, booking your car shipping service as early as possible is essential to secure your preferred pickup and delivery dates.

9.2 Be Flexible with Dates

Being flexible with your pickup and delivery dates can help you secure a more affordable car shipping rate, as some companies may offer discounted rates for customers with flexible schedules.

9.3 Protect Your Vehicle from Heat

If you’re shipping your car during the hottest months of the year, consider choosing an enclosed transport option to protect your vehicle from excessive heat and sun exposure. This can be especially important for vehicles with delicate paint jobs or interiors that may be prone to fading or damage.

Section 10: Choosing the Right Auto Transport Company

With so many auto transport companies available, selecting the right one for your car shipping needs is crucial. Keep the following factors in mind when researching and comparing companies:

10.1 Reputation and Reviews

Look for an auto transport company with a solid reputation and positive customer reviews. This can provide insight into the company’s level of service and professionalism. Google reviews are best because the writer is verified. 

10.2 Experience and Expertise

Choose a car shipping company with experience and expertise in the industry, as this can ensure they have the knowledge and resources necessary to handle your vehicle’s transport safely and efficiently.

10.3 Customer Service and Support

Opt for an auto transport company offering dedicated customer service and support throughout car shipping. This can provide peace of mind and ensure your questions or concerns are addressed promptly and effectively.

The Original Car Shipping Quote Calculator

Direct Express Auto Transport originated the instant car shipping quote calculator in 2004. It is still the best, most sophisticated, reliable tool available anywhere online. We offer three options that we call tiers of car shipping estimates. The standard rate is the cheapest car shipping quote, but it may take longer. Use it if you are patient. The expedited car shipping rate is most recommended, and we have countless satisfied customers because the shipping process tends to go quicker. The rush rate is our highest level of car shipping service, and many customers are glad they went with that method.

auto transport tips, Car Shipping Quote Calculator