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Shipping an SUV

What to Know About Shipping an SUV

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are great options for lots of people. Whether you need extra cargo space, towing capacity without a pickup truck, or hauling the most precious cargo … kids, friends, and family, an SUV could fit the bill. But regardless of what you use it for, if you need to ship it, there’s a few things you need to know. But don’t worry, that’s why we’re here. As shipping experts, Direct Express Auto Transport will help you understand the differences between shipping SUVs versus sedans, and even the unique issues depending on the size of your SUV.

Cost of Shipping an SUV

The cost of shipping an SUV is typically more expensive than a sedan, and for a few legitimately good reasons. Most big auto transporters are set up to carry anywhere between six to ten standard sedans. But SUVs are larger in almost every dimension. They are taller, as well as wider and longer. But perhaps the most important statistical difference between SUVs and sedans is the weight. An average SUV is usually much heavier than a small sedan.

There are two primary reasons weight is such a big factor in the cost of shipping. First, transporters are subject to weight limits. In other words, even an SUV that is small in dimension but weighs more reduces the amount of other vehicles that are allowed on that transport. Secondly, heavier vehicles require more fuel to power the transport truck itself. SUVs mean lower fuel economy for the transporter.

By taking up more space or weight on the transport, the carrier can move fewer vehicles on that particular route. So they must charge SUVs more to make up for the lost revenue of not being able to transport additional vehicles.

Thankfully, you’ll be asked for the year, make, and model of your vehicle before you receive a quote. This means a compact SUV such as a Honda CRV, a midsize Ford Explorer, and a full-size Chevy Suburban are not all priced the same. Carriers understand not all SUVs are created equally and they’ll price fairly according to size. But please don’t misrepresent your vehicle (saying you have an Explorer when you actually have an Excursion.) Your carrier may not have the capacity or even the proper equipment to transport your larger vehicle if you aren’t upfront with what you actually need to ship. You’ll only end up costing yourself more in time, money, and headaches!

How Long Does it Take to Transport an SUV

How long it takes to ship an SUV varies depending on how far you’re shipping it, where it’s starting, and it’s final destination. Sure, these are the same factors for a sedan. But there’s one more hitch with an SUV. Because it is larger, it may take longer to be assigned to a carrier. Some carriers aren’t equipped to move larger vehicles. Still other transporters have almost-full loads already booked and can only accommodate additional vehicles of a standard sedan size. Keep this in mind when you’re preparing to ship your SUV and plan a little further in advance or have some extra grace and patience.

Open v. Closed SUV Transport

One of the primary decisions you have to make when transporting your vehicle, of any kind, is whether to use an open or closed transport. And for the most part, we recommend reserving enclosed transport for classic or very expensive vehicles valued at or over $100,000. Direct Express Auto Transport photo of Customer Service Staff womanBut when you’re talking about an SUV, it doesn’t take nearly as long to approach that value, especially if you have a luxury SUV such as a Lincoln Navigator, Cadillac Escalade, or Porsche Cayenne. Enclosed transport may be the way to go, especially since fewer sedans are transported in this manner (about 3%.)

When you’re buying an SUV from across the country or transporting it for a move, our friendly customer service reps at Direct Express can help you find the right solution from your starting city to the destination. Call 800-600-3750 or use our easy online tools to get your quote or book your transport.


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