7 Secret Ways To Save Money When You Shipping A Car In 2023


In the United States, auto transport companies have all types of vehicles. Whether you have a motorcycle, a sport utility vehicle (SUV), or a heavy-duty vehicle like a bulldozer, service providers are ready to tow your vehicle. These companies have many types of carriers, including open and closed trailers, and use different types of equipment, such as hydraulic lifts, to load and unload vehicles into trailers.

However, everything has a price, and door-to-door shipping is more expensive than picking up your car at a company facility. Likewise, shipping your vehicle alone is more expensive than shipping it with other vehicles.

Seven Tips to Save Money When Shipping a Car in 2023

You want to get the best deal possible from your automobile shipping experience, just like you do with everything else. Before hiring a car shipping company, familiarize yourself with these money-saving tips.

1. Open Carrier Vs. Enclosed Carrier

Choose transport by open trailer. 97% of all autos transported in the United States are transported on open trailers. Open carriers are less expensive and more maneuverable than their enclosed versions. Comparatively, attached trailers are more expensive due to the additional protection they provide for the vehicle and its contents. It is the best choice for premium, exotic, and sports automobiles.

2. Flexibility in Delivery Dates

Be flexible with pickup and delivery dates. Remember that no one can promise a delivery date. However, a tight pickup date can increase your auto transport costs. Depending on the route, moving your shipping period to fall or winter can save you a lot of money. 

Except for routes that experience frequent adverse weather (such as the Great Lakes), winter fares will be lower than summer fares for most itineraries. Most shipping companies require one to five business days to move car across country, beginning with the first available shipping date, to assign a truck and schedule a shipment.

3. Consider Discounts

Ah, discount, the oldest trick in the book! Many auto transporters offer discounts to help customers save money when shipping vehicles. Of course, the question is what do they discount for?

Military discount is the most common discount. Almost every auto shipping company that accepts reservations offers discounts to military members.

4. Determine the best time to ship your car

If you want the best price for shipping a car, you should ship it during the off-peak season. Summer months are the best time to ship (May to September). During certain periods, demand is low and there are fewer trailers on the road. Avoid traveling during holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas) and busy travel seasons (Spring Break, Summer Vacation).

However, don't wait too long; most auto transport businesses advise customers to schedule their services a few months in advance to ensure they have the necessary carriers and personnel to move their vehicle. If you wait too long, you may find that all reservations are filled. This can be quite unproductive, as you will be forced to rely on more expensive, quick automobile transportation.

5. Try to send more vehicles at once

If you ship several cars for the same trip, the shipping business will offer you a discount. The more vehicles they can carry in a day, the less they have to pay per trip, allowing them to offer cheaper fares.

If you have friends or family who need to move their car across the country, this is an easy way to save money on shipping fees.

6. Transportation from terminal-to-terminal

While it can be quite convenient to pick up your car from your residence, it can be a bit more expensive than transiting from terminal to terminal. Terminal-to-terminal shipping involves delivering and retrieving your vehicle from specific terminals that also hold other vehicles whose owners have not yet collected them. As a result of economies of scale, it is less expensive, as the auto transporter does not have to visit each residence to collect the vehicles.

7. Ask about hidden fees in advance

The best auto shipping company in US never charge an extra amount in advance or after the delivery. Unless you accept their online or over-the-phone rates, many auto transport businesses include hidden fees that aren't disclosed anywhere. These costs include fuel surcharges and terminal handling fees (THFs). The most effective way to avoid these hidden fees is to inquire about them in advance, so there are no surprises when it comes time to confirm your quote in person or over the phone.


Plan ahead, be flexible, and communicate with your shipper. Ask what can be done to save money. Make sure you don't accidentally lock in too much value by being too detailed. Start by identifying the vehicle you want to move and the desired delivery date. Let your shipper help you figure out the most cost-effective means to achieve that goal.

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