Affordable Ways to Ship Your Car: Practical Tips for Budget-Friendly Auto Transport

Shipping your car is a handy way to move it across the country without driving or using a plane or train. It’s safe and quick, handled by professionals so you can relax.

Once your car is on the shipping trailer, you can trust it’s in good hands. Car transport companies aim to do their best and often provide insurance for any accidents or damage during the journey.

While car shipping comes with a cost, the rates can vary. Carriers determine prices based on the destination, vehicle type, and transportation method. However, these rates aren’t fixed. There are things you can do to find better deals and lower rates.

Choose Open Transport for Affordable Car Shipping

When you were looking into companies to ship your car, you probably noticed they offer different services: open and enclosed transport. Open transport means your car is moved on open trailers, while enclosed transport uses shipping containers or enclosed trailers. Each option has its pros and cons, and they come with different price tags.

If you’re aiming to save money on car shipping, go for open transportation. Companies use large open trailers to transport many vehicles at once, cutting down on costs. This efficiency allows them to offer lower rates to customers.

Open transport is safe because carriers have special methods to load and secure vehicles on these trailers. Professional drivers operate the shipping trucks, minimizing the chances of anything going wrong during transport.
However, if you own a classic, luxury, or expensive vehicle, open trailers might not be the best choice. For these precious vehicles, it’s better to opt for enclosed trailers to eliminate any risk of even the smallest damage during transport.

Opt for Terminal-to-Terminal Service

Car transport companies aim to provide maximum convenience for customers, offering services like door-to-door pickup and delivery. With this option, you just need to book the service, and the carrier takes care of the rest.
While door-to-door service is great for worry-free car shipping, it does come with a higher cost. However, if your new address is along a commonly used shipping route or near a terminal, you can save money with terminal-to-terminal service. With this option, you handle dropping off and picking up your car at designated terminals, offering potential savings.

Book in Advance

Car shippers stay busy, especially during peak seasons like spring and summer, as well as holidays and weekends. During these times, high demand can lead to higher prices. If you have to ship your vehicle during these busy periods, try to book the service well in advance.
If you have flexibility in your moving schedule and can choose less busy days and months, consider late fall and winter, excluding holiday times. Shippers may have available slots during these quieter periods, often at lower prices. Booking in advance and choosing off-peak times can help you save on car shipping costs.

Consider Using a Broker for Car Shipping

You might think involving a middleman in car transportation adds extra costs. While it’s true you pay for a broker’s service, think of it as an investment. A good broker can uncover excellent shipping deals, potentially saving you more money than their fee. They gather multiple quotes, saving you time and stress.

Brokers have a network of haulers they regularly work with. These haulers inform brokers about available spots in their trailers for specific routes. By hiring a broker, you can receive bids from various haulers, finding affordable car shipping quotes quickly. Brokers also ensure a smooth process, handle paperwork, and address any issues with the transportation company.

Using a broker is another way to secure lower car transportation rates, alongside options like choosing open transport, opting for terminal-to-terminal service, booking early, and more. These strategies help you save money while ensuring a safe and reliable car shipping experience.


In conclusion, exploring cost-effective options such as open transport, terminal-to-terminal service, and utilizing a broker can significantly reduce expenses when shipping your car. Booking in advance and choosing off-peak times are additional strategies to save money while ensuring a smooth and reliable transportation experience.

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