What Determines the Cost of Auto Transport

Whatever your logistical reasons for needing to ship your car, if you’ve been tracking rates recently in preparation, you may have noticed prices have gotten much steeper. With the various components that go into transporting and shipping cars, there are many factors at play that have contributed to this service becoming more expensive. Below, we dig into some of the main cost factors that go into shipping your car.


Cost factors

Size of the vehicle

Depending on how much space your vehicle will take up on the shipping truck, it could impact the fees you’ll pay to transport it. Getting an accurate measure of the height and width of your vehicle will give you a good idea of how much the size could impact the shipping quote.

Gas prices

Considering the recent surges in gasoline prices, it’s no surprise that shipping companies will raise their rates accordingly to cover the higher cost of fuel. Keep an eye on gas prices, and recognize that if you’re trying to ship a car when fuel prices are inflated or needing your vehicle to be shipped over longer distances, it will likely be more expensive.
Driver shortages

Across the entire industry there is a shortage of truck drivers, especially for companies like vehicle transporters who need to make long, cross-country treks. As this trend continues, rates to ship vehicles will likely remain higher.

Transport method

A choice you will need to make when shipping your vehicle is the type of transport, which will depend on the desired level of protection and security you’re after. The main options are open or enclosed trailers, with open transport typically being the cheaper option, though it leaves your vehicle more exposed to external conditions.

Time of year

The demand for auto transport is not consistent throughout the year, so during times of increased demand, shipping rates tend to be higher. Take note that January and summer months tend to be the busiest for auto transport companies, and plan your shipment accordingly.

While this service can be spendy depending on the various cost factors described here, there are some ways to help bring down the cost. The bidding process to reserve your spot with a vehicle shipping company is almost as important as the factors listed above, so employing the right auto transport broker who can find you the lowest bid is an essential step to shipping your vehicle economically, while also considering the other cost factors at play.

Bailey Schramm is a writer in partnership with personal and business checks retailer, Checkworks.

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