Shipping a Car From a Dealership? 5 Things To Know

You’ve found the perfect car; the only problem is that it’s located at a dealership in another state. This doesn’t have to be a problem with the right auto transport company because car shipping is a convenient and safe solution.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car From a Dealership?

The cost to ship a car from a dealership varies depending on many factors. However, the average cost to ship a vehicle is approximately $950. Just keep in mind that this number can run higher or lower based on your shipping needs and circumstances.

What Influences the Cost?

Five factors influence the cost of shipping a car: the size, the shipping distance, the location, the shipping options, and the time of year. Here’s what you need to know about each of these factors and how they affect cost so that you can get the most cost-effective shipping quote:

1. Car Size

The first factor that influences the cost of car shipping is the size of the car. As a general rule of thumb, smaller cars are cheaper to ship than larger cars since they take up less space on the trailer.

For a smaller sedan, you can expect to pay about $1,150 on average. However, for a larger vehicle like an SUV or a truck, you can expect to pay between $1,280 and $1,450 on average.

2. Shipping Distance

The second factor that influences the cost of car shipping is the shipping distance. Most auto transport companies charge per mile. However, the charge per mile isn’t a flat rate and instead uses a tiered system wherein the longer the trip is, the less you’ll pay per mile.

For example, you can expect to pay around $1 per mile for trips shorter than 500 miles. However, for trips longer than 2,000 miles, you might pay only $0.50 per mile. And for intermediate trips longer than 1,000 miles, you might pay $0.75 per mile.

3. Location

The third factor that influences the cost of car shipping is location. For example, if your car is coming from a high-demand area, then you can expect to pay more as a result. However, if your car is coming from a low-demand area, you can expect to get a better price for your shipment.

4. Shipping Options

The fourth factor that influences the cost of car shipping is your chosen shipping options. We will dive deeper into shipping options in the next section, but for now, you should know that some options are more expensive than others.

5. Time of Year

The fifth and final factor that influences the cost of car shipping is the time of year. If you’re shipping your car in the summertime peak moving season, you can expect to pay about $200 more than you otherwise would during the spring, summer, or fall, thanks to higher demand.

What Shipping Options Can I Choose From?

When shipping your car from a dealership, there are four different shipping options to consider:

open transport, enclosed transport, full service, and economy service. Here’s what you need to know about each option so that you can make the right decision for your vehicle and budget:

Option 1: Open Transport

Open transport involves placing your vehicle on a trailer that’s completely open on the sides. Most of these trailers have two levels to maximize the number of cars transported at once. The largest open trailers can fit up to ten cars at a time.

While open transport is definitely the cheaper option, it also comes with a higher risk of damage from road debris since your vehicle is left exposed to the elements while on the road.

Option 2: Enclosed Transport

Enclosed transport involves placing your vehicle on a trailer that’s completely enclosed on all sides. These trailers are often smaller, and some of them can only fit a few vehicles at a time, whereas others are only designed to fit a single-vehicle.

As a result, enclosed transport generally costs a lot more than open transport since you cannot split the cost with that many vehicles. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay 30% to 40% more for enclosed transport.

At the same time, enclosed transport is the safest transport option since it provides the most protection for your vehicle. This method of transport is recommended for high-value luxury or antique vehicles that require extra protection while on the road.

Option 3: Full-Service

Full-service or door-to-door auto transport is a very convenient shipping option where the carrier comes directly to you to pick up and drop off your vehicle. You can set pick-up and drop-off locations based on what’s convenient for you, like an office or home. However, you can expect to pay a bit more for the level of convenience offered by door-to-door service.

Option 4: Economy

Economy or terminal-to-terminal auto transport is less convenient since you’re responsible for getting your car to and from auto transport terminals where carriers can pick up and drop off the entire load in a single location.

These auto transport terminals are typically located near large cities or airports. So if you’re in a more rural area that’s far away from the nearest terminal, it might be difficult to arrange transport to and from the auto terminal after dropping your car off and before picking it up.

However, if you’re looking to save money, you should consider this car shipping option.

Why Should I Ship My Car Instead of Driving It?

Based on these numbers, you might be considering driving your car back from the dealership instead of shipping it.

However, there are disadvantages to this option as well. Here are some reasons you should consider car shipping instead of driving it back yourself:

1. Avoid Putting Miles on Your Car

Shipping your car instead of driving helps you avoid putting unnecessary miles on your car. After all, it seems counterintuitive to buy a brand new car with no miles on it or a used car with limited miles only to go ahead and put thousands of miles on it by driving it back home. Limiting the mileage you put on your car helps it hold its value even after being driven off the lot.

2. Avoid Extra Maintenance

When you avoid putting extra miles onto your new car, you can also avoid extra maintenance that often comes with long trips. For example, you might have to get your oil changed right away. You might have to get your fluids topped off or flushed. You might need to have your tires replaced sooner. These maintenance items can quickly add up to be more than the cost of shipping.

3. Avoid Risk of Damage

Shipping also helps you decrease the risk of damaging it during transport. While there’s still some risk involved with shipping it, it’s certainly lower than driving hours on the highway. Even if you’re a great driver, other drivers on the road are the problem as they are unpredictable.

4. Save Money on Gas

If you’re concerned about the cost of shipping your car and want to drive it instead of saving money, you definitely need to consider the costs of driving it. Take gas, for instance. If you drive your car yourself, you can expect to spend hundreds of dollars on gas based on the distance of your trip and your vehicle's gas mileage.

If it’s a particularly long trip, you may also have to spend money on food and hotels as well. At that point, you might as well ship it.

5. Save Time

Another reason to ship your car is that doing so will save you a ton of time and effort. Instead, a professional driver is doing the hard work for you! That way, you can sit back, relax, and wait for your car to arrive.

How Does Dealership Car Shipping Work?

The advantages of shipping your car from a dealership outweigh the disadvantages in most circumstances. But how does the process work? Here’s what you need to know to arrange shipment of your new car directly from the dealership:

Step 1: Choose a Car Shipping Company

First, you need to choose a car shipping company. This is the hardest and most important step. You’re entrusting this company with your new vehicle, so you need to ensure that they’re professional and trustworthy.

Start by checking your potential contenders' registration and insurance coverage with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Then, read customer reviews on review sites and check for any complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Once you’re confident about the companies on your list, reach out to them for a quote based on your vehicle type and shipment details.

Step 2: Select Your Shipping Method

Before getting a complete quote, you also need to select your shipping method based on the shipping options outlined above. You should go with open shipping for vehicle makes like Toyota, Honda, Nissan, etc. For vehicle makes like Ferrari, Jaguar, Land Rover, Tesla, etc., you should go with enclosed shipping.

Step 3: Coordinate Between Dealership and Shipping Company

Now that you’ve found the perfect shipping company at the right place, you need to coordinate the pick-up of your vehicle between the dealership and the shipping company. Find a date and time that works for both sides.

Step 4: Schedule Drop-Off Date

Finally, schedule the drop-off date with your shipping company, considering that it may take several days for your vehicle to arrive, depending on how far it has to travel. That being said, some car transporters like Carvaygo offer expedited shipping options that can get you your car sooner.

This is a great option if you’re looking to get into your new car right away instead of spending money on a rental to use in the meantime.

How Can I Make Sure I Get My Car On Time?

Understandably, you want your car to arrive on time. How can you make sure that this happens?

Tip 1: Schedule Shipping Ahead of Time So Everything Is Ready

For starters, you should schedule your shipping well in advance so that the transport company has enough time to locate a driver for your vehicle. Generally speaking, you should try to book your transport at least a couple of weeks in advance.

However, you should plan on booking earlier during the summertime since it’s peak moving season.

Tip 2: Plan Ahead for Delays

Even if you schedule your shipment far in advance, it’s always a good idea to plan ahead for delays. It’s impossible to predict things like road closures and weather issues that can impact the timing of your shipment. However, these issues won’t have as much negative impact if you plan ahead.

Tip 3: Have a Backup Vehicle Ready

One thing you can do to plan ahead is to have a backup vehicle ready to go if your new vehicle doesn’t arrive on time. So instead of being stuck without a car until your new one arrives, you’ll still be able to get around in the meantime.

What Do I Need to Do Once My Car Arrives From the Dealership?

The work isn’t over when your car arrives from the dealer. After arrival, make sure to follow these five steps for a positive and successful shipping experience:

Step 1: Inspect Your Car for Any Damage

As soon as your car arrives from the dealer, you need to inspect it for any signs of damage thoroughly. Even something as small as a little scratch needs to be identified in addition to dents, cracks, rips in the upholstery, etc. Check the vehicle inside and out for any flaws or imperfections that you were not made aware of before purchase.

Step 2: Document the Condition of Your Vehicle

Once you have inspected your vehicle, you need to document its condition using photos and videos. If you have identified any flaws, be sure to extensively document these areas with photos and videos taken from multiple angles with adequate lighting.

Step 3: Check the Bill of Lading

Your driver should have received a bill of lading from the dealership. This document is a legal contract that contains the shipping details for your vehicle in addition to its condition. Now, verify its current condition based on what was put on the bill of lading. Make a note of any discrepancies that point to damage during the shipping process.

Step 4: Work With the Proper Parties to Address Any Issues

If you do identify any issues with the car that weren’t listed on the bill of lading, you need to work with the proper parties to address them. If the damage was caused during shipping, you could work with the shipping company and their insurance company to repair the damage. If the damage existed before shipping, you need to work with the dealership.

Step 5: Clean Your Car and Enjoy!

If there are no issues and everything on the bill of lading is accurate, then you’re all set to enjoy your new car! Just make sure to give it a good clean first, as it likely acquired quite a bit of dirt from the shipping process.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking to ship your car from a dealership, then reach out to Carvaygo for a quick and easy quote! Carvaygo works with online car buyers to get you your car safely and quickly. We offer a whole host of car shipping services to meet your needs, including open shipping, enclosed shipping, and expedited shipping.

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