Choosing and Using Auto Transport Brokers

March 29, 2012

Learn about the pros and cons of hiring auto transport brokers, estimating transport costs, and saving on auto transport insurance.

When people buy a new or used car, they often have to deal with the issue of deciding whether or not to hire auto transport brokers to help with the delivery of the process if they're purchasing a vehicle from a remote location. The process of searching for car shipping quotes and determining other auto transport costs can be frustrating, especially for someone who is unfamiliar with the industry and the best ways of finding a good deal. If you find yourself in this position, rather than make your own auto transport comparison, you may wish to consider hiring a certified auto transport broker to assist you with the process of getting your car to you. Auto transport brokers also can help to deliver cars that you plan to sell as well, as their services run both ways. There are certain pros and cons to working with a transport broker to help arrange your car delivery.

Advantages of an Auto Transport Broker

The primary advantage of working with an auto transport broker is that he or she will be familiar with the necessary routines and practices involved with getting your automobile from you to someone else, or vice versa. There are a wide variety of shipping options for cars, and the circumstances of where and how the car is to be shipped can make a big difference in the costs associated with transferring the vehicle. An auto broker can help you determine how best to send your car in the shortest amount of time possible, by taking advantage of their expertise on the subject.

The cost of shipping a car can be enormous; sometimes, this cost is nearly equal to the price of the car itself. Finding a good deal on delivery costs is thus key to keeping your total expenses down as you deal with buying or selling a vehicle. Although a broker charges a fee, they can potentially save you a good deal of money on the costs of transporting the vehicle.

Disadvantages of an Auto Transport Broker

The main disadvantage of working with an auto transport broker is the added costs associated with hiring that person. If you have a good deal of time in which to determine on your own how to transport your vehicle, you can save money by avoiding working with a broker.

Another disadvantage to working with an auto transport broker is that the broker will likely retain no responsibility for your vehicle whatsoever. This means that if something should happen to the car in transport and the vehicle should become damaged or lost, the broker will not be responsible and you may have to accept the loss on your own.

Auto transport brokers are available to assist you in most urban areas. They can also help to negotiate the transport of a vehicle to you in a remote or rural location as well. Look online or in the local phone listings for a listing of auto transport brokers near you.

How to Estimate Your Auto Transport Cost

If you're planning on relocating to a new home or if you need to ship a vehicle that you have purchased or plan to sell in the future, you'll need to have an accurate estimate of your auto transport cost in order to assess how much the process will cost you. There are thousands of auto transport companies in the United States alone, and rates vary significantly depending upon the type of car, the model year, the condition of the vehicle, how far you're shipping it, the mode of transport that you choose, whether you purchase transport insurance, how quickly the vehicle needs to arrive, and more. To estimate your car shipping cost, one of the best things to do is to contact a few companies that provide these services and ask each one for a car shipping quote. You can then compare these quotes and come up with a general idea of the expense necessary to ship your vehicle. Otherwise, read on for a brief guideline on how to estimate the costs of auto transport.

Distance and Time

Two of the most important factors in estimating the cost of shipping your vehicle are the distance that the car has to travel and the time that you have in order for the vehicle to arrive at its final destination. If at all possible, you should plan enough time to allow the transport company to get the vehicle to its final destination at their own pace; while most companies have an expediting service, this can add hundreds of dollars to the costs of shipping your vehicle.

Expect to pay anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars to ship your car within one country from different points. There will be additional charges if the vehicle has to cross a border between countries; the car transport service may charge you an additional fee for the added time and effort that it takes to send the car across a border, and you'll likely have to pay the government to bring the car across the border as well. This can add several hundred dollars to the total cost of transport.

Overseas Shipping

If your vehicle needs to be transferred overseas, you'll likely see a dramatic jump in the cost of shipping the car. If you opt for a boat method of transport, it is generally much slower than the alternative, but is also quite a bit cheaper. Airplanes can transport cars very quickly between locations, but the costs are usually several thousand dollars to do so.

Mode of Shipping

Enclosed shipping refers to protected and isolated packaged vehicles moving between locations. Unenclosed shipping is cheaper but puts your car at an added risk of damage, theft and vandalism. The difference between paying for enclosed and unenclosed shipping can be anywhere from about one hundred dollars up to several hundred dollars in some cases.

5 Ways to Reduce Auto Car Transport Costs

When it comes to relocating your favorite auto, car transport or shipping options can be the right solution for you. However, for those on a limited budget, it's best to figure out how to work this cost into the overall final cost of relocation. Here are some ways to save additional money on auto transport, whether you're going across the state, across the country or even abroad.

  1. Look at uncovered transport options. Many who are using car shipping services pay extra money to get a spot in a covered car hauler. This may be the right solution for cars with high Blue Book value that an owner may keep under a car cover in inclement weather to protect the finish. However, if your car has are ready been exposed to the elements, covered transport may not be necessary, and utilizing a simple uncovered service can save you money.
  2. Choose reasonable car shipping insurance. Insurance is one of the major factors in cost when it comes to auto transport. Even though it's just a one-time insurance policy, this kind of coverage can get pricey if drivers select default options filled with all kinds of extras and inflated insurance values. In order to get bottom dollar for your car shipping insurance, know the Blue Book value of your vehicle, and ask for an itemized breakdown of what the shipping insurance covers. Skipping some of the extras or dialing insurance value down to what is reasonable may save you additional money on your car transport agreements.
  3. Use simple "roll on roll off" services. While some auto transport services specialize in bringing your vehicle directly to your door, others take advantage of economies of scale, hauling several vehicles with the same trailer, and rolling them directly off of that trailer at or near their destination. Using the simpler, scaled down services can save you a lot of dollars, even if it's not quite as convenient.
  4. Shop around. Looking at different car transport services will give you a better idea of what they generally charge, and where you can get the most value for the least money.
  5. Find informal single driver services. Another way to scale down your car transport is to informally hire someone you know and trust to drive your vehicle to its destination. This will just involve the cost of gas and hourly labor, and even with the cost savings of some multi-car transport services, it may be your cheapest option.

These are just some of the pointers that experienced car shippers give to others involved in scouting out deals for bargain relocation anywhere in the world. For international moves, it can also help to do intensive research on customs and other specific international issues to find the best priced option for getting your car shipped. Look for more helpful hints on online forums and other web venues where past customers post what they have learned in their moving experiences.

Understanding Auto Transport Insurance: Tips and Buyers Guide for Low Costs

If you purchase a vehicle from a foreign seller or from a person in a remote location, you may need to purchase auto transport insurance to cover the delivery of the vehicle. In these cases, you have a few options. The first option, which is typically the least feasible but should not be ruled out on principle, is to travel to the location in which the car is located and pick it up yourself to drive back to your home. This works if you don't need to drive the vehicle overseas, although it may not be worth your time and the expense. Another option is to have an exotic car shipping service send the vehicle to you. These services also deliver cars that you sell to other people. If you do use one of these services, you have the additional option of paying for auto transport insurance, which is a very good idea if you can afford it.

Benefits of Auto Transport Insurance

Regardless of the car value, car transport insurance plans can help to protect your investment on a new or used car that you purchase from a remote location and have shipped to you. During the transport process, there are a number of things that can potentially go wrong. These include various damages to the surface and other parts of the car, miss-shipment of the vehicle, theft and other considerations. Without proper auto transport insurance, you will not receive any compensation in the event of one of these incidents. This can mean a loss of a huge amount of money. In comparison, the cost of auto transport insurance for your vehicle is relatively small, although nearly all transport operations go over smoothly and without any damage or incident to the car whatsoever.

If you plan to get auto transport insurance, you'll need to know the value of the car. If you are selling a car that you already have in your possession, hire an inspector to make a vehicle inspection report so that you have a good idea of its value. If you're purchasing a car from another owner, you should have that person or dealer conduct a vehicle inspection report of the car as well. This helps to determine the total cost of the transport, as well as the auto transport insurance.

How to Secure Auto Transport Insurance

The best way to set up auto transport insurance for your vehicle delivery process is to work directly with a broker who negotiates between customers and auto transport companies. These people specialize in finding the best deals on delivery packages and insurance for this very task. Look in the local listings in your phone directory or on the Internet in your area for a list of auto transport brokers. They can help you to answer any other questions you may have.