Cheapest way to tow a car long distance: tow dolly vs. auto transport
Car shipping companies near me: How to find one and what you need to know
Many occasions call for a car shipping company’s services, and the sensible thing to do would be to look for auto transport companies close to your location.
Ultimately, if you need to ship your car from New York to California, it makes sense to look for car transport services in New York rather than Alabama. It’s a simple case of typing “Auto transport companies near me” into any popular search engine, and you’ll get hundreds of names pop up, most of which will be in your current location.
Auto transport companies near me: What are the benefits?
Choosing auto transport companies near you is going to be far more helpful. You’ll be able to contact them quickly and even drop by if you need to. Being able to talk to a local business about availability, pricing, how the process works, or anything else you’re concerned or wondering about has to be much better than communicating with a company that is across the other side of the country.
When you’re looking for car shipping companies near me, it’s not unusual to find long-distance and nationwide auto transport companies with regional shipping experience in certain areas. Therefore, it’s not always essential for them to have their headquarters where your vehicle is located. However, the best-case scenario is to search for local car shipping companies near me and find those with experience in the area in which you want your car shipped.
When you’re doing your research, the hits you get following your “vehicle shipping companies near me” online search will be numerous. So, how are you supposed to sort through them and find the best car shipping companies near me? Keep reading, and we’ll share some fundamental tips.
Car transport services near me: How to find the nearest car shipping companies
There are lots of ways you can look for car shipping services. The most obvious is to type “auto transport companies near me” into a search engine such as Google, Yelp, Bing, or Yahoo. There’s also the good old-fashioned Yellow Pages or some other telephone directory. While this method might not be as popular as it once was, virtually every state in the US publishes its own version of a telephone directory. In it, you’ll find businesses of all shapes and sizes, including details for anyone looking for car transport services near me.
One more option you should try is to ask around for recommendations. You may already know someone who has used an auto transport service. Talk to relatives, friends, neighbors, and colleagues and see if they can recommend an auto transport company.
Vehicle shipping companies near me: The most efficient way to find one
One aspect of vehicle shipping that makes it difficult to find one nearby is that they might be in your location one day, but by tomorrow, they could be 500 miles away. There is a way around this dilemma, and that’s with an auto transport management company like SGT Auto Transport.
We have connections with thousands of car shipping carriers and are well equipped to find one that operates in your area and runs your particular route. We’ll search through our database and connect with a carrier that’s a good match, and before you know it, your vehicle will be on a carrier being transported to your destination city. It would take you days to do what our shipping advisors can do in a few minutes. You can also be sure that the carriers we use are qualified, licensed, insured, and have the experience to ship your car.
Car shipping near me: What to look for
When you’re looking for car shipping companies, there are so many to choose from, but if you want one that provides the best quality service, the key is to find a reliable one. It’s very easy to feel overwhelmed because you’re unsure what to look for or where to start.
Before you start narrowing down your search, it’s a good idea to decide what kind of auto transport service you need.
Different ways to ship a car
There are several options to choose from when you want to ship a car. Many of the most reliable car shipping companies will provide a range of services, such as open car transport, enclosed auto transport, express auto transport, and guaranteed pick-up.
There are also customer-specific auto transport services such as military car shipping, snowbirds car shipping, vehicle shipping for dealerships, international car shipping, and car transport for college students.
Let’s look at some of these options in a little more detail.
Open car transport
Open car transport is one of the most popular car transport services. When you’re driving on the highway, open car transport carriers are what you’re most likely to see. Trailers that deliver this service can transport as many as ten vehicles at a time. The vehicles moved with an open trailer have little protection from the elements, insects, dust, and even birds. The trailers are open on all sides, but that doesn’t mean your vehicle isn’t going to be safe and secure.
This type of service has gained an unfair reputation, but it’s one of the safest and most affordable ways to ship a car.
There are many other benefits to choosing open car transport. It’s the industry standard way to ship a car which means more carriers offer this type of service. This means you can secure an open auto transport service on short notice.
Another benefit is that it’s a very efficient way to transport cars because more vehicles can be transported with each shipment. The carrier can save fuel and time on the road, thereby allowing them to provide their service at a much lower price. We’ll be looking at some of the factors that affect auto transport costs a little further down the page, so keep reading for more information.
What other benefits are there?
- Open transport is efficient and fast
- Open transport carriers can transport all types of vehicle
- The driver of the truck can easily inspect vehicles during transport
- Your vehicle is protected
- Your car is secure
- Insurance covers any damage, although the chance of this happening is minimal
Enclosed auto transport
Enclosed auto transport tends to be recommended for owners of high-value, classic, luxury, and custom cars, as well as cars with sentimental value. If you’re the very proud owner of a 1967 Chevy Corvette, 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL, pre-1974 Porsche, or a 1960s Jaguar E-Type, you’re going to want an auto transport service that offers an additional level of protection.
If you want to ship your precious custom, vintage, sports, antique, or luxury car to its first auto show or make sure it gets to the repair shop in pristine condition, enclosed auto transport is the best option. It’s also the smart thing to do if you’ve just bought your dream car at an online car auction.
Choose enclosed auto transport, and your valuable car will be transported in a trailer with four sides and a roof. For your vehicle, this provides a secure and safe environment during shipment. Fewer vehicles are transported in this type of trailer, which is why it tends to be more expensive.
So what about the benefits of enclosed vehicle shipping services? If you’re the owner of a special type of vehicle, such as a custom, classic, antique, rare, expensive, or modified car, you want an auto transport service the provides an extra level of care and attention. You want your car to be completely protected from traffic grime, the weather, and debris. When it arrives at its final destination, you want it to look as shiny and new as when the carrier collected it. You can be sure this is going to happen when you use enclosed auto transport.
However, a high level of protection isn’t the only benefit. Here are a few more:
- Insurance coverage is much higher
- You can ship your collection of custom or antique cars
- The trailers have hydraulic lift gates and extended racing ramps, which are essential when loading and unloading cars with low ground clearance
- Added peace of mind is a given because you know your pride and joy is completely protected and secure throughout its journey
Express auto transport
Express auto transport is a service for those times when you’re in a rush and need your car shipped quicker than the standard timeframe. The industry standard timeline for an auto transport pick-up is between 5 and 7 days. With an express auto transport service, we’re able to reduce the pick-up timeline significantly to between 1 and 2 business days. This means we can arrange your vehicles’ pick-up within 48 hours of the first available pick-up date.
The most significant benefit of this type of auto transport service is that the waiting times are minimal. It’s the perfect option if:
- You’re selling a vehicle online
- You’re a car dealership with a customer who requests a custom order
- If the vehicle you’re taking with you on a move suddenly breaks down
- If you decided at the last minute that you wanted to enter your vehicle in a car show
- You’re making last-minute relocation arrangements for work
- You’ve just got your PCS vehicle shipping orders and are on a tight budget
A guaranteed car transport pick-up service is what you need if you want your car shipped on an exact date. We can make the arrangements with a 24-hour pick-up window which is perfect if your schedule is busy and you need to make guaranteed vehicle shipping arrangements that suit you.
Now you know what kind of auto transport service you’re looking for, it’s time to consider certain features of a reliable car transport company.
Features to consider when looking for car shipping companies near you
There are several factors to bear in mind when you’re doing your research and before you come to a decision.
A company with experience is worth its weight in gold, whatever type of service you’re looking for. In many ways, auto transport is no different. However, in some ways, experience is even more critical than in other industries.
It takes a long time for an auto transport company to build expertise, particularly if they offer a wide range of services. Let’s examine things a little closer. Imagine you’re the proud owner of a classic car such as a 1966 Shelby GT350, and you need to get it to a classic car show on the East Coast. You’re not going to want to deal with a local car shipping company that’s never shipped a classic car. You’re not going to want a company that’s not operated extensively on the East Coast or the state where you want to ship your car from.
This is why experience is at the top of our list because it’s essential to look at car shippers based on their experience and expertise for your specific type of shipment.
Reputation is typically tied closely to a company’s experience but also to the level of service they provide. When you’re looking for car transport services near you, it’s a good idea to see what other customers have to say about a company you’re considering.
If all you can find are bad reviews at the many review sites you visit, this might be a sign that you need to look for another car hauling company near you.
However, we should point out that you shouldn’t take every review as gospel. Even the best company in the world will have a few bad reviews or dissatisfied customers, and one or two bad experiences shouldn’t define a company’s operation.
We all like to save a dollar here and a dollar there, which is why it’s always an excellent idea to ask for quotes from several different auto transport companies before deciding which one to use. By doing this, you’ll be able to not only compare prices, but it will also highlight any suspiciously low estimates. Pick a random handful of companies, and their prices should be somewhat similar. The difference is that some may also offer discounts.
Licensed and registered
Whatever auto transport company you use, it’s critical that you check whether the company is licensed. You can ask the company for their DOT number or visit the Department of Transportation FMCSA website to verify whether a company has a license. You need to check that it says their license is active. If it’s not, seriously consider walking away.
Also, check that a company is bonded and insured. This means that should anything happen to your car, and it’s the company’s fault, you will be protected. Generally, insurance companies won’t cover your car when it’s being transported. For this reason, always ask what insurance coverage is being offered by the transport company.
Round the clock customer service
It can be very reassuring to know that there’s always someone on hand to talk to during the auto transport process. Look for a customer service team that’s available around the clock. It’s also helpful if there are several ways you can get in touch. You never know when you might need to ask a question, clarify some details of your shipment, or check on your car’s progress during the shipping service.
Local car shipping companies near me: How much do they cost?
The cost of auto transport depends on several different things.
- Make and model of your car: The smaller your vehicle, the cheaper it is to transport
- Distance traveled: The shorter the distance your vehicle has to be shipped, the lower the price
- Delivery time frame: If you want an expedited service, the cost is higher
- Transport type: Open car transport is the best value option and is the perfect service for owners of standard vehicles and anyone on a budget. Enclosed auto transport normally costs 30% - 40% more, but it is a premium service, especially for vintage, classic, antique, modified, and expensive car owners.
- Vehicle condition: A vehicle that is operable costs less than one that is inoperable.
- Location: Vehicle shipping is less expensive if you’re shipping between major cities.
- Time of the year: It costs less to ship a car during the summer.
Is there a good time to ship a car across country?
We’ve already mentioned that the weather can affect both the cost and the timeframe when it comes to shipping your car, but the time of year can also affect them as well. There are times of the year when it’s better to ship your car.
It might not always be possible to be flexible with your timing, for example, if you’ve just bought a home, received a too good to miss job offer, bought your dream car online, or just received your PCS orders. However, if you can be versatile when you’re planning to transport your car, you could get a good deal on the cost of shipping.
There’s no one particular time when it’s best to ship a car. However, car hauling companies tend to have high and low seasons, just like many other industries do. If you know about these and how they can affect your quote, you’re more likely to have a fantastic shipping experience at an impressive price.
Several factors determine the high and low seasons, such as the weather, traffic fluctuations, the season, and other things. The role these play in your car shipping service depends on where you’re shipping to and from. Let’s give you an example to show you what we mean. The annual north-south snowbird migration can affect the cost of car shipping via specific routes. If you want to transport a car from the east to the west of the country, the migration will not impact your price.
Let’s give you a quick run down, from January to December, and how auto transport services are affected.
- January: The beginning of the year can be pretty hectic as thousands of people want to ship their cars following the Christmas and New Year holidays. It’s also a time when snowbirds are making arrangements to head back north, the weather and temperatures can be unpredictable, and there can be problems with schedules. If you can afford to be flexible, wait a few weeks until the January rush is over.
- February: In terms of the number of shipments, February is a slow month. It also tends to be cheaper.
- March/ April/ May: This is snowbird season, so if you want to ship a car from the south to the north of the country, prices are going to start rising. There is also a greater demand for vehicle transport services.
- Summer months: For the car shipping industry, this is the busiest time of the year. More people tend to relocate, car purchases are on the increase, college students choose to ship their cars in early June and late August. Rates tend to increase, but there are plenty of carriers to carry the increased load. Before and after the 4th July is best to be avoided because fewer carriers are operating, prices are higher, and service is slower.
- The fall: September, October, and November are possibly the best times to ship a car across the country. Temperatures are moderate and fewer vehicles need to be shipped, which means better prices and quick service.
- December: Many things occur in December that can affect the cost and availability of auto transport services. Thanksgiving is a time when many truckers take time off which results in fewer carriers to ship the cars and higher prices. Snowbirds are also getting ready to leave their homes in the north and head south for the winter. Then there are the added complications of the holiday season.
How long does it take to transport a car nationwide?
Vehicle transit times can be affected by many different things. The most obvious has to be the distance your car has to travel. Whether the pick-up and delivery locations are remote can also make a difference because the carrier will have to drive further to reach them.
The weather affects the speed at which your car can be transported. Extreme weather such as a tornado, hurricane, or thunderstorms can affect the flow of traffic. Other things that can hamper the carrier’s progress on its journey are traffic, detours, and road construction.
Car hauling companies near me: Our top tips
To finish up this article, we thought we’d share some essential tips. It’s important to us that our customers enjoy their car shipping experience, and we’d like to do everything we can to make sure it happens.
Getting a quote
Getting a quote is a crucial step in the car shipping process. There are many car shipping companies near you to choose from, so it’s a smart move to request quotes from several providers. You can then make a comparison and select the service that works best for you and your budget.
Here at SGT Auto Transport, we provide our customers with an online instant quote calculator. Simply provide the necessary details, and you’ll see the different price options. We have thousands of fully vetted carriers to choose from in our network.
Avoiding auto transport scams
Online scams are nothing new, and the auto transport industry hasn't escaped the online scammers. Transporting a vehicle should be a worry-free experience, and there are several things you can do to avoid a car shipping scam.
Here’s a quick summary of a blog we’ve written about auto transport scams:
- Before you make a booking, shop around and do your research
- Gather information on the car transport company
- Browse their website
- Check for contact information
- Check for company reviews
- Check with the Better Business Bureau
- Check payment methods
- Check for licenses
- Make sure the company carries its own insurance
- If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is
- Avoid upfront payment and wire transfers
- Read the transport contract
- Beware of the bait and switch trick
- Beware of surprisingly quick scheduling
Buying a car online
Nowadays, you don’t have to spend days traveling from dealer to dealer looking for the perfect car. You don’t have to stress about negotiating a deal. Thanks to the internet, you can visit hundreds of dealers without leaving the comfort of your home. Even if you find your dream car across the other side of the country, you can get it delivered with the help of an auto transport company.
We’ve written a blog about buying a car online. It contains many valuable hints and tips and advice on shipping your new purchase to your front door.
If you want to know anything else about car shipping, please don’t hesitate to contact our knowledgeable shipping advisors. Call (864) 546-5038 or use our Live Chat option.