Ship a car across country when you buy it online

Ship a car across country when you buy it online

Thanks to technology, the car buying process has gotten much simpler. No more days dragging yourself round a handful of car lots only to come home empty-handed. Now you can do your car shopping online.

There are, however, a few things you need to be aware of, and then there’s the challenge of how to get it home. In this article we’re going to share some useful tips as well as look at how to ship a car across country with the help of an auto transport management company.

7 Top tips for buying a car online

Buy vehicle online ship car across country

The internet and technology has made life easier in so many ways, one of which is the process of buying a car. Traditionally, buying a car would have been a time-consuming and stressful process, one that even the most enthusiastic buyer would find deflating.

All those hours spent walking around a dealer’s lot, negotiating a price with the cutthroat salesperson, and then ploughing your way through all the facts and figures associated with getting finance, it’s no wonder 61% of car shoppers are now spending more time online than visiting a dealership.

Buying a car online is a relatively new thing, so if you’re considering it for your next purchase, there are some things you need to know.

1. Do your homework

There are lots of advantages for you to enjoy if you decide to do your car shopping online rather than the traditional method. One of the most important is that you’re more likely to find a car at a price that suits your pocket. Being able to expand your car search beyond the local dealers definitely makes sense, especially if you live in a city that has a reputation for high prices.

Before you commit yourself to any kind of purchase, it’s crucial you do your homework. This includes researching the dealership. Check out how long they’ve been in business, read online reviews and customer feedback, search online archives of local newspapers to see whether there are any positive or negative news stories.

If you’re buying from a private person there are things you can do to avoid becoming the victim of a scam.  

2. Know what you’re buying

A common mistake made by many online car shoppers is that they’re too quick to accept a low price. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a bargain, but make sure you know what you’re getting for such a bargain basement price. It might surprise you how much more you can get if you’re prepared to pay a little bit more.

3. Research the Blue Book value

Make sure you check out the true value of any purchase you intend to make. Reference the Kelley Blue Book, the guides by the National Automobile Dealers Association, and True Market Value tools by Edmunds to find out the manufacturer's suggested retail price for any car you’re interested in buying.

The prices you get will vary, but it'll give you a good idea of the high and low-end values. It’s also important that you understand what service, warranties, and any other extras are included in the price of the car.

It’s also imperative that you understand the total price of the car, including taxes and destination charges.

4. Don’t make a deal without getting a written agreement first

Always have the details of your deal put in writing. It will save you costly misunderstandings in the future and can also put you in an excellent position when you want to bargain with other dealerships.

5. Know your must-have car features

Car ownership is an individual thing. We all want or desire specific features, so make sure what yours are before you go shopping. A person who is looking for a family car because they want to transport their kids to various events is going to want something completely different to a college student.

Make a list of your must-have features and stick with it, no matter how persuasive the salesperson might be.

6. Online car buying is not just for the rich

Many people think that online car buying is just for the rich and famous, but that’s really not so. Yes, high earners often buy and lease their cars online, but so do retirees, students, and people from every other socio-economic group. Online car buying is for people with families and also for those just starting their career.

7. Ask about the returns policy

There’s going to be a chance that you don’t like what you buy, albeit a small one. Always check whether there is a returns policy and how the process works.

One thing you might not consider when you start looking for cars online is how to get it home when you’ve bought it. There’s a service that fits that bill perfectly and that’s cross country vehicle shipping.

Shipping a car across country: A quick and easy guide

Take advantage of an auto transport service and you can ship a car across country hassle-free. It doesn’t matter whether the car you bought is in Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Jacksonville, or Dallas. You can arrange for your new vehicle to be picked up from anywhere, Hawaii included, and delivered right to your door.

Why cross country vehicle shipping is better than driving

Driving car across country

Going to collect your new car and drive it home as pleased as punch may sound like an exciting thing to do, but there are things you need to consider, especially if you’ve got to pick the car up from the other side of the country.

First of all, you’ve got to get there. You might choose to fly, take the train or hop on a bus, but whichever one you choose it’s going to add to the cost and timeframe. Then there are the additional expenses you’ll have to pay on your journey back home. Add the cost of gas, food, accommodation, tolls, and any other expenses and the cost is going to add up very quickly.

Let’s not forget how stressful it is and how tired you’ll feel sat behind the wheel of your new car for several hours at a time. Driving long distances can be dangerous, even if you’re confident in driving a new vehicle.

Hire a cross country vehicle shipping company and you’ll also enjoy these benefits:

  • No unnecessary wear and tear on your new car
  • Saves time
  • Saves money
  • Much safer

How much will it cost to ship a car across country?

The cost to ship a car across country is going to be a deciding factor. How much an auto transport company will charge depends on several factors. For example:

  • The distance travelled: The longer the distance the higher the price
  • The make, model, and year of the vehicle: The bigger the vehicle the more it will cost
  • Pick-up and delivery locations: More remote locations tend to cost more than metropolitan areas
  • The time of year: Winter is one of the most expensive times to ship a car
  • Whether the vehicle is running: The carrier has to use special equipment if the vehicle is not running, which adds to the cost
Distance Type of transport Avg. price per mile Sample distance Sample price
0-500 miles Open $0.80 250 miles $200
500-1000 miles Open $0.73 700 miles $511
1000-1500 miles Open $0.70 1000 miles $700
1500-2000 miles Open $0.48 1750 miles $840
2000-2500 miles Open $0.37 2400 miles $888
2500-3000 miles Open $0.35 2700 miles $945
3000+ miles Open $0.33 3200 miles $1122

The average price per miles rates shown above are reflective of current market conditions as of January 2020. The rates are subject to change due to seasonal fluctuations, price of gas, pick-up/deliver locations, etc.

What are the auto transport options?

When you book an auto transport service, you can choose whether they transport your car in an open or enclosed trailer. Both options have their pros and cons.

Open car transport

Choose open cross country car shipping and a carrier will transport your vehicle in an open car trailer. These trailers are typically 75-80 feet long and have two levels. As they can transport many as 10 vehicles at the same time. The trailers have no sides and no roofs, so they expose the vehicles to the elements.

Open car transport is suitable for all types of vehicle and the most affordable and flexible option.

Enclosed auto transport

Choose enclosed cross country car shipping and a carrier will transport your vehicle in an enclosed auto trailer. The trailer has a roof and four sides which means your vehicle is safe and secure throughout the transportation. Because of the restrictions created by the enclosing walls, they can transport fewer vehicles.

Enclosed auto transport tends to be used for extremely expensive, rare, or antique vehicles. It is completely safe, but is more expensive, by around 30% - 40% extra.

How does the car shipping process work?

The process is really very simple.

Step 1: Get your quote and make your booking

Once you’ve decided on the car you want to buy, the first step in getting your new baby home is to request a free instant quote. You can usually do this online, over the telephone, or by using a Live Chat option. You’ll need to provide a few basic details such as the city and state where the carrier will pick up the vehicle and the city and state for the delivery. The carrier will also need to know the make, model, and year of the vehicle, type of service you require, and whether the vehicle is running.  

If you’re happy with the quoted price you can move onto the next step, which is to make the booking. You’ll confirm the details of your booking and get two options for the payment. You can pay in full when making the booking, either with a credit or debit card. The second option is to pay a small partial payment and the balance upon delivery.  

Step 2: Your vehicle is picked up

To complete the booking process, you have to arrange a pick-up date. For this you’ll need to communicate with the seller and agree on a date. The carrier will contact the seller before the pick-up date to schedule a convenient time and location. Before they load the car for transportation, the seller and the driver will have to inspect the vehicle, and make a note of the vehicle's condition on the Bill of Lading.

Throughout the transportation process, they will keep you informed of your vehicle’s progress. It’s usually possible to communicate with the carrier for updates and you’ll get contact details for the driver. You can call them if you have any questions, but don’t expect an answer straight away as they are probably going to be driving.

Step 3: Your car is delivered

The carrier will contact you a few hours before they are due to deliver your car. This is because the driver needs to know you’re available to receive your car. When they deliver your car you have given the opportunity to inspect it and make sure everything is in order.

You’ll find more detailed information about our own cross country shipping service on our How Auto Transport Works page.

Next time you’re looking for a car online, don’t forget to arrange the transport of your new purchase. Call (864) 546-5038 and speak with our shipping advisors because we’d love to help you get your new baby home. Alternatively you can use our Live Chat option and don’t forget to take advantage of our online instant quote calculator to find out how much it costs to ship a car across country.

Wait! Did you know you can get a free instant quote with no obligations in less than 60 seconds?