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Basics of How Dealerships Can Use Car Shipping to Support Their Growth and Expansion Efforts


Things have gotten pretty tough for the average car dealership. Competition from online car buying and delivery companies means they’ve got to try harder when it comes to attracting new customers. One way to do that is to offer a home delivery service. Another option is to diversify their inventory. 

How can a dealership do that without investing in a transportation solution of its own? With car transport for dealerships and you’ll be pleased to learn it’s a service SGT Auto Transport specializes in.

How the recent pandemic has changed the car buying experience

During the pandemic, people were confined to their homes, but that didn’t stop them from wanting to do many of the things they’d become used to doing. One of those things was buying a car. During lockdowns, this took on a new lease of life. 

The demand for online car buying grew dramatically. People were still looking for their dream car, but because of stay-at-home orders, they were forced to buy their cars online. In-person shopping options were severely limited and oftentimes non-existent. This led people to explore the online car dealership industry. 

In addition, to draw new customers in, car dealerships started offering home delivery services as standard. It seemed to happen almost overnight, but it was something dealerships needed to do to stay competitive. 

More and more people are still opting to buy their cars online which means the business of selling cars is now about transportation and logistics rather than solely selling cars. 

Dealerships have become pretty good at selling cars over the years, however, becoming logistics experts was not something they excelled at quite so much. In addition, they didn’t have the tools and equipment to be transporting cars all over the country.

Third-party transport companies, just like SGT Auto Transport, came to the rescue and became that important link in the supply chain for customers. 

Thanks to auto transport companies, dealers can now offer new and used car buyers access to a huge range of cars across the country. A person’s dream car, or as close as they can get to it, is waiting and can be found with just a few clicks. 

The challenges of offering delivery of vehicles for online car dealerships

The execution of a home delivery service is not easy to accomplish. Staff at the dealership may be lacking in the necessary knowledge, training, or the right equipment to get a customer's car to their home. 

It’s not a case of trusting an unknown delivery driver either. A driver who delivers a customer's car to their doorstep becomes the face of the dealership, so it’s important that the face fits the brand. 

Working with a trusted car transporter for dealerships is essential. Otherwise, there is the risk of damage and an unhappy customer. 

Aside from the physical side of the delivery, dealerships might also need a logistical infrastructure and software to facilitate the delivery service themselves. This could require a significant investment in both time and money. 

When dealerships use an auto transport company for their deliveries, they have access to already tried and tested online platforms and can check delivery progress, and product shipping reports, and facilitate easy billing, payment processing, and the placing of orders online.

In some instances, a widget can be added to a dealership’s online car inventory so that the cost of the home delivery can be easily added to the sale price of the car. When a dealer can offer home delivery, it allows them to expand in their local market and compete on a wider national level.   

What transport companies can do to help dealers

As well as the changes in the car purchasing process, there have also been some changes in the way dealerships buy cars for their inventories. 

Following the pandemic, residual car values sky-rocketed and industry experts are predicting that wholesale values will stay high for some time. This has led to problems for dealers when it comes to maintaining their stock levels. 

In many cases, dealerships are starting to buy more cars directly from consumers. There has also been an increase in the purchasing inventory from online auctions. Dealers are also expanding the geographical area in which they might have historically bought cars. 

This change in buying strategy means dealers have to have a strong logistical partner and a trusted relationship with an auto transport company like SGT Auto Transport

Looking to the future, car dealerships need to forge relationships with an auto transport company they can trust. It will help them be more successful in the online car-buying market and widen their geographical buying and selling areas. 

If you’re a dealership that wants to know more about what is offered, keep reading for more information about car shipping for dealerships.  

What is car transport for dealerships?

It is an auto transport service designed specifically with car dealerships in mind. One of our approved carriers picks up vehicles on your behalf and transports them quickly, safely, and at an affordable price. We can arrange such a service locally and nationwide, depending on your needs.   

How does it work?

When it comes to shipping cars for dealerships, the process couldn’t be simpler. All it takes is three steps:

1. Get a quote and book your order

The first step is to get a quote for your car shipping service. You can use our online quote calculator or speak with one of our shipping advisors.

Get an instant quote

To get your quote you must provide some details. You enter your pick-up city and state, delivery city and state, vehicle make, model, and year, condition of the vehicle, transport type, and first available shipping date. 

After entering these details, you’ll receive your quote almost instantly. Every quote you get from us is fully inclusive. There’s nothing extra to pay because insurance and taxes are all included.  

2. We arrange for a carrier to pick up your vehicle/s

The carrier contacts you a few hours before the pre-arranged pick-up to confirm the details and check someone will be available when they arrive. It doesn’t have to be you. It can be someone you trust, as long as they’re 18 years old or over. 

Something else the carrier needs to check is that your location is safe and legal for large commercial vehicles. If the location is your dealership, it likely won’t be a problem. However, if the street is narrow, there are overhanging branches or power lines, you may need to arrange a more suitable pick-up point.

When the car transporter for dealerships arrives, you have to closely inspect the vehicle(s), noting any damage on the Bill of Lading. You and the driver sign this important document and you’ll be given a copy. 

Once the paperwork side of things is out of the way, the vehicle or vehicles are loaded onto the trailer. The driver heads off and you’ll be regularly updated on the progress of your shipment. We can arrange for regular updates by phone, email, or Live Chat.    

3. You or a customer receives your vehicle/s

After a few days, depending on the distance, you receive a call from the carrier to let you know they’re almost at the final destination. They need to check that you or your representative will be available. If you’re shipping a car to a customer, this is who you nominate to accept the delivery.

Upon delivery, the condition of the vehicle must be checked against the Bill of Lading. If everything is in order, the Bill of Lading is signed and the vehicle accepted. If you didn’t pay in full at the time of the booking and chose a Discounted Cash Price, this is also when any outstanding balance must be paid.  

How much does it cost?

The cost of getting a car delivered to a customer or transported to your dealership from the other side of the country depends on several things. Here are some examples:

  • Size of the vehicle: The size of the vehicle you want to ship affects the average cost of car shipping. The larger the vehicle, the higher price you have to pay. This is because they take up more space on the trailer and are heavier. 
  • The distance you need to ship the vehicle: This factor isn’t going to come as a surprise. Of course, it’s going to cost more the further your vehicle travels. Mileage rates tend to vary, depending on the auto transport company you choose. It’s a good idea to request quotes from a few different companies and check the price per mile. 
  • Type of car shipping service: There are commonly two options when it comes to the type of car shipping service: open car transport and enclosed auto transport. An open carrier is a more affordable option if you want to ship multiple cars. However, if the car you want to ship is particularly high-end or rare, enclosed auto transport might be a better option. It provides 100% protection from the elements, dirt, dust, and traffic grime. However, it is 30% to 40% more expensive. 
  • Time of the year: There are peaks and troughs in the auto transport industry. Services are more expensive when they’re in demand. However, booking your shipment in an area that experiences bad weather can also increase the cost of shipping cars. 
  • Delivery time frame: If you want to book auto transport at the last minute or want your transport service rushed, you’ll have to pay more. If you can be flexible in your pick-up and delivery dates, the price will be lower. 
  • How many vehicles you need to ship: If you’re shipping more than one vehicle, you may be entitled to a discount on the overall price. 

If you’re a dealer who wants to know more about the services we offer, pick up the phone and speak with our shipping advisors. Call (864) 546-5038 or use our Live Chat option. 


How do car dealerships grow?

A dealership that wants to grow their car dealership should try the following:

  • Develop a marketing strategy
  • Build its reputation
  • Be more efficient
  • Know everything there is to know about the cars on your lot
  • Know your buyers and what they want to buy
  • Provide the best customer service
  • Offer home delivery

How are cars shipped to dealerships?

In most cases, cars are shipped to dealerships using open car transport. Cars are shipped in open trailers, up to 12 at a time, depending on the size, shape, and skill of the driver.

How does shipping a car work?

The process of shipping a car is a very straightforward one. You schedule a time for your vehicle to be picked up. The carrier arrives to collect your vehicle, transports it across the country, and then delivers it to your chosen destination.

How do car manufacturers ship cars?

Every year, almost 75% of new cars and light trucks purchased in the US are moved by rail. The other option that’s used is to move new cars and light trucks by truck and trailer.  

How does Toyota transport its cars?

Toyota uses a variety of methods for transporting its cars, from rail and sea freight to overland auto transport services.

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