How Can I Ship a Car I Bought Online?

By on February 6, 2014

Vehicle shipping

Today’s car buyers are typically a tech-savvy bunch, which explains why an estimated 15 million cars are sold on the internet every year. Purchasing a vehicle online is easy, and there are no salespeople to haggle and no dealership fees to fork over, making it appealing to buyers of all types. Plus, web-based car browsing means you’re able to search a wider variety of autos than the used lots in your city or town could ever offer. Online car buying is of great interest to collectors of rare and hard-to-find cars especially.

But the biggest drawback to purchasing a new, used or collectible vehicle online is how you have to coordinate the shipping to get it from Point A (the seller) to Point B (your driveway). Say your seller lives in Seattle and you’re all the way in Upstate New York. How can you even begin to figure out the logistics of that car, truck or motorcycle shipping route?

You could always fly out to Seattle, then drive the car cross country back to Syracuse, but that’s a 7,200-mile trip. The national average cost of gas these days is hovering around $3.27 per gallon, making it a $8,800 return trip (not even factoring in the cost of the plane ticket). Suddenly, vehicle shipping sounds like a much more convenient (and much more affordable) option.

Here are the basics of getting your new ride from the seller’s lot to your driveway.

Choosing a Carrier

There are a few options you can go with when it comes to covering your car, truck or motorcycle shipping needs. First up are open multi-carriers which can transport scores of cars all at once, which slows down the pace of the service but offers an affordable price. Similarly, enclosed multi-carriers tend to be safer, more dependable auto shipping options, but they can often be significantly more expensive. There are also hot shots, which are smaller carriers engineered for only a few cars — but these tend to be the most expensive of all.

Working with a Broker

Car transport companies
will always allow their carriers to fill up before sending them off to their destinations. This makes sense, as these services need to be able to make as much money as they can. In order to get a spot guaranteed in one of the carriers, though, you’ll likely have to go through a broker, someone who coordinates empty spots between the carriers and consumers like you. This is where prices tend to get a bit steep, no matter whether you’re focusing on auto, truck or motorcycle shipping. The more last-minute the purchase, the more you’re likely to pay a broker to get you a spot.

Before you take any steps toward shipping a new or used vehicle, it helps to understand exactly what the process is going to entail. Consider this an overview, not a step-by-step guide. For more information, get in touch with an experienced professional auto shipping company today.

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