5 Tricks For Finding Affordable Car Shipping in 2023

You might have to get creative, but it’s possible to find great affordable car shipping deals.

Key Takeaways:

  • Car shipping can be expensive.
  • Following experts’ tips can help cut costs.
  • Staying flexible and shopping around helps.
  • Using an auto-transport broker streamlines the process.

There are many reasons for shipping a vehicle to another part of the country. 

In many scenarios, putting the car on a transport truck and flying to your destination is the safer, more convenient option. Other times, it’s a matter of necessity as you move all your belongings when starting work or college in another state.

No matter why you’re transporting a vehicle, finding a good deal is a priority; no one wants to overpay. Prices can fluctuate significantly in the auto-transport industry; carriers set their prices based on demand and availability. This means saving money is possible if you correctly time your shopping.

Here are five tips to help you secure affordable car shipping from your carrier in 2023.

Tip 1: Consider The Low Season

Like airlines and hotels, auto-transport prices tend to drop during the off-season. Generally, the busiest time for car shipping is in the summer, so you can expect to pay a premium when seeking this service between June and August. 

However, if you can wait a few months and ship your vehicle between December and February, you can save a significant amount of money.

The rest of the year is considered shoulder season, where you won’t pay the summer premium, but also won’t receive the winter discount.

Tip 2: Make Yourself Flexible

When booking this service, staying as flexible as possible makes it easier to find affordable car shipping. You might discover a carrier offering an excellent last-minute deal, even when shipping during peak season.

Look for flexible pick-up and delivery locations in your surrounding area. For example, if you live in a suburban community outside a major city, there is a good chance available carriers will charge less if you can meet them at a central location. Driving 30 minutes to meet a carrier near an Interstate could mean lower rates.

Being flexible with pick-up and delivery times can save money under some circumstances. If you have precise pick-up and delivery windows, your carrier will likely charge a premium to meet the deadline. However, fitting your delivery into the carrier’s schedule can eliminate this premium and reduce your expenses.

It’s worth noting that the carrier is unlikely to meet your deadline; there are so many variables on the road, and most drivers won’t guarantee a specific delivery time. You aren’t missing out on much by staying flexible, but you could save some money.

Tip 3: Go Terminal-To-Terminal

Yes, door-to-door car shipping is incredibly convenient because the carrier will collect your vehicle at your house and deliver it to your specified destination. This service prevents you from finding your way to and from the shipping terminals in both locations.

However, door-to-door shipping is also more expensive because it’s far less convenient for the driver and takes more of their time. Terminal-to-terminal shipping costs less because the carrier won’t have to travel through residential neighborhoods to complete the pick-up and delivery. It’s worth mentioning, though, that there could be storage costs if you leave your vehicle at the terminal for too long, and there are fewer terminal-to-terminal carriers available.

Tip 4: Opt For an Open Carrier

Vendors typically offer three auto transport types: open, enclosed, and flatbed.

Enclosed trailers offer the safest mode of transportation because they offer complete protection from the elements, road debris, and vandalism. If you have a classic or expensive vehicle and don’t want to risk damage, an enclosed trailer might be worth the investment.

You probably won’t require flatbed transportation unless you’re shipping an oversized vehicle that won’t fit on an open or enclosed trailer. This method is often the most expensive and typically has the most extended wait times because it’s the least common option.

Going with an open trailer could save you some money because they’re the most common and easiest carriers to find. About 90% of all car shipments travel on open trailers, giving you nearly unlimited options when seeking quotes and allowing you to shop around for the best deal.

Tip 5: Get Multiple Quotes

When shopping around for the best car-shipping price, seek multiple quotes before selecting a carrier. Once you know when you’ll need to ship your vehicle, start seeking quotes online and comparing them. It’s a good idea to get at least three quotes before selecting one. Feel free to try multiple dates to see if you can find a better deal by waiting a week or two. 

You might also use the services of an auto transport broker. They have access to hundreds of carriers nationwide and provide options that meet your needs. Using a broker ensures you’re receiving the best possible price; reputable brokers also vet carriers to limit your risk throughout shipping.

Using a Car Shipping Broker

Securing the services of an auto-transport broker is the most straightforward way to find affordable car shipping. A reputable broker will post your vehicle on its network; licensed and insured carriers can view the job and present offers. It’s then up to you to accept one of the bids.

Mercury Auto Transport is a car-shipping broker that can help you save money when shipping a vehicle. We connect licensed, bonded carriers and car owners, guaranteeing your price and avoiding hidden fees. Contact Mercury Auto Transport to speak with a representative or receive your free quote.


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What Our Customrs Are Saying


We feel it’s important for you to know how we determined your quote. Quotes are based on what the market demands for cars to be moved at a given time. Each quote is compared with the current rates on the National Load Board before being sent to our customers and will be reviewed periodically through the process.

Other companies might offer you a lower price to obtain your business. This method is ineffective because if the car does not pay the correct amount of money, it will run the probability of not getting loaded or transported on time. You will not get this information from our competitors. Truck drivers always take the loads that pay the most first, leaving the loads that are mispriced to be moved last or not at all. We try very hard to avoid this with our customers by quoting a fair but realistic quote up front. Visit our How we determine your quote page for more information.

Understanding auto transport insurance is important and we think it’s valuable to explain how it works. As part of providing a great car transport service, it is our job to guarantee that the carrier we assign to pickup your vehicle is licensed and insured. Click here to check out our license.

When you go with Mercury to ship your vehicle, you can rest assured that the carrier assigned to move your car is fully insured and licensed with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier and Saftey Administration).

Your vehicle is covered by the carrier’s insurance policy that is doing the shipping. Depending on the type and size of the truck/trailer that is shipping your car, the insurance policy can cover from $100,000 to $1,000,000 of damage.

We have also provided a checklist to explain what you need to do at both pickup and delivery in case there are any issues so, you can file a claim and know that everything will be taken care of.

It is rare but, time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit and it is good to know that your carrier’s insurance will protect your auto shipment in that event.

To view a sample BOL (Bill of Lading) and learn what to do in case of accidental damage, please check out our Condition Report and Procedure checklist.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible.  

We feel it’s important for you to know how we determine your quote.

When you’re looking for a car shipping rate, you want to understand how auto transport works. Prices are based on seasonal market demands for cars to be moved at any given time. Each quote is prepared based on the season and the current national rates.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible. Not all brokers are created equal in this talent.

Mercury does a thorough background check with each carrier for every shipment. We verify their ratings, references, and in addition, we obtain a certified copy of their insurance certificate, directly from the government agency that it is on file with.

You can have peace of mind knowing that the carrier shipping your vehicle is the very best and that there are no surprises guaranteed.

Mercury Auto Transport is licensed, Bonded and Insured. Our FMSCA Motor Carrier Number is MC647319.

While we do our best match your auto shipping needs with the most responsible carriers with the best track records, from time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit, it is good to know that the insurance of the carrier we locate for you will protect your auto shipment in that event.

Shipping a vehicle can be stressful if you don’t know what to do.  This is why we believe it is paramount to have our highly trained agents be your main point of contact from start to finish.

They will go over everything you need to know so you can relax.  In the meanwhile, we prepared this checklist.  This includes everything from pickup to delivery and how to make sure your car is ready for pickup.

When it comes to car moving, we want you to be ahead of the game!  For any questions and further assistance our agents are standing by, (800) 553-1828.  Please read our checklist to prepare your vehicle to learn more.

There are several ways you can ship a car.  The options include enclosed trailer, open carrier transport, flatbed truck, door-to-door shipping services, and to or from a terminal as well.  The most popular of the options is a 7 to 10 car open carrier.  These large trucks can accommodate almost any size vehicle including carsSUVstrucksjeeps, and vans.

Open car transport, door to door is also the best way to get the cheapest auto transport rate possible.  To learn more and see what transport method is best for you, please fill out our free quote form and one of our representatives will respond to you within minutes.  You can also call us at (800) 553-1828.

We present offers from FMCSA Licensed and Insured Carriers. When you accept an offer, we send your service agreement that guarantees the price, door-to-door service, and 100% bumper-to-bumper insurance. There are never any hidden fees or charges, guaranteed.