How to Ship a Vehicle Online

Next to buying a home, cars and trucks are some of the most expensive investments most people will make. And with the boom in Internet vehicle sales, transporting these investments safely and securely has become increasingly important.

Expenses for shipping cars and trucks can vary greatly, depending if you hire a driver with an open-air trailer or an enclosed hauler. Generally, opting for open transport and booking as early as possible will yield the most reasonable price.

However, there are several factors that will affect the final cost:

Type of Vehicle Being Shipped: A bigger vehicle, like an SUV or large pickup truck, will increase the rate.

-The Price of Fuel: The volatile fluctuation of fuel costs can make a considerable difference in shipping costs of heavy items like vehicles.

-Is the Vehicle Operable? Car and trucks that can be driven onto a trailer are obviously easier to deal with for the driver. Those not in running condition require more manpower, specialized equipment and command an increased fee.

By far, the biggest cost factor in vehicle shipping is the distance involved. Time in transit can vary by the season of the year, popularity of the route and the type of truck being used. Transportation group AAA have released some general times to expect delivery from different regions:

East Coast to West Coast – 5 to 14 days

Midwest to East Coast     – 3 to 8 days

Midwest to West Coast   – 3 to 8 days

South to North                   – 3 to 8 days

Finally, you must prepare your vehicle for shipping. Be sure there is a least ¼ tank of fuel and there are no leaks from transmission, cooling or brake lines.

“Owners really have to get their car ready for transport,” according to eight-year online shipping veteran Maurice Vaughn. “Besides looking for leaks, the tires should be properly inflated because we’ll secure straps around them.”

Although some shippers don’t allow personal items in the vehicle, Vaughn says it not a problem for him.

“If it’s a little something extra I can do for my customer, I don’t have a problem with it.”

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