If you are just starting out in looking for car shipping rates, you will begin to see the differences in price, service, and getting it booked. Car shipping rates will normally vary within $100.00 +/- depending on who you speak to. From there you may also get some pricing that’s a little off from the others. Like maybe you are getting rates for about $550, $500, $575, $600, and then one for $375. Then maybe one hundreds higher than the rest, at let’s say $850. The question is then, how do you filter these? Well, we decided to put ourselves in the customer’s shoes and perform a real word test of how a customer will experience looking for quotes. Then we used our knowledge as an auto shipping company to pick apart the results so you know how to pick the right car shipping rate to go with.
Setting up an email and phone number, we wanted to see what our customers see when searching . We typed in “car shipping rates” in the search bar and began to look through the results.
Here we entered in our information. Email, phone number, etc. We picked this site because it would very quickly get our subject calls and emails with car shipping rates. Our test vehicle was a full size SUV that was shipping from Florida to California.
Note: We wanted to be considerate of everyone’s time. So we made few interactions and those that were made were very brief. We replied to all stating we are no longer looking for transport so they do not waste any time on our test subject.
Starting with the emails, we got 18 of which 5 went to spam. The first one arrived within 3 minutes of requesting the rate for car shipping. The rest came in pretty steady. The time stamps show the various emails as they came in with the rates. Some more than once from the same provider. Our app also emailed texts so there are a few that were not regular emails. Our test window was about an hour and half. The following were the results of our test.
Note: Do you find the amount of calls and emails in our test for getting car shipping rates overwhelming? Most people do. Although these sites aren’t necessarily bad because they give you several options, many get frustrated with all the calls and messages. To avoid this, always check to see if where you are getting your quote from is an actual company. If they advertise that you get multiple quotes or can compare rates, this is the result. Yesterday’s post was about that subject and a good read to help you get rates.
To not waste hard-working sales people’s time we did not bother taking many calls at all to get our car shipping rates since pretty much all of them sent an email. Our subject took three phone calls and asked a couple questions about down payment, insurance, obviously the rates, and delivery times. Interestingly, of the companies that reached out by phone to give us car shipping rates there were two that called three times in a row as marked by the red line on the call history log of the app we used. The screenshot at a time showed nine calls but we received a total of about 13. It also had trouble logging calls that came in while on another call and those didn’t come up on the history either. So that’s why we have a rough estimate and not an exact number on the calls until we shut it down.
The lowest price we received for our very nice SUV was an astonishing low of $800, with a steep high of $1555, and an average for the rest of the car shipping rates was from about $950-1000. So we can imagine why a customer would be pulling their hair out looking at these rates. (You may be wondering what we would charge. If this was our customer, our price in December would be $950-975 for a stock Tahoe or similar, non extended). What concerned us was the price of $800.00. That is far below wholesale. Not naming the company here, we searched the name of the firm that had the lowest car shipping rate and they had over 30 complaints with the BBB, Over 10 reviews giving them 1 (ONE) star on Yelp, They were also on Rip-Off Report. Complaints ranged from price increases to extra fees, even with a contract stating a lower price. So this is why the lowest price isn’t always the one to go with for your car shipping rates. Some of the other companies we researched had very little data, and some of the ones in the $1,000 range had decent reviews and marks from customers.
The representatives we spoke to were cordial and confident about their rates. They promised door to door. One specified that if it’s not physically possible they would meet at a another location for pickup. Although it makes perfect sense not everyone realizes it’s a 50 foot truck so that was good attention to detail. Still verify that this is all in writing on your contract. Of the three calls we took while getting together our car shipping rates, one told us we had to pay 30% up front to book before they did anything. This company had several complaints and was the most expensive at $1555. The others said they do not charge until they have a truck assigned which is what you should expect. All claimed the same delivery times of about 7-10 days which is accurate. None lied about insurance. All said that they would give a copy of it to our subject. The three we spoke with were detailed about what’s covered in the vehicle and if personal items can ride along. All the companies we received car shipping rates from were active on the FMCSA except for one company. You must be licensed to transport vehicles. This company had a similar name to another transporter that was properly licensed. We reversed searched the phone number, website ownership records, everything, and could not find information that could lead us to determine if this company was legitimate. We found this enough of a concern that we are adding it to our auto transport scams page in the near future, as it is possible that you may search a company by name and find the wrong information. Be sure when looking for a company to find the exact name when looking for reviews. (Note: It is possible that this transport company exists and has another parent company name etc., however we could not find it.)
So to recap:
- Be suspicious of the lowest quote of the bunch. Be sure to scrutinize that company. Look at reviews.
- Ask about hidden fees. Ask about delivery times. Ask about insurance. Ask if they give you a copy of insurance.
- Most expensive rate does not mean good service either. That’s just price gouging!
- Verify, Verify. Check the-exact-name of the company to assure you aren’t getting rates from a company copying a legitimate one.
- Although all stated door to door and no extra fees, make sure it’s in writing on the contract.
- Don’t want a flood of calls, emails, texts? Get rates directly from transport companies.
Does this mean you’ll pick us? Not really. But we sincerely hope that we can help you make a good choice, even if that choice doesn’t lead you to us.
Need more information? Aside form this blog we have several pages with great information! Check out the following links:
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Ship A Car?
Military Auto Transport
How Auto Transport Works
College Student Car Transport
Moving My Car – A How To Guide
Auto Transport Glossary
Auto Transport Quote – How to Get One
Shipping a Car Across the Country
Ship a Car to Another State
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