15 Ways to Get Cheap Car Shipping in 2024 and Beyond

Scoring a deal on low cost car shipping isn't just about chasing the cheapest price out there. With auto transport companies, quality and reliability are the real MVPs here along with a fair market price.

Choosing to ship a car with a auto transport company also doesn't have to break the bank either. The key to affordable car shipping lies in understanding industry insider tips and making an informed decision if what choices you have out there.

So if you need to ship your car across the country or just a couple of states away, buckle up. We're here to load you up with 15 money savvy auto transport industry tips to make sure that, no matter where you're at or what your budget looks like, you can pay the least possible to car shipping companies.

1. Timing is Everything

Shipping during the off-season can lead to lower prices. Avoid busy times like summer or the end-of-year holidays with demand and prices peak your car shipping costs.

2. Gather Multiple Price Quotes

Begin your research by requesting many car shipping quotes from various companies. This step not only gives you a glimpse into the going rates but also positions you to negotiate better deals with car shipping companies. You'll see who's high and who's low, finding cheap car shipping services that are within a range between reputable companies. As a rule, never opt for the chepeast car shipping company you see.

choose open instead of enclosed to save money

3. Choose Open Transport

When it comes to shipping options, open car transport is your wallet's best friend. It's significantly cheaper than enclosed auto transport and is the go-to choice for most standard vehicle moves. It is also the cheapest way to ship a car whether terminal to terminal shipping or door to door service. (More on those in a moment.)

4. Flexibility Pays Off

Be adaptable with your pickup and delivery location as well as timeframes. Being open to a more accessible location, even if it means a bit of a drive from your exact destination, can lead to substantial savings. Not being tied down to a specific date also will allow you to save money when using a car transport company.

hire driver directly

5. Be Your Own Broker - Hire a Carrier Directly

Engaging directly with a transport carrier might save you money on a vehicle shipment. The biggest complaint people make how hard it can be to find one. The savings may be negligible over a broker but may be worth it to shave a few extra dollars off the cost to ship.

transport brokers working

6. Hire a Car Shipping Broker

Brokers have the advantage of negotiating on your behalf and handling the logistics, potentially providing you with the cheapest car shipping cost. Working with brokers can be the cheapest way to ship a car, however some brokers might toss out a killer deal that sounds too good with the intent on upping the price later if a carrier doesn't take their lowball offer. If you refuse to let the price go up, you may wait days, even weeks. They may not use reputable trucks that have to take lower fees due to complaints from other brokers.

7. Terminal-to-Terminal is Cheaper

The number one cheap auto transport option! Using open transport and opting for terminal-to-terminal shipping can be more economical than door-to-door open carrier service. It requires a bit more effort on your part but can significantly reduce the overall cost if you are willing to go drop off and pick up your car. It is much more common with open auto transport and not often seen with enclosed transport.

local tow company taking cars

8.Hire a Local Towing Company or Tow Truck

This only works for short distances. Usually after 100-200 miles, you begin to pay a premium for shipping a car on a tow truck. Ask your local tow company for rates and see if it's the cheapest way to ship for you.

empty car

9. Empty Your Vehicle

Preparing your car by making sure it has no more than 100 lbs of personal items can save money when it comes to extra fees for the weight these items can add. Having your car loaded to the max can increase car shipping prices.

10. Leverage Discounts

Don't hesitate to ask for discounts. Many companies offer reductions for military personnel, return customers, or multiple vehicles.

reputation confirmation

11. Reputation Counts

Choose a company with a solid reputation. That saves money because you aren't booking a bad actor and saves time which can also cost you money not having a vehicle. While it's tempting to go with the lowest offer, reliability and quality service should never be compromised.

2 cars ready to ship together

12. Ship More than One Car

If you have multiple cars , aim to ship them together. Often both brokers and carriers will lower fees to take more than one car because both are coming from and going to the same location.

roll on roll off overseas

13. Roll-on/Roll-off Saves (Overseas Shipping)

If you're looking to cut costs, the roll-on/roll-off method is a budget-friendly choice. This approach involves driving your car onto the ship at port, as opposed to container shipping, which is pricier.

drive away auto shipping

14.Driveaway Auto Shipping Companies

Depending on the distance and circumstances, you may save money with a driveaway service. For example, if you hav pets, you do not have to get a separate pet transport. Another example is if you can fit your moving items in the vehicle, a driveaway can take a car that's full of your items without a problem. The obvious drawback is wear and tear on your car.

moving company taking car and household

15: Bundle with Your Moving Company

Often, moving companies can broker auto transport or have longstanding partnerships where thanks to repeat business, the auto shipping company passes on savings to you through your mover. If moving, ask you mover if they have a trusted auto shipper that provides them discounts thanks to their business relationship with them. Just as you would any other company, do your research on reputation. Sometimes these bundles are made for monetary reasons rather than quality at times.

Bonus Tip

No matter how good the deal, never skimp on cargo insurance coverage to find cheap car shipping quotes. Make sure all car shipping costs include insurance!

A Word to the Wise

You get what you pay for in auto shipping. You may have seen that mentioned elsewhere. You goal is to find the cheapest car shipping company that will move your vehicle within a reasonable amount of time with a trackrecord of quality service. By combining these criteria, you will come out on top and ship your car cheaply and reliably too!

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, shipping your car with an auto transport company doesn't have to be an extravagant expense. With strategic planning, reputation check, flexibility, and a bit of research, you can find a service that meets both your needs and your budget.

Carl has a decade of experience in the car shipping industry. He has worked in nearly every aspect of the transport business since 2014, taking charge of various roles in the company such as dispatching, sales, and customer service.

During those years, Carl amassed an invaluable amount of experience which has contributed to his writing of every article and and guide on NX since taking over content in 2015.