How Shipping Cars Between Dealerships Helps You Sell More Cars

As the owner of a car dealership, you’d understand that the industry remains in a constant state of change. From sales trends to buyer habits and marketing strategies, you need to be constantly analysing the market to stay on top of the latest trends and insights.

Of course, car dealerships have all been impacted by the global pandemic, like so many other businesses in the Australia. Some of these impacts have been negative while others positive.

Prior to the crisis many people were moving away from owning vehicles and turning to ride shares and public transportation to get around. But this trend has shifted as more people buy vehicles online, having them shipped by auto transport companies.

Keep reading as we take a look at how consumer car buying behaviours have changed over the past couple of years and how professional car transport companies are making cars more accessible to everyone.

Car Transport Companies

As more consumers make the decision to purchase their own vehicle, they’re searching farther and wider than ever before to find the perfect ride. Gone are the days of purchasing a car from a local dealership.

Now, people check online for great car deals available across the country.

Of course, the difference between a deal and a steal often comes down to other factors. In this case, how much it will cost to transport the car to you.

That said, affordable car transport is just one factor in the equation. Going with the cheapest service could put a consumer at risk of an unsatisfactory experience.

Instead, customers must find the sweet spot between a great deal and a service that’s reliable ad experienced.

Fortunately, there are some ways that you and your customers can suss out the best auto transport service for your current needs.

Gather Multiple Quotes

Like any other product or service in life, you need to comparison shop before making a decision about the auto transport company that you wish to use. How do you do this when it comes to auto moving companies?

The largest auto transport companies should provide free, no-obligation transport quotes on their website. All you need to do is fill out some basic information like car make and model and you pickup and delivery locations to get a quote.

Many smaller car carriers may not have the technical expertise to create a fully automated quoting system so it may be difficult to find online. With Car Transport Services, you’re able to get quotes from multiple carriers; both large and niche, with just a single request.

Gathering at least two to three transport quotes will give you a better sense of what these companies are charging for relocation services. Remember that when you’re researching the fair market value for moving a car, the more flexible you are with dates, the better the price.

The Type of Service You Request

If you’re working with a narrow budget, the cheapest way to ship a car is generally on an open carrier with a depot-to-depot service. We say “generally” because there are some situations in which shipping services (by sea) can come in cheaper as can a door-to-door services – especially when handled by smaller carriers.

What do we mean by an open carrier?

These are the types of carriers you often see on the road transporting between eight and ten vehicles. They don’t shield cars from the elements or road hazards. So, there is a risk (less than 1%) of dents and chips to the paint.

But this risk is comparable to that of a daily driver on the freeway. Open carriers costs typically 3- to 60 percent less than an enclosed carrier. So, this service stands to save your dealership plenty of money.

If you choose to have a car shipped to a regional depot or spot instead of your dealership, you can save additional money. Of course, as a dealership owner, the convenience of having a car delivered to your site makes paying a little more well worth it. This service is known as door-to-door.

Let’s talk for a moment about how you choose to have a car transported.

Are there ever times when you should spend the extra money to go with an enclosed carrier?

Reserve enclosed carriers for the highest-end vehicles such as exotics, antiques, and race cars.

As you’ve already guessed, these cars costs hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. As a result, they require a specialised white glove service.

They also necessitate a greater amount of insurance than your average commuter, so, whether or not you go with an enclosed service ultimately depends on the actual value of the vehicle.

Shipping Cars Between Dealerships

Has a customer ever asked, “Can a dealership ship a car to another dealer?” If so, you’re not alone. This is a common question for individuals who find a car at one location and wish to have it brought into a more convenient one.

This question comes up often when you have a customer who doesn’t want something on your lot. A common practice, this permits one dealership to work with another to help a customer.

For example, if you have a customer who finds a vehicle they like online, and it’s headed to another dealership, you can make arrangements to receive the car and sell it. Known as a dealer trade, this happens all the time in the business.

Since customers will handle most if not all of the paperwork before the actual trade takes place, it’s also a handy way to bring extra revenues in to your dealership. That said, you’ll need to let your customer know this service isn’t free.

How much should you charge to facilitate a dealer trade? Most dealerships require between $500 and $1,000 for the service. That said, some dealerships don’t charge any money.

This latter situation usually occurs when the price go the vehicle in question provides wiggle room to handle the additional service. It remains in your best interest as a dealership to facilitate these trades because it translates into getting commissions more rapidly.

Again, you’ll want to find a reasonable shipping company to work with. Otherwise, the money you make on the transaction could get eaten up in relocation costs.

Other Ways to Save Money When Shipping a Car from A Dealership

When it comes to professional auto transport, we’ve already discussed a few strategies for saving money. They include opting for an open carrier and a depot-to-depot service. We also mentioned the importance of flexibility with shipping dates.

Just like booking air travel, when you can work within a range of dates rather than one specific date, you’ll have the leeway necessary to receive the best deal. You’ll save the most money when you tell the carrier to fit the transport service at their convenience into their schedule.

While we understand this isn’t always possible when working with the public, keep it in mind. Again, the earlier you make shipping arrangements, the more likely you’ll be to get a good deal.

What’s another great tip for saving money on shipping? If possible, arrange to transport vehicles during the off season.

This could literally save you hundreds of dollars on each service.

What’s the peak season for the auto relocation industry? Roughly, it falls between November and March – when most people prefer to move.

As for the slow season, it runs from May through September. July’s shipping rate will prove substantially lower than that of January. So, if you can get a customer to plan ahead a bit, you can save both your dealership and them significant bucks.

You may also wish to consider working an auto transport broker. Brokers have access to all sorts of carriers nationwide. As a result, they also have access to the best deals around.

That said, a cheaper price might also mean a less reliable the service.

Again, remaining proactive and planning as far ahead as possible remains your best bet when it comes to quality car transport.

How to Get a Car Shipped from a Dealership

As you can see, working with auto transport companies permits you to service the needs of your customers in many different ways. Not only can you sell vehicles to them online, but you can also facilitate car trades between dealerships.

In the process, you stand to gain a share of the profit, and you also bring more business to your dealership. Once customers have a better understanding of the superior services you provide, you’ll gain more traffic.

Of course, the process of car trades requires cultivating working relationships with other dealerships. So, take the time to network and build these relationships ahead of time. That way, the whole process will go more smoothly.

Grow your relationship with an auto transport company or broker, too. The more you rely on their services for your dealership, the better the discounts they’ll be able to offer you.

What’s more, when your dealership becomes a regulate part of their route they’ll be able to provide you with a faster service, which is a win-win for you and your customers. Are you ready to find out more about car moving companies?

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Customer Success Story

Why Car Transport Services Exists Today!

When I had to move my car from Melbourne to Perth, the journey of finding the right transportation service felt almost as daunting as the 3,400 km drive itself. Through trial and error, a bit of luck, and a few missteps, I learned a great deal about how to select the best service for such a task. Here’s my experience, and I hope it can guide you smoothly through your own process.

Start with Research

The first thing I learned was the importance of research. Initially, I made the rookie mistake of choosing the first service that popped up in my Google search results. Big mistake. The company had hidden fees I hadn’t anticipated, and the service was far from satisfactory. What I learned was to dig deeper. Read reviews on multiple platforms, ask for recommendations from friends or family who’ve undertaken similar moves, and don’t skip on checking the forums where real customers discuss their experiences.

Check for Licensing and Insurance

One good decision I made was ensuring the company was licensed and insured. Insurance is important. Transporting a vehicle across such a long distance has its risks, and you want to ensure that your car is covered in case of any mishaps. Verify the transporter's accreditation with transport authorities and ensure they have valid insurance that covers your vehicle during the transit. This gave me peace of mind, knowing my car was in safe hands.

Compare Quotes

Getting multiple quotes was another area where I initially faltered. I assumed all prices would be roughly the same and didn’t bother shopping around. However, after a pricey quote from the first company, I decided to get several more. The price differences were significant, and some companies offered more comprehensive services at lower costs. Always compare quotes from at least three to five companies. This not only gives you a better idea of the price range but also allows you to negotiate better terms.

Understand the Service Types

I wasn’t aware initially, but there are different types of car transport services: door-to-door, terminal-to-terminal, open carrier, and enclosed carrier. Each has its pros and cons. I chose an open carrier for its cost-effectiveness, but in retrospect, considering the long journey across Australia, an enclosed carrier would have been better to protect my car from the elements. Understanding these options beforehand helps in making a more informed decision based on your needs and budget.

Communication is Key

One of the best decisions I made was selecting a company that had excellent communication practices. They provided updates at every major juncture of the journey, which eased my anxiety. Ensure that the company you choose has a point of contact who is reachable and willing to update you throughout the process. This is vital for peace of mind and to ensure that any issues are quickly addressed.

Timing and Flexibility

I learned the hard way that flexibility is key when transporting a car such a long distance. The initial service I chose promised a delivery within a week, but it ended up taking more than two weeks, which disrupted my plans significantly. Ask about the expected delivery times and check if the company can offer guarantees or compensation if they exceed the estimated delivery times.

Avoid Rush Decisions

A bad decision I made was rushing into booking without fully understanding the terms and conditions. This led to unexpected charges for additional services I wasn’t aware I had agreed to. Take your time to read the fine print or have someone else review it. Make sure you understand every aspect of the service contract.

What I Wish I Knew

If I knew then what I know now, I would have placed more emphasis on checking customer feedback about their post-service experience, especially regarding how companies handle damage claims and disputes. Knowing a company's track record in these areas can save you from potential headaches if something goes wrong.

Open vs Enclosed Car Transport

Open car carrier with new vehicles

Open Car Transport

Open car transport involves shipping vehicles in an open-air trailer, exposing them to weather and road conditions.

This method is cost-effective and widely available, making it a popular choice for transporting vehicles quickly and economically.

The main benefits include lower costs due to multiple vehicles being transported simultaneously and quicker delivery times. However, the downside is the potential risk of damage from environmental elements and road debris.

moving cars in an enclosed car carrier

Enclosed Car Transport

Enclosed car transport uses fully enclosed trailers to provide maximum protection for vehicles against weather, theft, and damage during transit.

This method is preferable for high-value, classic, or luxury vehicles requiring extra security. Enclosed transport is more expensive and less readily available but offers higher insurance coverage and peace of mind.

Specialised services include GPS tracking and expert handling, ensuring vehicles are delivered safely and discretely.

Find out more