The True Cost of Cheap Car Transport

A cheap car transport quote may look good on paper but don’t necessarily go with a company purely based on their quotes because you may end up being surprised.

Going cheap is being smart, right?

After all, you get the same quality for less.

If you were purchasing a household item, this could be true but in the auto transport industry, it doesn’t necessarily follow.

Paying less does not always give you the same quality of service you expect and, as the saying goes, “going cheap could become more expensive”. Especially in terms of money and time.

That’s not so say you should go with a ridiculously expensive car shipping company, but we do suggest to invest some time researching the companies you are getting quotes from.

Don’t Be Fooled By Cheap Car Transport Quotes

Many companies make promises they can’t deliver. They will give you a cheap quote just to earn your business and when it’s time to ship your vehicle, they can’t deliver on the transport service.

By this time you’ve probably already made your booking, signed their paperwork and the next thing you know “yes you can cancel your order but your cancellation fee is…“Ouch!”

Give as much information upfront about your move prior to booking your transport. This way the transport company will have all the necessary information to properly quote and does not try to bait and switch.

Some important information you should discuss includes:

  • Vehicle Type – Car, truck, travel trailer, boat, caravan etc.
  • Moving Date – Deadlines for pickup and/or delivery.
  • Transport Type – Open or enclosed.
  • Vehicle Condition – Does your vehicle run? Is it drivable? Additional fees may apply.

In reality, cheap car transport does not always mean safe car transport.

Most Affordable Vehicle Transport Services

Open transport is the most affordable and most used method by customers. It is almost always the cheapest way to ship a car. You get the same quality of service and it also includes bumper to bumper insurance or warranty for your vehicle while in transit.

While there is not one single company that can claim to be the most affordable in the industry, there are ways to help bring the price down.

Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts as some transport companies offer discounts for:

  • Early Bird – Book your transport in advance.
  • Multiple Vehicles – You are helping fill up the truck, a discount would be nice.
  • Senior Citizen – You have paid your dues, now it is time for a break.
  • Return Customer – You are a returning customer, you deserve a discount.
  • Student – You’re investing in yourself already and money is tight.
  • Defence Personnel – “Thank you” for your service.

As mentioned before, be careful going with a company based exclusively on their quotes.

Instead, do due diligence and research companies. How long have they been in business? What do customers say about them? Will they be available to answer your questions.

Remember that shipping a car is not cheap, but you do get what you pay for.

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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