Anyone had a car shipped? Any advice?

I’m moving from CT to IL soon. Since I’m being reimubursed for the costs, I was planning on flying out and having my car shipped. I had started making arrangements with the folks who are moving my apartment, but they just informed me that it’ll take between 2 and 15 :eek: days for the car to arrive. What’s up with that? They quoted me around $1k.

I’m now thinking that it might be easier to drive myself, but if I can set up things with another shipping company soon (I’m leaving around the end of the month) then I will.

Have any of you done this before? Do you have any advice? I’d rather use those 2 days visiting people rather than driving.

I bought a kit car off of ebay, and since it wasn’t really drivable I had it shipped to me. It took forever to arrive, and when something got screwed up I had to wait an additional week for another chance to have it shipped. You really have to work on their shedule, and not yours. Most of these companies have trucks that drive all around picking up and dropping off cars. You have to wait until the truck just happens to be close enough to your area that they can swing by and pick it up. Depending on where other cars go they are carrying, they may take a detour to say Kentucky or Arkansas before ending up at your destination. Hence the really long times. Once it gets close to shipping time they can usually give you fairly accurate pickup and delivery dates.

$1k is a fair price. My first gut instinct is that it would cost about $800 or $900, so you’re in the right ballpark.

They charge more for carrying it covered vs. uncovered. Uncovered they basically just shove it on the back of a flatbed trailor. If you’ve got a show car or something this would totally screw your car over, but if it’s a car that would be driving down the highway anyway I can’t really see where there’s much of a difference between the dirt and bugs that will hit it from being on a truck vs. the dirt and bugs that will hit it if you had just driven it. Then again, if you are unlucky enough that a stone comes up and cracks the windshield, if it was uncovered I think the shipping company basically says tough noogies. You’re on your own.

I’ve heard that there are also companies that you can hire that will drive your car somewhere for you. You basically have to pay for their time plus their bus ticket back home. Since you don’t have to wait around for a truck like you would with a traditional shipping company your car gets to where it needs to be faster. I don’t have any personal experience with these types of companies, though.

When we moved from Toronto to Calgary (about 2000 miles by road), we shipped our car. It was worth it.

IIRC, the cost was somewhere between $800 and $900, and that got us:

– Door-to-door service. They picked up the car at our home in Toronto, and delivered it to our home in Calgary.

– A schedule that was convenient to us. “We can pick up the car this week; you choose the day.” Same for delivery. As it was, I believe the car was “in transit” about eight days.

– Inspection on pickup and delivery. They made sure that we knew about any scratches or dings before they picked up the car. Coupled with the delivery inspection using the pickup inspection documents, it was easy to tell if the car had been damaged while in transit. It wasn’t, but if it had been, they would have paid for any repairs.

– A record of the mileage. Between pickup and delivery, there was only about one kilometer on the odometer. That would have been shunting it around rail yards and on and off truck trailers. Nice to know that it was actually shipped, and not driven by one of the shipper’s guys.

Sure, I guess they’re just covering themselves with the inspection and the mileage, but it was a good idea.

I guess it depends. We had a lot of stuff to move, and there were an number of things to think about/worry about/be concerned with. At least by shipping the car, we had no worries once it had been picked up and was on its way. The cost, in the opinion of my wife and I, was worth it.

We recently purchased a car from a dealer in Oklahoma and had it shipped to Ohio. We’re not crazy, we just couldn’t get the car we wanted – a very specific dual-fuel CNG/gasoline model – anywhere else.

The dealer recommended Dependable Auto Shippers ( to us. He’s used them before, since he specializes in CNG vehicles and ships quite frequently. He had wonderful things to say about them.

Their original quote, door-to-door was about $1000. Mr. Stuff talked to them about possibly picking up the car in a major city, and the price dropped to about $675. This would have meant adjusting our schedule to fit theirs and being willing to drive about an hour each way. We confirmed with them to do so, but then reversed our decision. Money was refunded with zero hassle.

What happened with us is that the dealer called back and had his own truck going to Indiana. He said if we could pick the car up in Indiana, he’d charge us $400 to add it to the load that was going out. It worked for us because our brother-in-law’s cousin runs a nursing home where we were able to have them deliver the car for most of a week without charge or worry. Over the weekend, said brother-in-law and sister were driving out to Indiana to attend graduation parties of relatives. We hitched a ride with them, they drove 10 miles out of their way, and we drove our car home.

So … if you don’t have that combination of relatives and circumstances, you probably can’t get it done for $400, but if you’re willing to go to a drop off point on a particular day, you might be able to save a few bucks. It’s worth asking, anyway, if you have the flexibility.

I’ve shipped two cars. Both times it cost me ~$500. I shopped around on the internet (set up an e-mail account solely for this, because of spam), and got quotes from ~ $1300-500.

It was pretty straight forward, and although there was a bit of a lag, it wasn’t too bad.