How To Uncover Common Hidden Costs When Shipping Your Vehicle

Picture this: you’re making a big move. You’ve found your moving company, and hired an auto shipping company to take your vehicle. You’ve calculated how much you’ll need for your personal travel. You’ve made a detailed cost analysis so that you have a pretty accurate idea of how much this move will cost.

And then, BAM! You’re hit with a bill from your shipping company that has a few surprises in it, and your budget goes completely out of control.

Nobody likes these kinds of surprises.

That’s why at ShipLux, we pride ourselves on price transparency—which means accurate quotes with honest pricing and no hidden fees. Here are a few tips to help you with what to look for and what questions to ask when comparing shipping companies and getting price quotes.

4 Common Hidden Vehicle Shipping Costs

There are many variables that determine the cost of transporting a vehicle. A reputable company will go over all of them with you, and provide an accurate car shipping quote. However, untrustworthy companies can sometimes slip unexpected costs in without you knowing, leading to a much larger bill when you receive your vehicle.

Knowledge is power, and we’re here to provide you with the knowledge you need to protect yourself. 

 1. Transportation Method
Enclosed transport costs more than open carry. That fact is not hidden. However, sometimes dubious auto transporters quote you a price that is based on an open carrier, and then actually load your vehicle into a closed carrier, adding the cost of that to your final bill.

2. The State of Your Vehicle
Some vehicles need special equipment or treatment when it comes to loading them on a transport.
Factors that affect this include:

  • Size and weight of the vehicle
  • If it is functioning or not
  • If it has low ground clearance, which means that it needs to be loaded by a liftgate rather than a ramp
  • If it is an antique or unique vehicle

All of these variables can add to the cost of shipping your vehicle. However, a company with transparent pricing will ask you questions and get all of this information from you before giving you a price quote.

As long as you are open and honest with providing all of the information about your vehicle, there should be no surprises.

3. The Dimensions and Weight of Your Vehicle
As already mentioned, size matters. Larger, heavier vehicles cost more to ship. This does not mean that you have to go out and figure out these dimensions. If you provide the make, model, and year information, a car shipping company should be able to provide you with a fairly accurate estimate and explain how it will affect your costs.

If they can’t or don’t do that, you might want to consider another company. If you really want to find this information for yourself, here’s an article that explains how

As a side note, if you plan on shipping any belongings in your vehicle, this adds to the weight and the cost—most companies will charge an extra fee for that, and that information should be provided in the initial quote.

4. Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations
Factors like the remoteness of the area, the direction and distance you’re transporting your vehicle, whether you want door-to-door transport, or whether you’re using a terminal all affect the cost of shipping your car. While shipping door-to-door might cost a little more, there can be unexpected fees if your car is stored at a terminal for any period of time—thus raising the cost and perhaps surpassing the additional cost of door-to-door transport.

 Other Possible Hidden Fees
A clear and transparent price quote will not hide things like insurance or fuel surcharges. Fuel costs vary depending on the distance, the time of year, the direction, and the general cost of fuel—and a good auto shipping company will tell you this in advance.

Ask If Your Price Quote Is All-Inclusive
Whichever company you decide to hire to ship your vehicle, they should always provide an all-inclusive quote so that you don't have any surprises. It starts with doing research into the auto shipping companies that you’re considering. Evaluate customer reviews looking for any negatives of working with that particular company, especially searching for any complaints about cost where customers mention unexpected costs and hidden fees.

It’s also important to ask good questions and provide accurate information when seeking a quote from an auto shipping company. To help you do that, here’s a checklist of things you want to fully understand before you sign a contract and send your vehicle on its way:

uncover common hidden costs chart

Request An All-Inclusive Price Quote From ShipLux
Ultimately, it’s important to compare and contrast quotes from a variety of car shipping companies before you make a commitment with anyone. Ask questions. Look into reviews and complaints. Have an open discussion with the representatives of each company. That way, you can be sure that when you write the final check after receiving your vehicle, it won’t include any additional costs.

Whatever your shipping needs, start with ShipLux. Explore our services and request a guaranteed transparent shipping quote. We provide honest pricing, always - meaning no hidden fees, and clear explanations for any and all of your questions. Contact us today!