Motorcycles represent so many different things and serve many purposes for riders. Freedom. Speed. Passion. Friendship. Pure fun. You spend time and money to bring these things into your life, finding the perfect ride to fulfill all of your dreams and needs.

Screech! All of that can come to a crashing halt if you face expensive fees to simply transport your motorcycle to you. You may be tempted to go for the cheapest option when it comes to shipping your motorcycle—and sometimes it’s also the best option.

However, before you base your decision on price alone, be aware of hidden costs that might raise the price exponentially—or cause you to have to deal with a damaged ride.

Never fear - here at ShipLux, we love motorcycles. We want to help you understand the red flags, important questions, and potential hidden costs so that you can find the best option for transporting your motorcycles - and know exactly what it’ll cost.

The Cheapest Option—Drive it Yourself

It’s true, driving your motorcycle could save you money—if you already have access to a truck and the proper equipment to keep your bike safe.  However, even this option comes with some hidden costs, including:

  • The cost of staying in a hotel if you are driving long distances. It’s better to be well rested and arrive at your destination safely.
  • The cost of a U-Haul (or some other rental) if you don’t have access to a truck.
  • The cost of a ramp and quality straps to ensure that your motorcycles are properly stowed on the transport.
  • The cost of food and gas.
  • The potential loss of wages if you’re taking unpaid time off of work. 
  • The cost of wear and tear on the vehicle you’re using to transport your motorcycles.
  • The cost of insurance and your deductible if something should go wrong.

Some Unexpected Motorcycle Shipping Costs to Consider

According to Move.Org, the average cost of shipping a motorcycle in the United States is $500. However, that depends on things like distance, method of shipping (enclosed vs. open carriers), weight of the motorcycle, and where it is being shipped to (Alaska and Hawaii cost more).

Knowing what to be aware of, and what questions to ask will help you as you make your decision, as some of these fees may apply whether you choose to hire an Independent Service Provider (a.k.a. a guy with a truck) or an expert shipping company. At first glance, the guy with a truck may seem like the cheaper option—however that does not take into account what happens if something goes wrong.

Lower overhead enables these service providers to offer lower prices, but they also may not hold as much insurance or have the best equipment to ship your vehicle safely. Many of these independent providers are reliable and do their jobs well, but sometimes—like when it comes to the safety of your motorcycle—cheaper prices may be too good to be true.

No matter who is shipping your motorcycle, you might be surprised by some unexpected fees. A reliable shipper will have price transparency when they provide a quote, which lays out all of the fees and expenses involved. However, knowledge is power—almost as powerful as your motorcycle. (Wink.)

Understanding what some of these fees could be will help you ask the right questions and get the most reliable quote so you can make the best decision for your ride.

To get you started, here’s a chart detailing some of the fees you might face:

Motorcyclist escapes of the chase of a road truck

Some things to keep in mind about the potential motorcycle shipping fees:

  • Government fees are outside of carrier control and include those set by government forces, including Diesel Fuel Prices, which are posted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration and affect fuel surcharges. 
  • Oversize fees may apply if a bike is larger than 4’ x 9’ or takes up more than one spot on a carrier. 
  • Attempted Delivery fees occur when you are not able to meet the driver, or the driver cannot access the location and the bike cannot be rolled into the carrier.
  • Insurance fees will depend on the carrier. Expert shipping companies may hold larger policies than independent drivers, so it will be important for you to ask questions as to what their policies cover, as well as the deductible. You may end up purchasing some of your own insurance for additional coverage.

Storage fees might occur if the bike is being picked up and/or delivered to a facility rather than door-to-door. Some companies might charge a fee for door-to-door, but many don’t. Ask in advance to confirm.

Do What’s Best for Your Motorcycle, Your Wallet, & Peace of Mind

It may be tempting to go with the cheapest option, or the friend-of-a-friend-with-a-truck option, because—at first glance—the price seems right, especially after what you’ve spent on the motorcycle itself.

It’s crucial to compare and contrast your options before making your final decision.

In some ways, the biggest concern is what happens if something goes wrong. You want a company that knows how to protect your motorcycle, has an excellent reputation for safe deliveries, has insurance that suits your budget and your needs, and has transparent pricing that won’t bring you any unpleasant surprises.

Now, how to find them? Research. Ask questions. Seek advice from a company that loves motorcycles and knows how to ship them, like ShipLux. Our enclosed-only motorcycle transportation is completely personalized, with White Glove Treatment included from start to finish, door to door, with no surprise fees. Ultimately, the power and the decision are in your hands. Contact ShipLux today to get started on your free, customized, and totally transparent price quote.