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Whether you’re moving across the country, just bought a car overseas, or have a valuable collectible you don’t want on the road, there’s a way to move your vehicle with the help of an auto transporter. There are different types of auto transporters as well as many factors that contribute to the cost of shipping your vehicle.

Using an auto transport carrier is like one-stop shopping. You have direct contact with the carrier who will be loading, transporting, and delivering your vehicle. You will get a more precise schedule for pickup and delivery time, however, you’ll also be responsible for scheduling within their availability and securing your own pricing.

On the other hand, you can use an auto transport broker. These companies charge a fee, but they do the leg work for you of finding a shipper for you and securing the pricing. Because of their ability to work with many carriers, you may get a better rate and quicker pickup time.

The amount of time it takes to ship a car will vary based on factors such as weather, traffic, and road conditions. You can anticipate your driver will be able to travel about 500 miles a day so it’s safe to plan for up to 10 days for domestic shipping. Also, be prepared to wait as many as 10 days for your vehicle to be able to be picked up.

Many factors will play into the cost of shipping your car. The size of the vehicle will be a big factor as bigger cars weigh more and are more expensive to ship. Naturally, the further you ship the car, the more expensive the trip will be. Flexibility in the shipping dates, as well as the time of year, will impact the cost–with summer and rush shipping being the most costly. Finally, expect to pay more for enclosed shipping because of the added protection it provides your vehicle.

There are many options when it comes to choosing an auto transporter. Which one you choose will be a matter of which one provides the services you’re looking for at a cost you’re comfortable with. Whichever company you choose, just be sure they are registered with the FMCSA and have an MC Docket number clearly displayed. To compare brands and read reviews, visit ConsumerAffair’s Auto Transport guide.