Auto Transport Deals and Discounts

At a glance

Car shipping services can be expensive, but there are things you can do to minimize your costs. We walk you through a five-step process to getting a good deal on your auto transport quote and identify the most common discounts to ask your shipper about.

Auto transport deals

Getting a good deal on auto transport quotes is about more than discounts—it’s also about knowing how the system works. It’s kind of like shopping for a new car: if you learn some simple tricks, it’s easy to avoid being taken advantage of.

There are five things you can do to increase your odds of a lower transport quote:

1. Use a reputable broker. You typically work with two types of companies if you want to ship a vehicle: carriers and brokers. Carriers are the companies that physically ship your vehicle using one of a small number of transport trucks. Brokers are the companies that hook you up with carriers. Because they have access to a vast network of carriers, brokers can usually find you lower prices. Check out our list of the best car shipping brokers to get started.

2. Get multiple quotes. Go into almost any grocery store, and you’ll find that a Snickers bar costs about the same. It doesn’t work that way with car shipping quotes. Estimates from different car transport services can vary by hundreds of dollars for the same job. We recommend getting quotes from three to five transport companies. Read How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car? to learn more.

3. Ask about price matching. Save money by asking auto transport companies if they offer price matching. If you get multiple quotes, it’s easy to say, “Company ABC said it would ship my car from Location A to Location B for X dollars. Can you match or beat that?”

4. Understand insurance basics. Some companies will try to sell you expensive insurance to ship a vehicle, but it may not always be in your best interest. Any company in the vehicle transport business is required to carry basic insurance to protect your car against negligent damage. Supplemental plans that cost extra can have value, but they aren’t always necessary. Learn more in Auto Transport Insurance—How Your Vehicle Is Covered in Transit.

5. Ask for a discount. Auto transport discounts are relatively common, but shipping company websites aren’t always up to date or easy to navigate. When you get your auto transport quotes, take an extra 10 seconds and ask the customer service representative, “Do you offer auto transport discounts?” Not sure what kinds of discounts are even possible? Scroll down.

Auto Transport Deals Graphic

Auto transport discounts

It can be expensive to ship a car. Why pay full price if you don’t have to?

Not all transport companies offer discounts, but many do. Since you often have to ask for a discount to get one (because companies aren’t always forthcoming with this info), we’ve put together a list of the most common options.

Common auto transport discounts

Type of discountWho’s eligible
StudentsStudents enrolled in college
Military personnelThose serving in the US military
SeniorsThose 65 years or older
SnowbirdsThose who move twice each year when the weather changes
SeasonalThose shipping cars during high-volume and low-volume seasons
First-time shippersThose shipping a car for the first time
Multiple vehiclesThose shipping two or more vehicles at the same time
Early birdsThose who place an order within 48 hours of getting a quote
Online bookingsThose who make reservations online
Return customersThose shipping with the same company two or more times
First respondersThose in public service professions such as police, firefighters, and EMTs
Type of discount
Students
Military personnel
Seniors
Snowbirds
Seasonal
First-time shippers
Multiple vehicles
Early birds
Online bookings
Return customers
First responders
Who’s eligible
Students enrolled in college
Those serving in the US military
Those 65 years or older
Those who move twice each year when the weather changes
Those shipping cars during high-volume and low-volume seasons
Those shipping a car for the first time
Those shipping two or more vehicles at the same time
Those who place an order within 48 hours of getting a quote
Those who make reservations online
Those shipping with the same company two or more times
Those in public service professions such as police, firefighters, and EMTs

About Kurt Manwaring

Kurt Manwaring
Kurt Manwaring brings nearly a decade’s worth of research experience as a business consultant to the Move.org team. He specializes in taking complicated issues (like moving) and presenting them in a way that everyone can understand. His writing has been featured in hundreds of publications, including USA Today, Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Heavy, Slate, and Yahoo! Lifestyle. He would love to hear about your moving experiences and questions at kurt@move.org.