Three heavy front end red vintage cars lined up  in a row.


A big hurdle people face when buying a car online is getting it to their home. There are several options available to an online car buyer and you should price them all out to determine the best fit for your budget.

A major factor to consider is the location of the car. Is it placed within a few hundred miles or several states away from your home? It may be cost effective to drive with a friend and pick up the car if it is located within a reasonable driving distance. Another option is to fly out to get the car and then drive it back. Shipping is the best option if the vehicle is a long distance away or is a classic car you don’t want to put excessive miles on.

How to Get Car Shipping Quotes with eBay

Most of the time the buyer is responsible for picking up or shipping a vehicle purchased on eBay. Although, some sellers will offer shipping within a few hundred-mile radius. Free or discounted delivery may be included if you purchase the car through a dealership listing on eBay. Ultimately, if the car you are buying is located several hundred or thousands of miles away you should plan on being responsible for paying the shipping costs.

Almost all car listings on eBay provide shipping information. The eBay listing will direct you to the shipping details or include a link for shipping quotes. You can also scroll down to the vehicle listing and click the “shipping and payments” tab. The shipping quotes link might not be active if the seller is willing to be responsible for delivery,

Read through the description on the eBay listing to make sure you are clear on whether the seller is offering delivery or it is your responsibility to pick the vehicle up. Factor in the cost to ship the car and add that amount to your budget before you make a purchase or enter an auction.

How Does Shipping a Car on eBay Work?

eBay is partnered with uShip, a network of affiliated shipping carriers and brokers. The car listing will include the names of service providers with information on the service type, pick up timeframe and price. If you see a price you like, click “book shipment” and a new page will open on the uShip website. Most of the time, the vehicle information is imported directly to uShip.

In some instances, you may need to create a listing on uShip. For example, you will probably have to do this when buying a classic car. After you create your listing, the service providers affiliated with uShip will contact you if they are willing to move your car or have room for it on a transport.

There are a few things to keep in mind. First, you will need to be patient because a carrier will not begin the transport until it is full. Also, less carriers offer closed transport as an option if that is your preference. Lastly, uShip adds a fee to each transaction which will result in an increase to your shipping cost.

When to Consider eBay Car Shipping

The thought of looking for a transport provider can be intimidating. Therefore, one benefit of using eBay car shipping is that you have the option of picking from a list of service providers and do not have to look for companies and quotes yourself. Additionally, the car listing information is imported to the uShip web page for you

most of the time. However, be sure to always research the transport company offered through uShip and do your “due diligence.” The company with the lowest quote might not be the best option for you.

Options When Shipping a Car Purchased on eBay – You DON’T have to use the eBay Shipping Service

The trailer transports cars on highway with big city background
The trailer transports cars on highway with big city background

If you purchased a car on eBay you are accustomed to shopping for the best deal. So, it might make sense to shop around for a car transport provider yourself. Any car transport company can ship a car purchased on eBay

Compare Companies

You should first determine what service a company is providing when comparing car transport companies, Are they a carrier, a broker, or both?

A car carrier company has their own trucks and equipment and transports cars for a broker. A carrier must be licensed with the FMCSA and insured to operate legally.

A broker offers car shipping services by hiring carriers and arranging transportation. It is the broker’s job to check a carrier’s license and insurance. A broker company must also be licensed and insured with the FMCSA. Visit the FMCSA on the Department of Transportation website for more information.

Your specific car transport needs will determine whether a carrier or broker is the best one to use. Both brokers and carriers can provide you with a good transport experience.

Consider the following when making your choice: carriers tend to have very limited customer service. They spend their time managing the drivers and planning the routes. A broker company will provide some form of customer service. Use a company that offers vehicle tracking which allows you to know where your vehicle is during the shipping process. Also, it is a good idea to check a company’s testimonials or look for online forums specializing in car transport.

Get Several Shipping Quotes

Most car transportation companies have instant car shipping cost calculators on their websites. The price quoted to you depends on several factors including the season, fuel price, location, and the vehicle’s size and condition. Be sure the information entered into the quote calculator is correct.   

To use a quote calculator, put in the zip codes of the pick-up and drop off locations to determine the number of miles the vehicle will be transported. Next, provide the vehicle’s make, model and year. Then, you choose the transport trailer type, the condition of the vehicle and desired shipping date.

Shop around with both carriers and brokers and see who gives you the best rate. Remember, price isn’t the only factor to use when choosing the company to transport your vehicle.

What Influences Cost When You Ship a Car?

Transport Trailer Type

A car can be transported on either an open or enclosed trailer. Open trailers are more budget friendly than enclosed trailers. Open trailers cost less and offer better flexibility in shipping dates due to the higher volume of transports using this method. Enclosed trailers are a good option when transporting a luxury or classic vehicle. However, enclosed trailers are limited in size and the number of cars they carry which raises the cost considerably. Also, fewer carriers offer enclosed trailer transports which limits the availability.

Size of the Vehicle

The size of the vehicle you are transporting effects the cost of shipping. As a result, it costs less to ship a small sedan or motorcycle than it costs to ship a large SUV the same distance.

Distance

Not surprisingly, the farther your vehicle needs to go the higher the transport cost. Although, shorter distances do have a higher cost per mile than longer distances.

Season

Seasonal influences can affect the price of shipping costs. Summer and early fall are the busiest shipping months. Therefore, it will cost more to transport during that time. On the other hand, the carriers fill up faster during summer and early fall so it is possible to receive your vehicle sooner. Additionally, you can save money if you are able to ship your vehicle between late fall and early spring. Another seasonal factor to consider if you are shipping in the US between the North and South are the Snowbirds. They move North in the summer and South in the winter and often ship their cars. For this reason, it is cost effective to transport your car in the opposite direction of the Snowbirds.

Route and Location

Shipping a car purchased on eBay from big city to big city will cost less than transporting to and from small towns. The larger and more populated the city of origin and destination of the vehicle, the cheaper the transportation rate. This occurs because big cities have a larger supply of cars requiring transportation and carriers are more likely to service areas with more supply. You should consider shipping your vehicle to the closest big city if you live in a rural area.

The trailer transports cars
blur motion of trailer transports cars on highway with big city background

Fuel Cost

The cost of fuel per gallon effects the price of shipping. The higher fuel costs per gallon, the higher the shipping quote.

Shipping Speed

Your shipping quote includes prices for both standard and rush shipping. Faster shipping costs several hundred dollars more. Standard shipping will save you a lot of money if you can be patient.

Now What? 

Use this information to make sure you get the best deal when you are shipping the car you purchased online. Research and choose the provider that offers the shipping service you need at a reasonable price. Look online for forums that provide information on a company’s reliability and service.

A transport company that operates as both a carrier and a broker provides the best combination, fair car shipping rates as well as customer service. ShipCar24 offers the consumer this type of experience

Check out our quote calculator to get rates for both standard and rush shipping. Let us be your personal eBay shipping company and we will deliver your dream car to you at a reasonable cost and with exceptional customer service.

Happy in your dream car
Retired Senior Man Sitting In Restored Classic Car
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