The car shipping equivalent of being offered an upgrade to first class at check-in when you’re still on the waitlist?

As regular readers know, I’m in the process of relocating from Tampa to Bellevue, and one of the questions I faced was whether to drive or ship my car cross country. I decided on the latter after getting some quotes, since gas alone would’ve cost me almost as much as just shipping the car.

So I went ahead and made the booking, and got to the confirmation page in a matter of minutes. It included the following:

This cracks me up on so many levels:

  • “It is usually not necessary”
  • “Even with the extra for the carrier, there are still no guarantees regarding pickup and delivery time”
  • “A little,” “a lot,” and “a lot more”

Then again, it felt no different than being waitlisted for an upgrade while being offered a buy up to first class at check-in…

On a more serious note, I’m curious, should I do it? Anyone have any experience with this? If $100 got the car there a few days earlier it would totally be worth it. But I’m not convinced it actually makes a difference.

Filed Under: Travel
  1. LOL this is the stupidest thing I’ve seen in a while. If I were in your shoes I would most definitely not pay them anything extra since they won’t promise you faster service.

  2. To me this sounds less like being offered a buy-up to first class (which is a guarantee of service rendered), and more like an up-sell to “undercarriage rust protection” at a carwash.

    I have a lucky bridge to sell you.


  3. At least a buy-up has a well defined result, this is somewhat dubious. Although maybe the next unbundling product could be this: “upgrade your waitlist priority to the next elite level for just x”.

  4. This is comparable to UPS promising to deliver your package in 3-5 days but then saying for only $20 more you can opt for “speedy service” and we may deliver your package more quickly. But then again we may not deliver your package more quickly, it is at our discretion. Haha.

  5. Dont do it! Basically this company is just a forwarder, they just post your car on a website and truckers pick up the load, minus the fee. No guarantee of quality or speed. Either post it yourselve or go with a quality forwarder that will guarantee you get picked up fast. FYI I just shipped a boat, 26ft including trailer from Jaksonville to Portland and it was $1500. No additional loads, and it arrived in 5 days, you should get it for much less

  6. This looks like is a solicitation to bribe the driver (i.e. the self-employed carrier).

    Are you sure these guys are legit? They seem to be short on morals.

  7. You should have am option to pay for the top rack so you dont get oil all over your car from the car above. This turbo crap would turn me off to this shipper immediately. You should go with someone who guaramtees pick up date before you pay.

  8. This reminds me of a parking lot I once used before a USC game. I was thrilled that it was only $10 to park when everywhere nearby was $25.

    Only when I got back to the lot after the car and there was a few bouncers in front did I realize my mistake: “$20 to get your car out of our lot” said the sign held by guys you didn’t want to mess with.

  9. I’m with Sam. You have to look at this from the point of view of the people actually doing the work. Imagine you own a car carrier making cross-country runs. You would be much more inclined to pickup / drop off cars based on how convenient the location(s) are, how quickly you could do the work, etc.

  10. That cracks me up. I used Angels Moving Autos as a forwarder for my wife’s car back in 2008. Looks like they’re no longer in business. The actual shipper was Pacific Eastern Express. Nothing but good things to say about them. I went with the covered carrier option.

  11. That’s one of the slimiest offerings I’ve ever seen. Now, if they said an expedited guarantee is X amount, I’d jump on it. But they don’t really offer you anything at all except for the ability to raise your rate.

  12. the tip up front and payable to the shipper thing is BS.

    If you feel the need to tip because you got your car quickly and it wasn’t damaged in the process, then tip the guy when you get it.

    Make sure you are using a reputable shipper and that your insurance covers you when the vehicle is being shipped.


  13. Most of the places you deal with are just third party shippers, They bid the job out to other carriers. When I shipped me car from Long Beach to Bradenton (actually Kauai to Bradenton, but the first leg was via Horizon Lines), I’m sure it had been handed off between several vehicle carriers along the way. The guy that delivered it at the end arrived with my car as the only car on his full size auto transporter (the kind you see carrying new vehicles on the highways.)

    That was the other reason I ended up just driving both vehicles x-country and dropped them off at the port of Long Beach at Horizon’s terminal when we moved back to Maui. Dates/times were predictable when I did it myself and I picked the route and the stops along the way.


  14. I wouldn’t do it from my experience. paid normal price and delivery was still 2 weeks late. It all depends if they can find a carrier to take ur car at the price quoted. nothing is guaranteed.

  15. no no no no- i was in the moving and stg business for 30 years, with well known companies and we moved many autos as well. THIS COMPANY is a ripoff. They will sell you auto transport to the highest bidder and leave you high and dry. DONT DO IT.

  16. @ LIH Prem — Chose them based on recommendations in the comments of the previous post.

    Anyone have another suggestion? Am happy to pay a bit more if it gets the card there quickly. Being without a car potentially for weeks isn’t something I want!

  17. Just drive the car, Ben. Very rarely do you have the excuse for a cross-country road trip. And you’ll be in total control of when/in what condition your car arrives.

  18. Looks very suspicious to me. Don’t think I’d do it with this company. I had my Cadillac shipped from FLL to Northern CA for $1200 with DAS. They did a good job and delivered on time right to my driveway in about 5 days. It was in August and no weather issues. My car was on the top of the rack.

  19. What a total scam. Like lots of previous posters said, drive the car! You have the time, and there’s nothing quite like a road trip–who knows, you may decide you’d actually like to see “flyover country” firsthand. If you do decide to ship, go with a reputable company that actually ship it themselves or who can tell you upfront who the transporter will be and not a questionable broker as this place appears to be.

  20. You’re worried about the cost of the gasoline? Nothing compared to the experience – I still vote for drive also.

  21. Looks like a scam. You should only deal with places In person and not random web sites. Or just drive the damn car there!

  22. I think driving would be a great opportunity for you to add some variety to your blog by showing us interesting opportunities to redeem hotel points away from major airports to see some new sights.

    However, if you must ship the, I would add my voice to the chorus and recommend avoiding this company. I shipped a car before with no attempt to jack up the price like this. On the other hand, the company I dealt with was almost certainly contracting to the lowest bidder, as the pick up was delayed, then delivery was delayed a week due to mechanical problems with the truck (and I guess they didn’t have the technology or the interest to move the load to a different truck). Then the delivery person wanted to unload his truck in a hospital parking lot, which I insisted he not do (“Isn’t that private property? Couldn’t that impede an ambulance?”), and he wanted cash only, no money order (perhaps to evade tax). That said, the car arrived fine and I didn’t see any signs that it had been used by the carrier to smuggle drugs or dispose of bodies.

  23. I would cancel my order immediately and find a more professional option. As I mentioned previously, this is a slow time of year for movers and even with a partial load, you should be able to get a quote to put your car in the same van with your household goods. That is how I transported my vehicle from Fort Lauderdale to California in 2005.

  24. @ Hobo13 — My rush is that it’s a week long roadtrip, and given that I have furniture being delivered to the new place as of next Tuesday, I don’t think it’ll work especially well.

  25. This is so sleazy. They want more money for no stated benefits. How do you know how much more to give? It’s usually not necessary, but would you like to promise the pizza guy an extra $50 just for the heck of it?

  26. I would echo the group sentiment. How about getting a reader to drive it across for you then you could send them back on an award ticket?

  27. Hey – I’ve done the car shipping thing ten or eleven times. These services post a bid on a “board” and drivers then pick if they want to ship your car for that price. I would skip adding any $ and if nobody bites on the price, then just add a few bucks to your bid.

  28. I’d suggest getting a more reputable company. If it smells fishy (see above upgrade offer), it probably is fishy. I would think a legit company wouldn’t even offer something like this.

  29. You can delay your furniture delivery another week I would imagine? Or your property manager could likely arrange to unlock/lock your new place if they can’t reschedule. I would also recommend just driving – road trips can be an incredible experience, although boring through certain areas. At least find a more reputable car shipper if you insist on shipping it.

  30. These folks sound like a scam.

    I’ve shipped a car once SFO–> ATL and was very happy, but I did lots of research. Try negotiating a better price and delivery time than what they offer. And, of course, use a credit card if possible!

  31. I just moved from Chicago to
    Seattle. Got scammed and ripped off by several companies like this. They canceled on me the day of pick up. Look for a company that owns its own trucks and drivers. Thankfully, I found one that picked up the next day and it arrived in Seattle in less than a week – hundreds cheaper than all other quotes.

  32. Don’t know if my last comment got flagged as spam but just google Uship. Basically you post what you need and companies bid on your order. There are reviews for all the companies.

  33. I used two different shippers for 2 cars. One was door to door and they did deliver a little late but in about a week coast to coast. The other i dropped off and picked up at a location about 1 hr away. Not convenient, not timely, but the 2nd car was not needed so fast. If you have a need to have it fast and on time it sounds like you need to pick a good shipper who can be more precise.

  34. While gas and depreciation will cost quite a bit consider the places you can see on your way, especially if you have time. You could spend some time in New Orleans, Dallas, Arizona and Utah parks, Vegas, California. On the other hand, if you do ship the car, you can probably get away with using buses between Bellevue and Seattle when you need it. And welcome to the area – I myself just recently moved here as well and got a place on Mercer Island.

  35. I’ve moved coast to coast (nearly) twice and both times had my car shipped. In my case my employer took care of it. Usually the car was delivered early (once I still hadn’t arrived at the destination). Driving, especially by yourself would be very boring.

    This reminds me of too many places that put out tip jars and hope you feel guilty enough to tip them (or the pieces of paper signs some shuttle drives put up reminding you to tip even though in some cases they aren’t suppose to be asking for them).

  36. I would just use uship dot com. They are like ebay. It list the drivers licenses and insurances.

    It has feedback from multiple users. Also, you don’t pay until the item is delivered to you because you have to give the driver a code.

    I used uship to transport my Ducati.

    You can use them for all motor operating things!

  37. Actually, I think this offer is sleazily similar to being asked to buy up to a higher fare class for the chance to upgrade and not being refunded the diff when you aren’t.

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