Auto transport can get expensive, especially if you need to ship a vehicle over long distances. Thankfully, auto carriers offer various discounts to help reduce transport costs for customers. In this article, we will explore the different types of discounts available and how you can take advantage of them.
One of the most common types of discounts offered by auto transport companies is the volume discount. As the name suggests, volume discounts reward customers who ship multiple vehicles at once.
Most carriers will offer discounted rates for shipping 2 or more vehicles together under the same shipping order. The more vehicles you ship together, the bigger the discount. For example, shipping 3 cars together may get you 10% off total shipping costs, while 5+ cars could qualify for a 15-20% discount.
Volume discounts encourage customers to consolidate vehicle shipments, which helps carriers maximize load capacity in each transport truck. This is a win-win scenario as customers save money and carriers improve transportation efficiencies.
How to take advantage:
- If relocating or selling multiple personal vehicles, request a shipping quote for bundling them together
- Ask friends and family if they need vehicle transport within similar timeframes and destinations
- Check local used car dealerships if they need to ship inventory in bulk
Loyalty/Return Customer Discounts
Many auto transport companies offer loyalty programs and returning customer discounts. This rewards customers who use the same carrier repeatedly over time.
Some carriers may offer a flat 5-10% discount on future shipments once a customer has used their services before. Others implement tiered loyalty programs – the more times you use the carrier, the bigger discount you earn on subsequent trips.
Return customers are less risky prospects for carriers since they represent a proven business relationship. Loyalty discounts encourage repeat and consistent business over the long run.
How to benefit:
- Ask your preferred auto transport company about loyalty programs during your first shipment
- Request to be notified of returning customer discounts for the future
- Stick to using the same reputable carrier whenever possible to maximize loyalty rewards
Transport demand and pricing fluctuates depending on the time of year. Carriers often offer discounted rates during seasonal off-peak periods when there is excess capacity.
For example, winters may see lower volumes of auto shipments as people travel less. Carriers aim to fill spare truck space, so you could save 10-15% on winter shipments.
Similarly, transport is cheaper after major holidays like Christmas, when auto plants shut down temporarily for annual maintenance. Carriers need load revenue while factories are closed.
- Ask carriers about discount windows for winter, post-holiday periods etc.
- Plan relocations for seasonal off-peak times whenever feasible schedule-wise
- Negotiate better rates by booking shipments during known low demand phases
Promotional/New Customer Discounts
To attract new customers and trial conversions, carriers offer first-time shipment discounts. These can range from 5-20% off the entire move depending on the promotion.
New customer discounts encourage people to try out a carrier’s services. It works as a customer acquisition strategy where carriers aim to impress with good service quality to earn future repeat business.
Some carriers even have ongoing pop-up promotions throughout the year with coupon codes for a certain % off. Always look out for promotional codes online!
How to maximize:
- Ask about introductory new customer offers whenever contacting auto transport companies
- Keep an eye out for promotional pop-ups with discount coupon codes
- If you find better offers, negotiate to match intro rates for your first booking
Military/Student/Senior Citizen Discounts
As a community service, many auto carriers extend special discounts for military members, students and retirees. Valid proof of identity/status is required.
Military rates may save 10-15% respectively. Students moving between college locations can score 5-10% off. Senior citizen discounts are usually 5-7.5% for those above 65.
This helps special communities and populations on limited budgets. Carriers recognize their service and aim to offer affordable transport assistance.
- Check carriers’ websites for details on discount eligibility
- Have valid military/student/senior ID ready during quote process
- Mentions special status to negotiate best available discount
Don’t forget to play carriers against each other! Request quotes from 3-4 options whenever possible.
Some transparent carriers will sweeten quoted rates if they realize you obtained competing bids. They may match or beat other prices to win new business.
Negotiating with multiple quotes in hand allows you to leverage the advantage. Carriers want to offer the lowest rates to earn your auto transport job.
Pro quoting tips:
- Request binding quotes from top-rated options in your moving region
- Compare meticulously on price, inclusions, estimated delivery times etc.
- Mention other quotes to your preferred carrier to see if they can offer better rates
Combined Discount Packages
Savvy carriers create bundled discount packages by combining eligibility across different buckets. For example:
- Volume + Loyalty bundled discount: 5% off 2+ vehicles, an additional 5% if you’re a returning customer
- Seasonal + Military combo: 15% winter discount, 10% for active military moving during the holidays
- Multi-quote + New customer combo beat: Match lowest competing quote plus waive new customer signup fee
You may be able to maximize stacked discounts of 20-25% for multi-vehicle relocations during off-seasons as a loyal military member.
Carriers want sticky customers and are flexible to creatively bundle discounts for big jobs. Always inquire about combined promo packages.
Maximizing discount stacking:
- Determine all applicable eligibility criteria for your move such as seasons, vehicle volumes etc.
- Inform carriers upfront about stacked criteria to see customized bundled offers
- Negotiate to maximize total % discounts through creative stacking combinations
Final Discounting Tips
Beyond the standard promos, here’s how to get extra discounts:
- Negotiate for last-minute capacity discounts if carriers have spare truck space approaching delivery date
- Volunteer to help load/unload yourself for potential 5-10% savings in labor costs passed to you
- Request discounts for prepaying shipping costs in full upfront via certified funds
- Ask carriers about partner referrals – some offer $50 credits if customers refer new leads
Transport costs can quickly add up. But by understanding all available discount options, you have the power to reduce expenses significantly. Always inquire proactively and feel confident to negotiate the best rates.
With the right research and moves, it’s realistic to save 20-30% off standard auto shipping prices through clever discount stacking. Hope this guide helps you transport vehicles more affordably. Happy savings!