Car auctions – both online and physical – remove geographic boundaries and allow buyers to search a wider pool of potential vehicles and potentially get a great deal on a car. Auctions offer project cars, expensive, rare vehicles, used cars, and everything in between.

However, the snag with online or out-of-state car auctions is figuring out how to get the car to you without driving it yourself.

Fortunately, auction vehicle transport carriers (like Nexus) can pick up, haul, and deliver your vehicle from the auction to your doorstep or dealership, saving you time and stress. Here’s everything you need to know about shipping your car (or cars) from an auction and how to ensure a smooth and seamless process.

Understanding Auction Vehicle Transport

Auction vehicle transport is the process of moving vehicles purchased at an auction to their new owner. When you win a car at auction, you schedule transport with a car hauler, set the pickup and delivery details, and the carrier will pick up, load, transport, and unload the vehicle at the destination of your choice.

Booking car transport from an auction takes the hassle out of the process of getting your vehicles where they need to be. You can buy a car online or travel to a different state to purchase a car, book transport, and the hauler handles the rest. This makes buying a car from auction more convenient, especially if you’re shopping at auctions for a dealership and not as a private buyer.

In addition, not all auction buyers are looking for a personal daily vehicle. Car buyers may go to auctions to pick up salvage vehicles to flip or purchase rare and exotic cars that are difficult to find elsewhere, neither of which is suitable for a long-distance drive. Auction car transport may be the only option to get these vehicles to your door.

The Benefits of Professional Car Shipping From Auction

If you’re buying a car from an auction online or in another state, professional car shipping is the best way to get it to your home or dealership. Here are some benefits of professional car shipping from auction:

  • Convenience: Buying a car from auction may be convenient, but there’s nothing convenient about having to drive it home. Professional auto transport handles pickup, shipping, and delivery from the auction directly to your door, ensuring it arrives quickly and safely.

  • Time savings: Auctions that are online or in another state may save you money and time in your car search, but not if you need to travel to pick up your car and drive it yourself. Car transport handles the logistics and the haul, so you don’t need to worry about scheduling travel and driving time in your busy schedule.

  • Safety: There are risks to you and your vehicle with a cross-country haul. Professional car shippers have the experience and training to transport vehicles safely – in sturdy haulers with proper equipment – and ensure your car reaches you without damage.

  • Cost-effectiveness: It may seem cheaper to drive your car home yourself than pay for shipping, but don’t forget that you have to factor in the cost of gasoline, travel, food and drink, lodging, and the mileage you’ll put on it. Paying to have it shipped may be the most cost-effective option.

Types of Transport for Auction Cars

There are two primary shipping methods for auction vehicle transport, both with pros and cons—open auto transport and enclosed auto transport.

Open transport is the most affordable option for car transport. Cars are shipped on an open-air trailer without protection from the elements. Typically, the dirt and debris cars encounter on these trips is no different than what your car experiences with daily driving, but damage is possible.

Enclosed transport is the safest way to transport a vehicle, but it’s more expensive. This option is typically reserved for fragile or expensive vehicles that warrant extra protection, such as vintage or classic cars.

With both open-air and enclosed transport, you may have the option to choose between stacking or non-stacking. Stacking shipping uses a car-carrying trailer with two levels. While this is generally safe, there is a risk of oil leaks or other debris that can damage the cars below. Keep in mind that some insurance companies won’t insure your vehicle for damage on a multi-level trailer.

If you have a high-end or exotic vehicle and you’re concerned about its safety during shipping, you can opt for an enclosed, single-car trailer. This will be the most expensive option for hauling cars for auctions, but it minimizes the risks of damage from other vehicles, weather, and road debris on the trip.

Cost Factors in Auction Vehicle Shipping

The price for an auto auction transport can vary widely depending on several factors:

  • Distance: Generally, the farther you have to ship your car, the higher the price will be.

  • Season: Seasonal changes can influence the cost of shipping due to weather changes and customer demand. For example, summer is often the most expensive because that’s when the demand is highest. Winter can be the cheapest, but severe weather can force route changes that increase the price.

  • Size and weight: Larger vehicles, such as vans or heavy-duty pickup trucks, are generally more expensive to transport than small cars.

  • Condition: If your vehicle doesn’t run or can’t be driven, like a salvage vehicle, the car carrier may need special equipment to get the car onto the car trailer. This can increase the costs of shipping.

  • Insurance: If you choose to add insurance for car transport, it can increase the price.

  • Reservation time: Booking your car transport as early as possible can be cheaper. Shipping companies often charge higher prices for last-minute bookings.

Before you book car transport, make sure you get multiple quotes from different car auction shipping companies. You’ll have an average cost to compare and negotiate with shippers. If you know when your auction will be and you’re certain you’ll be buying a car, book your transport as early to get the best rates.

Preparing Your Vehicle for Transport

Your vehicle hauler will do most of the heavy lifting to transport your car but preparing it for transport is up to you.

  • Gather Documents: You will need documentation to prove the car is yours and prevent shipment delays. Make sure you have your vehicle registration information, proof of insurance, bill of sale, vehicle title, and your driver’s license or identification. With an auction vehicle, you may need the lot number where the car is stored, the buyer number, and a release form to release the vehicle for shipping.

  • Take Pictures of Your Vehicle: Most auction vehicles will be clean and ready to go, but if yours was sold “as is,” make sure it’s clean. Then, take pictures of the interior and exterior at different angles to document its condition before shipping. Don’t just focus on scratches and dents. Take general photos, or even videos, to make sure you have records if any damage occurs in transit.

  • Take a Photo of the Odometer: Car haulers are professional and will only drive your car as needed to load it, but you can still take a picture of the odometer for your own records and peace of mind.

  • Remove Any Unsecured Items: Make sure you remove any loose items inside your car, including the owner’s manual. You should also remove any accessories on the exterior, such as bike racks, luggage racks, or custom spoilers. If your mirrors can be folded in, do so before transport.

  • Check Fluids, Tires, and the Battery: Make sure your vehicle has no fluid leaks before transport and that there’s antifreeze in the radiator. You should also check that the battery is fully charged and secure and that the tires are properly inflated. These steps minimize potential damage on the ride.

  • Don’t Be Late: Your car hauler is committed to getting your vehicle to you on a schedule, so make sure you show up early for the reservation with the keys and documentation ready to go.

Properly preparing your vehicle for pickup is the most important step you can take to ensure everything runs smoothly (and on time!). if your car isn’t ready or you don’t have the information the carrier needs to get the vehicle, you could end up with delays, a cancellation, or even fees for the hassle.

Take Advantage of the Ease of Auction Vehicle Transport

If you’re shopping for cars at online or in-person auctions, auction vehicle transport is a convenient and safe option to get it to your doorstep. Instead of driving the vehicle yourself, you can leave the shipping to professionals and save yourself time and hassle.

However, you don’t want to leave shipping to just anyone. Choose the best auto auction car shipping provider by checking reviews, transport options, insurance coverage, and extra services. Get in touch to get a quote and schedule auction vehicle transport services.

Auction Vehicle Transport FAQs

Is It Cheaper to Drive or Ship a Car Cross Country?

Generally, driving costs less than shipping a car, but you have to factor in the driving time, fuel costs, mileage and wear and tear on your vehicle, and travel and accommodation costs. You may find that shipping is the more cost-effective choice.

Is Auction Car Shipping Safe?

Yes, auction car shipping is safe and secure. While damage can occur, it’s rare because these are professionally trained, experienced haulers. If you’re concerned about damage to your vehicle, you can opt for enclosed auto transport and get extra insurance for added peace of mind.

What Is the Most Cost-Effective Way to Ship a Car?

Open-carrier shipping with a multi-level carrier is the most affordable and popular method to ship vehicles. Though vehicles on an open-air trailer are exposed to the elements, it’s not much different from the road hazards you experience with daily driving.