Shipping Prius cross country, recommendations?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by FCBarca, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. FCBarca

    FCBarca Junior Member

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    My brother is moving from West Coast to East Coast and wants to ship his '09 Prius but unfamiliar with the landscape of services available...Any recommendations?...Figure it's gonna be a grand

    Tips on what should be done in advance of having a Prius flat bedded cross country?

    I guess the battery should be undone, for one, right?
     
  2. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    I asked for a recommendation and used Plycar to ship my 350Z from CA to WA. See http://priuschat.com/forums/other-cars/67752-recommend-me-good-car-shipping-company.html for the and my experience w/them. They're a little pricey but other than price, I wouldn't hesitate to use them again. $850, IIRC to ship from San Jose, CA to the Seattle area. But, it was enclosed.

    Supposedly Tesla uses them to ship new Roadsters out to their customers. One Tesla customer (wdave on Tivocommunity) received his via Plycar, hence his recommendation. Both trucks that dropped off and picked up my Z each had a Tesla Roadster in it... There was a brand new $100K+ Porsche 911 in the pickup truck too.

    I dug around more expensive sports car forums like those for NSXes and Corvettes to see what people were saying. I asked for quotes for some and they were either way too much money or couldn't do it in the limited timeframe I had.

    As for "battery undone", I wouldn't do anything special other than turning off the smartkey system via the button under the steering column.

    This post doesn't really belong in the Gen III area. The 09 is a Gen II.
     
  3. chukon99

    chukon99 New Member

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    I've shipped cars a couple of times. There are a ton of companies, but most serve as middlemen between you and the truck driver/owner. A few months ago, it cost me $600 to ship a Camry from San Francisco to Chicago, not sure how much more it'd be to get to the east coast. This was also for a standard, open-air car trailer (like you'd see delivering cars to a dealership). If you want something enclosed, it'll certainly be more. I got quotes from about 20 different companies, anywhere from $450 - $1200. The company I went with explained it this way:

    The quoted price is what they'll list on a trucker's bulletin board. You can get it listed at any price you want, but it's a matter of if/when someone will accept it. Once it's accepted, they'll give you a pickup window. The driver will contact you with a more precise date/time and to get directions. They'll also be able to tell you what you need to do to get the car ready. For one company, I had to take everything (bags, pens, papers, gps, etc) out of the car and make sure it had between 1/4-1/2 tank of gas. Another time, the guy said it was fine to pack it full of suitcases & moving boxes (though I had to waive them of liability for *any* damage). I guess it depends on the driver's and/or your comfort level. Note, your car will probably be repositioned a bit during the trip as the weight distribution changes with each additional car that gets picked up and dropped off. The driver gets paid upon delivery. Make sure you have cash and make sure you do a thorough inspection before signing off on delivery. Shipping time will depend on the driver and on how many other cars are being picked up and dropped off. SF to CHI took 3 days. On the other hand, I've also had 2 cars shipped from Grand Rapids, MI to SF, one took 12 days, the other took 9.

    I had a good experience with Crowley Auto Transport. They quoted me $500 for the initial posting. I got a call 10 days later, they found a driver that would do it for $550 and wanted to confirm that this would be OK. I could have kept the original price, but didn't want to wait too long and have to raise it at the last minute to find a driver. So, it was $550 plus a $50 tip to the driver upon delivery (the car looked fine and he was fast). You can try searching for companies on transportreviews.com I'd recommend staying away from price quote engines, though. It's been 4 months since my request and I still get 1-2 emails a week about it.
     
  4. liskipper

    liskipper Member

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    I had my car shipped to Long Island, NY from Boston in an open carrier. The battery did not have to be disconnected, and the car arrived in great shape and was driven off the carrier under its own power. Since a lot of the carriers are regional, I suggest you go to this web site to check out the various carriers: Transport Reviews.com - Ratings and Reviews of Auto Transport Companies - Your Source For Finding a Quality Auto Transporter!
     
  5. stream

    stream Senior Member

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    I've had my cars shipped several times, and used Horseless Carriage all but one time, and they did an outstanding job. Interstate Lines is also highly regarded. Both use fully enclosed trailers with power liftgates. Passport is also well regarded.

    DO NOT USE Dependable Auto Shippers. They damaged one of my cars. They use local subcontrators for pick up and delivery, so you car gets moved from one truck to another.
     
  6. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    I remember hearing recommendations for Horseless Carriage when I was surfing sports car forums. Plycar also used a power liftgate to raise and lower my car.
    I can't speak for 100% certainty that Plycar doesn't offload their cars to someone else in the middle but the trucks on both ends were Plycar's.

    Yes, I looked around for reviews on transportreviews.com but it was sometimes tough to really be sure the reviews there were legit, both positive and negative.

    As for Dependable Auto Shippers (DAS), I heard quite a few negative stories about them. They shipped my two cars from WA to CA (my employer paid) but there was slight damage to one of them, to which they did pay for the repairs (~$950 to fix it) w/no issue.

    A former coworker had his car totaled by DAS as the truck got into an accident. I've heard that if you're not shipping cars thru DAS via a corporate account/sponsor, they will treat you like dirt.

    The pickup truck was definitely NOT from DAS. It was Lakewood Towing of Lakewood, WA who picked up. (He was super careful). I don't recall who dropped off.
     
  7. Jim Clark

    Jim Clark Member

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    Horseless Carriage or any other covered carrier is a lot more expensive.

    I had my BMW shipped from Houston to northern VA after I bought it on Ebay, it was $750. I had to pay the broker $150 by credit card and have $600 cash for the driver when he arrived. Most of the truckers are independent owner/operators. They get their business from the brokers. I can't remember the name of the broker I used, they were recommended by the Lexus dealer I bought the car from. The trucker was a good guy. The car was wet when he went to pick it up, he made them dry it so he could do a thorough inspection. He noted EVERY little ding or scratch on his pick-up report and went over it in detail when he delivered it.
     
  8. chukon99

    chukon99 New Member

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    I think that Plycar maintains and uses their own fleet of trucks. From a quick look at their website, it seems like their drivers mainly go from hub to hub, making deliveries en route. So the car might change trucks/drivers at each hub, but it'll always be in one of Plycar's vehicles.

    I got 2 quotes from companies like that, but they came in at more than I wanted to pay to move an 11-year-old car. One of them (unfortunately I don't have the name) came in at $850 SF-CHI if I dropped off and picked up at one of their facilities. To have them pick up and drop off would have cost an extra $125 on each leg. If you can live without door-to-door service, that might be a way to keep costs down. Unfortunately for me, that wasn't an option.

    Definitely take them with a grain of salt, but for someone that's just starting the process, I think they can be helpful to get a sense of what other people's experiences were. In the end, they were probably most valuable for helping me come up with a set of questions to ask when I got quotes from the different reps.
     
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