Sure, driving a car is smooth, convenient, and all. But, if you want a better way to get around that is fun and practical, a motorcycle is a better choice! Say you already own one and are planning to ship it across the country. What steps should you follow? How much will it cost? How long will it take? Many questions, but fear not! We’ll answer all your motorcycle shipping questions in this handy 2-minute guide. Read until the end!
Factors That Determine Shipping Costs
A motorcycle typically costs between $400-600 to ship across the country. This price is slightly less than for a car which averages $800 to transport cross-country. You may visit here to get a better idea. Of course, there are many factors to consider when it comes to the final price. Below are all of them.
Transporting a motorcycle isn’t that much different from shipping a car. It’s slightly easier as there are fewer restrictions and requirements to prepare it for transit. That said, here are factors that play a role in how much you’ll pay in the end:
This one’s pretty obvious. The farther you want to ship your bike, the more it’ll cost. However, distance isn’t just a matter of how far point A is to point B. There’s also a thing called distance in time, which means that if you want your bike delivered as soon as possible, then the carrier might have to change routes to prioritize your delivery, and the price could go up substantially.
2. Transport Type
You’ve got three basic options: open-air, enclosed trailer, and air freight. For open-air, the carrier will load your bike on a roofless trailer. It’s the cheapest but also the riskiest option. On the other hand, enclosed trailers are pricier, but they provide you with more protection against weather or other potential risks for better peace of mind. Lastly, you’ve got air freight which is perhaps the most expensive yet the fastest and the safest. It’s best to consider pricier options when transporting expensive, rare models, or vintage units.
3. Motorcycle Size & Weight
The larger and heavier your motorcycle is, the more it’ll cost to transport. For example, a bike that weighs over 800 pounds and measures 8 feet long will take up more space in the trailer and contributes to the truck consuming more fuel to run, raising the shipping rate as a result, compared with one that weighs just 259 pounds.
4. Time Of The Year
Time of the year is another major factor that determines how much you’ll have to pay. Shipping rates are higher during peak travel time, such as during summer when everyone is relocating or on the road for vacation. Rates also increase during the winter months as the carriers risk dangerous road conditions to deliver your ride. If you want to save, it’s best to move during the fall or spring seasons when demand isn’t as high. It would still be a cool time to take your off-road motorcycle with you.
5. Number Of Units To Be Shipped
The more motorcycles you have to ship, the higher your shipping costs will be. That is because every bike the company has to load onto the truck, secured and eventually delivered at their destination, they charge an additional fee. Unless the carrier provides a discount for multiple deliveries, the only way to save money on this level of service would be to ship your motorcycles with no add-ons such as a sidecar or luggage carrier attached.
6. Booking In Advance
An excellent way to reduce the price of shipping a motorcycle is to book well in advance. Planning ahead allows for special rates and additional discounts redeemable only if you book months or weeks ahead of time. A lot can happen between when you make this reservation and pickup day, so keep your contact information up-to-date with the company so that they can give you a heads-up on schedule changes.
7. Method Of Delivery
This factor goes hand-in-hand with the transport type. After you’ve made your choice, you now have two options: have your motorcycle delivered to a designated location or pick it up at one of your carrier’s terminals. Of course, the latter is cheaper. But, if you don’t have extra time or the nearest terminal is still far away from your home, you might want to save some effort and have your ride delivered instead.
How To Find The Best Motorcycle Shipping Company
When it comes to professional services, it’s natural to look for the best. You want a carrier who has years of experience, adequate knowledge, understands your concerns, and meets your demands – all for a reasonable price. While there’s no shortage of companies willing to transport your vehicle, only a few are known to deliver quality services. Here are some tips on how to find one:
Take Time To Research
A common mistake among first-time shippers is to work with the first company they find. Remember, motorcycle shipping requires specialized skill sets, knowledge, and equipment, so do your research before signing anything. Proper research includes:
- Reading online reviews about your potential company.
- Asking for proof of their license and registration with the DOT.
- Asking for recommendations and talking to their previous customers.
- Evaluating the credibility of their website.
Ask The Right Questions
Interview your potential carrier to gauge whether they’re the right people for the job. Here are some questions you can ask:
- How long have you been in the motor shipping industry?
- Is your insurance good enough for me to ship without worry, or will I need additional coverage?
- What kind of bikes have you shipped in the past? What is your success rate with these types?
- What is the best way to communicate with you about my shipment? Do you offer a customer portal or email call-back service for updates?
Pay attention to how they answer these questions. If they’re confident, knowledgeable, and patient enough to respond to all of your concerns, you should be in good hands. If they sound shady or somehow make you feel uncomfortable, it won’t hurt to look around for a more suitable company.
No matter where you’re shipping a motorcycle, it’s better to focus more on service over price. You want to hire a shipper that ensures the integrity of your wheels.