top of page

Car Shipping Advice For College Students

Every August we see a spike in college student car shipping. We offer here some good advice on how best to go about it. A big reason that make college student car shipping orders so very different from nearly every other type has to do with … emotions … and parents. In the car shipping business there are few guarantees or certainties. It’s not like shipping a package folks. You can’t overnight it. Car shipping is much more involved with plenty of variables.

Actually the college kids are pretty chill about the car shipping process and seem understanding, but their parents are often less so. They love their children and don’t want them inconvenienced in the least. We get it. Fortunately, most universities require freshman to live in dorms on campus and forbid them from having vehicles. The separation anxiety for many parents that freshman year accompanied by also shipping a car to their kid might be toxic for auto shippers. It is only slightly less so for upperclassmen. Like sticking a square peg in a round hole, parents insist on precise performance, guaranties and much more in a car shipping business that is ill equipped to deliver that level of service for anyone. We all would if we could, but we cannot guarantee what we cannot control. Nobody can. We just try our best and hope for the best.

How Best To Schedule The College Student Car Shipment

1. Determine the date the student will arrive on campus and add a day for receiving your vehicle. Who wants to meet a car shipping driver the same day you move into your dorm? Nobody. Too much other stuff going on and why put stress on top of stress? Add a day. Of course, we are assuming that the college student does not want his or her vehicle to beat them to school, because there likely won’t be anybody to receive the car and pay the driver. So an example might look like this:

August 22 – arrive on campus and move in
August 23 – first date available to receive vehicle at destination (because we add a day)

2. Determine the distance from point of origin, probably home, to the destination, the university. Let’s say it’s 2,300 miles. As it happens, car shipping drivers are not allowed to drive more than 500 miles in a day, according to DOT rules, which are strictly enforced for everyone’s safety. That means the driver will be at least five days on the road. Therefore, it would be unwise to make your college student’s vehicle available any sooner than five days before it could possibly be received. Therefore, knowing the student cannot receive the vehicle before August 23rd, please make it available on …

August 18 – First date available to ship college student car

3. Having selected August 18th as the first date available only makes good sense because it takes a minimum of five car shipping days transit time, and August 23rd is the earliest receiving date. However, that does not mean the car will ship on August 18th, and there begins the problem for college students and notably their parents. There has to be several other vehicles also shipping within close proximity of both the origin and destination. It does not happen every day. It usually does happen within one week if both the origination and destination are well populated areas. If either is in a remote spot, it can slow things down considerably as there is less truck traffic. Even in ideal circumstances, it means that most likely the college student will be without a vehicle for a few days and perhaps over a week. For a car shipping company, tell that to a parent … then duck for cover.

Nobody can control the car shipping dates with any sort of precision. At the time the order is placed, it is unknown which carrier will be shipping your college student’s vehicle, or whether it will be assigned a driver on the first day available … or third day … or fifth day … and so on. All we know are the probabilities, and there’s no guaranties on probabilities. Well, alright, in Vegas they can guarantee that the house will win 90% of the time, but for the rest of us probabilities are not guarantees.

Can A College Student Increase The Probable Chances Of Car Shipping Success?

Yes they can. Prestige Auto Transport offers three car shipping rate levels: Standard, Expedited and Rush. The first one, Standard Rate, is plenty fine for most people as their vehicles get assigned a carrier between 1 and 7 days of availability over 80% of the time. It offers the best deal on car shipping, especially for those on a budget, and most people are fine waiting a few extra days. A high percentage actually ship within a couple days and do so at that lower rate. But by selecting the Expedited Rate, which the car shipping quote calculator adds $75, the probability of success increases to 85% and the number of days reduced to 1 to 4. What that does is scoot your Expedited order in front of the other market rate vehicles, and maybe a driver chooses your vehicle over another. Or maybe he drives a little out of his way to fetch or deliver your college student’s car. That extra $75 is often well spent if a parent is stressing over car shipping. It’s like front cutting at the water cooler without the guilt. And then of course there are some people who just don’t want to mess around and go Full Monty, selecting the Rush Rate, which is $150 more than the Standard Rate. If there is a carrier anywhere in the vicinity of the origination and heading anywhere near the destination, that extra $150 is enough to … in the words of Van Halen … go ahead and JUMP! The odds of success increase to 90% and the days to assign a driver reduced to an astounding 1-2 days. None of it guaranteed, of course, but the probability is exceptionally high.

Final Words of Advice To Parents of Car Shipping College Students

Most university campuses have an efficient mass transit system and most college kids are fine with it. They often meet and make friends in the process. So until your college student’s vehicle arrives, hopefully he or she can make the best of it. Sometimes life’s little inconveniences can be blessings in disguise. You know, Paul McCartney introduced John Lennon to George Harrison on a bus. That seemed to work out fine. The kids make do and learn to fend for themselves. You love your kid, we understand, but take a deep breath and know that it will all work out in the end. 

bottom of page