How to Find Affordable Motorcycle Shipping and Avoid Hidden Fees

If you’ve been searching for the cheapest way to transport your motorcycle from one state to another, here are some quick tips to ship it without breaking the bank. 

1. Hire an Expert Shipper 

Reputation is everything in this business. If you don’t properly research your motorcycle shipper, you may be on the hook for damage due to improper tie-downs and reckless driving. Always make sure the provider you go with has many years of experience, particularly with shipping motorcycles. 

Experienced shippers know what they are doing. They know how to perform correct tie-downs, for example. An improper one can cause anything from small scratches to major damage. Any company worth its salt should use at least four straps, with the hooks never making contact with your motorcycle.

The initial money you spend on a good motorcycle shipper will save you headache, hassle, and yes, money down the road. Why should you pay for damage done by sub-par shippers that damage your cycle? Shell out the money in the beginning for good service and you won’t be sorry.

2. Read the Fine Print

Before signing on the dotted line, make sure you know and understand all the line items that contribute to the final cost. Ask if the amount on the estimate will be the final number. Don’t be afraid to ask about hidden fees that could crop up later. Getting that out of the way now will save you headache later. Reputable shippers will spell out all their fees in the estimate beforehand so there are no surprises. 

3. Choose an Open Trailer for Short Distances

You will save a lot of money by opting for open trailer shipping. This is a great, affordable option – if you are only going a short distance, such as one state over. However, if you’re going to be shipping your cycle thousands of miles, and it’s fragile, vintage or just plain special to you, opt for the closed trailer. Yes, you will pay more for this, but it will be worth the peace of mind knowing you won’t be shelling out for small paint chip repairs or weathering damage sustained on an open trailer. 

Any good motorcycle transport company should provide the following:

  • Specialty trucks equipped with a lift gate or secure ramps for safe loading/unloading, as well as an air-ride suspension that ensures your motorcycle won’t bounce around during transit, which can cause unnecessary wear on your seals, shocks, and forks.
  • Specialized hardware designed for shipping motorcycles. Some may use skids, custom pallets, wheel chocks, spacing bars or harnesses as well.
  • Soft nylon tie-downs to protect fragile finishes, such as handlebars, which should not be secured with metal hooks.

4. Watch Out For Additional Fees

Pay attention to all fees listed in the price so you don’t get surprised later. Some common ones include:

  • Rural or “beyond” fees, which will depend on pick up or delivery locations
  • Oversize motorcycle charges for larger bikes
  • Fuel surcharges 
  • Toll road fees
  • Insurance fees
  • Residential fees for door-to-door shipping
  • Lift gate fees
  • Attempted delivery fees (when you aren’t available to meet the driver, or the driver can’t access the designated location)
  • Storage fees (when a bike can’t be delivered on schedule, usually due to attempted delivery, see above)

To avoid any potential extra cost, confirm the specific details of your pickup and delivery locations at the time you book the order, so any additional fees will clear before receiving the invoice. 

5. Get the Right Type of Insurance

All shippers offer some kind of insurance or valuation coverage; some will include it in the price, but most don’t. Give a second look to the provider’s basic coverage to make sure it offers coverage on everything you want. Find out what isn’t included in the shipper’s base-level coverage.

Ask about the deductible, as well as the details on how you will file a claim in the event an accident, theft or damage happens. Ask how long you will have to wait to get reimbursed. Try to choose a shipper that includes insurance or valuation coverage that gels with your budget. 

Contact AA Motorcycle

Ready to book affordable motorcycle shipping that won’t spring hidden fees on you? Get an instant quote now to start planning your trip. We make it as affordable as possible, without sacrificing service!

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