“How much does it cost to ship a car?” is often the first question people ask when they are considering auto transport, and understandably so. Shipping your vehicle from one state to another can be costly, but it can also be a safer and more convenient way to move your vehicle long-distance. There are many factors that determine the exact cost of shipping your vehicle, so here are a few things to consider.
What type of vehicle are you shipping?
Bigger vehicles like trucks, vans, and SUVs are more expensive to transport than sedans or compact cars. That’s because carriers can only transport a certain amount of weight and obviously, the bigger the car the heavier it will be. Other factors that can increase costs are modifications for oversized tires or the need to lower or lift your car for some reason.
How far is the vehicle being shipped?
Distance plays a major role in the cost of your vehicle shipment. The farther the distance you are transporting the car, the more it will cost you. Car shippers usually charge a base price per mile.
Is the auto-transport door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal?
Many auto shipping companies will give you the option of having your car shipped directly to your door or to a terminal. Door-to door service is typically more expensive than terminal shipping, although it is more convenient. The exact location of your vehicle’s destination can also play a factor in the price. If the drop-off and pick-up destination is in a hard to reach location or far from a heavily traveled highway, this can increase the cost.
Are you using an open or enclosed carrier?
You have the option to ship your vehicle in an open-air carrier or an enclosed carrier. Open-air carriers are less expensive, though your vehicle will be exposed to outdoor elements. Most people who are shipping antique or luxury vehicles choose enclosed carriers, as they are a safer option.
What is the price of fuel?
Fuel prices are constantly changing and this is possibly the biggest variable expense associated with auto transport.
While there is no exact cost for every vehicle, these factors will help give you a better idea of how to calculate the cost of shipping your vehicle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.