How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car?

When it comes to finding a car shipping quote, the fact is that costs vary greatly — and it’s not entirely about the car carrier.

If you want to ship a car, you must know the factors involved that contribute to the car shipping price. Each vehicle transport option is different, and that affects the overall costs as well.

In this article, we’ll cover the most common factors that affect auto shipping quotes so that you can get an idea of your own costs. In the end, your own decision has to come down to more than car shipping prices, because cheap car shipping doesn’t always mean the most reliable or trustworthy.

Type of Car Shipping

Car shipping rates depend on what type of transport option you choose. When car movers transport your car across the country or anywhere, you can choose from three methods of vehicle transport:

  • Open-Air TransportThis car shipping method is where the cars are loaded on an open trailer. It is most commonly used for short distances. Car shippers charge an average of $700 per vehicle, per 1000 miles for this vehicle shipment type.
  • Enclosed Transport – This method is arguably the safest among auto shipping methods. It’s used to move vehicles that are too large or heavy for open carriers. Enclosed transport also happens to be the most expensive, but it does offer various levels of protection. The cost averages out to about $1100 for every 1,000 miles.
  • Expedited TransportThis way of auto transport is used if you’re in a rush to move out from your current home to a new one or if your previous car hauling service did a poor job with moving your vehicle. The car delivery service will prioritize your request so you can relocate faster.

Vehicle Type and Condition

Any auto shipping quote will also factor in distance between pick-up and arrival location. The greater the distance, the more it will cost to ship an automobile.

On the other hand, the average cost to ship domestically, especially across small distances, can run you around $500 for 150 miles.

Included in the price for car shipment domestically are costs associated with loading, unloading, transportation, and storage of vehicles while awaiting delivery by another means at the final destination.

Distance and Location for Vehicle Shipments

The cost to ship an automobile is affected by the distance it will travel.

On the other hand, the average cost to ship domestically is $500 for 150 miles.

Included in the price for car shipment domestically are costs associated with loading, unloading, transportation, and storage of vehicles while awaiting delivery by another means at the final destination.

Time of the Year and Delivery Preferences When You Ship Your Car

The costs for shipping a car increase during peak travel seasons. It’s because more people are traveling and they need to transport their vehicles.

The cost of transporting your car varies depending on when it is being shipped, and where it will be going. For example, a customer wants to ship a car from Florida to California in the summer (between June to August).

The demand for shipping a car is higher during this period because it’s the easiest, i.e., summer means a low risk of rainfall and storms and less hazardous roads. Therefore, expect the prices to be higher as well.

Choosing the Right Car Shipping Company

There are lots of car transport companies with services that meet your auto shipping needs.

Since you already have your work cut out for you, you must be diligent when choosing the right car transport service for you by following the steps below.

First, check out customer reviews of auto transport services that offer the features you’re looking for.  The experiences of people with these car shipping companies will help you decide the ones you must reach out to.

Next, get car shipping quotes from each one to get an idea of how much you have to pay.

Finally, talk to the customer service of the remaining auto transport companies to learn more about their respective auto shipping methods.

From here, decide which among the auto transport carriers is the best for you.

Tips to Reduce Car Shipping Prices

At this point, you should be aware that the costs of an auto transport service depend on which of the car shipping factors matters most to you.

However, that doesn’t mean that you have to compromise your vehicle’s safety or reliable customer service. Instead, look to strike a balance between getting the best car shipping services from needlessly expensive ones.

Here are a few things to help you get the most out of your car shipping costs:

  • Decide on open-air or enclosed transport If you’re shipping an economical car during low seasons like summer and the distance isn’t far away, open-air transport is the most logical choice. For transporting brand-new luxury cars from another country, enclosed transport is your best and safest bet. 
  • Plan ahead of timeIf possible, book the car transport during low seasons to reduce costs. Or if you plan to ship a car during peak seasons, schedule the auto transport months before the expected date to potentially lower the car shipping rate.
  • Reduce car weightThe heavier your car is, the more expensive the auto shipping is. Therefore, take out your personal belongings from the car and don’t fill the gas tank to the brim to make your car lighter.


When it comes to car shipping costs, you have two options:

  1. Choose to skip the premium on some of these factors and instead save on car shipping costs.
  2. Pay for the best car transport services available to ensure the safety of your car and skip dealing with the headache caused by your frugality.

Keep in mind that you’re paying for comfort and convenience. By being prudent in paying for auto transportation services, you run the risk of getting your car damaged during shipping. You may also receive your vehicle beyond the agreed-upon date and deal with issues with customs for cars coming from abroad.

You get what you pay for in your car transport. So, consider your budget and the potential risks you’ll subject your car to before making a decision. Good luck!