How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car? Find the Answer!

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car Find the Answer!

Cars are efficient at getting you from point A to point B, but what if you are unable to operate the vehicle yourself? So, how much does it cost to ship a car?

The typical door-to-door cost of car shipping is between $500 and $1,600. Numerous options are available for shipping a car across the country, and the price will vary depending on the vehicle. 

If you’re willing to wait to have your car shipped at the right time of year and if you ask the shipping company the right questions, you can also save a ton of money. Shipping costs might be considerably less if you buy a car from a reputable online dealer like Vroom. Be sure to consider all your options when looking for the best deal.

Keep reading.

Average Cost to Ship a Car

The average cost to ship a car across the country depends on many factors, some of which are completely out of your control. The process for shipping a vehicle is as follows:

  • You contact shipping brokers to look for a reasonable cost and receive estimates. These estimates aren’t the actual price you’ll pay, but a guess based on demand, distance, the route your truck driver will take and other factors.
  • Car shipping companies compete for your business after providing estimates. Companies that provide transportation may not compete for your order if they are busy and not looking for new customers. However, when demand is lower, carriers might offer a lower price, saving you some money.
  • The bid is won by the auto transporter who is willing to ship your car for the least amount of money. At this point, you are aware of the precise cost.
  • The winning bidder sends a carrier out to pick up your vehicle and transport it to your location.

Approximately 1,380 miles would be covered in the shipping of a small SUV from Austin, Texas, to Los Angeles, California. Here’s what they might pay based on the current average cost of shipping:

Transport TypeTimelineAverage Cost
Open AirNo Rush$1,070

The price could be very different if they wanted to sell the car in a different state. For instance, if they shipped the car to New Mexico rather than California, the distance might be closer to 650 or 800 miles. Assuming a distance of 670 miles, here’s what they might pay:

Transport TypeTimelineAverage Cost
Open AirNo Rush$800

The cost of shipping varies greatly based on distance and timeline, but it might be worth it to pay a little more for shipping if you find an incredible deal on a new or used vehicle. The price of moving the car to another state is covered by any money you are able to save, which could be several thousand dollars.

Your shipping costs can be significantly impacted by how soon you need your vehicle delivered. For expedited shipping, expect to pay an additional $200–$500 on average. This typically isn’t worth the additional cost. A vehicle from another country may also be shipped. While the price varies, it typically runs between $1,000 and $5,000 to ship something from abroad to the United States.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car
How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car

Factors That Affect Car Shipping Costs

The various factors affecting the cost of getting your car to your destination must be taken into account when selecting a car shipping company.


Prices are set by car carriers, not by car brokers. Car brokers must keep the market prices set by thousands of car carriers in mind.

Size and Weight

The size and weight of your car will have a significant impact on the cost. To get the most precise estimate when comparing quotes, make sure that you have your car’s size and weight on hand.

Transport Type

Since it costs the least, open cars are most frequently chosen for transportation. However, this does not shield their vehicles from grit and debris. Although enclosed shipping costs more, it shields your car from the elements.

Fuel Type

The cost of shipping your car is undoubtedly greatly influenced by the price of gasoline and diesel. When fuel prices soar, the price of car shipping rises as well.

Fuel Price

Certainly, the price of gasoline and diesel fuel has a big impact on how much it costs to ship your car. The cost of shipping a car increases along with rising fuel prices.

Time of Year

Depending on when you’ve scheduled your move, your car shipping rates could vary. May through August, which are popular moving months, are also popular months for shipping cars, so demand for these services is higher during this time period. Plan accordingly.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car
How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car

How Auto Transport Bidding Works?

When you contact a broker for auto transport, your reservation is made. The broker provides you with a quote after you inquire about the price. Then it requests bids from carriers to handle your shipment.

However, if the carriers have not yet opened bids, how does it provide you with an instant quote?

That’s the rub. Except in rare instances where a company offers a guaranteed price, your quote is a starting point for the bidders—not your final price.

It is technically cheaper than the competition if an auto shipping company enters a price of $1 for a cross-country shipment. However, no truck driver in the world will take that position.

However, a carrier might offer $2,000 for the job. That could prompt another business to offer to ship your car for $100 less. And so on.

Up until the auto transport broker selects a car carrier—typically about a week before you need to ship your vehicle—bidding goes on.

Why Car Shipping Pricing is Different?

Have you ever attempted to locate your boarding gate on a busy airport’s departure board? It can be challenging to know where to go because the times on the board sometimes seem to change faster than you can blink.

Car shipping prices don’t change quite that fast, but it’s common for them to change daily and create that same confusion.


Two reasons:

  • A bidding process is used to make reservations.Auto transport brokers connect you with car shipping carriers that bid on your booking request. The carrier that (typically) offered to complete the task for the lowest price is then presented to you by brokers. You’ll get a better deal some days than others because car shipping is a supply and demand industry.
  • Numerous cost factors exist.The size of your car, the distance it travels, and even the season can affect your price. These elements help carriers determine how much to charge.
How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car
How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car

How to Ship a Car?

How you handle this process will determine how much it ultimately costs, whether you’re shipping your car across the country or across the state.

Determine How You Want Your Car Delivered

The price to ship your car is frequently influenced by how it is dropped off or picked up. Opting for terminal-to-terminal car shipping will usually be cheaper, but door-to-door service is more convenient and could be worth the extra cost.

Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of each car shipping option:

  • Terminal-to-terminal car shipping:This mode of transportation necessitates that you deliver your car to a predetermined drop-off location and pick it up from a predetermined pickup location close to your destination. You will need to make transportation arrangements to and from each terminal location even though this is frequently the less expensive option.

    Car transport businesses can deliver complete shipments from one location to another, reducing their overall costs, thanks to terminal-to-terminal shipping. This, however, means that until a full load is prepared to ship, your vehicle may need to spend more time idle and outside in a terminal parking lot.
  • Door-to-door car transport:Door-to-door shipping, which is likely the most practical choice, entails the carrier picking up your vehicle from your preferred location (typically your home or place of employment) and delivering it to your destination. This method of shipping usually costs a little bit more than terminal-to-terminal shipping because it requires the driver to spend more time on the road.

    Keep in mind that some home or work locations are inaccessible for carriers that cannot navigate narrow roads with their equipment, so you may need to compromise and set up a delivery point close to your final destination.

Decide What Type of Carrier You Need

The majority of auto shipping businesses give you the option of open or enclosed transport. Both options have advantages and disadvantages, but if you take the value of the car you’re shipping into account, making a decision is made easier.

  • Open car transport services:To take advantage of lower costs and more flexible shipping dates, the majority of people choose open car transport companies. While open carrier shipping does expose your vehicle to damage from debris or the elements, the risk of damage during transport is very low, and any paint chips or dings that occur are usually covered by insurance.
  • Enclosed car transport services: If your car is highly valuable, like if you’re shipping a classic car,enclosed car shipping is a better option because your car will be protected from the elements. However, enclosed car transport trucks can usually carry only a few vehicles at a time, which can raise the overall cost of shipping a vehicle up to 50% more than the cost of open car transport.

Gather Multiple Car Shipping Quotes

Obtaining a written car shipping estimate is essential because pricing is an important factor in the process. Here are some considerations when looking at quotes:

  • Insurance:A reputable shipping company typically includes insurance in its quote. Ensure you are aware of whether the company’s insurance is primary or secondary to yours, and confirm with your personal insurance provider whether your policy covers any damage that might occur during shipping.

    Keep valuables and personal items out of your car; if they are damaged or stolen, your car insurance won’t cover it. Obtain the insurance company’s damage deductible information and keep written records of all insurance-related transactions.
  • Shipping rates and fees:It’s important to understand how rates and fees are set. When multiple vehicles are traveling to and from the same cities, your rate from some companies that charge by the mile is frequently lower.
  • Delay policy:Find out if the company reimburses the shipping costs in full or in part if the car is delivered late.

Schedule Your Car Transport Pickup and Delivery

You can be more flexible and cut your shipping costs if you schedule your car transport service about eight weeks in advance. Additionally, it allows you to wait for the ideal car transporter with the most affordable price.

Prepare the Car for Transport

Before your vehicle is prepared for shipping, there are a few things you need to do.

  • Clean out the car:Household goods cannot typically be moved from one state to another by auto transport companies without a license. In fact, if the Department of Transportation discovers a truck full of personal items on a carrier, the carrier could be fined. It’s a good idea to clean out your car anyway to help prevent theft and other issues, even though many auto transport companies still permit you to have some personal items in your vehicle (typically about 100 pounds) for an additional fee.

    While keeping enough fuel in your car to get home once it is delivered, some car shipping companies even advise reducing your gas tank to a quarter or eighth of a tank to lower shipping costs.
  • Inspect your car for damage: Before and after your car is shipped, take some pictures in case you need to make a claim for any damages that happen during transport. In the unlikely event that your car is damaged, you should note it on the bill of lading. If you don’t, you might be liable for paying for any necessary repairs.
How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car
How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car


What is the Average Cost to Ship a Car Per Mile?

The average price per mile to ship a car is about $1.17. However, car shipping prices vary widely depending on factors such as vehicle size, distance, route, and seasonality. Before choosing an auto transport business, advises getting several quotes for car shipping.

Does the Cost of Shipping a Car Depend on the Company?

Yes, car transport costs depend on the company. Car shippers look at factors such as transport type, vehicle condition, distance, and seasonality when calculating costs.

What is the Typical Cost to Transport a Car on an Open Carrier?

An open carrier will cost you about $1,108 on average to ship a car. A cross-country shipment costs about $1,500, while a trip of less than 500 miles costs around $500.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Vehicle?

A car can be shipped for about $1,080, though prices can vary greatly. A small car like a Toyota Corolla can typically be shipped for around $970, while a larger truck like a Ford F-150 may cost you around $1,200.

Do Car Shipping Costs Go Up If I Have a Larger Vehicle?

Yes, the price of shipping a larger vehicle increases. For example,’s analysis of hundreds of quotes suggests that the car shipping rate is approximately $970 for a sedan, $1,080 for an SUV, and $1,210 for a truck.

What Does a Car Hauler Need to Give Me a Car Shipping Quote?

A car hauler needs basic details about your vehicle and route to give you a car shipping quote. The zip codes for your origin and destination, as well as the year, make, and model of your car, should all be given to the transport company.

Summary: How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car?

The typical cost of car shipping with a car shipping company ranges from $500 to $1600.

There are many factors to consider when trying to find the best deal, such as the distance you transport the vehicle, the transit time, the type of service you prefer, and the weight of the vehicle. You can also save a lot of money if you are willing to wait for the vehicle to ship at the right time of year and ask the right questions of the transportation company

Shipping expenses are probably going to be considerably lower if you purchase your car from a reliable online dealer like Vroom. When looking for the best deal, make sure to weigh all your options.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment. KV Auto tries to give you the best car industry information. Thank you for reading.

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