Car shipping is an excellent way to get your vehicle to where it needs to be without having to drive it there yourself. Whether you’re moving across the country or taking an extended vacation in another state, shipping your car is an easy way to transport your vehicle. If driving your car hundreds of miles isn’t an option, then hiring a professional car transporting company is the way to go.

If you’ve already started shopping for car shippers, then you may have noticed the prices can be vastly different. The variance in prices may even be a difference of hundreds of dollars. You might wonder why some auto transport quotes are so high, while others are dirt cheap. What you should know is that there’s a lot of competition in the car shipping industry. You should also be aware of what car shippers are charging you for, so you can make an informed decision about which service to choose.

Auto shipping companies take into account the following information when providing a quote:

  1. Distance
  2. Type of carrier
  3. Your vehicle type
  4. Your vehicle’s operational condition
  5. The route
  6. Time of year
  7. Date of delivery

Let’s take a look at how each of those factors can affect the price of shipping your car:


The distance is a factor when it comes to shipping your car, but the charge for the mileage may not be your biggest expense. No matter where your car is being shipped, the carrier still needs to procure a trailer and driver to do the work. You may notice that the charges for the trailer type account for a large part of your car shipping bill and not the distance.

Type of Car Carrier

There are two types of carriers that are used in the car shipping industry: open or closed. The open trailers are less expensive and used more often by customers who need their vehicle transported. Open trailers have the benefit of being easier on the pocketbook, but the downside is that the trailers are open to the environment and dirt on the highway. Closed carriers provide a secure space for your vehicle, but at a higher price.

Vehicle Type and Size

Another major factor in the price of your car transport quote is based on the style of the car that you have. Large SUVs, trucks and modified vehicles are heavier, thus accounting for more of the weight on the carrier. Essentially, the more your car weighs the more you’re going to pay. If your car is customized and longer than a regular vehicle, then you may be charged more since it takes up two spaces.

Vehicle Condition

If you plan on using a car shipping company to move your car that no longer runs, you’re going to be charged more than for a car that is drive-able. Cars that don’t work need to be handled differently, so you’ll be charged for the extra labor required to get it on the carrier. Based on this you may want to reconsider moving your car.

The location of your car is another factor in what you’re being charged for. If you live in a well-traveled area near an urban center, it’s likely the car transport company has a regular pick up and drop off route near you. However, if you live out in the desert or rural area, there may be a higher fee. One way to handle this is to meet the driver at a location with easy access. The auto shipper may discount the pick-up fee for you.

Time of Year

Timing is everything in the auto shipping business. If you want to save money, then don’t book your car transport near any major holidays. The weather also affects certain parts of the country due to seasonal flooding, snow, ice and hurricanes. Try to arrange your car shipping date with those factors in mind for a better price.

Date of Delivery

The final factor in the cost of car shipping depends on how fast you want your vehicle delivered. There are express shipping guarantees, but if you choose this option, expect to pay at least 30 percent on top of the basic fees. For less expensive delivery dates, you can opt to have your car picked up on exact dates or over a certain time span.

The Bottom Line

You can generally expect your car shipping cost to be between 0.35 cents to a dollar per mile depending on the distance. Longer delivery distances are cheaper per mile because it’s more cost-effective for the auto transport company. Use our helpful calculator to get an estimate for shipping your vehicle.

When you use an experienced car shipper, they can save you time and money when it comes to getting your vehicle where it needs to be. Use Ship a Car Direct to get instant car shipping quotes you can use to get the best, safest car shipping services. Best of all, you don’t have to enter your personal information just to get a quote. Try it today!

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Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions

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