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Benefits of Knowing the Average Cost to Ship a Car

Car transport costs are based on several factors. These include the type of vehicle (e.g., an SUV costs more to ship than a sedan), the size of the car, and whether it’s inoperable or not.

To help keep auto shipping rates low, remove personal items to reduce the weight of your vehicle, and choose terminal-to-terminal delivery if possible.

Time of Year

The price of auto transport depends on a variety of factors. These include the size of the vehicle, the location (a populated area is more expensive than a remote one), whether you’re shipping to or from a terminal (terminal shipping requires that you drop your car off at a terminal close to your pickup address and pick it up at an airfield closer to your delivery address), the season (when prices are typically higher, due to snowbirds who are heading south in the fall and back north in the spring), fuel prices during the time of your shipment, the make and model of the car being shipped, and whether or not the vehicle is operable.

The most fantastic method to save money is to be flexible with the time and date of your pickup and delivery. Most brokers and carriers charge extra to meet your specific dates — so be flexible, and you’ll save. It is especially valid for winter shipments when the weather can slow down routes and cause delays. It’s also worth mentioning that most auto transport quotes aren’t final prices and will likely change.


The average cost to ship a car is greatly influenced by the distance that it travels. Because carriers must go further and fuel prices are higher than short flights, longer routes are more expensive.

The demand for auto transport services at certain times of the year can also impact prices. High demands on specific routes can lead to rising costs, especially before Thanksgiving and Christmas, which require extra time for pickup and delivery. Weather is another factor to consider, as it can cause delays and even road closures in some areas.

The size of your vehicle impacts shipping rates as well. Larger vehicles take up more space on carrier trucks and are harder to load, which increases the price. Inoperable vehicles are also more expensive to ship, requiring more labor and fuel for pickup and drop-off. The location of your pickup and drop-off locations can also increase the shipping cost, as rural areas are often more challenging to reach. If you can find a car shipping terminal that is close to your pickup and drop-off locations, it can help keep costs down.

Car Type

Many factors influence shipping costs, including vehicle type, size, distance, and delivery method. Ultimately, it’s impossible to give an exact price for your car transport until you request a personalized estimate from a reputable auto shipper. However, you can understand the average cost to ship your car by understanding some of the major influencing factors.

For example, larger vehicles are more expensive to ship because they take up more space on the carrier truck. Additionally, heavier vehicles are more rigid on the carrier’s fuel economy, which increases transport costs.

Enclosed transport is pricier than open transport because it offers more protection from road hazards and weather elements. Also, door-to-door shipping is more expensive than terminal-to-terminal shipping. Regardless of your choice, always shop around to find the best deal on auto transport. Compare instant quotes from several auto transport companies to ensure you get the most competitive pricing.

Car Condition

The price to send your car depends on a variety of factors. These include the type of vehicle, the time of year, and the distance that needs to be covered. The car condition and pickup/drop-off location can also impact the price.

Large vehicles like SUVs cost more to ship than sedans and smaller cars. It is because they take up more truck space and weigh more, which can increase fuel consumption. Similarly, inoperable vehicles typically cost more to transport because they require specialized equipment.

Other factors impacting the shipping costs are the choice of pickup/drop-off locations and the preferred shipping method. For example, terminal-to-terminal shipping is usually cheaper than door-to-door shipping because it involves picking up and dropping off vehicles at centralized locations rather than specific addresses.

Payment Method

The car transport company you choose will also affect your final costs. Some companies will tack on service fees after you book the transport job and assign an auto carrier. In contrast, others are transparent about their prices upfront and let you pay your page when the vehicle is delivered.

Regardless of how you ship your car, finding a reputable provider with a good reputation and an excellent customer service team that will communicate well with you throughout the process is essential. They should be able to answer your questions about the cost of car shipping, provide updated quotes, and help you schedule a shipment that fits your time frame. It’s also important to know if the car transport company offers guarantees or perks such as guaranteed pricing and guaranteed pickup dates, which can reduce your overall transport costs. The company should also provide secure payment methods and not charge extra for a credit card. Also, wash your car before it’s picked up and take care of any preexisting damages before you hand the keys over to the driver.