What Are The Typical Auto Shipping Costs?


Working on the costs of moving long-distance is overwhelming work. If you have multiple vehicles to bring to your new home, price is a top factor to consider when dealing with car shipping companies. You would want providers that offer a balance of quality and affordability.

A quality auto shipping provider should have enough experience and good reviews. They should be able to keep your car safe during transit and manage interstate paperwork and requirements. Quality does not always mean a hefty price tag. You can find affordable quality services by shopping around and doing thorough research. 

Figuring out the cost of auto shipping will help you budget your move to a new home. Knowing ahead of time the different factors that affect the shipping price can help you plan better.

The Average Cost of Car Transport

When shipping a car, you’ll be shelling out between 40 cents to $2.00 per mile. Distance is the major variable that affects the price. As you move a longer distance, the per-mile cost gets cheaper. However, the overall cost gets more expensive.

Factors That Influence Auto Shipping Costs

Several factors come into play when computing the cost of auto shipping services. Here are some of them.

  • Season – Summer months are peak shipping season. Providers are busier, and truck space is scarcer. Prices during peak season can increase by $200. It isn’t cheaper to ship during winter, though. The delays caused by snowstorms and unfavorable road conditions will cost extra. It’s a good idea to ask providers when their offseason is. See if you can adjust your move date based on this information.
  • Distance and Time – The farther your destination, the more costly it will be. It’s not only about the mileage. If your route goes through city traffic, expect a higher cost as the shipper will factor in delays. On the other hand, if the truck mostly goes through highways, you can expect a cheaper per-mile charge.
  • Size and Weight of Vehicle – As your car takes up more space on the truck, it gets more expensive to ship. This is because the carrier has limited space and weight capacity. The difference between a standard sedan and an SUV is close to double the cost.
  • Car Condition – A car in better condition is more affordable to ship. If your vehicle has busted brakes or faulty steering, the transport service will need specialized tools to move it around. If your car needs a forklift to move around, expect it will cost extra.
  • Open-air or Enclosed Carrier – Enclosed carriers cost around 80% more than open-air transport. The expense comes with the added protection the truck gives your car from the elements. The extra cost of enclosed carrier trucks only makes sense if you have high-end or expensive vehicles.
  • Standard or Expedited Transport – The shipping cost will increase if you need your car delivered in a shorter period. Expedited transport is more expensive because of the risks and the number of professionals involved. It means multiple truck drivers, driving through day and night with minimum stops. Rush shipping can cost up to $500 more.
  • Drop-off Method – There are two drop-off methods in shipping your car. Terminal-to-terminal shipping is cheaper. You take your vehicle to the shipping terminal and pick it up at the endpoint. The more expensive method is door-to-door transport. The auto transport service picks up your car from your home. They deliver it straight to your destination. Door-to-door is more convenient, especially if you are shipping multiple vehicles.
  • Insurance – Any reputable car transport service includes insurance in its fees. The more coverage you avail, the higher the insurance cost will be. Pricier insurance can protect your car from damages not seen immediately upon drop-off.
  • Economic Situation – An increase in fuel prices means an increase in shipping costs. The recent pandemic has also made auto transport a bit pricier. Drivers had to take extra precautions and deal with restrictions state-by-state.

How About Quality?

Affordability is one thing to consider. But it needs to be balanced with quality. To ensure the safety and security of your vehicle, do diligent research. Look at the following factors:

  • Registration – Reputable companies will have their registration posted online. Don’t consider transport companies that do not have a Motor Carrier license. They could be scams or farming for contacts. Always check the validity of the license at the website of the government agency.
  • Experience – Look at how many years of service the shipping company has. Read reviews and testimonials about the transport service. Look at social media to get authentic reviews, as the company websites will have curated testimonials. If the transport company has details about their staff, that would be a plus.
  • Tracking System – As you do your research, ask the provider if they have a way to track your car shipping. Fly-by-night companies most likely will not have these in place. Reputable companies will have a way to give you real-time information as your car is shipped, especially with the technology we have now.

Avoid going for the cheapest option right away. The safety and security of your vehicles are not worth skimping. Diligently do your research and match your budget with the companies that are reputable and reliable.

More Knowledge, Less Stress

The overwhelming feeling when doing the budget for your long-distance move comes from not knowing what to budget. By studying the factors of auto shipping costs, you can figure out how to make your move more affordable while keeping an eye out for quality. The better you plan, the less stressful your move will be.


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