How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car? – Shipping Rates, Options, and Factors to Consider

How much does it cost to ship a car

Transporting a car from one location to another can be a complex task, and understanding the cost involved is crucial for making informed decisions. The cost to ship a car depends on several factors, including distance, vehicle type, transportation method, seasonal demand, and additional services.

In this article, we will explore these factors in detail to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the cost to ship a car. Whether you are relocating, purchasing a vehicle from a distant location, or sending a car as a gift, having the right knowledge about car shipping costs will help you plan and budget effectively.

The Average Cost to Ship a Car

When it comes to shipping a car, understanding the average cost involved is essential for budgeting and planning purposes.

The cost to ship a car can vary depending on various factors, including the distance, vehicle type, transportation method, seasonal demand, and additional services required. While it’s difficult to provide an exact figure due to the multitude of variables involved, we can provide you with a general idea of the average cost range for car shipping.

DistanceAverage Cost Range
Same Country$500 – $1,500
Long Distance$1,000 – $2,500 (or more)
International$1,000 – $5,000 (or more)

Car Hauling Rates Per Mile


The size and weight of the vehicle can impact the shipping cost. Transporting an oversized SUV in an enclosed carrier will generally be more expensive compared to shipping a standard sedan on an open carrier. Heavy vehicles, such as minivans, may cost nearly twice as much to ship as lightweight compact cars.


The specific pickup and delivery locations can affect the cost. If you require door-to-door service in a rural area, the price may be higher. On the other hand, if you can arrange for the car to be picked up and dropped off at central transport locations or hubs, you may be able to save some money.


The timeframe for delivery is another factor to consider. Shipping a car across the country using a standard transport service can take several weeks. If you need the vehicle to be delivered urgently, rush or expedited services are usually available, but they often come with a higher cost.


The time of year can impact shipping costs. During the winter months when there is typically less demand for shipping services, you may find more affordable rates. However, be aware that adverse weather conditions can lead to longer delivery times.

Factors That Affect Car Shipping Cost


The total mileage between the pickup and delivery locations is a significant factor in determining the cost. Generally, the longer the distance, the higher the shipping cost.

Vehicle Size and Weight

The size and weight of the vehicle being shipped can impact the cost. Larger and heavier vehicles take up more space on the carrier and may require specialized equipment, resulting in higher shipping rates.

Vehicle Condition

The condition of the vehicle can affect the cost as well. Inoperable or non-running vehicles may require additional equipment and effort for loading and unloading, leading to higher shipping fees.

Type of Transport

The choice between open and enclosed transport can affect the cost. Open carriers, which expose the vehicle to the elements, are usually more affordable compared to enclosed carriers that provide protection from weather and road debris.

Delivery Options

Door-to-door service, where the carrier picks up and delivers the vehicle directly to specified addresses, generally costs more than terminal-to-terminal service, where the vehicle is dropped off and picked up at designated terminals or hubs.

Season and Demand

Shipping costs can vary depending on the time of year and overall demand for car shipping services. High-demand periods, such as during peak moving seasons or holidays, may result in higher rates.

Additional Services

Optional services like expedited shipping, insurance coverage, and tracking can incur additional charges. These services can be convenient but many terms increase the overall cost.

Fuel Prices

Fluctuations in fuel prices can influence the shipping cost, as carriers factor in their operational expenses.


The cost to ship a car can vary based on its size. Generally, larger and heavier vehicles will incur higher shipping costs compared to smaller and lighter ones. Here are some estimated costs :

Vehicle SizeAverage Shipping Cost Range
Compact Cars$500 – $1,000
Sedans$600 – $1,200
Mid-Size Cars$700 – $1,400
SUVs$800 – $1,600
Trucks$900 – $1,800
Vans$900 – $1,800

These cost ranges are provided for reference purposes only and are subject to change. It’s important to remember that factors such as distance, specific vehicle dimensions, pickup and delivery locations, and the chosen transport method can all impact the final shipping cost. To obtain accurate and up-to-date pricing information, I recommend reaching out to car shipping companies or brokers who can provide you with personalized quotes based on your specific requirements.

Cost to Transport a Car by Freight

When it comes to shipping a vehicle across the country, using a car transporter is the most common choice. However, there are alternative methods available, each with its own considerations and costs. Here are some options to explore:

Port-to-Port Shipping

If you need to transport a vehicle across or around a large body of water, port-to-port shipping can be a viable solution. For instance, shipping a vehicle to Hawaii usually falls within the range of $1,500 to $2,000 on average, while the journey from Hawaii to the mainland tends to be less expensive.

Passenger Train

Amtrak provides a direct-to-consumer freight train shipping option called the Amtrak Auto Train. This service operates along the East Coast, allowing you to transport a standard-sized vehicle from Virginia to Florida for a reasonable cost (typically under $300 one way). However, it’s important to note that you’ll be required to accompany the vehicle during the journey, which means an additional passenger ticket expense.

Freight Train

While shipping a vehicle by freight train can be cost-effective, it typically requires working through a transportation company as direct arrangements with commercial carriers are uncommon. Availability of space may be limited, and you’ll need to factor in logistics for transporting the vehicle to and from train terminals.

Air Freight

Although flying might seem like a convenient option for moving your vehicle internationally, air freight for vehicles is often considerably more expensive, surpassing the actual value of the car. As a result, utilizing air freight for vehicle transportation is generally not cost-effective.

t’s important to remember that these alternate shipping methods have their own limitations, such as specific routes, availability constraints, and additional factors to consider. The cost estimates provided are approximate and can vary depending on factors like vehicle size, distance, individual shipping companies, and prevailing market conditions.

To get accurate pricing and comprehensive information tailored to your specific needs, it is recommended to contact transportation companies or specialized service providers directly.

Car Shipping Costs by Company

Here are the approximate car shipping costs by company:

  1. Sherpa Auto Transport:
    • Approximate Mileage: 1,500 miles
    • Cost: $1,150
  2. Easy Auto Ship:
    • Approximate Mileage: 2,800 miles
    • Cost: $1,903

3.Montway Auto Transport:

      • Approximate Mileage: 550 miles
      • Cost: $649

Please note that these cost estimates are subject to change and may vary depending on various factors such as the type of carrier chosen (open or enclosed), current market conditions, and specific requirements of the shipment. It’s always advisable to contact the car shipping companies directly to get the most accurate and up-to-date cost estimates for your specific needs.


Is it possible to ship a car internationally?

Yes, international car shipping is possible. However, it involves additional considerations such as customs duties, import/export regulations, and documentation requirements.

Are there any additional charges for remote areas?

Yes, remote areas may incur additional charges due to limited carrier availability and access constraints.

Can I choose the type of carrier for shipping my car?

Yes, you can choose between open and enclosed carriers. Open carriers are more common and cost-effective, while enclosed carriers provide better protection.

Is my vehicle insured during shipping?

Most reputable car shipping companies provide basic insurance coverage for your vehicle during transit. However, it’s important to clarify the extent of coverage and any deductibles with the shipping company. If you have specific concerns, you may also opt for additional insurance coverage or check with your own insurance provider.

How do I choose a car shipping company?

When selecting a car shipping company, it’s important to research and consider factors such as reputation, experience, customer reviews, insurance coverage, licensing, and pricing. Obtain multiple quotes, ask for references, and clarify any concerns or questions you may have before making a decision.

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