What is cross country vehicle shipping?

Cross-country vehicle shipping, also referred to as auto transport or car transport, is the reliable and hassle-free method of transporting vehicles over long distances within the United States.

This service is offered by professional auto transport companies, utilizing specialized carriers to ensure the safe and efficient delivery of vehicles from one state to another, or even coast-to-coast.

These carriers come in open and enclosed options, accommodating various vehicle types and customer preferences. Whether you’re relocating to a new state, purchasing a vehicle online, or attending an out-of-state event, cross-country vehicle shipping provides a convenient solution.

The process typically involves scheduling pickup and delivery dates with the auto transport company, with delivery times varying based on distance and specific routes. By opting for vehicle shipping, you can avoid putting unnecessary miles on your car, minimize wear and tear, and enjoy peace of mind knowing that your vehicle will be handled with care throughout the journey.

How much does it cost to ship a car across country?

When it comes to shipping your vehicle across the country, understanding the associated costs is crucial for effective planning. The total expense varies based on several factors, including distance, vehicle specifications, transport method, and seasonal demand.

Distance: The primary determinant of cost is the distance your car needs to travel. Typically, longer distances incur higher expenses. Here’s a breakdown of estimated costs based on distance:

  • Short distances (1-500 miles): Approximately $1.85 per mile, totaling around $555 for 300 miles.
  • Medium distances (500-1500 miles): Expect to pay around $0.91 per mile, translating to approximately $910 for 1000 miles.
  • Long distances (1500+ miles): Prices average around $0.59 per mile, amounting to roughly $1,180 for 2000 miles.

Vehicle Specifications: The type and size of your vehicle also impact the cost. Larger vehicles require more space on transport carriers, resulting in higher fees. For example, full-size SUVs and pickup trucks tend to cost more to ship than standard sedans.

Transport Method: The choice of transport method—such as open car shipping, enclosed transport, or expedited service—can influence pricing. Here are some estimated costs based on different routes:

  • From Seattle, WA to Washington, D.C. (2,750 miles): Average cost is $1,566.
  • From Los Angeles, CA to New York, NY (2,790 miles): Expect to pay around $1,680.
  • From Miami, FL to San Francisco, CA (3,050 miles): Average cost is $1,520.

Seasonal Demand: Pricing may fluctuate based on seasonal demand, with higher costs during peak seasons like summer.

Pickup and Drop-off Locations: Accessibility and convenience of pickup and drop-off locations also affect pricing. Major metropolitan areas generally have lower costs compared to rural areas.

By considering these factors, you can better estimate the cost of shipping your car across the country and plan accordingly for a smooth and budget-friendly transportation experience.

Understanding Cross-Country Car Shipping Timeframes

Shipping your car across the country involves various factors that influence the delivery timeline. Here’s a simplified breakdown to help you gauge how long it might take:

  • Distance Matters: Generally, the farther your car needs to travel, the longer it will take. Expect an average of 7-10 days for cross-country shipments.
  • Route Considerations: Transit times may vary based on the route taken and the locations involved. Shipping between major cities might be quicker than to more remote areas.
  • External Factors: Weather conditions, traffic congestion, and carrier schedules can impact delivery times. It’s wise to factor in potential delays due to these variables.

By keeping these points in mind, you can better anticipate the timeframe for your cross-country car shipping and plan accordingly for a smooth transportation experience.

AutoStar Transport Express

Our Rating: 4.5/5





Why We Choose It?

AutoStar Transport Express provides cross country car transport in U.S.A with all the transporting modes. They can transport all types of vehicles including regular sedan, SUVs, luxury cars, RVs and motorcycles. They have a network of 20,000+ carriers and trucks across the country in the United States.

  • Customer Service: With solid 10,000+ consumer reviews in Google, Transport Reviews, Yelp, facebook, and an impressive A+ rating in Better Business Bureau (BBB), AutoStar Transport Express has earned a reputation in customer services by getting positive client reviews from more than 21 platforms.
  • Discounts and Flexible Payments: They charge only once the carrier assigned to you. They offer discounts to students, military and dealerships. Moreover, if your car gets dirty during transportation on an open transport trailer, they offer a free car wash.
  • Insurance: They provide adequate insurance coverage for your vehicle. They take protecting your vehicle one step further by working with certificate holders on the insurance of the carriers only.
  • All Types of Shipping: They do all kinds of vehicle shipping with open and enclosed auto transport options, from light to heavy-duty equipment, classic and luxury vehicles.
  • Coverage: They transport cars to all 50 states including Alaska, Puerto rico, the Virgin Island and Hawaii. They also ship to Nigeria.

Pros and Cons


  • Operating a fleet of 20,000 specialized car transporters.
  • Over 17+ years of industry expertise and knowledge.
  • Special discounts for military, students, and repeat customers.
  • Multilingual assistance is available in both English and Spanish.
  • Works with a network of licensed and insured carriers.


  • 24/7 service is not available. Available in limited office hours.
  • No mobile app.

Services Offered

AutoStar Transport Express offers a wide variety of car shipping services across the country. With its enclosed containers, it also specializes in luxury and classic car shipping by protecting prized vehicles from the elements during transport, other services including

  • Open auto transport.
  • Door to Door and Terminal to Terminal Car Shipping.
  • Single and Multi-car transport facility.
  • Expedited or guranteed pickup service available.
  • Motorcycle shipping
  • Heavy machinery and construction machinery transportation.

Customer Reviews and Rating

AutoStar Transport Express has been reviewed on 21+ consumer review platforms. This includes big names like Google, facebook, Transport Reviews and many more.

  • It has won several awards for its customer service, including the “Best Customer Service” award from Transport Reviews.
  • Customers on bbb.org rated AutoStar Transport Express with 4.88 out of 5.

Montway Auto Transport

Our Rating: 4.3/5





Why We Choose It?

Our review team was impressed by Montway’s car shipping services, customer service, and discounts the company offers. Below you will find what makes Montway stand out from its competitors:

  • Customer service: Montway has extended service hours, where representatives are available every day from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. Montway’s customer service has received some of the highest customer review ratings on websites like Better Business Bureau (BBB), Trustpilot, and Google.
  • Discounts and flexible payments: Montway offers plenty of discount options that lower the company’s below-average industry rates even further. For example, Montway customers aren’t required to make upfront payments. Yet for customers who are willing to pay some money upfront, Montway offers a discount for paying the remainder in cash.
  • Insurance: All carriers that work with Montway are licensed, thoroughly vetted, and must carry a minimum of $100,000 in cargo insurance. In case there is a denial of the carrier’s policy, the standard carrier insurance is backed up by Montway’s $250,000 policy, which is included in your shipping price.

On the other side, Montway does not offer transportation services for RVs, campers, or boats. Secondly, the cost estimate provided is not a binding quote. Thirdly, once your order is handed over to the carrier, a $199 cancellation fee will be applicable.

Pros and Cons


  • Offers a wide range of shipping services, including open and enclosed transport.
  • Special discounts for military personnel and repeat customers.
  • Competitive pricing offered.
  • Enjoy a great reputation among customers.


  • Pricing is not guaranteed.
  • Strict cancellation policy If you cancel, there will be a minimum fee of $199.
  • No transportation services for RVs, campers, or boats.

Services Offered

Almost similar to Sherpa, Montway does not ship ATVs, recreational vehicles, boats or campers. Instead, Montway specializes in providing quality transportation services specifically for automobiles. The auto transport broker offers a wide range of shipping services, including:

  • Open and enclosed transport.
  • Shipment tracking.
  • Multi-car transport.
  • Auto shipping to the 50 states.
  • Door-to-door shipping.

Customer Reviews and Rating

  • Montway has been recognized for its excellent customer service by winning the “Best Customer Service” award from Transport Reviews in 2024.
  • It has an excellent 5.0 star rating out of 5.0 on BBB also.

AmeriFreight Auto Transport

Our Rating: 4.1/5





Why We Choose It?

AmeriFreight stands out in our expert team due to its unique pricing model. This approach offers a higher level of customization, empowering customers to select options that precisely match their requirements. However, the only drawback of this flexibility is that it may create confusion for some customers who find it challenging to determine the most suitable option for their specific needs.

  • Guarantee Pricing: While expensive, it guarantees pricing without post-quote increases, saving you money compared to other auto transporters. Your car can be shipped within 24 hours.
  • Priority: AmeriFreight gets you lower rates by having carriers bid against each other, choosing the lowest price after a set time.
  • Economical: Choose this for the cheapest option, even if delivery speed is sacrificed. Carriers bid on your shipment for weeks, starting with a very low rate that gradually increases until an affordable bid is made.

Pros and Cons


  • AmeriFreight has a good reputation for customer service and support.
  • AmeriFreight offers AFTA insurance plans.
  • They offer discounts to military members, first responders, and students.
  • A car can be shipped within 24 hours.


  • Limited options are available for international shipping.
  • If you cancel, there will be a minimum fee of $199.
  • Guaranteed quotes are only available.

Services Offered

Amerifreight Auto Transport provides you with the following services:

  • Open and enclosed shipping.
  • Expedited shipping.
  • Auto transport to all 50 states.
  • Ships to limited international destinations (mostly Canada).
  • Ships automobiles, motorcycles, boats, RVs, and ATVs.
  • Terminal shipping upon request.
  • Insurance coverage.

Customer Reviews and Rating

AmeriFreight Auto Transport has received numerous positive reviews from satisfied customers.

  • Customers give the car shipping company an average review rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars on the BBB website, while the company has accreditation and an A+ rating from the BBB itself.
  • The company holds a 4.7 star rating out of 5.0 on Google, with more than 3,200 reviews.

Sherpa Auto Transport

Our Rating: 3.9/5





Why We Choose It?

Our team ranked Sherpa 4th as Sherpa Auto Transport has the following featured services:

  • Price Lock Promise: Sherpa Auto Transport stands out among car shipping companies due to its Price Lock Promise, ensuring that the initially quoted rate remains unchanged. If the rate goes higher, they compensate customers with $300. This guarantee provides security and peace of mind for those concerned about sudden price increases.
  • Clean Car Guarantee: Upon vehicle arrival at the destination, the company will cover the cost of a car wash, ensuring customers receive their cars in pristine condition.
  • Insurance Coverage: Sherpa prioritizes safety with $1 million in commercial auto liability and $100,000 in cargo insurance coverage for all carriers they work with. Furthermore, they facilitate the insurance claiming process by being included as a policyholder on carriers’ insurance policies. This emphasis on insurance coverage assures customers of protection during transportation.

Pros and Cons


  • Prices are guaranteed up to $300 over the estimated quote.
  • Transparent pricing with no hidden fees.
  • Excellent customer service.


  • No motorcycle or ATV shipping.
  • Shipping services do not extend to Alaska or Hawaii.
  • The customer should make a call for an estimated price.

Services Offered

Similar to Montway, Sherpa Auto Transport is not a generalist that deals with various types of vehicles like ATVs, recreational vehicles, boats, or campers. Instead, Sherpa focuses solely on delivering top-notch transportation services exclusively for automobiles. As an auto transport broker, they offer a diverse array of shipping options such as open and enclosed transport, shipment tracking, multi-car transport, shipping to the 48 contiguous states, door-to-door service, and three-day pickup windows. This specialization ensures that customers receive specialized and reliable car shipping solutions.

Customer Reviews and Rating

  • It holds a 4.7-star rating out of 5.0 on Google based on over 1,300 reviews.
  • This company has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, based on over 256 reviews.
  • Sherpa has also been recognized for its customer service by winning the “Best Customer Service” award from Move.org in 2021.

Our Methodology: Selecting these Car Shipping Companies

To select the top car shipping companies, we conducted extensive research and analysis of various companies in the auto transport industry. We considered factors such as customer reviews, pricing, insurance coverage, shipping options, and delivery times. We also looked at each company’s experience, reputation, and customer service. Based on our findings, we narrowed down the list to the top car shipping companies that met our criteria for quality service and customer satisfaction. Our selection process was thorough and aimed at providing you with accurate and reliable information about the best car transport companies.

Research and Compare Companies:
Start by researching several car shipping companies. Look for reviews and testimonials online.
Use reputable websites and forums to gather feedback from other customers who have used the services of the companies you’re considering.
Compare the services, pricing, and customer feedback of different companies.

Check Licensing and Insurance:
Ensure that the car shipping company is licensed and registered with the relevant authorities. You can verify this information through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website in the United States.
Confirm that the company carries proper insurance coverage for the vehicles they transport. This is essential for protecting your vehicle in case of damage during transit.

Get Multiple Quotes:
Obtain quotes from several car shipping companies. Be wary of quotes that seem too good to be true, as they might be an indicator of poor service or hidden fees. Ask for a detailed breakdown of the costs and inquire about any additional fees or surcharges.

Ask About Services and Options:
Inquire about the specific services offered by each company. Some may offer door-to-door delivery, while others may require you to drop off or pick up your vehicle at a designated terminal. Check if the company provides both open and enclosed transport options. Enclosed transport is generally more expensive but provides additional protection for your vehicle, especially in adverse weather conditions.

Review Contracts and Terms:
Carefully read and understand the terms and conditions of the shipping contract. Pay attention to factors such as delivery timeframes, cancellation policies, and any potential liabilities. Ask about the company’s policy on damages and how they handle claims. Ensure that everything is documented before the shipping process begins.

Check for Hidden Fees:
Be aware of any hidden fees or additional charges that may not be included in the initial quote. Clarify the payment terms and understand what is covered in the quoted price.

Customer Service and Communication:
Assess the level of customer service provided by each company. A reliable car shipping company should be responsive to your inquiries and provide clear communication throughout the shipping process. Ask for references or reviews specifically related to customer service experiences.

Track Record and Experience:
Consider the experience and track record of the car shipping company. A company with a longer history and positive track record may be more reliable. Check if the company has experience shipping vehicles similar to yours, especially if you have a luxury car, classic car, or other specialty vehicle.

Famous Routes Cost to Ship a Car Across the Country?

The average cost of shipping a car across the country is $1,850. However, such long-distance moves are relatively uncommon. In reality, the cost to ship your car can vary significantly, ranging from as low as $0.80 – $1 per mile to as high as $3 – $4 per mile. The final amount you pay depends on several factors, some of which you may have control over, while others are beyond your control.

Our team conducted a rate comparison across these famous routes, considering offerings from three prominent providers: AutoStar Transport Express, Montway, and Amerifreight. The following are the average prices for these routes, with the estimates applicable to the transportation of a regular sedan using an open carrier option and door-to-door car service.

RouteAutoStar Transport ExpressMontwayAmeriflight
California to Florida$1,269$1,299$1,200
New York to Florida$1,349$1,429$1,300
Chicago to Florida$1,049$1,129$1,000
Texas to Florida$999$1,079$950

It is to be noted that these are estimated costs and can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of vehicle being shipped, the time of year, and the specific car shipping company’s pricing and services. It’s crucial to get quotes from multiple companies and compare their pricing, reviews, and services to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.

What Factors Can Affect Car Shipping Costs?

Several factors can influence the cost of shipping a car. Here are some key factors that can affect car shipping costs:

  • Distance: The distance between the pickup location and the destination in California plays a significant role in determining the shipping cost. Longer distances usually result in higher transportation fees.
  • Vehicle Size and Weight: The dimensions and weight of the vehicle are important considerations. Larger and heavier vehicles may require specialized equipment or trailers, leading to increased shipping costs.
  • Vehicle Condition: The operational condition of the vehicle can impact the cost. Non-operational vehicles may require additional equipment or handling, which can increase the price.
  • Shipping Method: The choice between open car shipping and enclosed car shipping will affect the cost. Enclosed shipping, providing more protection, is generally more expensive than open shipping.
  • Season and Demand: The time of year and demand for car shipping services can influence costs. High-demand periods, such as during summer or holidays, may result in higher prices due to limited carrier availability.
  • Pickup and Delivery Locations: The specific locations for pickup and delivery can affect costs. Remote or less accessible areas might incur additional charges or require special arrangements.
  • Additional Services: Optional services like expedited shipping, door-to-door delivery, or insurance coverage may come with extra fees that impact the overall cost.
  • Market Fluctuations: Economic factors, fuel prices, and other market conditions can influence car shipping rates. Fluctuations in the industry can lead to changes in pricing.

How do car shipping companies work?

Car shipping companies operate by providing transportation services for vehicles, such as cars, motorcycles, and trucks, from one location to another. The process typically involves several key steps:

  • Requesting a Quote: Customers inquire about the shipping cost, providing vehicle details and locations.
  • Booking the Service: After accepting the quote, customers book the shipping with pickup and delivery instructions.
  • Vehicle Inspection: The company inspects the vehicle, noting existing damages for documentation.
  • Choosing the Shipping Method: Customers choose between open or enclosed transport options.
  • Pickup and Loading: A carrier picks up the vehicle and securely loads it onto the trailer.
  • Transportation and Tracking: The vehicle is transported, and customers receive updates on its location.
  • Delivery and Inspection: Upon arrival, the carrier unloads the vehicle, and both parties inspect it.
  • Finalizing the Transaction: After settling payments, the shipping process is complete.

Different ways to ship a car?

Enclosed Car Shipping Vs Open Car Shipping Methods

Enclosed Car Shipping Method

  • Fully enclosed and protected environment for vehicle transportation.
  • Specially designed trailers or containers are used.
  • Protects vehicles from weather, road debris, and potential hazards.
  • Ideal for high-value, luxury, classic, and exotic vehicles.
  • Soft tie-downs and padded interiors prevent scratching or movement.
  • Suitable for long-distance or cross-country transport.
  • Provides peace of mind for owners of valuable automobiles.

Open Car Shipping Method

  • Vehicles transported on open trailers.
  • Vehicles are exposed to external elements throughout the journey.
  • Cost-effective solution for transporting multiple vehicles.
  • Commonly used for standard and everyday cars.
  • Susceptible to weather-related damages and road debris.
  • Preferred by car dealerships and manufacturers for efficiency.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Shipping a Car Cross Country

  • Not Researching Car Shipping Companies: Look for reputable companies with positive customer reviews and ethical business practices. Check ratings from sources like the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Affairs.
  • Failing to Compare Quotes: Obtain estimates from multiple companies to find the best pricing. Provide specific details about your vehicle, shipment plan, and trailer type for accurate quotes.
  • Falling for Overly Cheap Deals: Avoid choosing a company based solely on low prices. Questionable ethics and poor service may compromise the safety of your vehicle.
  • Leaving Personal Items in Your Car: Remove all personal belongings from your vehicle before shipping to avoid additional weight charges and liability for damages.
  • Waiting Until the Last Minute: Plan and book in advance to secure better pricing, availability, and quality service from car shipping companies.
  • Booking During Peak Season: Avoid busy periods, such as summertime and the start of the new year, to save money and have more carrier options.
  • Opting Out of Insurance: Purchase adequate insurance coverage for potential damages or accidents during transport, as your car insurance may not fully protect you.
  • Not Recording Damages: Document your car’s condition before shipping with detailed photos and notes. This will help hold the shipping company responsible for any new damages.
  • Lack of Preparation: Keep confirmation details, comply with terms and conditions, and have proper documentation and payment ready for a smooth car shipping process.

5 Reasons to Ship Your Car vs. Buy New

  • Cost Savings: Shipping your car can often be more cost-effective than purchasing a new one. The expenses associated with buying a new vehicle, such as sales taxes, registration fees, and potentially higher insurance premiums, can outweigh the cost of shipping your existing car. By opting for car shipping, you avoid the significant upfront costs associated with buying a new vehicle.
  • Vehicle Familiarity: You may have a strong attachment to your current car due to its features, performance, or sentimental value. Shipping your existing vehicle allows you to maintain the familiarity and comfort of driving a car you are already accustomed to. Enjoying the known reliability and features of your current vehicle can enhance your overall driving experience.
  • Avoiding the Car Buying Process: The process of buying a new car can be time-consuming and sometimes stressful. Researching models, visiting dealerships, negotiating prices, and dealing with paperwork can be avoided by choosing to ship your current car. Car shipping offers a convenient alternative, saving you time and the potential hassle associated with the car buying process.
  • Emotional Attachment: Cars can hold sentimental value, especially if they have been a part of significant life events or journeys. Shipping your car allows you to preserve the emotional attachment you may have developed over the years. Keeping a car that holds sentimental value can provide a sense of continuity and connection to your personal history.
  • Environmental Considerations: Opting for car shipping over buying a new vehicle contributes to environmental sustainability. Manufacturing new cars requires significant resources and energy while shipping an existing vehicle reduces the demand for new production. Choosing car shipping aligns with environmentally conscious practices, promoting the reuse and longevity of existing vehicles.

How to save money while shipping a car across the country?

Here are some ways to save money when shipping a car:

  • Compare Quotes
  • Choose Open and Enclosed Transport
  • Book in Advance
  • Be Flexible with Dates
  • Seek Discounts

Car Shipping Broker vs. Car Shipping Carrier

Car shipping brokers serve as intermediaries connecting customers with a network of car shipping carriers, negotiating prices, and coordinating logistics, offering convenience and potential cost savings. On the other hand, car shipping carriers own and operate transport trucks, providing more direct service in handling the physical transportation of vehicles. Choosing between a broker and a carrier involves considerations such as convenience, control, and individual preferences, with brokers offering a range of options and negotiation assistance, while carriers provide a more straightforward, direct process. It’s essential to research and obtain quotes from both to ensure reliability and quality of service for a smooth car shipping experience.


In conclusion, when it comes to shipping your car, it’s important to do your research and choose a reputable and reliable car shipping company. We’ve provided you with a list of the top 5 car shipping companies in 2024, as well as important factors to consider when choosing a company and ways to save money on shipping. Whether you’re moving across the country or overseas, there’s a car shipping option that will meet your needs and budget.

By following our tips and selecting a trusted car shipping company, you can have peace of mind knowing your vehicle is in good hands.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is car shipping?

Car shipping is the process of transporting vehicles, such as cars, motorcycles, or trucks, from one location to another, typically over long distances. It involves using specialized carriers that securely load and transport the vehicles. Car shipping services cater to individuals relocating, buying or selling vehicles online, or needing to move their cars safely across the country or internationally.

What is same-day car transport?

Same-day car transport is a specialized service provided by car shipping companies that aim to pick up and deliver a vehicle on the same day. It is ideal for urgent situations, offering swift and efficient transportation solutions for last-minute purchases, emergency relocations, and other time-sensitive needs. Availability may vary based on the shipping company’s capacity and the distance between pickup and delivery locations.

How does car shipping work?

Car shipping typically involves hiring a professional car shipping company to transport your vehicle from one location to another. The company will arrange for a carrier to pick up your vehicle, load it onto a trailer, and transport it to the designated destination. The specifics may vary depending on the company and the type of service you choose (open or enclosed transport).

How long does car shipping take?

The time it takes for car shipping depends on various factors, including the distance between the pickup and delivery locations, the route, and any specific requirements you have. Typically, car shipping within the same country can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. International car shipping may take longer due to additional logistics involved.

How much does car shipping cost?

The cost of car shipping depends on factors such as the distance, vehicle type, transport type (open or enclosed), time of year, and any additional services you require. It’s best to request quotes from different car shipping companies to get an accurate estimate based on your specific needs.

Is my car insured during shipping?

Reputable car shipping companies provide insurance coverage for your vehicle during transportation. It’s essential to clarify the insurance details with the shipping company before finalizing the agreement. Make sure to review the insurance policy and ask any questions you may have to ensure you understand the coverage provided.

How should I prepare my car for shipping?

Before shipping your car, it’s recommended to wash it thoroughly and document any existing damages or scratches. Remove any personal items and make sure the fuel tank is no more than a quarter full. Disable or deactivate any alarm systems and provide the necessary keys to the shipping company.