How Much does it Cost to Ship a Car?

What is the amount it cost to ship a vehicle? It costs around $1,290 to transport a car – but that is a general figure. The cost is based on several factors, from the weight and model of the vehicle to the distance and company you choose.

However, on average, you should prepare around $500 to $700 for local shipping and as much as $1,500 for long-distance shipping. Don’t get surprised if it ends up costing you a bit higher than that for a heavier moving truck.

That implies that the quote you receive from your car shipping company is its best assumption of what the overall price will be. While you will be able to protect your car, save time, and be more convenient, shipping a car can be expensive and most people will have to add the cost of shipping a vehicle to their moving expenses.

We considered almost 250 car shipping quotes to determine an industry average, but we suggest you gather customized quotes from different companies. To understand the cost you might pay for car shipping, obtain free quotes from some of the best car shipping companies in the industry.

How Much does it Cost to Ship a Car?

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What is the Average Price of Shipping a Car?

So, what amount does it cost to ship a car? When you hire the service of an auto shipping company in the United States, the median cost to transport a car below 200 miles is $2.92 per mile. If you plan to transport a car 1,000 miles or above, the cost will be $0.78 for each mile, which makes it more efficient for long distances.

From the analysis we did on almost 250 car transport quotes, we discovered that costs start from around $630 to ship your car a few hundred miles on an open carrier to about $1,810 to transport your vehicle across the country in an enclosed vehicle. Why do the costs vary? It is as a result of many factors as concern each customer’s needs.

What are the Factors of Car Shipping Costs?

You can simply predict the bill of your cell phone. Unless you exceed your monthly data plan, your costs often remain the same every month. However, it is not the same with car shipping. Prices can vary day by day based on many factors.

These include:

  • Carrier bidding process: Carrier bid on the costs of your shipment. That can be sometimes good, and sometimes bad. It is usually unpredictable.
  • Distance: More miles attract more money.
  • Additional services: Additional insurance or expedited shipping costs more than normal shipping.
  • Number of cars: Two cars are more expensive than one.
  • Region: Transporting cars to and from rural locations can cost more than in big cities.
  • Routes: Traffic jams, direct routes, and road closures all impact your shipping price.
  • Seasonality: Pricing increases in the summer (which is the peak season for car shipping).
  • Transport type: Open transport is less expensive than enclosed shipping.
  • Vehicle type and condition: Costs also increase as your car gets bigger. It is also costlier if your vehicle is faulty.

The outcome is that the price you see now may have changed by the same time next week, or even towards the end of today. But if you know how your price is calculated, you can also take better actions to land a great deal.

What is the Average Shipping Cost of a Car by Distance?

The more distance your car ships, the more transporting often cost. The median cost to transport a car below 500 miles is nearly $780, while cross-country shipping will cost around $1,590 on average.

The average shipping cost of the car by distance:

Travelling Distance in Miles Open Transport Cost Enclosed Transport Cost Average Transport Cost
<500 miles $630 $930 $780
500 to 1,000 miles $790 $1,120 $960
1,000 to 1,500 miles $1,070 $1,510 $1,290
1,500 to 2,000 miles $1,320 $1,730 $1,530
2,000 to 2,500 miles $1,360 $1,850 $1,600
>2,500 miles $1,350 $1,830 $1,590

What is the Average Shipping Cost of a Car by Transport Type?

A lot of people make use of open transport carriers since it is the most affordable way to transport a car. The average open shipping cost is around $1.080 or around $420 cheaper than enclosed transport.

Transport Type Average Cost
Open transport $1,080
Enclosed transport $1,500

Learn more about Enclosed Vehicle Transport vs. Open Trailer

What is the Average Shipping Cost of a Car by Vehicle Size?

Bigger vehicles consume much space on the shipping truck, and heavier vehicles don’t get good gas mileage. Both affect your overall cost. As a result, smaller vehicles like a Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage, or Ford Escape cost cheaper to ship than Ford F-150, Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado, or other heavy-duty vehicles to ship. Only a few people do need enclosed shipping for some sizes of cars. This costly shipping option is majorly for customers with custom cars.  

  • Antique cars
  • Classic cars
  • Custom cars
  • Exotic cars
  • Luxury cars

Generally, when we put all the factors together, we discovered the median cost to transport a vehicle on open transport as follows:

Distance Car SUV Truck
<500 miles $550 $630 $700
500 to 1,000 miles $710 $800 $880
1,000 to 1,500 miles $970 $1,070 $1,180
1,500 to 2,000 miles $1,170 $1,310 $1,490
2,000 to 2,500 miles $1,200 $1,330 $1,550
>2,500 miles $1,200 $1,340 $1,510

Why Differences in the Pricing of Car Shipping?

Have you ever been to a busy airport where your boarding gate is on the departure board? The times on the board occasionally seem to change as frequently as you blink, which makes it hard to know where to go. Car shipping prices don’t swiftly change like that, but it is popular for them to change every day and cause similar confusion.

This is because of two reasons:

  • Bookings go via a bidding process: Auto shipping brokers link you with vehicle shipping carriers that bid on your reservation order. Brokers then meet you with the carrier that offered to handle the job for the cheapest price (often). Since car transport deals with supply and demand, you will receive a better deal on selected days than others.
  • There are many cost factors: Your price can change depending on the size of your car, its traveling distance, as well as the time of the year. Carriers make use of these factors to determine the amount they will charge.

Cost of Shipping a Car to and from Anywhere in the United States: The Standard Rate

These are estimates of some common auto shipping and car transport routes for a standard sedan in perfect condition. Formal auto shipping rates from an agent contains deposits and fees. Additional surprise taxes, surcharges, or other fees will not be included.

From To Rate
Los Angeles, CA Miami, FL $900
San Francisco, CA New York, NY $1050
Buffalo, NY Orlando, FL $750
Newark, NJ Seattle, WA $1150
Dallas, TX San Diego, CA $750
Austin, TX Albany, NY $850
Houston, TX Spokane, WA $1250
Atlanta, GA Los Angeles, CA $1250
Rome, GA San Antonio, TX $750
Seattle, WA Sacramento, CA $700
Washington DC Fort Lauderdale, FL $750

Our review team gathered auto transport quotes from many of the common vehicle shipping companies in the industry. While your rates may differ, the chart below can give some insight as regards the cost of shipping a car. We requested the quotes early this year (a peak month for shipping) for operable vehicles.

Shipping Company/Broker Size Distance Open or Enclosed Cost
Montway SUV 503 miles Open $679
Montway SUV 1,566 miles Open $929
Montway SUV 1,566 miles Enclosed $1,339
Montway SUV 3,036 miles Open $1,389
Sherpa SUV 1,556 miles Open $1,300
Sherpa SUV 1,556 miles Enclosed $1,800
Sherpa SUV 3,036 miles Open $1,450
uShip SUV 503 miles Open $756
uShip SUV 1,556 miles Open $1,411
uShip SUV 3,036 miles Open $2,240

The figures provided above might help provide you a rough estimate of vehicle shipping cost, but the best way to determine the cost to transport your vehicle is to get unique estimates.

How to Estimate Car Shipping Cost

Knowing the cost to transport a car is not easy since there are lots of factors affecting the price. However, you can determine the rough calculation of the cost to ship a car. The median cost of transporting a vehicle is $1 per mile for almost 500 miles. So, if you are transporting to a distance of 600 miles, the cost will be $600. However, the mileage price can reduce from $1 – $0.75 after time, while 2500 miles will cost $0.40. When shipping a longer distance, we discover a drop in the average price per mile.

Here is a rough estimate of the cost to ship a car:

Distance Avg Price per Mile Sample Distance Sample Price
1-500 Miles $1 400 miles $400
>500 to 1000 Miles $0.75 900 miles $675
>1000 Miles $0.60 1,500 miles $900
>2000 Miles $0.50 2,400 miles $1,200
>2500 Miles $0.40 4,000 miles $1,600

If you want to figure out the rough estimate of the cost of shipping a car, just grab a calculator and multiply the distance involved in your car shipping by the median price per mile. For instance, if your vehicle is traveling to another part of the country for 3000 miles, then you should expect a rough estimate that calculates thus: 3000 x 0.40 = $1,200.

Note: Cross-country shipping may be expensive, especially if transported via a route not frequently traveled.

Tips for Reducing your Car Shipping Cost

The best way to locate the cheapest vehicle shipping cost for your car is to make a comparison of several transport quotes. Regardless of the provider you go with, there are many ways to reduce your overall car shipping cost.

These include:

  • Book early: The earlier you list your job, the more time shipping companies have to submit their bid on your contract and the better opportunity to secure a better deal.
  • Drop off and pick up at a transport terminal: Door-to-door delivery costs a lot, and shipping through a terminal can be cheaper. This will be realistic if you reside in a rural location where there are higher shipping rates.
  • Go with open shipping: Open shipping is the cheaper option you can choose. However, if your vehicle is luxurious or has lo clearance, you may need the extra protection of enclosed transport.
  • Discounts: Find out the kind of discounts auto shippers have to reduce the cost of transporting your car. Lots of car carriers offer discounts for students, veterans, and first responders.
  • Consider multi-car shipping: If you are shipping your car along, you will spend more money. Choosing a shipping company that ships multiple cars together is cheaper.
  • Be flexible with your dates for pickup and delivery: Shippers will have fewer chances of fulfilling your requests if you are stricter with your dates for drop-off and pickup, and you won’t enjoy the price reduction that accompanies when shipping providers bid for your contract.
  • Clean your car before the move: Adding more weight to your vehicle can add to the shipping cost.
  • Ship by train: The most affordable way to transport your vehicle is by freight. However, this features lots of disadvantages. Shipping by train can be a lot slower than transporting by truck. It is also not so secure.
  • Compare car transport quotes: Since the price can fluctuate from one company to another, the best is to get a quote from various car transport companies to make a comparison and weigh the option. However, as you research low prices, it is also important to research the company to be sure they offer top-quality services.

A general rule of thumb is to dispose of the highest and the lowest quote, since with transporting and everything else, the amount you pay is what you get. Also, check the recommendations of the FMCSA, read online reviews, and verify the company’s license on their website before you book their services. You should also confirm the insurance policy, accident claim, and delay policy rates of the company.

How Auto Shipping Bidding Works

Your booking begins when you reach out to an auto shipping broker. You ask for the costs, and the broker provides you a quote. Then it informs carriers to submit a bid on your shipment. But, how does it provide you a quick quote if the carriers are yet to start bidding? That is the deal. Except in rare cases where a guaranteed price is offered by a company, your quote is where bidders start bidding, not your overall price.

Note: Sherpa Auto Transport offers Price Lock Promise, which implies that it guarantees your quote. If the price increases beyond the amount you are quoted, the company will make use of its money to cover the difference. Read our Sherpa Auto Transport Review to know more. If an auto shipping company places a price of $1 into the computer for long-distance shipping, it technically comes with a cheaper price than the competition.

But no truck driver in the universe will take that job. A carrier might submit a bid on the job for $2,000, however. Another company might see that and offer to transport your vehicle for $1,900. And so on. The bidding proceeds until the auto shipping broker selects a car carrier – often around a week in advance of your car shipping. 

The Bottom Line

So, what is the amount to ship a car? Well, it depends, so prepare to see prices around $1,500 to $1,600 for cross-country moves, and $500 to $1,000 for local distances. A great shipping company saves you enough time and stress and also provides you peace of mind that your car is in good hands. Instead of concentrating only on the cost of shipping a car, focus on the quality of service that will safely get your vehicle to the destination.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most affordable way to transport a car?

Open transport is the least expensive car shipping method. The car will be loaded onto the carrier truck, shipped together with other cars, and delivered to its new address. Most o shipping companies offer an open-shipping option.

What is the cost to transport my car?

It costs around $1,080 to transport a car. It costs from about $600 to ship your car some miles on an open carrier to over $1,800 to transport a car in an enclosed truck.

Is it worth it to transport a car?

Yes, unless you desire a road trip instead. When you transport your car, you don’t have to stress yourself about the dangers of driving several miles, gas, wear and tear.

What is the median cost to ship a vehicle per mile?

The median cost to transport a car per mile is roughly $0.85 per mile. However, car transport prices vary a lot based on factors like car size, seasonality, distance, and route. recommends obtaining different car transport quotes before choosing an auto shipping company.

Is the shipping company the determinant for car shipping costs?

Yes, vehicle shipping costs are based on the company. Vehicle shippers consider factors like vehicle condition, distance, shipping type, and seasonality during costulation.

What is the median cost to transport a car on an open truck?

The median price to transport a vehicle in an open carrier is roughly $1,080. A cross-country shipment costs around $1,200, while a trip below 500 costs almost $630.

How does vehicle shipping work?

During your reservation process, you will share your vehicle details and pick your preferred pick-up and drop-off locations. You will also pick how you want your car to be shipped and also the pickup and delivery dates. The shipping company will handle everything from there to deliver your car.

What companies offer the best rates for car shipping?

All America Auto Transport, Ship a Car Direct, and Easy Auto Ship, all offer the best vehicle shipping rates. The cost of transporting a car with these companies is nearly $980 or about $150 lesser than other companies.


The cost of shipping a car is based on a number of factors as discussed above. At a point in time, factors such as varied exchange rates can sometimes tell on the cost of shipping a vehicle at that particular time. Other factors such as fluctuations in oil and gas prices, the season you chose to ship your car if you choose to do part of the job (by dropping off and picking up from the nearest terminal), and other factors play significant roles in your overall shipping cost.

The auto transporter you choose can also determine the cost of shipping your car. You can check from the different suggestions above. However, the cost of shipping a car basically depends on distance. For example, for a distance of 1 – 500 miles typically cost an average of $1 per mile and above 1000 miles further reduces below $0.7 per mile. We will keep you updated on this as time goes on. Stay tuned for informative posts on this page!

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