Cost to Ship a Car

Shipping a Car with Easy Auto Ship

How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Car?

Car Transport Cost for 1-400 miles will range around $1 per mile. For example, a 400-mile trip will cost around 400 dollars. The greater the distance, the cheaper the price per mile. How Much Does it Cost? Let’s say you are looking to ship a car 1200 miles. You will end up paying around 55 cents per mile, depending on a few other factors, like time of year, weight and size of the vehicle, and current price of diesel fuel.

Below is a chart you can use to get a general cost per mile for how much it costs to ship a car:

DistanceBase Price Per mileExample DistanceExample Price
1-500 Miles$1.00400 miles$400
500+ miles$0.75900 miles$675
1,000+ miles$0.601,200 miles$720
2,000+ miles$0.502,400 miles$1,200
2,500+ miles$0.403,600 miles$1,440

There are about 7 different things that you must consider with car shipping cost

Many people go online and search “how much does it cost to ship a car” and end up getting several different quotes from various car shipping companies. It’s not uncommon to receive multiple quotes that are close in price. You will also get one or two that are much higher, and a couple that are much lower. With a little education on how much it costs to ship a car, you can save a lot of time and frustration. You can also determine which companies are going to deliver the service you need with no surprises.

1. Distance

This is the most obvious and logical thing that will affect the cost. The more miles you want to ship a car, the more it will cost. However, you need to understand that whether it’s a 200-mile move, or a 2,000 mile move, it cost the same for a driver to pick up and drop off a vehicle.

2. Enclosed or Open-air Carriers?

Open-air car shipping is the most common choice for people who need to ship a car. It generally costs about 40% less than enclosed car shipping. The open-air carriers can ship more cars versus an enclosed carrier, spreading the operating cost for carriers to operate. Open-air car shipping carriers can ship up to 10 vehicles at one time. An enclosed carrier can ship up to 6 vehicles.

One of the biggest differences, other than the cost, is cargo insurance protection from the carrier.

Open-air generally carries about 250,000 dollars in cargo insurance coverage, whereas an enclosed carrier will carry up to one million dollars. An enclosed carrier gives you that extra protection from the outside elements, like weather.

Easy Auto Ship Tip: Even though enclosed car carriers seem like the best choice, unless you are shipping a high-end, luxury, or antique car worth more than 50,000 dollars, you are most likely to be just as happy with an open-air carrier for much less money.

3. Is the vehicle operable or inoperable?

Most car carriers do not have winches on their trucks. If your car will not start up and drive onto the truck, it is considered inoperable. Inoperable vehicles require much more time and effort on the carrier’s part for pick up and drop off. If a carrier is hauling 6-8 vehicles that do not run, the cost greatly increases. If your vehicle does not roll, brake or steer, it is not only considered inoperable, but you will need arrange a forklift to put the vehicle on the truck and take it off.

Easy Auto Ship Tip: Most companies charge about 150 dollars for an inoperable vehicle vs an operable vehicle. Most car shipping companies will give you an instant car shipping quote, and have the option for inoperable or operable. If that price is more than a 150-dollar difference, you should find out why, or look for another car shipping company.

4. Vehicle Type (Size, Weight, and Modifications)

All car haulers are regulated by the DOT and FMSCS on how much they can haul with the equipment that they have. For example, if you have an F-350 that weighs 7000 pounds, then you can expect to pay twice what a 3500-pound car would cost to ship. The car hauler will always try to maximize his loads and the money he can make for a route. Also, if your vehicle is lifted or lowered, it may require extra space, causing the cost to increase.

Easy Auto Ship Tip: Always be sure to give your car shipping agent the exact details of what you are shipping, so there are no surprises at pick up. If you forget to tell them it’s a truck with a 12-inch lift kit and that car hauler does not have the room, then he will have to pass on shipping your vehicle and leave you in a tough situation.

5. Difficulty of the Route

When it comes to shipping cars, it's all about time equals money. What this means is that if you are shipping a car on a popular route, then it will cost less. The carrier will not have to drive out of his way to pick up or drop off a vehicle on a beaten path. So, the general rule of thumb is if you are going from major metropolitan to major metropolitan, expect to pay less than if you are shipping from the middle of nowhere.

Easy Auto Ship Tip: Always keep in mind that the drivers do NOT want to drive out of the way to pick up or drop off, as it takes a lot of extra time and gas. If you can meet the driver in the closest big city, or near a major interstate exit, you are most likely going to get a big discount on your car shipping cost.

6. Time of Year (season)

Auto Transport is much like many other industries that involve logistics. Supply and Demand is what drives price and pick up times. The number of vehicles going in any one direction at a given time will dictate how many spots are available on a truck. At the same time, if there are very few cars needing shipped, it will not attract many carriers to run that route. If there are an excessive number of cars going in one direction, like snowbirds moving south, it drives the price up.

During November, the cost from New Jersey to Florida will cost around 800 dollars. However, going from Florida to New Jersey, during the same time, will cost you around 450 dollars. Even though the locations are the same, the difference is determined through the time of year you need your vehicle shipped.

7. Quickness of Pick up and Drop off

If you are in a hurry to get a car picked up, then expedited car shipping is the best choice. This type of car shipping generally costs 30-40% more than a standard pick up window. Many times, this is a good option if you need to have the vehicle picked up on a specific date. Expedited car shipping gives you peace of mind, as you are a priority for our carriers.

Easy Auto Ship Tip: Make sure you get in writing from the car shipping company you hire that if the expedited car shipping dates are not met by the carrier they hire, you get, at the very least, a refund in the broker deposit for the difference you paid for expedited vs Standard shipping cost.

Why is it that Auto Shipping Quotes can seem to vary so greatly?

There are many reasons why auto shipping quotes can vary from company to company for the exact same move. The quality of the carrier the company hires can be one of the biggest factors in auto transport quotes. A carrier moving vehicles for much less than most may not have reliable equipment, or outdated insurance. Easy Auto Ship double vets all the carriers we hire, making sure they are fully licensed, bonded, and properly insured to haul our client’s cars. The brokerage company you are dealing with may charge a slightly higher broker fee if they run a bigger operation versus a one man broker working out of their home.

Easy Auto Ship is open 7 days a week, with a full customer service department and dispatch team, along with dedicated shipping agents to book with.

Many smaller companies do not carry a specific contingency cargo policy to cover the carrier’s insurance. Easy Auto ship provides to all shippers a free, 100,000 dollar per occurrence back up cargo policy, in case the carriers do not come through for you. This way you are doubly covered with insurance, giving you that extra peace of mind. All these things are factors that will determine how much it costs to ship a car.

Cost to Ship a Car, Cost To Ship A Car

Easy Auto Ship is a 5-star Auto Transport Car Shipping Company specializing in Door to Door Auto Transport, Multi-Car Shipping, International Auto Transport Vehicle Import, Heavy Equipment Transport, Enclosed Car Shipping, and more.

Our state-of-the-art quoting technology provides our customers with the most accurate price instantly.


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