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Car Hauling Cost

Car Hauling Cost
January 20, 2024
16 min

Car hauling is a common need for many individuals and car dealerships. Whether you are moving your new car from the dealership to your home city or transporting used cars between lots, figuring out the costs involved can take some calculation.

There are several factors that determine car hauling costs, such as distance, vehicle type, and mode of transportation. Let’s breakdown each factor and see how it affects the final price. Understanding these components is key to properly budgeting for and scheduling your car hauling needs. We will discuss how the distance of your haul can significantly impact car hauling costs.

Compare Car Shipping Rates by Distance

The most critical factor that affects the cost of transporting your vehicle is distance. The farther you send your car, the more it’s going to cost.

However, long-distance moves reduce cost per mile so that gives you a lot of relief if you need to move car from state to state. Here are some examples to help you understand.

DistanceBase Price Per mileExample DistanceExample PriceEstimated Time
1-500 Miles$1.00400 miles$4002-4 Days
500+ miles$0.75900 miles$6753-5 Days
1,000+ miles$0.601,200 miles$7204-6 Days
2,000+ miles$0.502,400 miles$1,2005-7 Days
2,500+ miles$0.403,600 miles$1,4407-9 Days

Short-Distance Car Shipping Costs

For short car shipping distances between 100-500 miles, the cost usually ranges from $1 per mile.

At these shorter distances, transport companies have smaller routes with fewer drop-offs so they can pass on higher per-mile costs.

  • 200 miles - Around $200
  • 450 miles - Approximately $450

Medium-Distance Car Transport Costs

For medium-length hauls between 600-999 miles, the per-mile costs starts coming down to around $0.75 per mile on average.

Transporters have slightly bigger routes with more drop-offs so they pass on slightly lower costs to customers.

  • 750 miles - Around $560
  • 899 miles - Approximately $675

Long-Distance Car Shipping Cost

When shipping a car over 1,000 miles, the costs drop to a range of $0.60 to $0.50 per mile usually.

At these longer distances, haulers have very large routes with many pick-ups and deliveries across states. So they are able to reduce per-mile costs significantly for customers.

  • 1,250 miles - Around $750
  • 2,000 miles - Approximately $1,000 to $1,100

As you can see from the examples provided, distance is undoubtedly the main factor that influences car shipping rates.

Transport companies pass on higher costs at shorter distances due to smaller routes and spread those costs out more at very long distances thanks to large multi-state routes.

Cross Country Auto Transport Costs:

The cost to ship a car across country depends mainly on the distance. Since it’s a cross country car transport, the distances will be longer, so the per-mile charges will be lower. Some of these elements to ship a car across country include:

Cross Country Auto Transport Costs


The longer the distance to ship a car across country, the higher it will cost to ship your car across country because the more carrier fuel will be burnt. Let’s say you need cross country car transport from Florida to California (2,700 miles). It may take a week for the transportation of this shipment.

Fuel Prices

Gas charges keep changing throughout the year depending on the demand for oil barrels globally. When this happens, our car shipping rates also change, which directly affects the per-mile cost to ship a car. So your quotation to ship a car right now may be different than when you ship a car next year.

Carrier Type

If you get open auto transport, the price will be more affordable because this trailer can accommodate more cargo due to no enclosure of walls. This means the total shipment transit budget is divided among more vehicles resulting in lower costs for everyone. Enclosed auto transport is 40% more expensive due to the higher safety it offers.

Seasonal Demand

The costs increase when there’s a higher demand and decrease when the industry is slow. The demand is very high from May to August because people go on vacations, move houses, or college students move to and from home. Similarly, from November to Mid-December, snowbirds travel south from North, which raises the demand as well. Due to low demand, September to October is the best time for cross country auto transport.

Type of Vehicles

The more valuable wheels you’ve got, like a vintage, exotic, sports, or luxury, the higher it will likely cost you because you will hire enclosed car shipping to ensure your expensive car is well-protected, costing at least 40% more.

Weight and Dimensions

The heavier and bulkier your vehicle is, the more it will cost to move. This is because it will require more fuel to pull to thousands of miles throughout the US, and a bigger size will take more space on the auto transport trailer. So an SUV or Pickup may cost more to haul than a sedan.

From/ToRoute TakenEstimated CostDays in Transit
Los Angeles, CA to New York, NY2,776 mi via I-40 E$1,1107-9
San Francisco, CA to Miami, FL3,045 mi via I-40 E$1,2188-10
Seattle, WA to Miami, FL3,297 mi via I-90 E$1,3188-10
San Diego, CA to New York, NY2,759 mi via I-40 E$1,1037-9
Portland, OR to Miami, FL3,259 mi via I-80 E$1,3038-10
Seattle, WA to New York, NY2,851 mi via I-94 E$1,1407-9
Los Angeles, CA to Miami, FL2,732 mi via I-10 E$1,0927-9
San Francisco, CA to New York, NY2,905 mi via I-80 E$1,1627-9
Seattle, WA to Boston, MA3,045 mi via I-94 E$1,2188-10
Los Angeles, CA to Boston, MA2,983 mi via I-80 E$1,1937-9
San Diego, CA to Augusta, ME3,152 mi via I-40 E$1,2608-10
San Francisco, CA to Boston, MA3,099 mi via I-80 E$1,2398-10
Portland, OR to Boston, MA3,088 mi via I-80 E$1,2358-10
Las Vegas, NV to Raleigh, NC2,330 mi via I-40 E$1,1656-8
Los Angeles, CA to Washington, D.C.2,668 mi via I-40 E$1,0677-9
San Diego, CA to Washington, D.C.2,651 mi via I-40 E$1,0607-9
San Francisco, CA to Washington, D.C.2,812 mi via I-80 E$1,1247-9
Portland, OR to Washington, D.C.2,801 mi via I-84 E$1,1207-9
Los Angeles, CA to Chicago, IL2,015 mi via I-80 E$1,0076-8
San Francisco, CA to Chicago, IL2,132 mi via I-80 E$1,0666-8
Seattle, WA to Chicago, IL2,064 mi via I-94 E$1,0326-8
Las Vegas, NV to Richmond, VA2,405 mi via I-40 E$1,2026-8
Portland, OR to Chicago, IL2,121 mi via I-84 E$1,0606-8
Los Angeles, CA to Houston, TX1,547 mi via I-10 E$9285-7
San Francisco, CA to Houston, TX1,928 mi via I-10 E$1,1565-7
Seattle, WA to Houston, TX2,333 mi via I-84 E$1,1666-8
Portland, OR to Houston, TX2,267 mi via I-84 E$1,1336-8
Eugene, OR to Trenton, NJ2,898 mi via I-80 E$1,1597-9
San Francisco, CA to Atlanta, GA2,473 mi via I-40 E$1,2366-8
Seattle, WA to Atlanta, GA2,634 mi via I-90 E$1,0537-9
Portland, OR to Atlanta, GA2,597 mi via I-84 E$1,0386-8
Los Angeles, CA to Philadelphia, PA2,709 mi via I-40 E$1,0837-9
San Francisco, CA to Philadelphia, PA2,875 mi via I-80 E$1,1507-9
Seattle, WA to Philadelphia, PA2,821 mi via I-94 E$1,1287-9
San Diego, CA to Philadelphia, PA2,692 mi via I-40 E$1,0767-9
Portland, OR to Philadelphia, PA2,864 mi via I-84 E$1,1457-9
Los Angeles, CA to Detroit, MI2,280 mi via I-80 E$1,1406-8
San Francisco, CA to Detroit, MI2,397 mi via I-80 E$1,1986-8
Seattle, WA to Detroit, MI2,349 mi via I-90 E$1,1746-8
San Diego, CA to Detroit, MI2,342 mi via I-80 E$1,1716-8
Las Vegas, NV to Albany, NY2,550 mi via I-80 E$1,0207-9
Anchorage, AK to Las Vegas, NV3,372 mi via I-15 N$1,3488-10
Los Angeles, CA to Annapolis, MD2,427 mi via I-70 E$1,2136-8
Charleston, WV to Las Vegas, NV2,099 mi via I-70 E$1,0496-8
Carson City, NV to Columbia, SC2,597 mi via I-40 E$1,0387-9
Seattle, WA to Portsmouth. NH3,093 mi via I-94 E$1,2378-10
Lincoln City, OR, to Dover, DE2,984 mi via I-84 E$1,1937-9
Harrisburg, PA to Long Beach, CA2,622 mi via I-40 W$1,0487-9
Las Vegas, NV to Providence, RI2,700 mi via I-80 E$1,0807-9

Always compare quotes from multiple transporters to find the best rate for your specific needs. Whether you’re shipping one or multiple cars, keeping the distance in mind will help you budget for costs properly.

Car Shipping Rates by Vehicle Size

Increased dimensions and weight increase cost because a carrier has limited size and weight hauling capacity.

Sedans and Compact Cars

Sedans and compact cars like the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic and Ford Focus are amongst the most affordable vehicles to transport since they have relatively small dimensions and light weights.

Most auto transport companies charge between $1000 to $1500 to haul these kinds of compact cars anywhere in the continental United States.

SUVs and Full-Size Vehicles

While mid-size SUVs and vehicles are only slightly larger and heavier than sedans, transport fees typically range from $1300 to $1800 due to their increased size.

For larger SUVs, trucks and vans, costs can climb to $1600 to $2000 or more depending on the exact vehicle and distance.

Exotic and Luxury Vehicles

High-end exotic and luxury vehicles like the Audi R8, BMW M5 or Mercedes-Benz S-Class demand specially-tailored service due to their rarity and higher value.

Transportation of these exclusive automobiles usually costs anywhere from $2000 to $3000 or above since carriers need to exercise additional caution.


While motorcycles take up little space, their irregular shape and single-track design make them a bit more difficult for carriers to haul.

As a result, motorcycle shipping normally ranges from $800 to $1200 within the continental United States. For heavyweight cruiser or touring motorcycles, costs may increase further.

Heavy Trucks and Commercial Vehicles

Larger commercial vehicles like cargo vans and pickup trucks priced for their bulky dimensions and heavier weights. The heavier and bigger the truck, the more it will cost to ship. Expect to pay $2000+ to transport heavy-duty trucks and buses substantial distances.

In general, bigger vehicles tend to be costlier to ship because of their unconventional sizes and elevated weights. Most auto transport companies consider interior volume, roof height clearance along with gross and operational weights in determining shipping quotes.

Exterior length, width and ground clearance also impact hauling feasibility and rates. The greater the dimensions or tonnage of a vehicle, the more the price to transport it over significant distances usually rises.

Example Costs of Transporting Different Vehicle Types 1,000 Miles:

Vehicle TypePrice Range (1,000 miles)
Compact$800 - $1,200
Midsize$1,000 - $1,400
Full Size$1,200 - $1,600
Luxury$1,500 - $2,000
Dually$800 - $1,000
Box Truck$2,500 - $3,000
Commercial Truck$3,000 - $5,000
Small Fishing Boat$1,000 - $1,500
Motor Cruiser$1,500 - $2,500
Sailing Yacht$2,000 - $3,500
Standard 2-Wheeler$400 - $500
Chopper Bike$500 - $600
Sports Bike$550-650
Oversized Cargo (RVs) [Only Transport, no breakdown or setup]
Class A Motorhome$3,000 - $8,000
Class B Motorhome$2,500 - $4,500
Class C Motorhome$2,000 - $3,500
Travel Trailer$2,000 - $3,000
Fifth Wheel$2,000 - $4,000

Car Shipping Rates by Transport Type

A brief look at different transport types available for car shipping.

Open Carrier

Open carrier transportation utilizes flatbed trailers that are completely uncovered on all sides, allowing multiple vehicle decks - usually two - to be accommodated. This permits cheaper pricing which commonly ranges from $1 to $0.5 per mile contingent upon distance. The exposure to elements can pose small risks but savings are substantial for budget-conscious customers.

Enclosed Transport

Enclosed transport is generally equipped to haul two to six cars but provides complete enclosure from all elements. This presents upgraded protection for automobiles at the cost of higher tariffs that are typically 30% to 40% above rates for open carriers. Enclosure from weather and limitations on vehicle quantity balance enhanced security with a premium on the delivery charge.

Comparison of 500 Mile Shipment Costs

The following table exemplifies estimated pricing for a hypothetical 500 mile transport through open versus enclosed haulers:

Transport TypeCost per MileProtection from ElementsTypical Capacity500 Mile Cost
Open Carrier$1 - $0.5LimitedMultiple vehicles (usually two decks)$500
Enclosed30% - 40% higher than open carriersFullTwo to six cars$650 - $700

As depicted, enclosed transport demands fees approximately 30% to 40% higher than for identical mileage through open haulage. This discrepancy demonstrates the premium placed on full vehicle coverage during transit.

Additional Cost Factors

Numerous additional elements can impact ultimate shipping charges. Lengthier distances will naturally amplify pricing proportional to added miles.

Car-car shipping or transport of multiple automobiles may qualify for volume discounts. Specific vehicle attributes like Dimension or Weight influence pricing models too.

Features like dolly wheels, 4x4 drivetrains or luxury brands are more difficult to haul and will usually increase costs.

Transportation of classic, antique or extremely expensive cars may necessitate specialized secured enclosed carriers that drive tariffs even higher.

Car Shipping Charges by Freight

Typically, three options are available when it comes to transporting cars. Let’s take a look at them and the cost differences:

Mode of TransportAcross the U.S (1,000-1,300 Miles)To Another Country
Airplane$3,000 to $4,000$5,000 to $40,000
Truck$800 to $1,500$850 - $2,000 (Canada)
Ocean Freight$850 to $1,200$2,000 to $5,000


Using an enclosed truck is generally the most affordable way to transport a car within the United States or to Canada. With trained drivers carefully secured your car for the journey, truck shipping provides peace of mind during transit.

The cost varies depending on distance, but for approximately 1,000-1,300 miles you can expect prices in the $800 to $1,500 range.

Port-To-Port Shipping

For overseas transportation, port-to-port shipping involves loading your car onto a cargo ship. This is less expensive than air freight but takes more time, usually two to four weeks, as the vehicle travels by sea. Rates to other countries range from $2,000 to $5,000 for this option.

Air Freight

Air shipping provides the fastest transit time, potentially delivering your car internationally within just three to five days.

However, it also incurs a greater cost, with prices for international transport ranging from $5,000 up to $40,000 depending on the distance involved.

Add-Ons That Can Increase Car Hauling Cost


For some vehicles, like sports cars or vehicles with low clearances, top-loading onto a transport truck may be necessary. This extra service typically adds 10-15% to the basic hauling rate.

Expedited Pickup

If you require expedited pickup of your car within 24 hours rather than the usual 3-5 day window, you may encounter an additional surcharge of around 10% above standard pricing.

GAP Insurance

Offered by some carriers, GAP insurance can provide coverage if your car is damaged in transit. Premiums vary greatly depending on specifics like the car model, transit mode, and insurance provider chosen. It’s wise to consider this supplemental protection.


Vehicles with additions like roof racks or specialty equipment may face surcharges of 10-15% to cover the specialized work needed for careful loading and tie-downs during transport.

Inoperational Car

Breakdowns can sometimes occur in transit. Carriers charge a minimum of $150 per day if a forklift is required both to load and unload an inoperable car.

Personal Items

Most transport companies allow up to 100 pounds of personal belongings to accompany your car for free. However, some levy fees for additional weight, so confirm policies with potential carriers ahead of time.

Service or ChargeDescriptionCost or Condition
Expedited PickupPick up your car within 1 day (rather than 3-5 days)Approximately 10% above standard pricing
GAP InsuranceSupplemental insurance for damage during transitPremiums vary based on car model, transit mode, and insurance provider
ModificationsSurcharges for vehicles with additions like roof racks or specialty equipment10-15% of standard pricing
Inoperational CarApplicable to inoperable cars requiring repairs during transitMinimum charge of $150 per day if a forklift is needed for unloading and reloading
Personal ItemsMost companies allow up to 100 pounds of personal belongings for freeSome may levy fees for exceeding weight limit

Using Car Shipping Calculator to Get Free Quotes in Minutes:

Step #1: Unleash the Power of Our Cost Calculator

Tap on our ‘Cost Calculator’ button, a nifty feature at the top of our homepage. When you do this, a small box will promptly open, inviting you to input various details. Think of this box as your personal car shipping assistant, ready to help you get the best shipping rates - all it needs is a little information from you to get started.

Using Car Shipping Calculator to Get Free Quotes in Minutes

Step #2: Share Your Details for Spot-On Shipping Rates

Our car shipping calculator is no ordinary tool. It’s a product of tireless efforts, developed and refined over countless hours to provide accurate auto transport service prices. The secret sauce of this calculator is its robust algorithm, which gives you instant car transport rates.

To make the most of this, you need to provide the following information:

  • Car pickup and delivery zip codes: This allows us to calculate the distance your car will travel.
  • Open or enclosed auto transport trailer: The type of carrier you choose can affect the overall shipping cost.
  • Car make, year, and model: This helps us ensure we send the right trailer size for your vehicle.
  • First available car pickup date: The sooner we pick up your car, the quicker we can get it to its destination!

In other words, the more information you provide, the more accurate your Get A Shipping Quote will be.

Step #3: Sit Back and Relax, We’ve Got This Covered!

After you’ve submitted the necessary details and accepted the car shipping cost, our car transport dispatch will get to work. They’ll find the most appropriate haulers to pick up and transport your car. Essentially, they’re like your vehicle’s personal chaperone, ensuring it arrives safely at its destination.

The next step is the pickup. The carrier will arrive at your designated location, and together, you’ll inspect the vehicle before signing the Bill of Lading. This document is a crucial part of the process, containing terms and conditions, pickup and delivery details, and any pre-existing damage.

Once the paperwork is sorted, your car is ready to hit the road. All our carriers are US D.O.T certified, and each one has passed our stringent vetting process.

Additionally, they have a minimum of $100,000 in auto shipping insurance coverage. We triple-check all these details before we even think about bringing them on board. So, you can be confident that your car is in safe hands - we’ll treat it like we would our own vehicles.

Remember, at every step of the way, our main priority is to provide you with the smoothest, most efficient car shipping service possible. So, go ahead and give our quote calculator a try today - it’s quick, easy, and could save you both time and money.

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