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All You Need To Know About Your Car Shipping Estimate

What's in this article?
  1. Factors Affecting Car Shipping Estimate
  2. Distance
  3. Location
  4. Car Size And Weight
  5. Open Transport Versus Enclosed Transport
  6. Season
  7. Normal Delivery Versus The Express Shipping Option
  8. Door-To-Door Delivery Versus Terminal-To-Terminal Delivery
  9. Running Vehicle Versus Inoperable Vehicle
Things Need To Know About Your Car Shipping Estimate

You may need to transport a vehicle from one state to the other or across international borders. The best option in such instances is using a leading auto shipping company. Such companies offer a free, often non-obligatory car shipping estimate. Are you curious to know more about these car shipping quotes? Read on.

Factors affecting car shipping estimate


You should expect to pay more if you need the car transported over long distances. For instance, carrying a car from Los Angeles to Miami is costlier than transporting the same car from Los Angeles to Oklahoma City.

When the transportation involves crossing international borders, the prices are dramatically high because custom duty has to be paid. Not all companies do international vehicle transportation. Check out this page for countries A1 Auto Transport ships cars.


What is the origin and the destination of the vehicle? If these two locations are along common shipping routes, then the quote will be lower than if they are located in rural areas. Rural areas are not common destinations for shipping companies. So, the shipping company will stray too much from a common route and only to deliver or pick up one vehicle. To cover the fuel costs of driving over such long distances, the price goes up.

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Car size and weight

The more space a vehicle occupies in the transport truck, the costlier it is to transport. Smaller cars occupy less space, such that many of them can be transported on the same carrier.

The weight of the vehicle is also a factor. According to this study, weight affects fuel consumption. Heavy cars, cost more to transport due to fuel costs. In other words, transportation of large cars is expensive due to space occupied and weight.

Open transport versus enclosed transport

The conventional method of transporting cars is on open trucks. Open trucks transport more vehicles; therefore, transportation costs are low. However, open trucks expose the vehicles to weather conditions such as rain, sunlight, and wind. Interestingly, most of the vehicles in car dealerships are transported this way.

The alternative is enclosed vehicle shipping. Your vehicle is transported in a closed truck or in a container. This method protects the car and is very safe. But the convenience comes with extra costs. Enclosed transportation is a good option for shipping luxury cars for both protection and security.

Shipping Costs Depend On Season Too


Like most industries, the car shipping industry also has a low season and high season. Generally, it is expensive to transport vehicles during summer due to increased demand for car shipping services.

In the winter, it is incorrect to say that car shipping is cheap because it depends with destination and location. As the winter begins, retirees prefer to escape the harsh weather by relocating to the southern states such as Florida. So, car shipping to those states is slightly expensive.

Winter also causes unsuitable road conditions, which is problematic especially for heavy trucks. Therefore, companies charge more to transport vehicles to mountainous areas during winter. Still, the summer season is a more expensive time to ship vehicles than other seasons.

Normal delivery versus the express shipping option

Car hauling companies have different time frames for car deliveries. Often, the time frame is affected by the distance, location, transport routes, weather, season, and demand. Depending on these factors, delivery can take less than a week or up to 20 days within the country. As such, you may find it inconvenient to work with their normal delivery timeframe.

Fortunately, most of these companies offer a way to expedite the delivery. Most call it “express auto shipping service,” which of course comes at an extra cost. It is a good option if you require the car urgently.

Door-to-door delivery versus terminal-to-terminal delivery

There are two delivery options. The shipping company can pick the car from the origin and deliver it directly to your door step. This option is very convenient, and therefore, more expensive. The alternative is the car being delivered to a terminal. The catch here is that you have to track the shipment so that you will be at the terminal when the car arrives. Otherwise, you may incur storage fees.

Running vehicle versus inoperable vehicle

It costs more to transport an inoperable vehicle. This is because an inoperable vehicle requires special equipment to load and unload. The price difference between transporting and running and inoperable vehicle under the same conditions can be several hundred dollars.

That is all you need to know about a car shipping estimate. Most companies offer very accurate quotes, but unforeseeable factors such as weather and storage fees may increase the actual price you pay.

Do you need car shipping services? Visit this page for a free and non-obligatory quote.

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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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