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Auto Transport Rates Per Mile

What's in this article?
  1. What’s The Average Cost Of Shipping A Car Per Mile?
  2. Good Examples Of Cost Of Shipping A Car Per Mile - Shorter Distance Average Cost
  3. Good Examples Of Cost Of Shipping A Car Per Mile - Longer Distances
  4. Factors That Influence The Cost Of Shipping A Car Per Mile?
  5. Seasonal Shipping
  6. Your Geographic Location
  7. Roadway Access
  8. Car Size
  9. Immediacy
  10. Type Of Transport
  11. Distance
  12. Gas Rates
  13. Most Affordable Means Of Shipping Your Car
  14. Discounts To Look For When Shipping Your Car
  15. How To Calculate The Car Shipping Cost Per Mile?
  16. Bottom Line
Auto Transport Rates Gas Rates

Any auto shipping company that gives you a flat-rate quote over the phone is doing you a dis-service, plain and simple. There are just too many factors that can influence the overall cost of shipping an automobile for there to be any accuracy in a one-size-fits-all quote. What is possible is a base quote per mile, i.e. a generic expression of cost on a particular type of transport, but this doesn’t take into account any situational factors that could drive the cost up or down.

If you’re thinking of having your auto shipped somewhere, you would be well-advised to consider some of the things that can add or subtract from what you might expect to pay. Be prepared to convey all the details of your specific case to your car shipping company, so you can get the most accurate quote possible. No one wants to pay extra costs related to expenses that were not originally identified.

What’s the Average Cost of Shipping a Car Per Mile?

No matter whether you are across the country or to a new city, a long-distance move is an event that needs elaborate and careful planning. One of the most overwhelming elements of moving to a new city is getting your car to your new location. However, things can start to get a little tricky when it comes to the average per mile cost of shipping your car.

Sure, you can drive your car to your new location all by yourself and enjoy a nice road trip. But it is always better to have a car shipped by an auto transport company. When you choose an auto transport company, the more miles you travel, the cheaper the per mile car shipping cost. It is primarily because your car travels for a longer distance on the carrier, so the average car shipping costs less. The larger truck will have more space for vehicles, distributing the cost per mile to ship a car. So, the more miles the carrier truck travels, the lesser the per-mile cost. However, there are factors that can influence the car shipping costs.

As per the latest statistics, shipping a car 100-200 miles costs $2/mile. While to ship a car 200-300 miles is going to cost $1.5/mile. In case you want to ship a car over 500 miles, you might only have to pay $0.90/mile.

The shipping carrier set the cost of shipping. So, it will vary from one car shipping company to the other.

Good Examples of Cost of Shipping a Car Per Mile - Shorter Distance Average Cost

Here are a few good examples of shipping your car per mile-

If your car covers a distance of 100 miles, you have to pay $1.50/mile. So, the car shipping costs $150.

When you are shipping a car 300 miles, the cost per mile is going to drop to $1.20. This means that the total shipping cost will be $360.

If you are transporting your car 600 miles, it is at $0.90 per mile. Thus, you are paying $540 as your average vehicle shipping cost.

You will notice that the cost to ship a car 600 miles will cost only $180 more than a 300-mile trip. It implies that the more the distance, the lesser the car transport cost charged by auto transport companies.

Good Examples of Cost of Shipping a Car Per Mile - Longer Distances

If you want to ship your car across a country, it means it will cover a longer distance. However, longer distances mean larger discounts on average cost to ship your car. For instance, if you are shipping your car from one coast to the other and it covers 2500-3000miles, it might cost you $0.70/per mile.

If the distance between the pickup and delivery locations is 2000 miles, the cost will be $1400 for door to door service.

Let’s take a look at the average cost to ship a car-

500 miles with $1 per mile - $500

1000 miles with $0.90 per mile - $900

2000 miles with $0.70 per mile - $1400

Thus, when you are shipping your car across the country, you can enjoy the best car shipping cost. Most reputable car shipping companies will charge you an average of $0.70 per mile for cross-country shipping.

Factors that Influence the Cost of Shipping a Car Per Mile?

The figures we have mentioned above only give a rough estimate of shipping your car per mile. There are many factors that can influence the actual car shipping costs.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the things that can affect car transport costs, so you don’t have any nasty surprises for your shipping project:


This is especially important when the weather makes driving difficult. For instance, if you live in the northeast and you’re looking to ship sometime between November and March, there’s a pretty good likelihood of winter weather causing complications. Even if there is no actual bad weather at shipping time, car shipping cost is likely to be higher during this period because fewer transports even risk making trips into wintry locations.

Supply and demand have an impact on the average cost to ship a car per mile. Demand is more in the peak months as the car transport companies get lots of shipping requests during this time. In the summer months, with an increase in demand, there is less space on the car carriers. So, it affects car shipping costs and can increase to $200-$300 per trip.

But that doesn’t mean that the shipping cost during the winter months can be less. The average car shipping cost can increase due to inclement weather. A car shipping company determine the price after taking into consideration the risk of snowstorms or other elements.

If you want to save money on car shipping prices, then plan your vehicle transport early. You can inquire about the auto shipping rates and learn if the broker or carrier provides any offer or discount at any time that you can take advantage of. Most auto transport companies offer free car shipping quotes so that you can decide on the auto transport provider you want to work with.

Demand for car shipments tend to be much higher during the peak car shipping season, such as before Christmas, Thanksgiving, or New Year. Make sure you don’t ship your car during such times to avoid paying more to the auto transport providers.

Try to be flexible with your car shipping dates as it will help you find the best car shipping company.

Auto Transport Rates Car Size


Where are you located in the country? Remember that a transport vehicle will have to make the trip to wherever you are to pick up your vehicle, and if you happen to live somewhere that’s difficult or impossible for a transport to get to, special considerations come into play. If the open car transport carriers simply cannot reach the mountain top you live on, you may have to drive the vehicle to a lower elevation for pickup at an agreed-upon point. Difficult locations like a relatively remote area with meager road access will add time to the pickup and drive up auto transport costs.

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Speaking of road access, this also plays a significant role in the overall cost to ship a car. Not only is the pickup point important here, but the kind of highway routes leading to the drop-off point also matter a great deal. Ideally, the truck driver would be able to drive most of the distance between these two points on multiple-lane interstate highways. This kind of scenario could actually reduce your final price because it makes travel easy for the car shipping companies.


The size and weight of the car being shipped matter a great deal because of the space they take up on a transport, and because of the overall allowable weight, a transport can accommodate. You can expect a larger, heavier car to cost more to move than a smaller, more compact car. Auto transport companies offer car shipping quotes based on the car size.


If you can provide a relatively broad window of time for the vehicle shipment, it will be much easier to match your request to a convenient pickup time for a transport that is scheduled to be in your area. On the other hand, if you are really pressed for time and can only give a few days’ notice, this is more likely to cause a shipper to specially schedule a transport to handle your request, and of course, this will result in higher cost to ship a car per mile.

Auto Transport Rates Your Geographic Location


The kind of transport your vehicle is shipped on is another factor that has a pretty big impact on the cost to ship a car per mile. If your vehicle is shipped on an open, unprotected transport this will cost significantly less than if you require shipping on a covered, fully enclosed mode of transportation.

Open transport will cost you less because the car shippers won’t have to take measures to protect the vehicle. They will only provide basic car shipping services.

If you are shipping high-end cars or sports cars, you need to make sure that the vehicle is protected during transport. Hence, you should go for an enclosed auto transport. Enclosed transport will cost you a little more than open transport, but it is worth it.

Let’s take a look at the two types of car hauler options.

  • Open Transport: Most often than not, people choose open auto transport serviceas it is the cheapest way to get your vehicle picked up and shipped. It also ensures more flexible shipping dates as more trucks are available for auto transport services. However, you need to keep in mind that open car shipping leaves your car open to damage from debris and other elements. So, dents and paint chips can occur during the auto transport service. Usually, most auto shipping companies cover this under their insurance.
  • Enclosed Transport: In case you are shipping a classic or sports car, enclosed carrier is a better choice as it will protect your car from elements, such as debris, dust, and rain. Nevertheless, enclosed car trucks can carry just a few vehicles at a time. Enclosed car shipping can raise the average cost to ship a car by up to 50% in comparison to open shipping services.


Another most obvious factor that can have an impact on the average car shipping cost is the distance. The more miles the carrier has to cover to get the vehicle shipped, the higher will be the car shipping rates per mile. The cost to ship a car can fluctuate based on the carrier you choose. So, look through different car shipping companies to find out how much they charge depending on the distance.

Often, auto transport companies charge less money to ship a car over a longer distance. This is mainly due to the open highways. For example, if you are shipping your car from Miami to Boston, the carrier has to incur heavy traffic in certain areas. Thus, it can lead to delay in shipping cars.

However, if the car is being shipped from Boston to Los Angeles, most of the roads are free of traffic. Hence, the distance can be covered within a shorter time. Therefore, distance is one of the big factors that determine car shipping costs.


The cost of gas is an expense to the shipper, so you can expect that any destination involving high mileage is going to require a great deal of fuel, which will become part of the car shipping costs per mile. Check out this link from for current fuel costs.

Most Affordable Means of Shipping Your Car

When you want to ship a car, you tend to look for the cheapest way to save money. Open car transport with terminal-to-terminal service is one of the most affordable and cost savings option you have at hand. With an open car carrier, you can accommodate up to 10 vehicles which let operators save a great deal of money on oil, fuel, and transport cost.

As the driver doesn’t have to transport your car to your office or home, terminal-to-terminal transport costs you less. But there are times when the final price of door-to-door service might cost you more than terminal-to-terminal shipping.

If you are on a budget and looking to ship your car with the cheapest option, ship it off-season. Shipping your car in early fall or during summer might cost you a great deal of money since the shipping demand is extremely high during this time. Get a free car shipping quote today by calling us at the phone number at top of this page.

Discounts to Look for When Shipping Your Car

To grab more customers, car shipping companies offer discounts. In case you are searching for affordable vehicle shipping, don’t forget to check the discounts offered by the transport company.

The types of discounts offered by shipping companies are given below-

  • Military Discounts: Often, shipping companies offer discounts to military personnel to help them with their unprecedented move. It is a way of recognizing their service.
  • Senior Discount: All old people survive on a fixed income and have to make sure their expenses are within a specific budget. So, many auto transport companies provide senior discounts.
  • Multicar Shipment: If you are shipping multiple vehicles at once, you can get a certain discount.
  • Student Discounts: Some shipping companies provide student discounts to help students move in the fall or summer to their college.
  • Early Bird: There are some companies that offer discounts when you sign up for your vehicle transport within 48 hours of receiving your quote.
  • First-Time Shippers: If it is your first time shipping a vehicle with a company, you can get a first-time shipper discount.

How to Calculate the Car Shipping Cost Per Mile?

Before you ship your car, you need to have an idea about how much it is going to cost you per mile. To calculate, you just have to multiply the total distance by the cost per mile. It helps you have a budget in mind to ship your car cross country or within U.S.

Bottom Line

So – what can you expect to pay for an automobile shipping rate per mile? A generic rule-of-thumb kind of calculation would start like this:

(Mileage) x (Cost for size of car) + Shipper Fee = Base Cost

Keep in mind that the resulting base cost will almost certainly be driven higher or lower when some of the factors discussed above are added in. To find out just which ones apply to your customized scenario, it’s best to have this information in hand when you are negotiating with a shipper to have your car transported.

Auto Transport Rates Per Mile

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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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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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