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Does the size or weight of the vehicle impact the shipping cost?

Published by Joe Webster.

What's in this article?
  1. Factors Influencing Shipping Costs
  2. Calculating Shipping Costs
  3. Tips for Reducing Shipping Costs
  4. Conclusion
Does the size or weight of the vehicle impact the shipping cost?

When it comes to shipping your vehicle, one common question arises: does the size or weight of the vehicle impact the shipping cost? The simple answer is, yes, it does. Shipping companies take into account both the size and weight of vehicles when calculating shipping costs. This is because larger and heavier vehicles require more resources to transport. They take up more space on a carrier, which could otherwise be used to transport additional vehicles. Moreover, heavier vehicles add to the fuel consumption of the transport carrier, further increasing the overall shipping cost.

The basic principle behind car shipping costs is straightforward: the bigger and heavier your vehicle, the more you can expect to pay. For example, shipping a compact car will generally be less expensive than shipping a large SUV or a heavy truck. This is due to the fact that a compact car uses less space and adds less weight to the transport carrier, making it more cost-effective for the shipping company.

Additionally, the weight of your vehicle can directly impact the shipping method used. Heavier vehicles may require specialized handling and equipment, further influencing the auto transport costs. It's important for vehicle owners to understand these factors as they directly relate to the final cost of shipping their vehicle. Whether you're moving across the country or shipping a car you've just purchased, knowing how size and weight affect shipping costs can help you plan and budget effectively.


Factors Influencing Shipping Costs

Several factors play into the calculation of shipping costs, and understanding these can help you better anticipate the cost of auto transport. Beyond the direct impact of vehicle size and weight, other considerations also influence the overall shipping cost.

  • Size Specifications and Their Impact: Auto transport costs vary significantly based on the size of your vehicle. Compact cars, mid-size sedans, SUVs, and large trucks each fall into different categories, with larger vehicles generally costing more to ship due to their space requirements on a carrier.
  • Weight Considerations: The weight of your vehicle is another critical factor. It's not just about the physical space it occupies; heavier vehicles increase the fuel consumption of the carrier, which, in turn, raises the cost of shipping. The shipping company must account for these additional costs when calculating your quote.
  • Type of Transport Service: The choice between open and enclosed transport services also affects the shipping cost. Enclosed transport offers more protection for your vehicle but comes at a higher price point. The size and weight of your vehicle can influence which type of service is more suitable or cost-effective for your needs.

These factors are all considered by the shipping company when providing a quote for car shipping. It's the combination of these elements that determines the final cost, highlighting the importance of understanding how each aspect contributes to the overall expense of shipping your vehicle.

Calculating Shipping Costs

Understanding how carriers calculate shipping costs is essential for anyone looking to ship their vehicle. While the specific formula may vary from one shipping company to another, the basics remain consistent: costs are typically based on the size and weight of the vehicle, the type of transport service selected, and the distance of the transport.

  • How Carriers Calculate Costs: Shipping companies start with a base rate for vehicle transport and then adjust this rate based on factors such as the vehicle's size, weight, and the distance it needs to be shipped. For instance, shipping a lightweight compact car over a short distance will cost significantly less than transporting a heavy SUV across the country.
  • Examples of Shipping Costs for Different Vehicles: To give you an idea, shipping a compact car from New York to Florida might cost around $600, whereas shipping a large SUV on the same route could cost upwards of $800 or more. These examples highlight how vehicle size and weight affect shipping costs directly.
  • Additional Fees and Costs: Be aware that additional fees may apply depending on your specific situation. Oversized vehicles might incur extra charges due to the special handling and equipment required. Furthermore, if your vehicle is particularly heavy, it might surpass the standard weight limit, leading to additional weight surcharges.

Calculating auto transport costs involves considering these various factors to get a comprehensive understanding of the overall shipping cost. By being aware of how each element affects the final price, you can better prepare and budget for the cost of shipping your vehicle.

Tips for Reducing Shipping Costs

Shipping your vehicle doesn't have to break the bank. There are several strategies you can employ to reduce auto transport costs, ensuring you get the best deal possible without compromising on service quality.

  • Choosing the Right Service: The type of transport service you choose can significantly affect the cost. For example, while enclosed transport offers added protection against the elements, it's more expensive than open transport. If you're shipping a standard vehicle, consider opting for open transport to save on costs. Enclosed transport might be better reserved for classic or luxury cars that require extra care.
  • Preparation Tips for Shipping: Properly preparing your vehicle can also help reduce costs. By emptying the fuel tank to a quarter full, you lower the overall weight of your vehicle, which can decrease fuel consumption for the carrier and, in turn, lower your shipping quote. Removing personal items and any aftermarket additions that increase size and weight can also lead to savings.
  • Seasonal and Geographical Considerations: Shipping costs can fluctuate based on the time of year and your destination. Avoiding peak moving seasons and being flexible with your shipping dates can lead to lower quotes. Additionally, shipping to and from major metropolitan areas might be cheaper due to the higher volume of shipments, reducing vehicle transportation costs.

By considering these factors and making informed choices, you can effectively reduce the cost of shipping vehicles, making the process more affordable and straightforward.



The size and weight of your vehicle play significant roles in determining the shipping cost. Heavier vehicles and those with larger dimensions generally incur higher transportation costs due to increased fuel consumption and the need for more space on the carrier. However, by understanding the factors that influence shipping costs and employing strategies to reduce auto transport costs, you can make shipping your vehicle both efficient and economical. Remember, preparation and choosing the right shipping service for your needs are key to managing and reducing the overall expense.

Ready to ship your car with confidence? Contact us at A1 Auto Transport for a personalized quote that considers your vehicle's size and weight, and let us help you navigate the best options for your auto transport needs. Start your journey to affordable and reliable vehicle shipping today.

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Joe Webster always knew the auto transport industry would be a great career option. And with decades of experience, Joe is now an established consultant for A1 Auto Transport.

Joe was born in Santa Cruz, California. During high school, Joe worked as a mechanic; a job continued to work part-time during his bachelor's degree.

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

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

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!

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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... Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport.

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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.

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

CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
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
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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