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How much does auto transport cost in Los Angeles?

Published by Joe Webster.

How much does auto transport cost in Los Angeles?

Understanding how much auto transport costs in Los Angeles is essential whether you're relocating, buying a car from a distance, or sending a vehicle to a new owner. The price can vary widely depending on several key factors, making it crucial to get a good grasp of what affects these costs.

Several elements play a role in determining the cost of Los Angeles auto transport. The type and size of the vehicle are significant; larger vehicles like SUVs and trucks generally cost more to transport than smaller sedans due to their weight and space requirements. The transport method is another critical factor. Open transport, where vehicles are shipped on an open trailer, is usually less expensive than enclosed transport, which offers more protection against the elements and is preferred for luxury or classic cars. Lastly, the distance and route specifics also affect the price. Longer routes and those with less frequent shipping traffic might be pricier.

The cost for auto transport services in Los Angeles typically ranges from $500 to $1,500. This range can fluctuate based on the vehicle type and the chosen transport method. For example, shipping a standard sedan in an open trailer over a moderate distance might be at the lower end, while transporting a luxury car in an enclosed trailer over a long distance could approach or exceed the upper range.


Detailed Cost Breakdown

Cost by Vehicle Type

The vehicle type significantly impacts the cost of car shipping. Here's a breakdown:

  • Sedans: Typically, the most affordable to ship due to their average size and weight, costing around $500 to $900.
  • SUVs: These vehicles often cost more, around $700 to $1,200, because they take up more space and weigh more, affecting fuel consumption.
  • Classic cars: Shipping can range from $800 to $1,500 or more, mainly if using enclosed transport to protect these valuable vehicles from road debris and weather conditions.

Cost Variations by Transport Method

Choosing between open and enclosed transport will affect your cost:

  • Open transport: The most common and economical option, suitable for most vehicles, typically costs between $500 and $1,000.
  • Enclosed transport: Offers added protection for high-value or antique cars, costing between $800 and $1,500, reflecting its additional security and reduced capacity.
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Seasonal Variations in Auto Transport Costs

Cheapest and Most Expensive Times to Ship a Car

The cost of auto transport services in Los Angeles, like in many other places, can vary significantly throughout the year due to seasonal demand fluctuations. Typically, the summer months see higher prices due to increased demand; many people move or buy cars during this period. Conversely, the winter months often offer lower rates, particularly from October through February, when there is less demand for car shipping services.

Tips for Getting the Best Rates Depending on Season

To secure the best possible rates for Los Angeles car shipping, consider timing your shipment during the off-peak season if possible. Additionally, booking services well in advance can help lock in lower rates before demand spikes. Always compare quotes from multiple car shipping companies to ensure competitive pricing. Flexibility with your pickup and delivery locations can also lead to more economical options, as car shipping experts may find it easier to combine shipments heading to or from major transport hubs.

Additional Costs and Fees

Insurance and Its Impact on Total Cost

While the base quote from an auto transport company generally includes insurance, it's crucial to understand what's covered and whether you might need additional coverage. This is particularly important for high-value vehicles where the basic coverage may not suffice. Adding full coverage insurance can increase the overall car shipping cost, but it provides peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is fully protected against potential damages during transit.

Hidden Fees in Auto Transport Contracts

Be vigilant about the potential hidden fees that might not be immediately apparent in the initial quote from an auto shipping company. These can include fees for additional insurance, fuel surcharges, and charges for remote or difficult-to-access pickup and delivery locations. Always ask for a comprehensive breakdown of costs before agreeing to a contract to avoid surprises later on.

Cost-Saving Tips for Auto Transport

Choosing the Right Transport Method

Selecting the appropriate transport method can significantly affect the cost of shipping a car. Open transport is generally less expensive than enclosed transport and is suitable for most vehicles. However, for luxury, antique, or specialty vehicles, enclosed transport provides the necessary protection against the elements and road debris, justifying the higher cost.

Negotiating with Transport Companies

Don't hesitate to negotiate with auto transport brokers or companies. Given the competitive nature of the auto transport industry in Los Angeles, many car shipping companies are willing to match or beat their competitors' pricing to secure your business. It's also wise to check for any ongoing promotions or discounts that might apply to your situation.

By leveraging these cost-saving strategies and being aware of the additional costs involved, you can make more informed decisions that align with your needs and budget. These insights into the car shipping process help demystify the various charges and provide actionable advice to ensure cost-effective and efficient auto transport solutions.


Steps to Reduce Costs and Ensure Safe Delivery

Preparing your vehicle for transport not only ensures its safety but can also help reduce costs. Here are key steps to follow:

  • Clean Your Vehicle: A thorough cleaning allows for a more accurate inspection before shipment, helping to identify any existing damage.
  • Document Pre-Existing Damage: Take photos and note any scratches, dents, or issues. This is essential for filing an insurance claim should any damage occur during transport.
  • Remove Personal Items: Auto transport companies typically prohibit personal items in the vehicle during shipping due to weight restrictions and potential theft or damage.
  • Check Fluids and Battery: Make sure your vehicle’s battery is charged and secure, and that fluids are at adequate levels but not overfilled.

Checklist Before Handing Over the Keys

Before you hand over your vehicle to the car shipping company, ensure:

  1. All alarms are disabled.
  2. The gas tank is no more than a quarter full.
  3. Mirrors are folded back, and if possible, antennas and other protruding parts are removed or retracted.
  4. You have a set of keys to hand over to the driver.

Following these steps can significantly smooth the car shipping process and prevent unnecessary complications or additional charges.

Legal and Insurance Considerations

When engaging with an auto transport service, it’s important to understand your legal rights and the protections in place. Contracts should be clear about the terms of service, including delivery times, cancellation policies, and insurance details. Knowing these can help you make informed decisions and advocate for yourself should any disputes arise.

Insurance coverage is a critical aspect of auto transport. While basic coverage is included by most auto transport companies, it often only covers damage due to the carrier’s negligence. Consider purchasing additional coverage for peace of mind, especially if your vehicle is valuable. Be sure to understand what the insurance covers and any deductibles that may apply.



Choosing the right auto transport service in Los Angeles involves understanding the associated costs, preparing your vehicle correctly, and being aware of legal and insurance considerations. By following the guidelines and tips provided, you can ensure a smooth and cost-effective car shipping process. Remember, selecting a reputable auto transport company not only guarantees the safety of your vehicle but also provides peace of mind throughout the transportation journey.

Ready to ship your vehicle with confidence? Contact A1 Auto Transport today for a reliable and efficient service tailored to your needs. Trust us to deliver your car safely and on time, every time.

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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!

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

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.

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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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