Cost of Shipping Across the Country
Much of the cost of shipping a car across the country is contingent upon how you choose to transport your it (more on this below). Naturally, the shipping distance is a major factor as well, and one that will definitely come into play. To put this into perspective, the distance form California to Florida is roughly 2,000 miles, whereas shipping from Washington (state) to New York is closer to 2,500. You can guess which one will cost slightly more.
Shipping a car using door-to-door transport is the ultimate in convenience, particularly if you don’t have the time or desire to pick up your car at a shipping terminal. As the name implies, door-to-door transport means the car is picked up from, and delivered to, a specific address. It is the most complete end-to-end, full-service available when shipping a vehicle across the U.S. It’s important to note that door-to-door car shipping may not be available in specific areas that are inaccessible by the car carrier.
Terminal shipping is the standard method and it’s also the most affordable. Using this method, the driver delivers the vehicle to a nearby terminal, where it is then picked up by the customer. It’s cheaper to ship a car across the country using the terminal shipping method since it allows for centralizing the drop-off point for multiple cars at once.
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Car Shipping Costs | Coast To Coast & Cross Country
As mentioned above, the “main ingredient” in the cost of shipping a car is the distance. That said, it’s also cheaper on a per mile basis when you ship over a long distance. When you’re shipping a car across the country, it’s best to give the plenty of lead time, both to yourself and to the shipper.
You’ll have to invest a little bit of time in researching companies and contacting them for price estimates, but you’ll also want to allow them plenty of time to arrange for shipping. Generally, a few weeks is plenty of time, but it’s never a bad idea to give yourself and the shipper some wiggle room. To give you an idea of the costs of shipping a car across the United States, here are some prices from recent shipments.
Costs For Shipping A Car Across The Country
- Los Angeles, CA to Miami, FL - $1,235
- Boston, MA to Las Vegas, NV - $1,463
- Philadelphia, PA to Portland, OR - $1,477
- Seattle, WA to New York, NY - $1,250
- Charlotte, NC to Phoenix, AZ - $1,097
- Richmond, VA to San Francisco, CA - $1,364
- Hartford, CT to Albuquerque, NM - $1,131
*The above numbers are based on a standard sized car shipped on an open carrier.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I ship a car across the country?
While the logistics of the movement may be complicated, there's nothing stopping someone from shipping their car across the country. Because the laws for driving a vehicle are the same across the country, you won't run into legislative hurdles. If you'd prefer your car be moved in a safe, secure carrying container that's monitored at all times, you should consider A1 Transport's cross-country car shipping service.
Should I ship my car across the country?
This consideration varies from client to client. Some car owners have multiple vehicles and prefer to drive one while shipping the other. Sometimes vehicle tags may have expired, and to avoid getting into trouble, sending them in a container may be a more viable method of transporting them across the country. Paying a shipping company also saves you costs on wear-and-tear and gas (if it's a massive distance).
Will I have to pay customs and duties on arrival?
No. Since you're shipping the car within the country's borders, customs and duties don't apply.
Will I need to pay taxes?
No. Again, since the car is being shipped within the country's borders, you won't need to pay taxes. However, you should be aware that car registration and licensing may need to change if you intend to stay in the state. You may need to arrange that through a visit to your local DMV.
What affects the cost of shipping a car cross-country?
Costs for vehicle shipping will vary depending on where you're coming from, going to, and the vehicle's weight in question. Ideally, you should be balancing time with money. Faster shipping may cost you more, but your car will be available for use sooner. Slower shipping with longer lead times may cost you a little less. Contact A1 Transport, and we can work something out with you for your cross-country vehicle shipping needs.
How often are cars damaged in transit?
Most shipping companies are responsible and don't take unnecessary risks with customer assets. While accidents may occur that a company can't foresee, it's improbable a vehicle will be damaged in transit across the country.
Are only standard-sized cars able to be shipped?
While most of the cars we carry are standard-sized, that doesn't mean it's the only type of car we can ship. Some larger vehicles and even SUVs can be shipped cross-country. Vans and trucks are similarly shippable, although they will cost more due to the increased size and weight of the vehicle in question.
Are all car shipping companies the same?
Shipping companies, on the whole, can be reputable, but it's hard to tell which ones are unless you do a bit of research. The best place to start is to check user reviews, preferably not posted on the company's site itself. Instead, look for online reviews posted to third-party sites. New companies might not have reviews, so you should ask to see their registration and licensing. If they can't produce that, you shouldn't even consider them.
What types of vehicle shipping are there?
Vehicle shipping tends to have its own categories, depending on how the shipper prefers to accept delivery. The two types we see most often are:
- Door-to-Door shipping: This shipping method sees the car picked up from one residential address and delivered to another one.
- Terminal shipping: The cheaper options allows a shipper to send their car from their home state to the destination to be picked up at a terminal. Most cars are shipped this way.
The standard shipping method is terminal shipping, although most companies offer their clients a choice of the two.
Can I use door-to-door shipping for any vehicle?
While you are allowed to have door-to-door shipping anywhere in the US, there are delivery constraints. Sometimes, the destination location is too small for the trailer to get access to. In these instances, terminal shipping is the best method for getting your car to your site. You will need to pick up the vehicle from the terminal after it arrives.
Is a transport container the only way to ship a car?
Professional cross-country shipping usually uses a container for shipping, but there are other options. Using a mini-trailer to tow the car behind the moving truck may save on costs. However, it may be dangerous trying to do this with an unskilled driver. Consult your moving company to figure out how they intend to transport your car. If you prefer not having it damaged, professional car shipping companies like A1 Transport are a better bet.
How much notice should I give the company I'm shipping with?
Moving companies have a "sweet spot" when it comes to giving notice. If you give them a few weeks' lead time, they will provide you with a better price because they can plan their logistics accordingly. Unfortunately, if you're in a hurry or didn't have any forewarning of your move, you might find the cost of shipping your car go up significantly.
What should I look for in a professional car shipping firm?
Not all moving companies are created equal. When you're looking for a shipping company that will protect your investment in your car, you have to spend the time going through your options. But what should you be looking for? A good car shipping company offers:
- Fast shipping: No massive turnaround time
- Options for delivery: Clients can choose how they want their car delivered
- Is registered and licensed: Transporting a car across state borders requires the proper paperwork and licensing.
- Has superb customer service: You don't want to spend half your life on hold trying to find out where your car is now.
Should a shipping company offer car insurance for the move?
Most shipping companies are safe, but accidents occur sometimes. It's required by law for shipping companies to offer basic insurance coverage, but some companies have specialized coverage for other issues that may arise during the move. You should consider this insurance since your standard car coverage may not cover damage in shipping or transport.