How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Car Across The Country?

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How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Car Across The Country?
How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Car Across The Country?

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.

Door-to-door

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

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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How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Car Across The Country

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 Much Does It Cost To Ship A Car Across The Country

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.

How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Car Across The Country

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.


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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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Testimonial
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.

Testimonial
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.

Testimonial
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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