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How much does it cost to ship a car domestically?

Published by Joe Webster.

What's in this article?
  1. Factors Influencing Shipping Costs
  2. Understanding the Shipping Process
  3. Tips for Reducing Shipping Costs
  4. Choosing the Right Shipping Company
  5. Conclusion
How much does it cost to ship a car domestically?

When it comes to relocating or selling vehicles across states, one pressing question often arises: How much does it cost to ship a car domestically? Whether you're a first-time car seller, buyer, or simply moving to a new state, understanding the nuances of car shipping costs is crucial. This article aims to shed light on the factors that influence the cost to ship a car within the U.S., offering insights into how you can navigate these waters efficiently. By choosing the right car shipping company, you can ensure that your vehicle arrives safely at its destination without breaking the bank. Join us as we dive into the world of car shipping, providing you with the knowledge to make informed decisions about shipping your vehicle domestically.

The cost to ship a car domestically varies widely, typically ranging from $500 to $1,500, depending on several factors. At the core, car shipping prices are influenced by the distance of the shipment, the type of service selected (such as open or enclosed transport), and the specific needs of your vehicle. For example, opting for enclosed transport to protect a luxury or classic car from the elements will increase the cost compared to standard open transport. Additionally, the operational status of your vehicle—whether it's running or not—can affect the price, with non-operable vehicles requiring extra resources to load and unload, thereby increasing the overall cost. Car shipping companies also consider the size and weight of the car, as larger vehicles take up more space and incur higher shipping costs. Ultimately, while the average cost provides a baseline, obtaining a personalized quote from a reputable car shipping company will give you the most accurate estimate for your specific situation.


Factors Influencing Shipping Costs

Understanding the factors that influence car shipping costs is essential for anyone looking to ship a car domestically. The following are key elements that can affect the overall price:

  • Distance: The length of the journey is a primary factor. Shipping a car across longer distances will naturally cost more due to increased fuel and labor costs. However, the cost per mile decreases as the distance increases, making long-distance shipments more economical on a per-mile basis.
  • Type of Transport: You have two main options—open or enclosed transport. Open transport is the most common and cost-effective method, where vehicles are shipped on an open trailer. Enclosed transport, on the other hand, offers added protection against weather and road debris but comes at a higher price, making it a popular choice for shipping luxury, classic, or antique cars.
  • Car Make and Model: The size and weight of your vehicle directly impact the cost. Larger vehicles, such as SUVs and trucks, occupy more space on the carrier, leading to higher prices compared to compact cars.
  • Operational Status of the Car: Non-operable vehicles require additional equipment and labor to load and unload, resulting in extra charges. Ensure your car is in running condition, or notify the shipping company if it's not, to get an accurate quote.
  • Delivery Timeframe: If you need your vehicle delivered quickly, opting for expedited shipping services will increase the cost. Planning ahead and being flexible with your shipping dates can help reduce expenses.

By considering these factors, you can better understand the quotes provided by car shipping companies and make an informed decision when choosing the best option for your needs.

Understanding the Shipping Process

The process of shipping a car domestically involves several key steps, each important for ensuring a smooth and stress-free experience. Initially, you'll need to research and select a reputable transport company. Many auto transport companies offer an online car shipping cost calculator, allowing you to get a preliminary estimate of the shipping cost based on your vehicle's details and the distance between pickup and delivery locations.

Once you've chosen a shipping company, the next step is booking your shipment. During this phase, you'll provide details about your car, choose between open or enclosed transport, and specify your preferred pickup and delivery locations. Some companies offer door-to-door service, while others might require you to drop off and pick up your vehicle at designated locations.

Preparing your car for shipping is also crucial. Remove personal items and any loose parts, perform a maintenance check to ensure it's in good operating condition, and document its current state with photos for your records. This preparation helps protect your vehicle during transit and streamlines the pickup and delivery process.

Upon pickup, the driver will inspect your vehicle and load it onto the carrier. You'll then receive updates as your car is in transit. Finally, at the delivery location, you'll inspect your vehicle again to ensure it arrives in the same condition as when it was picked up, completing the shipping process.


Tips for Reducing Shipping Costs

Shipping a car domestically doesn't have to break the bank. There are several strategies you can employ to save money on the shipping cost. First, consider the timing of your shipment. Prices can vary depending on the season, with costs typically higher in the summer months. If possible, schedule your shipment during off-peak times.

Comparing quotes from multiple auto transport companies is another effective way to find the best deal. Use a car shipping cost calculator available on many transport company websites to get an initial estimate, but don't hesitate to contact the companies directly for a more detailed quote that considers all your specific needs.

Additionally, if you're shipping multiple cars, inquire about discounts for transporting more than one vehicle at a time. Many companies offer reduced rates for such shipments, making it a cost-effective option for families or businesses needing to transport several vehicles.

Choosing a more flexible delivery option can also help reduce costs. Door-to-door transportation offers convenience, albeit at a higher cost compared to terminal-to-terminal shipping, which involves dropping off and picking up your vehicle at specific locations designated by the transport company.

Lastly, ask about any available discounts you might qualify for, such as military discounts, loyalty programs, or promotions for first-time customers. Taking advantage of these offers can significantly reduce the overall shipping cost.

Choosing the Right Shipping Company

Selecting the right shipping company is essential for a seamless and secure car transportation experience. When researching auto transport companies, focus on their reputation and customer reviews to gauge reliability and service quality. A1 Auto Transport stands out in the industry for its exceptional track record of timely deliveries, customer satisfaction, and dedication to vehicle safety. It's crucial to verify that the company offers comprehensive insurance coverage to protect your vehicle against any unforeseen damages during transit. A1 Auto Transport is transparent about their insurance policies, ensuring peace of mind for their clients.

Customer service excellence is another vital aspect. A1 Auto Transport's team exemplifies professionalism and responsiveness, addressing any queries with the utmost attention and detail. This level of service is particularly reassuring for first-time shippers or those navigating the complexities of international car shipping.

Finally, understanding how a shipping company determines its pricing is important. A1 Auto Transport provides clear, competitive quotes, factoring in transport type, vehicle specifications, travel distance, and delivery preferences. By choosing A1 Auto Transport, you're not just selecting a shipping company; you're choosing a partner committed to delivering your vehicle safely, efficiently, and at a fair price, ensuring a stress-free shipping experience from start to finish.



In this comprehensive guide, we've explored the various factors that affect the cost to ship a car domestically, including distance, type of transport, vehicle size, operational status, and delivery timeframe. We've also provided insights into the shipping process, tips for reducing shipping costs, and advice on choosing the right shipping company. Understanding these elements is crucial for anyone looking to ship a car within the U.S. We encourage you to consider all these factors carefully and conduct thorough research to find the shipping option that best meets your needs and budget.

Are you ready to ship your car but unsure where to start? A1 Auto Transport is here to help. With years of experience and a commitment to customer satisfaction, we offer reliable and affordable car shipping solutions. Whether you're looking for a quote or have questions about the car shipping process, our team of experts is here to assist you every step of the way. Don't let the stress of shipping your car overwhelm you. Contact A1 Auto Transport today and let us make your car shipping experience smooth and hassle-free.

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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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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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