Cost of Shipping a Car by Plane
Shipping a car by plane, also referred to as air freight in the transport industry, is the most expensive method of transporting a car, regardless of where it’s going and how far the distance is. So you may ask yourself, “Why would someone do it then?”
It’s a fair question and the answer is usually that they are shipping a particularly high value, rare, or exotic vehicle that requires special care during shipment. Over our more than two decades in the car transport business, we’ve seen a number of customers that prefer to ship via airline, and it’s almost always a car that has an extremely high value, either sentimental or otherwise. For the majority of vehicles on the road, the cost of shipping a via airline would exceed the value of the vehicle, in many cases, several times over!
As with any type of vehicle shipment, the cost is largely contingent on the transport distance involved. Air freight is exponentially more expensive than other methods so the cost goes up accordingly—in the neighborhood of thousands of dollars. To put that into perspective, you could have a car shipped across the U.S. by truck for around $2,000, while that wouldn’t be enough to cover air freight across the state in many parts of the country.
The Advantages Of Shipping A Car With Air Freight
Now that we’ve sufficiently covered the high cost of air freight shipping and put it context of standard transport costs, let’s look at why people do ship cars via airplane.
As mentioned in the first section, most people shipping cars on a plane are doing so because the car my be rare, antique, exotic, high-end, custom, or even one-of-a-kind. That said, it’s not uncommon to see these types of vehicles in an enclosed carrier on a transport truck either.
The speed and convenience of shipping a car by air freight is unparalleled. It is the absolute fastest way to ship a car and the only way to have a vehicle shipped over a long distance in less than a day or two. In most cases, you can also ship other cargo and personal goods when you use air freight, which is not an option with other methods, outside of containerized shipping.
Finally, there is the important element of safety. There is very little handling, or switching around of cargo when you use ship on an airline. Most shipments are destination-direct and stop only for deliveries, meaning your car is never sitting on a truck overnight or waiting to be unloaded from a ship for several days. It’s quick, easy, and safe, which is largely why people choose to pay the high price tag.
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Written By:Joe Webster
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.