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How Much Does It Cost To Transport A Car By Plane

Published by Joe Webster.

What's in this article?
  1. Introduction to Car Transportation by Plane
  2. Why Transport a Car by Plane?
  3. Factors Influencing the Cost of Transporting a Car by Plane
  4. Comparing Costs Plane Shipping vs Other Methods
  5. Case Study Cost Breakdown of Transporting a Car by Plane
  6. Tips for Reducing Costs and Ensuring Safe Transport
  7. Conclusion
How Much Does It Cost To Transport A Car By Plane

Transporting a car by plane, also known as air freight, is typically the most expensive method of auto transport due to its speed and efficiency. The cost can range significantly based on various factors. On average, you might expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $40,000 per vehicle for international auto shipping. However, it's essential to remember that these figures can fluctuate depending on the specifics of the transport, such as the type of vehicle, the distance, and any additional services like door-to-door delivery.

Introduction to Car Transportation by Plane

When it comes to moving a vehicle long distances or overseas, there are several options available. Among them, air transport is the fastest and often the safest way to ship a car. Due to its speed and safety, it's commonly chosen for high-value vehicles or when time is of the essence. However, the cost of air shipping is significantly higher than other methods like sea or road transport. This article will delve into the specifics of transporting a car by plane, discussing why individuals or businesses might opt for this method and what influences the cost.

Why Transport a Car by Plane?

There are several reasons why someone might choose to transport a car by plane. For one, it's the fastest method of transportation, making it ideal for situations where time is critical. For example, if you're relocating internationally for work and need your vehicle immediately upon arrival, air transport is an excellent option.

Air freight is also a preferred method for shipping cars that hold significant value - either financially or sentimentally. Classic cars, luxury vehicles, or custom-built autos often require the added safety and speed that air transport provides.

Moreover, certain remote locations may only be accessible by air. In such cases, air freight becomes not just the best choice but the only feasible one.

Choosing a reputable shipping company for your car transport is essential, regardless of the method you opt for. A reliable car shipping company will offer insurance, provide clear terms and conditions, and have a track record of successful deliveries. They can also offer additional services like door-to-door delivery, which adds to the convenience of the entire process.

In conclusion, while transporting a car by plane can be expensive, the benefits of speed, safety, and convenience often outweigh the cost, particularly for high-value vehicles or time-sensitive situations.


Factors Influencing the Cost of Transporting a Car by Plane

There are several factors that influence the cost of transporting a car by plane. Understanding these can help you better anticipate the costs associated with such a service.

Firstly, the type of vehicle being shipped plays a significant role. Larger and heavier vehicles typically cost more to transport due to the increased space and weight capacity they require on the aircraft. Luxury and classic cars may also incur additional costs for special handling or extra insurance coverage.

The distance and destination of the transport also impact the cost. International auto transport is generally more expensive than domestic transport due to the longer distances, additional paperwork, and customs fees involved. Even within international transport, costs can vary depending on the specific countries involved.

Another factor is the level of service you choose. Some transport companies offer door-to-door service, where they pick up and deliver your vehicle right to your specified locations. While this adds significant convenience, it also adds to the cost. On the other hand, terminal-to-terminal services, where you drop off and pick up your vehicle at designated locations, can be a more economical choice.

Finally, the timeline of your shipment influences the cost. If you need your vehicle shipped quickly, you might have to opt for expedited shipping, which comes at a premium.

Comparing Costs: Plane Shipping vs Other Methods

When considering the method of transport for your vehicle, it's helpful to compare the cost of plane shipping with other methods.

Shipping a car by boat is one of the most common methods for international transport. It's less expensive than air freight but also takes significantly longer. For example, shipping a car overseas from the U.S to Europe by boat might take 3-4 weeks, whereas the same journey by plane would typically take just 1-2 days.

Road transport is another option, especially for domestic transport within the same country or continent. While this method is often the most affordable, it's also the slowest and can add unnecessary mileage and wear and tear to your vehicle.

In conclusion, while plane shipping is the fastest and often the safest method, it's also the most expensive. The choice between air, sea, and road transport ultimately comes down to balancing your needs for speed, safety, and cost. It's advisable to get quotes for all options from a reputable transport company before making a decision.

Case Study: Cost Breakdown of Transporting a Car by Plane

To better illustrate the cost associated with transporting a car by plane, let's consider a hypothetical example. Suppose you need to ship a new car from New York to London.

Firstly, the type of vehicle plays a crucial role in determining the cost. For a standard-sized vehicle, air freight might range from $10,000 to $15,000. However, if it's a larger or highly valuable vehicle, the cost can go even higher due to the need for special handling and more insurance coverage.

Next is the distance of transport. Shipping overseas from New York to London covers approximately 3,500 miles. The longer the distance, the higher the plane cost.

The level of service also influences the cost. If you want door-to-door service, where the transport company picks up and delivers your vehicle right at your specified locations, that could add another $500-$1000 to your total cost.

Lastly, the urgency of the shipment. If you need your car shipped immediately, expedited shipping might be necessary, adding a premium to your cost.

In this case, the total cost of transporting a car by plane from New York to London may range from $12,000 to $20,000, depending on various factors.


Tips for Reducing Costs and Ensuring Safe Transport

While transporting a car by plane comes with a high cost, there are ways to potentially reduce expenses and ensure smooth transportation.

Consider your timeline. If you don't need your vehicle immediately upon arrival, avoiding expedited shipping can save a significant amount.

Choose the right level of service. Door-to-door service offers great convenience, but terminal-to-terminal service is typically cheaper.

Opt for open transport over enclosed transport if your vehicle isn't particularly valuable or delicate. Enclosed shipping protects your vehicle from the elements and road debris but comes at a higher cost.

Ensure the vehicle is prepared correctly. Remove personal belongings, perform maintenance checks, and document the vehicle's condition before shipping. This can help avoid unnecessary delays or damage charges.

Lastly, always check the insurance coverage provided by your car shipping company. While it might be tempting to go with a company that offers lower rates, ensure they provide adequate insurance to cover the full value of your vehicle.


Transporting a car by plane is a complex process that involves various factors influencing the cost. From the type of vehicle, distance, level of service to the urgency of shipment, each aspect plays a significant role in determining the final cost. While it's typically the most expensive method of transport, the speed, safety, and convenience it offers make it the preferred choice for shipping high-value vehicles or when time is of the essence. By understanding these factors and following the tips mentioned, you can navigate the process effectively and ensure a smooth and successful transportation experience.

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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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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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