Want the lowdown on the actual cost of having a vehicle shipped? You’re in the right place! On this page you’ll find information about what goes into the cost of moving a vehicle and cost estimates for different types of vehicles and transport services. It can be challenging to get an accurate cost estimate on the price of shipping a vehicle from one location to another - many companies won’t even offer up a ballpark figure without your personal information.
Auto Transport Prices By The Numbers – What Does It Cost To Ship A Car?
We wanted to provide our readers with an accurate breakdown of exactly what goes into the cost of moving a car, truck, motorcycle or RV, and how much it actually costs.
- State to State & Same State Auto Deliver – Shipping a vehicle within the same state is usually more affordable, though the distance is a key factor. Here’s an example: El Paso, TX to Houston, TX is about 750 miles and would likely cost between $500 and $700, depending on the the type of vehicle. By comparison, El Paso to Los Angeles, which is 800 miles would be slightly more, probably in the $600 to $800 range.
- Moving a car from one major city to another also increases the chances that you’ll be able to choose terminal auto transport which is the most cost-effective way to have a vehicle shipped. Dallas, TX to Atlanta, GA is just under 800 miles and the cost would be in the same range as those mentioned above: between $600 and $700. If we look at smaller cities that are a similar distance apart, but are not on a major delivery route, the cost will be slightly higher. For example, if you need a vehicle shipped from College Station, TX to Athens, GA (also around 800 miles), the cost would be slightly higher than the price quote you’d be able to get by shipping directly from Dallas to Atlanta.
- RV Transport – Since recreation vehicles and motor homes come in such a variety of sizes and shapes the cost will vary accordingly. For example, the typically larger class A motorhomes will cost more than class B or class C RV transport. The weight of an RV is also a factor that can sometimes push the cost of shipping a motorhome above the $1 per mile figure mentioned below, particularly for RVs that are longer than 25 feet.
- International Shipping – Transporting a car internationally is a little bit different for each country due to the laws and taxes involved in moving any kind of cargo moved between nations. The cost of shipping alone can be expensive: you can plan at least $2,000 to $3,000 in the cost of shipping alone from the United States to Europe, in addition to import taxes, which vary from country to country.
Visit our international auto transport page to learn more about the specific documents and paperwork required when shipping a vehicle overseas.
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What Affects The Price Of Vehicle Shipping Estimates?
Generally speaking, the cost of transporting a vehicle is going to be between 50 cents and $1 per mile, depending on what type of services you opt for and how far the vehicle needs to be shipped. Here are some of the factors how it breaks down:
- Type of Vehicle – Obviously it will cost more to ship a van, bus, boat or RV than it would to move a standard two or four door car. This has almost everything to do with the weight of the vehicle, which is obviously an important element when hauling cargo over a long distance. Motorcycles will be on the cheaper end of the spectrum, closer to 50 cents per mile. As an example, shipping a motorcycle between Philadelphia, PA and Columbus, OH (about 470 miles) would cost around $300, as compared to around $450 for a car. An RV like a class A motorhome would naturally cost more due to the size and weight of the vehicle.
- Distance & Location – Distance and location are perhaps the two most important factors that affect the cost of shipping a car. If you’re hiring a company to move a car across the country or coast to coast, you really start to see the impact of mileage. Seattle, WA to New York City is nearly 3,000 miles and will generally cost over $2,000 even for standard shipping. San Diego, CA to Jacksonville, FL is a little over 2,000 miles and could be done for $2,000 or less.
- Shipping Routes – Primary transport routes (those between major U.S. metro areas) will usually be cheaper than moving a vehicle between suburbs and smaller cities. Transporting a vehicle between New York and Florida can be done as cheaply as $700, even though it’s over 1,000 miles (we’re using New York City to Orlando for this example). The reason is that it’s one of the main transport routes on the East Coast between the Northeast and the Southeast.
- Delivery Method – The two primary methods of shipping a vehicle are open and enclosed carriers. Open air auto carriers often carry several vehicles at once that are loaded onto a trailer. With enclosed shipping, the vehicle is completely secured in a closed truck carrier that guards against any potential damage or curious eyes. Enclosed auto transport is a premium service that is ideal for high value, performance and classic cars.
- Season- Many people don’t take time to consider the season when they ship a car, but in all actuality, it is an important factor in the way car shipping is priced. In the spring and summer, more people relocate for work and school or travel for vacations, and the car shipping industry is booming with business during these hot months. This means there is a great demand for trucks, and with that demand often comes higher rates as companies have to work customers in on busy transport routes.
In the winter, which is considered the slow season for car transport, you can often find discounted rates, especially if you are shipping in a southern state or a Midwestern state. If you need to ship from the north, where there may be snow and ice-covered roads, you might see a slight increase in pricing due to the weather. The best way to find out about a seasonal rate is to ask the agent if you can have a seasonal discount. In many instances, a friendly inquiry can go a long way.
Auto Transport Pricing Resources
Driving Distance Calculator – Get accurate mileage information for the driving distance between any two U.S. cities by using the calculator feature from TravelMath.com.
Vehicle Weight – Get an accurate estimate of the curb weight of different types of vehicles, as well as the precise numbers for specific makes and models of vehicles.
Cost to Ship Various Vehicles
- Cost to ship a BMW
- Cost to ship a Corvette
- Cost to ship a Mercedes
- Cost to ship a truck
- Cost to ship a van
- Cost to ship an SUV
- Cost to ship an ATV overseas
- Cost to ship a boat overseas
- Cost to ship a car across the country
- Cost to ship a car by rail
- Cost to ship a car enclosed
- Cost to ship a car RORO
- Cost to ship a car state to state
- Cost to ship a car to another state
- Cost to ship a car via airline
- Cost to ship a classic vehicle overseas
- Cost to ship an exotic car overseas
- Cost to ship a golf cart overseas
- Cost to ship a golf cart
- Cost to ship an RV overseas
- Cost of shipping more than one car
- Cost to ship an ATV
- Cost to ship a boat
- Cost to ship a car overseas
- Cost to ship a car
- Cost to ship a classic car
- Cost to ship an exotic automobile
- Cost to ship a motorcycle overseas
- Cost to ship a motorcycle
- Cost to ship an RV
- Cost to ship a car across state lines
- Car shipping charges by A-1 Auto Transport
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Gas Prices Affect Shipping Costs?
Yes, our partner carriers must account for all variables that go into transporting your vehicle. The cost of their fuel is one such factor. Fortunately, gas prices generally fluctuate gradually and do not often cause sudden surges in shipping costs.
However, an unexpected fuel shortage caused by a natural disaster is one possible exception. Such an occurrence could rapidly drive up the cost of auto shipping services.
Are There Discount Opportunities for Shipping?
Yes, there are plenty of discount opportunities when you’re arranging shipping services through A-1 Auto Transport. We offer discounts to a variety of customers, including:
- Government employees
- Healthcare Workers
If you would like to find out whether you are eligible for a discount, simply call our sales team. We will strive to find you the best deal on car shipping services. However, it is important to note that not all discounts are available year-round.
What Factors Impact Domestic Shipping Costs?
When we’re calculating the cost of your shipping services, the team at A-1 Auto Transport must assess a variety of factors, including:
The total distance traveled is the biggest determining factor when it comes to setting your shipping costs. Our partner carriers charge by the mile. The more miles traveled, the higher the cost of shipping will be.
However, many of our carriers also offer price breaks as total mileage increases. These discounts are usually divided into 500-mile increments. For each additional 500 miles that your car is being shipped, the total per-mile rate will decrease.
The demand for auto shipping services is the highest in the summer. This increased demand also drives up prices. Many clients prefer arranging shipping services in the summer, due to the great weather. Winter shipments are at a higher risk of being delayed by natural disasters and severe weather.
Weight of Vehicle
The overall weight of your vehicle will also influence total shipping costs. Our carriers must adhere to the gross vehicle weight requirements set by the Department of Transportation. Currently, the GVW limit is set at 80,000 lbs.
If your vehicle is abnormally heavy, then the carrier cannot hold as many cars as usual. To offset this limitation, the carrier will often charge a higher rate for hauling your vehicle.
The shipping method used will also play a huge role in the total cost of shipping your car. The two primary shipping methods available are open-air and enclosed trailer hauling.
When they are hauling cars via the open-air method, carriers can usually accommodate seven to nine vehicles. This allows them to charge a relatively low rate per car.
However, enclosed trailers can only fit about three to five cars, which means that the carrier must charge more for each vehicle in order to make a profit.
When you’re arranging your shipping services, you will get to choose between terminal-to-terminal and door-to-door delivery. Terminal-to-terminal shipping is cheaper, but door-to-door shipping is more convenient.
Make sure to weigh the benefits of each option so that you can get the perfect delivery solution to meet your needs.
If your vehicle is being transported from one major city to another, then the carrier will be able to take a very direct route. They will be able to use interstate travel for much of the journey. However, delivery to a rural area will require them to take a less direct route, which can drive up costs.
How Does the Weight of My Shipment Influence Pricing?
The weight of your car impacts the total number of vehicles the carrier can accommodate. The average tractor and trailer combination weighs approximately 35,000 lbs. Since the DOT limits a carrier’s total GVW to 80,000 lbs, this means that they can haul up to 45,000 lbs of cargo.
Due to these limitations, carriers typically charge more to haul heavier cars. For example, let’s say that your vehicle weighs 7,000 lbs. This is about twice as heavy as the average passenger car. In order to offset this, you will be charged a higher rate.
What is the Cheapest Way to Ship My Car?
If your goal is to minimize cost, then we recommend terminal-to-terminal open-air shipping. Terminal-to-terminal shipping involves dropping your car off at the nearest loading facility. It is cheaper than the door-to-door delivery option.
Opting for open-air shipping also saves you money because our carriers can haul more vehicles using this method. The more cars that they can haul in a single trip, the lower the cost will be for each individual vehicle owner.
Why is Enclosed Trailer Shipping More Costly?
Due to their design and weight, enclosed trailers cannot hold as many vehicles as an open-air car hauler. The average enclosed trailer can only hold about three to five cars, which is about half as many vehicles as an open-air hauler. Since the carrier cannot accommodate as many vehicles, they must charge more per car to remain profitable.
Do Oversized Vehicles Cost More to Ship?
Yes, oversized vehicles are more expensive to ship. A car that has large exterior dimensions consumes more space on the carrier’s trailer, which limits their ability to pick up additional vehicles. They charge a higher rate to offset this cost.
What Are Some Ways that I Can Save Money on Shipping?
Booking professional auto shipping services through A-1 Auto Transport is far more affordable than you might expect. We offer a wide array of cost savings opportunities, including:
The best way to cut costs when you’re scheduling your auto shipping services is to take advantage of our various discount opportunities. We offer discounts to seniors, students, and dealers. There are also seasonal discounts available so that anyone can get a great deal on our expert auto shipping services.
Book in Advance
At A-1 Auto Transport, we work with a vast network of professional carriers. By doing so, we can accommodate virtually any shipping requests, including last-minute auto transports. However, rush delivery requests are a bit more expensive than standard shipping options.
If you want to maximize your savings, we suggest booking our auto transport services in advance. For domestic shipping, you should schedule your service two to three weeks ahead of time. International shipping is more complex, so we recommend scheduling your services three to four weeks before your desired pick-up date.
Choose Open Trailer Shipping
Enclosed trailer shipping is a great way to protect your car. However, it is also a more costly transportation solution.
If you want to save even more money on A-1 Auto Transport’s services, make sure to opt for open-air shipping. This is an efficient and affordable shipping solution that is great for most vehicles.
Why is Door-to-Door Shipping More Costly?
Door-to-door shipping is the most convenient car transportation solution available. Our partner carrier will respond directly to your residence and load your car onto their trailer. They will haul it across the country to your new home. When they arrive, the carrier will unload your car and turn it over to you.
Door-to-door shipping places extra responsibilities on the carrier. Instead of dropping your car off at a centralized terminal, they must respond directly to your home address. As a result, it takes additional time and resources to complete the delivery, which drives up overall costs.
How Accurate Are A-1 Auto Transport’s Quotes?
A-1 Auto Transport’s quotes are very accurate. However, it is important to keep in mind that these estimates are based on the information that you provide. If you submit inaccurate or incorrect information, then the quote may not be accurate.
When you’re requesting a quote, the more information you can provide, the better. Our quote generation software only requires you to enter the city or zip code of the pick-up and delivery destinations.
If you are able to provide us with the precise addresses when obtaining your quote, we can provide you with more accurate estimates.
How Long is My Quote Valid For?
A-1 Auto Transport can honor your free quote until the end of the business day. If you do not reserve your shipping services before the close of business, then we will be unable to guarantee that rate.
However, we will gladly provide you with a new quote for the following business day. The reason that we cannot guarantee quotes for longer periods is that the factors that impact shipping costs can change daily.
How Expensive is International Shipping?
Calculating the cost of international shipping is more complicated than estimating rates for domestic car transport services. However, many of the same criteria come into play. In order to estimate the cost of international shipping services, A-1 Auto Transport will need to consider:
The further your vehicle is being shipped, the more expensive the service will be. This rule applies to both domestic and international shipping.
Every nation charges unique import taxes and fees when you ship a vehicle to their ports. It is important that you are aware of these fees before arranging your auto transport services. If you would like to know more, contact the A-1 Auto Transport sales team.
When you’re transporting your car overseas, ocean freight is the most affordable option. However, you will still have the opportunity to choose between RoRo and container shipping.
If you choose the RoRo method, your car will be driven onto the deck of the ship and strapped down. Container shipping is more expensive but protects your car from the elements and damaging ocean water.
Like domestic shipping rates, international costs fluctuate by season. Winter is the cheapest time of year to ship your car internationally, while summer is the most expensive.