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.
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
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.