Gift Icon Get a 20% discount from our partners! Discount code will get added automatically when you submit the form.
4.7 Star Rating4.7 (67,926 reviews)
How much does shipping your Vehicle cost?
Free Instant Online Calculator based on quotes from Trusted Auto Shipping Companies
Customer Images
7790 people shipped using A-1 Auto Transport last week

Joe brought me peace of mind. I can’t thank you enough for being so reliable and trustworthy

No risk, no contracts. Just calculate your quote first and choose your contractor later.

Dave loved the fast deliveryDave C.
Dave loved the fast delivery
My relocation to Chicago was fast, smooth and without any delay thanks to A1 Auto.
Courtney enjoyed the honest guidanceCourtney J.
Courtney enjoyed the honest guidance
Just what you need when trusting someone with your wheels! Kudos to this company!
Jeff enjoyed the fair priceJeff D.
Jeff enjoyed the fair price
Moved my ride hassle-free with these folks.Fair pricing, no surprises. Definitely recommend them!
Maria enjoyed the special care and safetyMaria L.
Maria enjoyed the special care and safety
Huge thanks to the movers – they were meticulous with my car. Love these guys.
Recently featured on USA Today

“A1 Auto Transport became synonymous with top-notch service delivery, unfailing punctuality and constantly preoccupied with customer satisfaction.

See Article— USA Today

The Different Factors That Affect Car Hauling Rates

Published by Joe Webster.

What's in this article?
  1. Factors Affecting Hauling Rates
  2. Distance
  3. Location
  4. Type of car
  5. Season
  6. Shipping option
  7. Number of cars
Factors Affecting Hauling Rates

A major concern when shipping cars is the cost. Car hauling rates depend on different factors. Understanding these factors will help you cut the shipping costs. It will also help you select the most cost effective hauling company.

Factors Affecting Hauling Rates


Most companies charge car hauling rates on the mileage traveled. This is because the shipping trailer will use more fuel and more hours on transit to a longer distance. Hence, the further your destination, the more the hauling costs. For instance, shipping a car from Chicago would cost more to California than to Alabama. You can check some of the estimations here.


Although the shipping distance may be shorter, transporting to a remote location might cost you more. Generally, major cities have wider roads and have more people who ship cars. Maneuvering within these towns is easier for trailers. More so, the drivers can deliver more cars than within smaller towns. On the other hand, delivering to remote areas requires that a driver branch from the main route. Therefore, the transporting company is able to spread shipping costs and charge lower prices.

Type of car

Different cars have different sizes and weights. A large car takes up more space and may require special arrangements for transit. As such, it is more expensive to ship a large than a small car. For example, shipping a bus is pricier than shipping a two door car. A heavy car also means that the truck will take fewer cars on transit. The additional weight will cost you more. For instance, shipping a 3,208 pounds BMW costs more than a 2,888 pounds Toyota Matrix.

A-1 Auto Transport Ships Worldwide.
Get a Free, No Obligation to Buy, Auto Shipping Quote.
Get my free quote now
or call us to do it for you:
Online Auto Transport


Auto transporters charge higher costs in summer than in winter. Generally, there are more people shipping vehicles in summer than in winter. The high demand drives the car hauling rates up. In addition, it is riskier to transport cars during winter than in summer. However, some routes have higher shipping rates during winter. For example, the southern routes are more expensive in winter as the traffic is high as snowbirds are moving south.

Shipping option

Basically, there are four shipping options used by transport companies. The method you choose will determine the car hauling rates.

  • Open air transport: the cars are transported in an open truck. These trailers may have more than one deck to accommodate as many cars as possible. Due to the higher number of cars shipped by the open air method, the costs tend to be lower. However, your car will be exposed to elements, car leaks, and weather conditions.
  • Enclosed transport: the cars are moved in an enclosed container. These trailers might have additional conditions to suit luxurious vehicles. This method does not allow as many cars (usually up to 7) as the open air service. For this reason, the costs tend to be higher. In addition, the drivers for the enclosed trailers are more trained to handle the high-end vehicles. As such, the shipper incurs more costs. Customers prefer this method as their cars are protected from the public eye, the wind, the snow, road debris, and the sun.
  • Terminal to terminal service: you may arrange to take your car to a terminal for pickup. Upon delivery, you may also choose to collect it at a terminal. This method is cheaper as you are the one moving the car. If you are in a remote location, this service would be the best for you.
  • Door to door service: this is a convenient method where your vehicle is picked and delivered at your preferred location. This could be your resident. Since the driver will move from place to place, the hauling rate will be higher than for a terminal to terminal option. Remember that you must reside in a major city where streets are wide to utilize this service.
Auto Transport Prices

Number of cars

Some clients ship a fleet of cars. This will give an auto transporter an easier job picking or delivering the cars. As such, the transporter may give them favorable prices. However, this is up for the transporter to determine.

Depending on your budget, you can choose the cheapest method. For example, you can opt to transport your car in winter using the open air method and pick it from the terminal.

You can use these factors to estimate the hauling cost for your vehicle. However, it would be tedious and far from the actual estimate. The best way to get an accurate quote is by the online quote calculator.

Share this content on social media for a chance to get up to 20% off your next shipment.
Copy link

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.

Email Me

Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.
★★★★★ choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

A1 Auto Transport... From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
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.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

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.

Visit our social, and see what our clients are saying about us:

Ship Your Vehicle With A-1 Auto Today
Get an instant free Quote Now

Or Call Us Today and Speak Directly to Our Sales Team:

Call Us 1-888-230-9116

Our Partners:

Better Business Bureau Accredited
FMCSA Member
INC. 500 Member
VeriSign Secured
AMSA Member

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
Copyright © 1988-2024, A-1 Auto Transport - All Rights Reserved.