How Much to Ship a Car Cross Country?
5 Factors Influencing Your Car Shipping Quote
Have you ever wondered how much it is to ship a car cross-county? Are you looking for a cheap way to ship your car across the country? Whether you’re moving to a new state, buying a car online or just taking a long trip, we can help.
Researching affordable car and truck haulers is as easy as a Google search. Unfortunately, that’s where the simplicity ends. Fill out an online quote form and you’re suddenly bombarded with emails from a slew of shipping companies, clamoring to get your business.
In this guide, we’ll help you understand how much it costs to ship your car and what to beware of when choosing a car shipper. When it comes to car shipping, there are several common factors auto transport companies use to price your move. Here are the top five:
Price Factor #1: Vehicle Type, Weight & Size
Are you shipping a Mitsubishi Mirage or a three-row Lexus GX SUV? It should come as no surprise that the latter will cost a ton (pun intended!) more to ship. While the Lexus breaks the scale at 6,000 lbs, the Mirage is on the exact opposite of the scale, weighing about 2,000 lbs.
When it comes to shipping, size (both length and weight) matters. A larger vehicle takes up more room on the truck, potentially reducing the number of vehicles a truck can carry. Trucks also have to adhere to weight limits. If your car or truck is ginormous, it might mean the driver can’t add another car to the load, increasing the price for you.
For up to the minute pricing, contact us for a quote.
Price Factor #2: Type of Shipping: Open or Enclosed
Do you want to ship your car in an open carrier or an enclosed carrier? This is one of the first questions your shipping company will ask you. Your answer will affect the price of the shipment.
Open Auto Transport
Open transport, also known as open shipping, is the most popular way to ship a vehicle. Open car carriers can transport a single car or up to 10 cars at a time. Most open carriers transport cars in large groups between 5-10.
If you’re looking for economical transport, open shipping is a great choice. Benefits include:
- Affordability: open transport costs less than enclosed transport
- Choice: almost all transport companies offer open shipping, giving you a wide variety of options
- Fast shipping: since nearly all transport companies offer open shipping, it’s typically not a long wait to ship your car.
Enclosed Auto Transport
If you want the ultimate protection, enclosed shipping is the way to go. While it won’t be the cheapest way to transport your vehicle, shipping your car or truck in an enclosed carrier provides protection from the outside elements. Typically, enclosed auto shipping offers more protection and carries a higher cost, for reasons including:
- There are fewer trucks offering enclosed shipping and fewer spots on those trucks.
- Enclosed shipments take smaller loads, shipping anywhere from 1-6 cars.
- Due to the normally higher value of the cars shipping via enclosed, the carriers often have to assume a higher insurance policy for coverage
Enclosed shipping is a great option for…
- Classic or vintage cars and trucks or luxury vehicles
- When you don’t mind paying extra for added protection and peace of mind
- Those who demand “white glove service” (you get what you pay for)
Price Factor #3: Location
Another factor impacting the price of shipping your car is your destination – both where you are and where you’re going.
- Are you moving from one state to another, close by? A shorter distance means a lower overall price
- Moving your car cross country will cost more, as will shipping internationally. International shipping is often the most expensive.
- Do you live significant off the beaten path or in a booming metropolis? Lack of traffic or an abundance of traffic can affect pricing.
Price Factor #4: Season
Ah, travel season. Similar to airline prices, transport prices experience some seasonal fluctuations. If you’re wondering how much it is to ship a car cross country, you should know that, in order to acquire cheap auto shipping, seasons are a factor.
- Late fall/winter shipping: Often, shipping your car south between November – February is more expensive than shipping during the spring/summer months. Freezing ice, snow, and dangerous road conditions make it challenging for drivers to transport cars. It’s also a time when snowbirds are flying south for the winter and shipping their cars.
- Spring/Summer shipping: During the spring, snowbirds come back from the southwest and the southeast, which has effects pricing.
Price Factor #5: Time
On a quest for cheap shipping? Booking your transport in advance and being flexible in your dates can help keep reduce costs.
- Plan ahead. To get the best cost to ship a vehicle cross county, ensure you book your transport at least 2 weeks in advance of your trip. Last minute trips or shipments that need to be there “yesterday” will always cost more.
- Avoid major holidays and other peak times. Shipping your car around major holidays will come at a price, as will shipping your car during snowbird season (October-Dec and March-May). If you need to ship your car around major holidays and other peak times, schedule your transport as far in advance as possible.
So, how much does it all cost?
As you learned, multiple factors play a role in determining how much it will cost to ship your car. Our best advice is… if a price seems to good to be true, it probably is.
All transport companies use the same factors to determine the price. Your due diligence in choosing a shipper will help you find the best transport company to haul your car or truck. Choose a shipper that communicates with you throughout the process, is properly insured and is BBB A+ accredited.
When you’re ready to ship your car, truck, boat, RV or motorcycle, we’re here.