What Is The Cost To Ship A Car?

A silver BMW i8 sports car being transported on a flatbed trailer by a white semi truck

Shipping a car can be daunting, especially when figuring out the costs. This guide will break down everything you need to know about prices to ship a car, including the factors affecting them, how to save money using our Vehicle Transportation Service and what to expect during the process.

Understanding Car Shipping Costs

Costs to ship a car vary depending on several factors, including:

  • Distance: The longer your car needs to travel, the more it will cost to ship a car.
  • Vehicle Size and Weight: Larger and heavier vehicles take up more space on a transporter and may require special equipment, increasing the cost.
  • Vehicle Type: Standard sedans are typically the cheapest to ship, while SUVs, trucks, and luxury cars cost more due to their size and weight.
  • Transport Type: The most economical option is open transport, which exposes your car to the elements. Enclosed transport ensures more protection but is more expensive.
  • Pickup and Delivery Locations: Shipping to far-off or hard-to-reach places might cost more because getting there is trickier.
  • Timeframe: Urgent shipping requests or expedited services may cost a premium.
  • Condition of the Vehicle: If a vehicle doesn’t work, it might need extra care, increasing its cost.
  • Fuel Costs: Changes in fuel prices can make car transport costs go up or down.

A Quick Breakdown Of Average Car Shipping Costs:

An O'Neill Auto Transport car carrier truck hauling multiple vehicles on a highway.

How much it costs to ship a car can depend on many things. Here’s a breakdown of the key car shipping costs:

Average Cost Estimates:

  • Short State-to-State Journeys: $350 – $600
  • Coast-to-Coast Transportation: $800 – $1,600

Car Shipping Cost Per Mile:

  • Lowest Cost: $0.40 per mile
  • Highest Cost: $1.70 per mile

Car Transport Costs By Vehicle Size:

Shipping Smaller Cars: Hyundai Elantra, Chevrolet Spark, Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit: Significantly less expensive than SUVs, trucks, and cargo vans.

Cost of Shipping a Car vs SUV and Truck (U.S.):

  • 300 Miles:
  • Car: $450
  • SUV: $600
  • Truck: $800
  • 700 Miles:
  • Car: $880
  • SUV: $1,030
  • Truck: $1,230
  • 1,200 Miles:
  • Car: $1,080
  • SUV: $1,230
  • Truck: $1,430

Car Transport Costs By Shipping Distance:

The longer the distance your car needs to travel with our Safe Car transportation Service, the more it will cost. Here’s a general idea about the cost to ship a car:

  • 1-200 Miles: $2 per mile
  • 200-500 Miles: $1.50 per mile
  • 500-1000 Miles: $1.20 per mile
  • 1000-1500 Miles: $0.90 per mile
  • 1500-2000 Miles: $0.70 per mile
  • More than 2,000 miles: $0.55 per mile

Car Shipping Cost By Transport Type (U.S.):

Open transport is the most economical option, where your car is exposed to the elements. Enclosed transport ensures more protection from weather and road debris but is more expensive. Here’s a cost comparison to ship a car (prices may vary):

Open Transport:

  • 400 Miles: $600
  • 900 Miles: $1,080
  • 1400 Miles: $1,200
  • 1900 Miles: $1300
  • 2300 Miles: $1265

Enclosed Transport:

  • 400 Miles: $800
  • 900 Miles: $1,510
  • 1400 Miles: $1,770
  • 1900Miles: $1830
  • 2300 Miles: $1770

Cost To Transport A Car Overseas:

Average Range: $1,200 – $4,000, depending on travel distance and vehicle type.

Additional Cost Factors:

  • Door-to-door vs. Terminal-to-terminal service: Door-to-door transportation service is more convenient but typically costs more to ship a car than terminal-to-terminal service. The price difference can vary depending on the company but could be $100-$300 extra for door-to-door.
  • Peak Season (summer) vs. Off-season (fall, winter, early spring): Due to increased demand, expect higher prices during peak season. The price increase can vary but could be $100-$200 more.
  • Expedited shipping: Faster delivery comes with a premium, potentially costing $200-$400 extra.

Remember, these are just estimates to ship a car. The actual cost of shipping your car will depend on the specific factors mentioned above. You can also get a free car shipping estimate from an expert at AutoPlex Transport now.

What Are Some Ways To Cut Costs On Car Shipping?

A silver Mitsubishi Eclipse car being transported on a flatbed tow truck in a parking lot.

Here are some suggestions to help you spend less on shipping your car:

  • Be flexible with your shipping dates: This allows carriers to find the best shipping route and price.
  • Get quotes: Get a car shipping price quote from our trusted car transport company before deciding.
  • Choose open transport: This is the most economical option, but remember that your car will be exposed to the elements. also check: Large and Heavy Item Moving
  • Ship during the off-season: Avoid peak shipping seasons like summer when prices are typically higher.
  • Consider terminal-to-terminal shipping: This can be cheaper than door-to-door service, but you’ll need to arrange vehicle transportation service to and from the terminal to ship a car.

What To Expect During The Car Shipping Process?

Once you’ve booked your car shipping service, here’s what to expect to ship a car:

  • The carrier will contact you to schedule a pickup date and time.
  • The carrier will inspect and load your car onto the transport vehicle on the pickup day.
  • Your car will be transported to the destination terminal.
  • The carrier will get in touch with you to plan when they’ll deliver your car.
  • Upon delivery, the carrier will unload your car and perform a final inspection to ship the car.


By understanding the factors that affect the costs of shipping a car and following the tips above, you can save money and ensure a smooth shipping experience for your vehicle. Remember to get a car shipping price quote from a trusted car transport company like AutoPlex Transport before booking your car shipping service.