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How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Car?

National Average
$950
Low End
$700
High End
$1,200

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The average cost to ship a car within the continental United States is $950. The highest average price is $1,200, and the lowest average price is $700. The per mile average for moving a car is $0.60 per mile for trips of 1,000 miles or more.
People ship vehicles for many reasons. A long-distance move to a new house is a common reason to send a vehicle away, while others may do this after selling their vehicle across state lines. You can transport by truck, train, ship or plane depending on the distance, company and terrain.
Many people choose to transport their vehicle through specialized companies while others complete the task through a full-service moving company. Some full-service moving companies that ship automobiles contract with specialized companies. In these arrangements, the movers handle all coordination to make the transaction easy for their customers.

Car Shipping Quotes Per Mile + Cost Factors

Shipping a vehicle long distance costs an average of $0.60 per mile for trips over 1,000 miles. Shorter trips are more per mile. For example, trips 500 miles or less cost about $1 per mile. Factors that affect this price include vehicle size, distance, time of year and method of transportation.
Some companies will charge a flat fee for shipping, although the price will depend on the distance of the move. Semitruck is the most common method to transport cars long-distance, although there are other effective methods.

Vehicle Size

Size can have a significant impact on the cost of vehicle transportation. See the chart below for more details.
Cost to Move Vehicles by Size
Vehicle TypeAvg. Weight in PoundsEst. Cost to Move 1,000 Miles
Compact3,000$0.57
Mid-sized3,500$0.74
Mid-sized Pickup Truck4,300$0.87
Mid-sized SUV4,300$0.87
Minivan4,500$0.97

Transport Distance - In State Vs. Across Country

Distance can also have a significant impact on the cost to move a vehicle, especially if it is traveling a long distance from its point of origin. Surcharges can include gas, toll roads, charges for leaving the state and charges for overnight trips. In addition, shipments to or from a difficult to reach area (such as a location far from the nearest interstate) may be more expensive than shipments from easily-accessible, major metropolitan areas.

Time of Year

In general, summer is a more expensive time because trucks book up fast and competition on available semis can be high. You can expect to pay $200 to $300 more in summer than in winter. Shipping in winter is often much less expensive (except at the holidays), and much slower. It's important to note that the entire shipping industry tends to become backed up in the final weeks of December and much of January catching up.

Luxury & Vintage Automobiles

Luxury and vintage automobiles can cost more to transport simply because many owners will go to great lengths to protect their rare or valuable vehicles. Some of the ways that owners try to protect their vintage vehicles include:
  • Enclosed shipping helps protect the vehicle from rain, snow and ice.
  • Liftgate elevators are less likely to cause damage when compared to ramps.
  • Door-to-door service helps ensure full protection for the vehicle from pick up to drop off.
Enclosed shipping can cost as much as 60% more than unenclosed shipping. For information about the cost of liftgate elevators and door-to-door service, talk to a professional.

Extra Fees

Depending on the company used, method of transportation and other factors, there may be many surcharges.
  • Fuel surcharges vary depending on market fluctuations.
  • Added space for oversized vehicles can cost as much as double the normal price.
  • Insurance for rare or valuable vehicles will incur extra charges; costs vary by carrier.
  • Express shipments can cost anywhere from $200 to $500 more, depending on the time of year and other factors.
Failed delivery can add a hefty surcharge, several hundred dollars. These sometimes occur because owners don’t make contact during the delivery window.
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Calculating Prices to Transport by Freight

Although trucks are the most common method of transportation for cars, there are other methods. Each method has its own rates.

Shipping Truck

The average price to ship by truck is $950. Professional trucks may give door-to-door service for customers who pay extra, while customers on a budget may choose a method that needs a pick up and drop off from a terminal.

Airplane

Airplane transportation can be costly; as much as $100,000 if shipping to an international destination. Shipping to locations within the United States (such as Alaska or Hawaii) may cost less but are still much more expensive than shipping by truck.
Because of the expense, air transportation is not a typical method for shipping automobiles from one location to another, but sometimes geography and time constraints can make other modes of transportation difficult or impossible. Owners who are relocating overseas and who are worried about having an easy move and maintaining a pristine vehicle may prefer air freight over freight by ship.

Train

Sending a vehicle across the country on a train typically costs less than $1,000, but prices fluctuate depending on the route. Rising fuel prices have made this method of transportation even more economical as time goes on. Still, the cost of shipping via train can vary from one route to another and one railway company to another.
Many railroads sell room on their trains to commercial customers first, so availability and prices may vary by season as commercial demand rises and falls. Trains are practical for vehicle owners shipping from one major metropolitan area to another.

Ship

The charge to send a vehicle by boat is around $1,000 to $5,000 depending on the destination. Ships transport cars easily to destinations like Alaska and Hawaii.

Reasons to Move a Vehicle

In addition to hiring long distance movers and relocation to a home overseas, there are many reasons why many people choose to move their vehicle.
  • Luxury or vintage vehicles to keep mileage down.
  • Cars sold out of the state.
  • Vehicles that don't work

Hiring a Car Hauling Service

When hiring a moving service to transport your vehicle, there are many variables to take into consideration. Review their experience, insurance, price and reviews from previous customers before deciding.

Experience

It's important to hire a well-established business with a good reputation. The more experience your moving company has, the better. If you're not sure how long a company has been in business and how much experience they have with moves of your type, ask and do online research to decide whether that company is right for you.

Insurance

Any company that transports your vehicle should offer insurance to protect it from damage. Ask each company for information about the insurance policy and costs. Before sending your automobile off with any company, get information on the deductible, damage covered and whether there is a cap on coverage.

Cheap Quotes

Beware of automobile shipping companies that advertise "cheap" or "super affordable" rates. Some companies keep their prices low by skimping on consumer protections. Shipping with a company that is not properly insured or that hires inexperienced workers can lead to expensive damage.

Reviews

Check company reviews before making your final choice. Watch for red flags, like customers that consistently complain about damage, slow shipments or customer service problems. It's important to get free quotes from different companies to ensure a good pool of movers.
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Preparation & Delivery

Wash and wax the car before dropping it off. The wax will help prevent bugs and debris from sticking to the vehicle during transport. Photograph the vehicle before loading and note any visible damage. Take everything out of the vehicle except the spare tire and jack. Consult with the shipper about any requirements, such as draining fluids from the vehicle. Drain the vehicle of most gas but send it with a quarter tank so you can drive the vehicle away from the terminal upon pickup.

FAQs

What’s the Cheapest Way to Ship a Car from Florida to California?

The cheapest way to send an automobile from Florida to California is semitruck. The average for trips over 2,500 miles is $0.40 per mile. To get the best deal, choose a major route and send it at a time of year when the trucking business is slow. In Florida, winter is not the best time of year to ship your vehicle, as many retirees travel to Florida in the winter, clogging roadways and raising prices.

How and How Much Does It Cost to Transport a Vehicle to Hawaii?

Expect to pay $1,000 to $1,500 to send a car to Hawaii by ship. Factors that affect the price include the size of the vehicle and method of transportation. Most people choose to send their vehicles by ship because air transportation is very expensive.

What’s the Average Cost to Haul your Automobile to Alaska or Canada?

The average price to haul an automobile to Alaska is around $1,000. The average cost to send to Canada is between $700 and $2,500. While customs and duties can play a role in the price, the biggest influence on the cost of this type of shipment is the distance. It's also important to work with a company that has sent automobiles to Canada before. This will help prevent problems getting through customs and over the border.

How Much Is It to Ship a Car Overseas?

This can vary depending on the destination. For example, a shipment going to the United Kingdom will cost up to $1,300. To ship to Australia can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $6,000.

What’s a Reasonable Motorcycle Shipping Cost Estimate?

This very much depends on where the motorcycle is going, but shipping within the continental United States is around $500, while the price to send abroad fluctuates from $1,000 to $2,000.

Is DIY Shipping with a U-Haul Car Hauler or Flatbed Possible?

Yes, shipping with a U-Haul car hauler is possible. However, not all owners are prepared for the experience of driving their automobile in a hauler. People without experience may think twice about driving their own vehicle across the country. In addition to the risk of damage, DIY hauling is not always efficient. Gas, hotel and food charges during the journey may reduce savings significantly.
For more information about moving a vehicle across the state, talk to a professional moving company with experience. Getting quotes from multiple companies and doing research can help you decide which mover is right for your needs.
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