How Much It Will Cost To Ship A Car

Shipping a car can involve a lot of planning and thought. Whether you’re relocating, buying a car from far away, or sending a vehicle to someone, grasping the costs involved is essential. This guide explores different factors that affect the price of shipping a car, providing you with knowledge to know how much it costs to ship a car and assist in finding ways to reduce them.

Understanding Car Shipping Rates

  • Average Cost: The average cost to ship a car typically costs around $1,250. However, this can range from as low as $500 to as high as $2,500. The cost varies based on several factors such as the vehicle type, distance, and transportation method.
  • Cost Per Mile: On average, it costs about $0.70 to $1.80 to ship a car per mile.
    • $3 per mile for distances less than 250 miles
    • $1.25 per mile for distances between 250 and 1000 miles
    • $1 per mile for distances over 1,000 miles.
Keys on a dashboard

Major Factors Influencing Shipping Cost:

  1. Distance: The further you need to ship your car, the more it will cost overall. However, longer distances might actually lower the cost per mile.
  2. Transportation Type:
    • Enclosed Transport: Offers protection from the elements but is more expensive, ranging between $1,000 to $2,500 or $1.00 to $1.75 per mile.
    • Open Carrier: More budget-friendly, ranging from $600 to $1,700, or $0.65 to $1.20 per mile. This method exposes the car to the elements but is commonly used for new car deliveries.
    • Driveaway: Offers much more convenience than open or enclosed transport. Prices can vary from $500 to $2,000 depending on the area serviced and seasonality.   

7 Steps to Ship a Car:

  1. Research and compare auto shipping companies.
  2. Get quotes and select the best option based on cost, services, and reviews.
  3. Prepare your car for shipping (cleaning, removing personal items).
  4. Inspect your car before shipping and document its condition.
  5. Use a tracking service, if provided, to follow your car’s journey.
  6. Upon arrival, inspect your car for any damage.
  7. Complete any necessary documentation to finalize the delivery.

Tips for Reducing Car Shipping Costs:

  • Choosing open transport and terminal-to-terminal delivery can save money.
  • Time of year can affect costs; avoiding peak seasons may lead to significant savings.
  • Flexibility with pickup and delivery dates can also lower costs.

Factors Affecting Cost:

  • Vehicle Size: Larger vehicles cost more to ship due to taking up more space and adding weight.
  • Transportation Type: Open, enclosed transport or driveaway affects cost.
  • Time of Year: Shipping costs can be higher during busy season from late Spring through Summer.
  • Delivery Type: Terminal-to-terminal is generally cheaper than door-to-door.

Additional Car Shipping Considerations:

  • Cheapest Shipping Option: The cheapest way to ship a car is by using open transport combined with terminal-to-terminal delivery. This option balances lower costs with the convenience and availability of services. However, depending on your timeline, Driveaway can often be both the quickest and the cheapest option for moving from door-to-door. Its best to get several car shipping quotes to understand your options.
  • Expedited Shipping: Expedited shipping, offering faster delivery, comes at a premium, potentially increasing the cost significantly (20% to 40%). Driveaway is often the fastest of the services, delivering your vehicle directly to its destination.
  • Insurance: Additional services like insurance coverage will increase the cost and are not always necessary.
  • Impact of Vehicle Size: Vehicle size can and may affect cost by a typical range of $20 to $250, depending on the vehicle’s weight and size. Larger vehicles not only take up more space but also add significant weight to the transport, affecting fuel consumption and costs.
  • Seasonal Price Variations: Shipping during off-peak seasons like fall or winter could reduce costs by up to 15%.
  • Fuel Prices: The fluctuation in fuel prices can directly impact the cost of shipping your car. While it’s an uncontrollable factor, being aware of current fuel trends might influence the timing of your shipping decision.
  • Discounts: Various discounts are available for car shipping, such as those for booking off-season, booking well in advance, or for specific groups like military personnel, seniors, students, etc. These can provide substantial savings.
  • Tips for Saving Money: Collecting multiple quotes, booking in advance, and being flexible with shipping dates are highlighted as strategies to reduce shipping costs.


  • The cost of shipping a car depends on various factors including the distance, type of transport, and the size of the vehicle.
  • Enclosed transport offers more protection but at a higher cost, while open carriers are more economical.
  • Proper preparation and understanding of the shipping process can help ensure a smooth experience.
  • Considering off-peak times and being flexible with shipping details can lead to cost savings.

*It’s important to note that these are rough estimates and actual prices can vary.

To access more information, please see our Complete Guide to Car Shipping.

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