Shipping a car can be a daunting task, especially if you have never done it before. The cost to ship a car depends on various factors such as distance, vehicle size, shipping method, and the season. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore all the aspects of car shipping costs and provide you with the essential information you need to make an informed decision. We have also included a car shipping calculator to help you estimate the cost of shipping your car. Read on to learn more about the reliable and affordable services offered by ShipYourCarNow.


1. Factors Affecting the Cost to Ship a Car

1.1 Distance

The distance between the pickup and delivery locations is one of the most significant factors affecting the cost to ship a car. Generally, the longer the distance, the higher the overall cost. However, the cost per mile tends to decrease with an increase in distance.

1.2 Vehicle Size and Weight

Larger and heavier vehicles usually cost more to ship than smaller and lighter ones. This is because they take up more space on the transport carrier and add more weight to the load, which impacts fuel consumption.

1.3 Shipping Method

There are two primary methods of shipping a car: open and enclosed transport. Open transport is more common and cost-effective, while enclosed transport offers more protection for your vehicle but comes at a higher price.

1.4 Time of Year

The season in which you plan to ship your car also affects the cost. Summer months and January tend to have higher demand for car shipping services, which can lead to increased prices.

1.5 Vehicle Condition

The condition of your car plays a role in determining the shipping cost. If your vehicle is inoperable, it will require additional equipment and labor for loading and unloading, which can increase the cost.

1.6 Urgency

If you need your car shipped quickly, expedited shipping services are available at an additional cost.

1.7 Competition

The number of auto transport providers servicing a route can impact the cost. Routes with more providers, such as those serving larger cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle, typically have lower costs due to increased competition.

1.8 Delivery Method

Door-to-door service, where your car is picked up and delivered directly to your desired locations, is more expensive than terminal-to-terminal service, where you drop off and pick up your car at designated locations.

1.9 Fuel Prices

The price of fuel affects car shipping costs. When fuel prices are high, the cost of shipping a car is likely to increase as well.

1.10 Add-ons

Additional services such as extra insurance, expedited delivery, and single-car transport can increase the cost of shipping your car.

2. Car Shipping Calculator

To estimate the cost to ship a car, you can use a car shipping calculator. These online tools take into account various factors, such as distance, vehicle size, and shipping method, to provide you with an approximate cost. Keep in mind that these estimates are not guaranteed and may vary depending on the specific details of your shipment.

3. How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car?

The average cost to ship a car ranges from 40 cents to $1.96 per mile, depending on several factors such as distance, vehicle size, and shipping method. The average cost for short, medium, and long-distance shipments are $760, $1,472, and $1,972, respectively. Note that these figures are based on open transport for an operable vehicle.

4. Car Shipping Rates by Company

Car shipping rates vary significantly depending on the company you choose to ship your vehicle. Most companies charge per mile, with rates also varying based on distance and type of carrier transport. The table below shows the average vehicle shipping cost with our top-rated providers, such as ShipYourCarNow, which is both affordable and reliable.

ProviderAverage CostAverage Cost Per Mile
Montway Auto Transport$1,401.50$1.01
Sherpa Auto Transport$1,475$1.08
SGT Auto Transport$1,339.75$0.95
Easy Auto Ship$1,516.75$1.10

5. Cost to Ship a Car by Distance

The cost to ship a vehicle depends on the distance it needs to be transported. Short-distance car shipping is less expensive than long-distance shipping in terms of total cost, but long-distance shipping is more affordable per mile.

5.1 Short-Distance Car Transport Costs

Short-distance car shipments can range from $500 to $1,800. These transport distances are typically cheaper overall than enclosed shipments, but the cost per mile is slightly higher.

5.2 Long-Distance Car Shipping Costs

A cross-country shipment from Washington, DC to Seattle, Washington, can cost between $1,100 and $3,100. While long-distance shipping costs exceed shorter distances, the overall cost per mile is lower.

6. Car Shipping Prices by Carrier Type

On average, open shipping is $328 less expensive than enclosed shipping for distances of 1,500 miles or less. However, enclosed transport provides better protection for your vehicle, especially for valuable or classic cars.

6.1 Open Car Shipping Cost

The average cost of open transport for a 1,504-mile shipment ranges from $1,110 to $1,885, with the average cost totaling $1,472 or $0.98 per mile.

6.2 Enclosed Car Shipping Cost

Enclosed shipping costs can range between $1,414 and $2,085, with the average price being $1,800 or $1.20 per mile.

7. How to Get Lower Car Shipping Costs

You can find high-quality car transport services at surprisingly low rates by following these tips:

  • Book early to secure lower rates.
  • Be flexible with pickup dates and locations to save money.
  • Choose open transport for a more affordable option.
  • Opt for terminal-to-terminal delivery if available to lower costs.
  • Look for discounts offered by car shipping companies.
  • Get multiple quotes from various providers to compare prices.

8. Additional Car Shipping Costs

There are a few add-ons you may want to consider, even if you are looking for the lowest car shipping cost. These include:

  • Add-on insurance: Carriers are required to carry basic liability coverage. However, most car shipping companies offer gap coverage that you can purchase for an additional fee.
  • Expedited shipping fee: Expedited shipping is available for those who need their car shipped quickly. Most auto transport companies offer this service, but it increases the cost of shipping a car.
  • Cancellation fee: Once you book your carrier, you are committed to shipping your vehicle. If you cancel, you will be required to pay a fee. Fees vary depending on the provider.

9. Car Shipping Discounts

Many car shipping companies offer discounts for various customers. Some of the top discounts offered by AmeriFreight and Montway Auto Transport, two of the best players in the car shipment space, include:

  • Early bird
  • First responders
  • Medical personnel
  • Military
  • Multiple vehicles
  • Returning customer
  • Senior citizens
  • Student

10. Conclusion

Understanding the cost to ship a car is crucial when planning your vehicle transportation. By considering the various factors and comparing quotes from different companies, you can find an affordable and reliable car shipping service like ShipYourCarNow. Armed with the information provided in this guide, you can make an informed decision and ensure a smooth shipping process for your vehicle.


There are dozens of factors that go into determining the cost of transporting a vehicle. By understanding these factors, you’ll have a better sense of the quotes you receive and how you can adjust your transport requirements to obtain better pricing


Distance is the main factor calculated in the cost to ship a car. It will cost less overall if you’re not going far but will be a higher cost per mile. Distance is directly related to the amount of fuel used to transport your vehicle.  

Make and Model of Vehicle:

Vehicle make and model is a factor that goes into the cost of shipping a car. The larger the car or the more weight added to the car carrier, the higher the vehicle shipping rate as the transporter can move fewer cars to meet weight restrictions.

Vehicle Condition :

If your vehicle runs and drives, you will receive more affordable shipping quotes than a vehicle that does not. A car that does not operate will need to be towed or winched onto a single car carrier, thus increasing the transportation cost.

Transport Type:

From open-air auto transport to enclosed car shipping, there are many ways to ship your vehicle. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, along with price variations. You’ll want to consider what your needs are when transporting your car.

Time of Year:

Shipping a vehicle in the summer months costs less than shipping a car in the winter. In many areas of the United States, snow and ice affect the typical trucking lanes, potentially bringing a higher car shipping rate.

Gas Prices:

Current gas prices can significantly affect the cost of shipping a vehicle. Fuel prices directly correlate with shipping rates and can drive up how much you will pay for transport services. When gas prices are high, it’s best to choose a transport type that hauls multiple cars at once.

Vehicle Height:

When shipping vehicles, height matters for cost. Most sedans average a height of 57 inches, while SUVs can range from 63 to 73 inches. Due to this height difference, SUVs are typically more expensive to transport than sedans. Additionally, special SUVs that are taller than usual force sedans to be shipped under or over the taller vehicle.  

Vehicle Length:

Some vehicle transportation companies use vehicle length to calculate the cost of shipping a car. With the average length of a sedan being 189 inches, vehicles under this length become desirable and cheaper to ship. Vehicles over 196 inches become trickier to fit inside a transport vehicle, causing auto transport companies to increase the costs.

Cost of Shipping Your Vehicles

We hope that this blog post has been helpful and informative. If you have any more questions about car shipping or would like to get a quote for your upcoming move, don’t hesitate to call one of our experts at (866)-390-0354 . We would be happy to help!

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