How Much Does Car Shipping Cost | Car Shipping | Flat Price Auto Transport and Moving

How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Car in 2021

August 30, 2017
Posted in Car Shipping / By Jessica Hill

Moving to another state and wanting to take your car with you, but still in doubt how much does it cost to ship a car? Stay tuned, cause we will present you with an ultimate guide on what factors you should consider when deciding whether to use auto transport company services or do it by yourself. If you want to know how companies ship cars, how to make precise calculations, or how to organize your vehicle transfer seamlessly, check this article out.

white car parked in the garage
Expenses calculation for car freight depends on many factors

How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Car?

Wondering how much does shipping a car cost? The final price of car shipping is conditioned by many factors, including the distance and time needed for relocation. Would you like to use enclosed auto transport or the open one, and whether you will be hiring movers or you will do it by yourself. Yet, those are only a few of the various factors that could affect the final cost to transport a car. In order to get a complete picture of how car shipping works we present you with the elements that inevitably influence the rise of expenses and how you can control it.


Shipping Distance is Major Factor that Affects the Shipping Expenses

The distance between origin and destination is crucial for determining the charge of shipping a car: the more miles and farther the destination, the higher expenses. And when it comes to the mile rate, it is the opposite. The rate per mile, actually, decreases with the distance. In the case when a carrier deals with a shorter distance, the rate per mile will be higher, but still, other expenses such as fuel or the driver wage are the same.

What Pickup and Delivery Locations Will You Choose?

Depending on the delivery location, the rates may differ. For example, if the location is not so close to the large cities, or main interstates, the price can even double. The door-to-door deliveries are, of course, the most expensive, so if you want some more affordable option, then consider picking up your four-wheeler in our regional terminal, specially designated for this purpose. It may significantly decrease the costs.

Delivery Time

However, the rate per mile is not the only factor to consider when calculating the costs of shipping a car cross country. Another element that tremendously affects the expenses is time. Or more precisely, how long does it take to ship a car, what time the carrier needs to deliver the automobile.

A single driver can roll 500 miles per day, so the date of delivery depends on the number of drop-offs, too. Some general rule on the average period needed to deliver the car would look like this:

  • East Coast to West Coast, 5–14 days,
  • Midwest to East Coast, 3–8 days,
  • South to North, 3–8 days.

Knowing all this will provide you with time orientation and help you book a date with the car shipping company in time and avoid one of the most common moving mistakes – late transportation scheduling and last-minute moving.

Seasonal Fluctuations

The average tariff to transfer a car varies upon the time of the year. The holiday season, or bad weather conditions, may influence the increase of the shipping rate. Summer is recognized as a high season, and for this reason, the rates that carrier demand will be higher. The same is with moving during the holidays when the prices skyrocket. So, when planning the relocation, don’t forget to consider these factors and think about moving during the spring or fall seasons, which are usually the best time to move.

open trailer on the road
Make sure not to choose the busiest period of the year for car shipping

What are Special Requests and How They Influence the Total Expenses Scheme?

Need an expedited delivery of your vehicle or a specific pick-up date? Professional car shippers can do it, too. Those requests are considered special ones, so the transfer of your car will start in one or two days after the order is confirmed. Of course, all these requests affect the final quote, which will be slightly more expensive than the standard ones. Let’s see now how the process of delivery is conditioned with the next factor we will present.

The Type of the Trailer

Another factor that defines the expenses is a type of car transport – open or enclosed. Open auto transport is the most common type of transfer people choose since it is the cheapest way to ship the car. Using an open auto trailer allows you to save up to 40%, which is a considerable amount. And this also answers one of the most common questions, what’s the cheapest way to ship my car?

Still, although it is the most affordable way of transporting, you should keep in mind that the vehicle is exposed to weather conditions, consequently influencing your auto’s safety by making it more prone to damages. So, when moving in winter, you should be especially careful in choosing the trailer. Using enclosed trailers in this case is a much better option. Although transferring a vehicle on an enclosed trailer is more expensive, it is also more secure, and for larger types of machines the only way to transfer them to another address. Before closing the deal with the carrier, it would be very useful to include the safety issue in your list of questions to ask movers and resolve it.

The type of trailer impacts the delivery date in terms of the number of transferred vehicles. The fewer vehicles and drop-offs, the faster the truck is.

The Type and Characteristics of the Vehicle

The cost of interstate moving is logically not the same for all types of vehicles. Shipping a car and moving a motorcycle is differently calculated. The average cost to ship a car depends on their size because, in some cases, larger automobiles might need some extra space. Besides, a carrier is limited on weight and the number of vehicles it can carry. The total weight of the truck, trailer and all the automobiles combined cant exceed 80,000 lbs. For that reason, you’ll have to provide your long-distance moving company with exact information associated with length, height, and curb weight. In case your auto is oversized, then count on paying a higher price.

Auto Transport Insurance and Delay Policy

Another issue you have to resolve with your cross-country moving company is an insurance policy that is usually included in the price and covers a specific amount of damage. Still, if you feel like you would like to have greater coverage for possible damages, make sure to explore all options.
However, before confirming the deal with cross-country movers, make sure to check if a moving company is legitimate and determine the insured amount. Auto-shipping brokers may help you secure the cargo insurance and determine the amount that will be covered in case of damage. Make sure to check:

  • What type of damage is covered?
  • Is there any possibility of purchasing additional coverage?
  • Does the insurance policy cover the entire automobile or just the specific parts?
  • What is happening in case that the delivery is delayed?

Although the insurance policy may increase the price of your relocation, it is still the safest way to transport a car and get a stress-free moving experience, so don’t forget to include it in the cost of shipping a car.

The man is polishing the black car and preparing it for transport
Transportation of an automobile to another location or even state should be determined after comparing several quotes

How to Prepare an Automobile for Auto Transport

The very first step you need to undertake is to prepare the car for shipping. No matter if you decide to drive it on your own or hire a professional freight company, this means that you’ll have to see the mechanic and perform all the necessary repairs.

The second step is to clean out the car of all personal belongings and other stuff. Still, most companies will set a weight limit for belongings that can be left in a vehicle. Also, most transportation companies insist on removing the gas out of the tank down to a quarter, which will be just enough for you to drive it home after a pick-up.

The third step is to take pictures of the car from inside and outside, from many angles. This is important in the case that something happens, and the service provider is asking you to prove the previous state of your automobile. With these photos, you will be absolutely secured in case of an accident, while your shipper will be responsible for reimbursing the damage.

 Man is holding his mobile phone with both hands and taking pictures of its black automobile.
Don't forget to take the pictures of your automobile before it gets on a truck, ready for transfer

Is it More Affordable to Transport the Car On Your Own? Is it Worth it to Ship a Car at All?

Many people consider that transferring the automobile on their own is a chance to save on moving costs. However, many of them, too, forget that there are some limitations and additional expenses they couldn’t even assume. So, let’s see how the whole process may look when organizing it without professional support.

Even if You Decide to Ship the Car on Your Own, There are Still Expenses

Once you decide to drive your automobile to a new address, you have to make a traveling plan. Since this trip might be pretty exhausting, you’ll want to know where you will sleep, how long can you drive, and how many days you will need to reach the final destination. There are a couple of things you should also consider before you embark on this journey, and count it in the car shipping cost scheme. Among those expenses are:

  • Gas,
  • Tolls,
  • Food, coffee, and other beverages,
  • Hotel, motel, or other types of accommodation, because you will need a place to sleep during this long-lasting trip.

Still, don’t forget that not all the costs are predictable in this case, nor are all the conditions on the road foreseeable. And the longer journey takes, the higher expenses are.

person calculating expenses
Transferring a vehicle on your own brings many expenses, so ensure to make in detailed cost estimation

In the End, How Much Does a Dealership Charge to Ship a Car?

As you can see, there is no single answer to the question of how much does it cost to transport a car 2000 miles, or how to move to another state. The answer depends on literally hundreds of factors, so once you schedule long-distance moving services, choose whether you need partial or full packing services, and iron out the details of auto transport, don’t forget to consider all the aspects that can increase or decrease the total expense of car shipping.

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