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How Much is it to Ship a Car Across Country?

An open car carrier with many vehicles drives on the road. Ship a car across country.

How Much is it to Ship a Car Across Country?

Shipping a car across country is the simplest way to get it from point A to point B. Whether you’re making a trek south across several states, or relocating from the West Coast to the East Coast, shipping your vehicle can help reduce your stress.

Let’s put it this way. You’re considering shipping a car across country because you want to make the move easier. Luckily, finding a car shipping company can be easy as well. Sure, there are factors to consider, but as long as a car shipping company provides free quotes, then you’re off to a good start.

But if you’re checking out car transport service costs, you’re likely curious about where these costs come from. Specifically, what factors make up the total car shipping cost? And how much is it to ship a car across country?

It’s important to note that the cost of shipping your car is dependent on your unique situation. With that in mind, here are some of the national average costs to ship a car.

National Averages for Car Shipping Costs

The national average rate to ship a car is around $1,650. If you were to consider shipping your vehicle in an enclosed carrier, and requesting a rush delivery, the average cost is closer to $2,100. On the other hand, the cost of shipping a car across country in an open carrier on a normal timetable averages to around $1,200.

Again, these numbers are averages, and don’t take all of your unique factors into account. But, they’re a good starting spot for you to set expectations.

A big factor in setting vehicle transport costs is total mileage. It’s common to see auto shipping rates of more than $2.00 per mile for journeys of fewer than 200 miles. If the distance from the pickup to the destination is longer, it’s common for the per-mile price to drop. For example, the average per-mile cost for a long-distance ship of more than 1,500 miles is around $0.58.

Type of Car

Mileage is a good indicator of cost because distance is a big part of the equation. But another factor to consider is the type of car. How big is it, for example? The bigger the car, the more space it takes up on the carrier, which can increase the price.

Additionally, a larger car weighs more than a smaller car. This plays a role in fuel economy, as a heavier carrier is going to use more gas on the trip.

But regardless of the size, other details play a role. Is the car a convertible? If so, then perhaps it should be transported in an enclosed carrier. It’s true the enclosed carriers come with higher price tags, but they also provide added protection.

However, the reason that enclosed car carriers tend to cost more is because they can transport fewer vehicles than an open carrier. This extra bit of protection takes up more space in the carrier, which means the carrier’s real estate is more valuable.

You probably need an enclosed carrier if you have a classic car. Whether shipping a car across country for a summer getaway, or getting it to a classic car dealer to sell, an enclosed carrier provides the protection and peace of mind you want when transporting a vintage vehicle.

Time of Year

If the season is busier, it is likely to be costlier. This is true with auto transport companies as it is in any industry. There is less demand for shipping vehicles in the winter, for instance, and so the prices tend to drop.

April through October are generally considered the peak time of the year for auto shipping, so this is worth thinking about if you’re flexible. Shipping a car across country when demand is lower means you are likely to spend less overall.

Type of Shipping Service

Car shipping services are not one size fits all. For example, if you’re considering door-to-door service, you can expect to pay a bit more than if you were to choose terminal-to-terminal. But just because it might come with a higher price tag doesn’t mean it isn’t the best option.

For example, if you were to utilize a terminal-to-terminal shipping service, then at least one of your trips will be in a taxi, or perhaps public transportation. This can mean additional costs as well as time. Therefore, don’t be intimidated by the price tag until you understand all the considerations that come with it.

Other Considerations

The importance of getting a free car shipping quote stems from the many variables unique to your situation. Time is a big one. Are you in a hurry? Do you need your car shipped from Florida to California immediately, or are you somewhat flexible?

These time constraints impact the cost and might reveal what is more important in your final  decision. The type of terrain will play a role as well. After all, shipping a car on straight wide highways is simpler than shipping it across narrow mountain roads.

Ship Your Car!

The simplicity of shipping a car across country makes it an easy decision. Whether you’re heading from Chicago to Los Angeles for work, or moving from the Pacific Northwest to the Northeast to start school, shipping your car shouldn’t hold you back. In fact, it should make the move less stressful.

Reach out to the professionals at National Transport Services today, and get a free quote to see how much it’ll cost you to ship a car across country.