Shipping Your Vehicle

While the idea of driving your car cross country may appeal to your inner romantic, the reality is it’s a slog; it takes forever, it’s expensive, and it’s hard on your vehicle. Whether you’re moving or need to get your antique to a show, there are many more benefits to hiring a company to transport your vehicle for you, whether it’s across the state or across the country.

Make life much easier on yourself, and your car, with Caravan Auto Transport. All you need to do is click once and estimates from a variety of licensed, insured car transporters will be delivered to you instantly. Then, you can compare and make the decision that’s right for you. Click ‘Get Quote’ now and receive a free quote in just minutes!

Find out how much it costs to ship your car!

Average Cost to Ship a Car

The costs for shipping a car vary depending on how far you’re going, what kind of car you’re shipping, how quickly you need the vehicle delivered, and what kind of shipping you choose. Most car shipping companies offer two types of transport: enclosed or open shipping. An enclosed carrier will cost roughly twice as much due to the specialized care and protection your auto will receive.

Depending on all of these factors you can generally expect to pay around $1,000 to $1,500 for an open carrier, cross-country shipment. The general rule of thumb is $1 per mile for the first 1 to 500 miles. The further you go, the lower the cost per mile. For example, moving a car 1,000 miles lowers the rate to $.75 cents a mile, barring additional cost elements. Coast-to-coast auto transport can be as low as $.40 cents per mile, depending on the route.

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8 Factors That Determine Car Shipping Costs

Many factors go into determining the cost of shipping your car from one state to another. Following are eight of the top factors that will affect the quote you receive from transport companies:

  1. Distance: By far, the most important factor in determining your car shipping cost is distance. The further you have to go, the more it will cost overall. Remember, you’re paying for the driver’s time, the wear and tear on the carrier, and the fuel costs. But there are advantages to the longer distances. The cost per mile will go down as the number of miles goes up.
  2. Open trailer vs closed: With an open trailer, the carrier can fit up to 10 vehicles at a time, allowing the company to split costs among all of the customers. Enclosed carriers are far less available, can accommodate fewer vehicles, but provide specialized equipment and care along the way. All of this personalized care will cost you – sometimes twice as much as an open carrier. You’ll have to decide whether to risk the dangers inherent in an open carrier transport or go with the more expensive protection a closed carrier can provide.
  3. Pick-up and drop-off points: Car shipping companies follow established routes from city to city, with a set of terminals used for drop-offs. If your delivery can go from hub to hub you will pay less than if they have to detour. Trucks delivering autos to rural areas often have to negotiate smaller, rougher roads and find safe places to drop off the cars. This will cost you more.
  4. Vehicle weight: Auto haulers have limits as to how much weight they can carry. Heavier vehicles weigh the carrier down, costing more in gas charges. If you have an especially heavy vehicle, you’ll receive a higher car shipping quote than with a lighter vehicle.
  5. Vehicle size:There is a certain amount of room available on each level of a carrier. If your car is especially long or tall, you’re going to be taking up room that another car, and customer, could have utilized. Taking up that extra space will show up on your quote as an additional charge.
  6. Time of year: The auto transport industry has seasons, just like any other business. The summer months are the busiest and you’ll pay up 10-15% more to ship then. However, some snowbird routes are busiest during the winter. Once you get your quotes, ask about off-season rates.
  7. Delivery time: The average hauler will cover 500 miles a day, so you can calculate roughly how long it will take for your car to arrive. If you need it faster, then you’ll pay for expedited shipping. That will add to your overall estimate.
  8. Car’s condition:Does your car run? If not, the transporter may have to employ additional equipment to load and secure your car. The shipping cost may be higher depending on your car’s overall condition.

Tips for Hiring an Auto Transport Company

Get Free Quotes

When looking to hire an auto transport company, get your free quotes from Caravan Auto Transport. Although we only work with the best companies that have already been vetted by our team, you may want to do your own research. Make sure to investigate the companies you’re considering. Check their online reviews and standing with the Better Business Bureau. Your vehicle is one of your most precious assets, so you want to be doubly sure your carrier has the correct licenses and adequate insurance coverage should the unthinkable happen.

Compare Quotes

Then, of course, you want to compare the quotes you’ve received from Caravan Auto Transport to determine which company is most competitive and offers the best rates for your needs. Don’t automatically assume the cheapest is the best – there may be hidden costs that you become aware of down the road. And the most expensive could contain unnecessary charges, so it’s important to read through each estimate carefully. If you receive several quotes that vary widely, feel free to call the individual companies directly and ask why there are such variations in the prices.

Read Through Terms and Conditions

Companies that have been in business for a while are usually a better bet than start-ups. If they’ve been around for five years or more, they’ll have a track record that you can look into. They’ll also know how to deal with any problems that might arise along the way. Before signing with a company make sure you read through all of the terms and conditions to ensure you know exactly what levels of service and coverage are provided.

Understand Payment Methods

Be sure you understand payment methods for the move. All companies should allow you to pay by credit card or by invoice. Any company that asks for cash should be avoided as you’ll have no record of your transaction and no recourse, should there be a problem with the move.

Schedule Pick-up and Drop-off Locations

Then, you’ll want to make sure that you finalize the pick-up and drop off locations with the transporter. The shipper should give you an approximate shipping schedule, but if it isn’t offered, you need to ask for one. This will help you make your plans at the other end.

Conduct Thorough Inspection

And when you’re finally handing your car off to the shipper, you should conduct a thorough inspection of your car with them, in person. If you don’t have a record of your car’s condition, complete with photos, before it departs, you might face problems at the other end should any damage occur. When your car is delivered, conduct a thorough inspection so you know about any potential problems right away.

Car Shipping Quotes

When shipping your classic to a show or hauling several vehicles in your state-to-state relocation, it doesn’t have to be a hassle. You may be surprised to find out how affordable it is to transport your vehicle. Caravan Auto Transport provides you with free car shipping quotes from vetted, licensed, and insured auto transport companies across the US.

So many factors go into the pricing of an auto move that you’ll want to compare a variety of estimates. The more quotes you review, the higher your chances are of finding a great deal. And remember, price isn’t the only factor. Delivery time, insurance coverage levels, and reviews are also very important. When you find a quote that meets all of your criteria, you’ve found your ideal auto shipper.


Your car is one of your most valuable assets. Get free auto shipping quotes from Caravan Auto Transport today and make sure you’re shipping with the best.

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