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How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car?

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The most common question we get from first time shippers is how much does it cost to ship a car? In this post we will go over what factors decide your cost, how much shipping a car costs, and what you can do to keep your price as low as possible.

Factors That Decide Your Cost

Location

location
Location is the most important factor in deciding your cost. In most cases further distance will equal a higher cost but if your pick up or drop off location is in a difficult or rural area you could pay more for a shorter distance.

Truckers want to keep all of their stops as close together and as simple as possible to save time and money. If they have to drive an hour out of their way to pick up your car they will charge more. If they have to drive up steep mountains or through a crowded downtown they will also charge more.

There are a handful of notoriously difficult areas to ship from or to. These areas are big, scarcely populated, not on the way to any popular destination, difficult to drive to, or a combination of these factors. Shipping to or from one of these areas is expensive and takes a long time.

Time

clock
Time can mean shipping according to a specific schedule or shipping at a certain time of year. Both can be huge factors.

Having a very specific pick up or drop off window means not as many trucks are able to take your car. This means less competition between the carriers for your vehicle and therefore a higher price for you. Also, if there is no carrier that can ship according to your schedule, you may have to put the car in storage which, of course, will add to your cost.

For some routes the time of year is a big factor as well. This is especially true if you are shipping from a northern state to or from a southern state. When it starts to get cold, around October, people ship their cars to warmer states for the winter. This makes shipping south more expensive but shipping north very inexpensive. The reverse happens when winter is over around February. It becomes much more expensive to ship north and very inexpensive to ship south as people go back home. Shipping east to west can also be more expensive depending on the time of year but it is harder to predict these trends. Generally during summer shipping from coast to coast is more expensive because a lot of people are relocating at this time but spikes do occur throughout the year for various reasons.

Vehicle

car
A mid-size SUV will be about $100 more to ship than a car. A half ton pick up will be about $150 more to ship than a car. Bigger or customized trucks and SUVs will have even higher additional costs. Cars with low ground clearance, modifications, or a convertible top will also have some additional costs but because they are still small it will usually not be that much unless the modifications are extreme. Non running vehicles also have additional costs though how much will depend on the pick up and drop off locations.

Saving Money

If you live far from a metropolitan area or interstate try to meet the driver closer to one.

If you live in a downtown meet the drive a little bit outside of it or at a nearby truck stop.

Be more flexible with your shipping schedule.

Try to ship outside of peak transport times.

Get cars running before shipping them if possible.

Undo any modifications you can like large spoilers and lift kits.

Book with carriers directly. If you will be shipping on the same route again save the carrier’s info to avoid broker fees next time.

Pricing

So how much does it cost to ship a car? The map below will help you get a rough idea of what your cost will be. Hover over the state you are shipping from and you will see a list of popular destinations and the cost to ship to those destinations. Keep in mind that these prices will change depending on your circumstances. To get a personalized quote use our quote request form.

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