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How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Car?

The cost to ship a vehicle will depend on a number of factors. However, when you hire a reputable car shipping company like National Transport, you will often find that the cost to ship a car can actually be quite affordable and the process to do so extremely easy.

The price to ship your car will vary based on a number of distinct factors, such as distance, place of shipment, destination, time of year and a number of other various influences. At National Transport, we have looked at popular shipping lanes across the country and throughout the year and have published some useful data on how seasonality and demand impacts pricing on car shipping.
 

When & Where People Ship Their Cars


The above image illustrates net inflows (darker greens) and outflows (darker reds) throughout the year. Overall trends include more cars being shipped to Florida during the colder months (snowbirds) and a mass exodus of shipments from Florida once spring arrives. States with year round outflows of cars include Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska and Kansas.

Relative Volume of Cars Shipped

Car Shipment Volumes
Car shipment volume varies throught the year as well, with shipments hitting their annual lows in September and peaking in May and June. Shipping demand varies as much as 55% throughout the year.
 

Average Price to Ship a Car Throughout the Year

Average Price to Ship Car by Month
Average pricing tends to follow demand, with the lowest overall rates occurring in the winter months of January through March, and the highest rates from April until August. These average prices are all inclusive, including many cross country and Pacific auto shipments.
 

Other Factors to Consider

Other factors go into calculating the cost to ship a vehicle.  They include:

  • The size of the vehicle:  Oversized cars are more expensive to transport because they take up more space on the truck. For example an SUV or truck will take up more room then a sedan.
  • Actual transport mileage:  Longer transports are more expensive, so distance can play a large part in the pricing of your transportation.
  • Pickup and delivery locations:  Some areas are difficult to navigate. Things such as narrow streets and hard to reach areas require additional time. Your driver may have to use roads that are less travelled and that can lengthen timing.
  • Seasonality:  During peak seasons, trucks are fuller and available space is low so prices tend to rise.  The opposite is also true.  During off seasons, trucks have more available space so prices tend to fall.
  • The price of fuel: Just like you, truck drivers pay more money for fuel when gas prices are high. What's more, fuel prices can vary by region, so transports of the same mileage might be more expensive in our area of the country if fuel is relatively more expensive in that area.
  • The type of trailer: Open trailer transports are less expensive than enclosed trailer transports. Although, we offer both options, it is good to consider before hand what you need to ship successfully.
  • The pickup and delivery dates: The longer you wait, the more it will cost. Guaranteed or expedited deliveries cost more money. At times, your car can be ready to be picked up and shipped approximately 3-5 business days from booking, but all of the factors above will effect these dates. So it is better to play is safe, and book you auto transport early or as far in advance as possible.

All of these factors should be considered when transporting a vehicle. We've created a Moving Checklist for our customers to use, this includes everything you may need to know about moving. At times, many consider driving their car instead of using auto transport. But cutting corners and driving can actually be very costly.

The Hidden Costs of Doing it Yourself

There are obvious benefits to be had when hiring our car shipping company to pick up your vehicle from one location and ship it to another location. Some of these benefits include:

  • Less wear and tear on your personal vehicle:  The less long-distance driving you do, the better off your car will be, as it will mean less wear and tear on your tires and engine.
  • Less time: Having your car shipped means that you get to spend less time on the road and more time preparing for your move or spending time with family or friends.
  • Less money out-of-pocket:  While every person's situation is different, have you ever considered what the 'true cost' is to drive your personal car from coast to coast versus having it shipped? Between gasoline, lodging, food, oil changes, tolls and other miscellaneous expenses, you can easily end up spending over $1,600 out of pocket. Is that really worth the time and frustration if, in the end, you're not really saving as much money as you thought? 

There are many other reasons why auto transportation is better when left to professionals, but most important is the piece of mind you get when you have National Transport take care of your car shipping.

How to Ship Your Car

This is a commion questions and there are some basic tips that will hlep make the experience even easier. For example, try to wash your car before auto transport picks it up. Why? It will be easier on delivery to notice anything that might not have been there before delivery. Make sure you remove all your personal items and turn off your alarm if you have one. Also, make sure you inform your vehicle transporter of any leaks your vehicle may have. We take all the guess work out of car shipping, learn all about what it takes for a success move with this guide to how auto transport works.

We offer our customers an extensive variety of options to choose from when getting an instant price quote. We want you to know that no matter what your arrangements are, we will make sure that your car, truck, SUV or minivan gets delivered to you safely, quickly and at a price that fits within your budget. Give us a call today at 1-800-665-5022 for more information on how we can help you move your car at a price that is right. Or if you would like to see what your rates would be, fill out our quick quote tool, just one step to get a quote!