Tips, Tricks & Trends

How Much Does Shipping a Car Actually Cost?

Maybe you’re in the midst of a cross-country move. Or, perhaps you’ve just purchased your absolute dream car but live too far away to pick it up yourself. In such cases, shipping a car could be your best option. But how much does shipping a car actually cost? Let’s find out.

A trailer truck transporting cars being shipped.
Trailer truck shipping cars between Canada and the United States. | Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

How does shipping a car work?

According to Edmunds, shipping a car is nothing like sending a package, so it’s really best not to think of it that way. In fact, Edmunds reports that most car deliveries in the U.S. take roughly four weeks. As for international deliveries? Edmunds reports that those can take up to as many as eight weeks. 

However, Edmunds does explain, “The car shipping won’t always take that long, but the auto transport companies need some leeway in case the shipment runs into any issues along the way.” Regardless, Edmunds reports that most auto shipping companies will contact you when they have an open slot for shipping a car to your destination. But either way, don’t expect to have a car shipped to you overnight. Odds are, that’s not going to happen.

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What’s the easiest way to ship a car?

As it turns out, there are a few different ways to ship a vehicle. The Drive reports that shipping a vehicle on an open-trailer truck is the most cost-effective way to move it from one place to another. But, shipping a car on an open-trailer truck isn’t the only option. Other options include enclosed shipping, freight shipping, and even air shipping. Keep in mind, however, that the cost of shipping a vehicle will vary depending on the shipping method that you choose. According to the Drive, the distance between the car’s shipping point and its destination will also impact the price.

The average price of shipping a vehicle

According to Move.org, the average price of shipping a car is approximately $710, with transport costs ranging from $280 to $2,060. As you would expect, those numbers go up the farther than you need to ship the car. Move.org reports that you can also expect the price of shipping a vehicle to go up about $80 when jumping from a sedan to an SUV to a truck. 

Suppose you’re hoping to get a rough estimate of how much it will cost to ship your car. In that case, Consumer Affairs recommends that you take the distance your car will travel and multiply that number by a shipping company’s approximate cost per mile. According to Consumer Affairs, this will give you an idea of how much shipping your vehicle will cost. Of course, to get the best understanding of how much it will cost, you should get a precise estimate from the shipping company you plan to use.

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Is shipping a car worth the price?

Shipping a vehicle can make for an expensive endeavor. But, for some, the cost of shipping their car is worth it. Before deciding to ship your vehicle, we recommend getting multiple estimates from multiple companies. Be sure to inquire about each shipping company’s insurance coverage, too. After all, the shipping company will be responsible for keeping your vehicle safe during transport.