Car Shipping Cost

How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Car?

Whether you’re a snowbird heading home for the summer or a vintage collector who just acquired a rare, exotic model at an auction sale across the country, shipping a car by truck and trailer is a cost-effective, safe, and secure method that can save you the time, mileage, and wear and tear associated with driving it home yourself. Before booking car transportation, though, it helps to understand how the trailer type, car size, time of year, pickup and delivery locations, and other factors will impact your overall cost. 

Car Shipping Defined

Car shipping is nothing more than moving a car from one point to another, be it cross-town, cross-state, or cross-country. While shipping by plane, train, and ship are also options with their own pros and cons, shipping by trailer is a proven, popular, and practical approach due to its relative affordability and the widespread availability to car transport companies.

Types Of Costs To Expect

Factors impacting car transport costs include car size and weight, transport distance, delivery speed requirements, time of year, trailer type, and pickup and drop-off locations. Others include operating condition, insurance coverage, and applicable discounts. Distance is arguably the biggest factor. Generally, expect to pay less than $500 for cross-state transport, from $500 to $1,000-plus to transport between major U.S. regions and along the coasts, and up to $1,500 or more for coast-to-coast transport.

Car Size

Along with distance, car size has a notable impact on cost. A compact car, for example, can cost anywhere from 20 to 50 cents less per mile to transport than a larger, heavier SUV or mini-van that requires more trailer space and more fuel-related costs for the transporter. 

Trailer Type

Most car transport companies offer open and enclosed trailer options. Shipping via enclosed trailer can add 30% or more to the overall cost. For those transporting an expensive luxury model, though, the extra investment buys protection from dirt, rocks, hail, snow, ice, and other damaging elements. Enclosed trailers also provide an extra security layer that’s particularly beneficial when the transport involves overnight stops. Although open trailers offer less protection, they’re typically more cost-effective because the transport companies often will transport multiple vehicles at once.

Delivery Speed

Generally, the more proactive and flexible you are in scheduling pickup and delivery dates, the better price you can book. That said, many transport companies provide premium services that support last-minute or expediated transport, albeit with anywhere from a few hundred to $500 or more added to the final price.

Car Condition

Whether your car is operable or not often impacts shipping costs. An antique car that doesn’t run, steer, or brake, for example, will require a winch or other special loading equipment as well as labor on the transporter’s part, all adding to the end total.

Pickup & Delivery Locations

Remote pickup and delivery locations or those involving navigating more demanding routes will usually inflate overall shipping costs. Transportation involving heavily-trafficked urban areas or especially busy roads can do the same, although such areas do also provide generally greater availability to transport companies. Another related factor involves terminal-to-terminal or door-to-door options, with the former being less expensive but requiring more overall logistics planning, and the latter being costlier but more convenient.

Time Of Year

Summer months are often peak times for car transport. In part, that is because there is less risk of inclement weather and related damage, but it may add anywhere from $150 to $300 more per trip compared to transport during winter months. 

Ship Your Car With FR8Star

When you’re ready to transport your car, turn to FR8Star’s platform, which handles more than a billion dollars’ worth of car and heavy equipment transportation annually. FR8Star is always free to shippers to use and contains no hidden costs. You’ll have access to tens of thousands of vetted, experienced, bonded, and insured transportation and logistics experts with car hauler trailers, flatbed, hot shot, step deck, RGN, Landoll, and double drop trailer options to get your car moved affordably, safely, and on time.

At, just build your car transport load by providing a few details, and you’ll a free estimate in as little as than 30 seconds. Next, compare multiple all-inclusive bids from transport companies, award the load, and FR8Star will provide the transport company your contact information to firm up all the pertinent details.

You remain in complete control throughout, and can designate loads as urgent or time-sensitive, plus note any drop-off/pickup requirements, special load instructions, and preferred loading/unloading methods. You can message transport companies at any time, view their contact information, and read and leave user ratings and reviews—all with FR8Star’s support staff available to help at every step.

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