Auto Transport & Car Transport Blog

What Determines the Cost to Ship a Car?

Car shipping costs can vary wildly and depend on numerous factors. Each auto transport company has its own method for determining the cost to ship a car, based on variables such as the car’s weight, distance expected to travel, and time of year you want your car shipped, to name just a few.

When shipping a car across the country, or anywhere for that matter, shopping around will give you a general idea of the cost of shipping a car, and the options you can choose from.

Gas Prices Effect Shipping

If gas prices rise, so will the cost of shipping a car, it’s that simple. Transporters use diesel fuel, so keep an eye on diesel prices. If you are able, wait for a drop to have your car shipped.


Most companies have a limited amount of transporters that travel set routes across the country. If an additional route needs to be added, the cost of shipping your car could go up. Conversely, if the transporter is already scheduled to pick up or drop off in your area, the cost may be lower. In addition, the farther away from the main highway the transporter needs to go, the more fuel it will require, and that will add to your cost. And if the transporter needs to go through a residential neighborhood, extra charges for special permits may also be needed.

Find an Auto Transporter in Your Area

Use your local phone directory and the Internet to make a list of the companies that offer car shipping services near you. You’ll probably find a few in your area that can give you an estimate of the cost to ship a car to your destination.

Get an Estimate of the Cost to Ship a Car

You can get a free quote from many car transporters on the Internet. Gather the information you need: vehicle make, model, and year; pickup and delivery city and state; mileage; and possibly a vehicle inspection report. With this information, you can often get a quote on the cost of shipping a car within a matter of minutes. Compare the prices of the different companies you find to get a general sense of how much it will cost to ship the car in question.

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