The Gist:

  • The average cost to ship a car ranges from 40 cents to $1.96 per mile depending on several factors, including the distance you need to ship your vehicle and whether you choose open or enclosed shipping.
  • The average cost to ship a vehicle is $760, $1,472, and $1,972 for short, medium, and long-distance shipments.
  • Most car shipping companies offer military and multiple car discounts.

Most people don’t spend much time thinking about car shipping costs until they need the service. However, once you decide to ship your car, it can be challenging to navigate the fluctuating prices, cost of shipping services, and many providers on the market.

Fortunately, our team has put together a guide to take the confusion out of the auto shipping process for you. In this article, we’ll cover the factors that cause auto transport prices to vary, as well as how to find the best price for your shipment. We’ve crunched numbers from the best car shipping companies to better understand the factors that determine car shipping costs.

How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Car?

Most transport companies charge customers on a per-mile basis, so it is good to know the average cost per mile when determining if the cost of transporting a vehicle is worth it for you. Based on our research, trips less than 500 miles cost $1.48 per mile, and for trips of 2,500 miles or more, the price significantly drops to $0.64 per mile.

Our review team polled 1,000 auto transport customers while conducting a car shipping industry survey, and we found that 41 percent paid between $1,000 and $2,000 for their vehicle shipment. You can see in the table below how much the respondents to our survey reported paying for car shipping services.

Bar graph showing car shipping costs from our shipping survey

What Is The Average Cost To Ship A Car?

According to our research, the average cost per mile to ship a car is between 40 cents and $1.96 per mile. Shipping prices heavily depend on several factors and may vary based on your chosen company and the services needed.

Average Cost To Ship A Car Per Mile

The table below contains the average cost per mile based on quotes from our intensive industry price comparison review.

DistanceAverage Cost Per MileCost Per Mile
500 miles or less$1.48 $1.00 to $1.96
500 miles to 1,500 miles$.0.98$0.60 to $0.93
2,500 miles plus$0.64 $0.40 to $0.60

*These prices reflect potential costs for using open car shipping to transport an operable vehicle. If your car has specialized needs, expect your car shipping cost to increase substantially.

Car Shipping Rates By Company

Car shipping rates vary drastically depending on which company you choose to ship your vehicle. Most companies charge per mile, and rates also vary with distance and type of carrier transport. The table below shows the average vehicle shipping cost with our top-rated providers.

ProviderAverage CostAverage Cost Per Mile
Montway Auto Transport$1,401.50 $1.01
Sherpa Auto Transport$1,475 $1.08
SGT Auto Transport$1,339.75 $0.95
Easy Auto Ship$1,516.75 $1.10
uShip$1,659 $1.14

Cost To Ship A Car By Distance

The cost to ship a vehicle depends on the distance your vehicle needs to be transported. Short-distance car shipping is less expensive than long-distance shipping in terms of total cost, yet long-distance shipping is more affordable per mile. In the following sections, we will highlight how distance affects shipping costs.

Short-Distance Car Transport Costs

A short-distance car shipment can range from $500 to $1,800. Shorter transport distances are typically cheaper overall than enclosed shipments, but the cost per mile is slightly higher. The table below shows the lowest, highest, and average cost of short-distance shipping prices our review team received from 18 car shipping companies:

DistanceCostCost Per Mile
Lowest Cost500 miles or less$500 $0.97
Average Cost500 miles or less$760 $1.48
Highest Cost500 miles or less$1,800 $3.50

*Costs are for an operable 2018 Hyundai Elantra using open-car transport.

Long-Distance Car Shipping Costs

A cross-country shipment from Washington, DC to Seattle, Washington costs between $1,100 and $3,100. While long-distance shipping costs exceed shorter distances, the overall cost per mile is lower. Some providers, such as AmeriFreight, offer prices as low as $0.40 per mile. Below are the lowest, highest, and average costs our review team received for long-distance open car transport services.

CostCost Per Mile
Lowest Cost$1,100 $0.40
Average Cost$1,973 $0.71
Highest Cost$3,100 $1,12

*Prices are for an operable 2018 Hyundai Elantra using open transport. 

Remember that these numbers are just rate estimates and your transport needs will factor into your overall price. The best way to determine your average car transport cost is by getting free car shipping quotes online from multiple car delivery providers.

Car Shipping Prices By Carrier Type

On average, open shipping is $328 less expensive than enclosed shipping for distances of 1,500 miles or less. As part of our industry survey, we found that the price of shipping a car via enclosed transport is significantly higher. 

In the following sections, we will break down the average of open and enclosed shipping to demonstrate the price difference between the two car transport services.

Open Car Shipping Cost

Our review team gathered information on the average cost of open transport for a 1,504-mile shipment. We found a price range from $1,110 to $1,885, with the average cost totaling $1,472 or $0.98 per mile. Below are all the prices we received during our industry study. You can see the complete breakdown of the cost and cost per mile for open carrier transport services.

CostCost Per Mile
Lowest Cost$1,110 $0.74
Average Cost$1,472 $0.98
Highest Cost$1,885 $1.25

Enclosed Car Shipping Cost

Our research shows that enclosed shipping costs can range between $1,414 and $2,085; the average price is $1,800 or $1.20 per mile. Enclosed transport protects valuable vehicles, such as classic cars and luxury brand automobiles, from the weather and road hazards, so it comes with a premium price. Below is a table showing the lowest, highest, and average cost and cost per mile for enclosed carrier transport services.

CostCost Per Mile
Lowest Cost$1,414 $0.94
Average Cost$1,800 $1.20
Highest Cost$2,085 $1,39

Enclosed shipping is less common than open transport services and requires specialized trailers, so fewer carriers offer the service. If you use enclosed shipping, ensure that your vehicle is protected by choosing a  reputable, experienced enclosed carrier. You can click below to get instant free quotes from our top providers that offer outstanding enclosed shipping services.

Car Shipping Rates: What To Know

One key variable affecting car shipping costs is distance. Generally speaking, long-distance moves lead to lower costs per mile but higher overall price tags. If you order an immediate move using an enclosed carrier, expect a steep rate.

Here are some key factors that are likely to affect your car shipping costs:

A visual list of items that affect car shipping prices

Car Shipping Calculator

Use our car shipping calculator below to get free instant quotes and compare quotes from multiple auto transport companies without providing personal information.

How Much Will It Cost to Ship a Car? Looking for a car shipping quote? Check out our tool to get a quote customized to your moving journey.
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About how many miles do you plan to ship your vehicle?

What type of transport would you prefer?Open transport is the most common, but enclosed transport ensures your vehicle's safety from harsh elements and vandalism.

What type of vehicle are you shipping?

Your Estimated Shipping Cost Estimates are based on your calculator inputs and gathered from our research team's custom quotes of 6 major brokers in the industry. This is an estimate, NOT an official quote.
Get a Free Estimate From Montway

Calculate Car Shipping Costs

To calculate car shipping costs, there are several important factors that affect your rate. These include: 

  • Provider: Each company offers different rates, so compare your options to find the best price. 
  • Time of year: The summer months and January tend to have higher transport costs as families move or migrate down south to escape the cold.
  • Vehicle size and type: The larger or newer the car, the more expensive moving it will probably be. 
  • Vehicle condition: Operable cars will cost significantly less to ship than inoperable ones.
  • Urgency: The sooner you need the delivery date to be, the pricier your vehicle shipment. Conversely, being flexible with your pickup and delivery dates will help bring your prices down.
  • Competition: The more auto transport providers that serve a route, the cheaper it will be. Routes that serve larger cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle typically cost less.
  • Transport type: Open car transport is generally the cheapest way to ship a car, while enclosed shipping is more expensive.
  • Distance: Cross-country routes, such as from California to Florida, and long-distance and overseas routes, such as shipping a car to Hawaii, cost more overall than regional routes but less per mile.
  • Delivery method: Door-to-door service is pricier than terminal-to-terminal drop-off. However, not all providers offer terminal-to-terminal services.
  • Price of fuel: If fuel is expensive, expect your car shipping services to be as well.
  • Add-ons: Extra insurance, expedited delivery, and single-car transport increase rates.

However, read on for methods that make it easy to ship a car without breaking the bank.

How To Get Lower Car Shipping Costs

Car transport costs don’t always have to be sky-high. If you’re willing to plan, take initiative, and keep your options open, you can find high-quality transport at surprisingly low rates. Follow the tips below to learn how to ship a car with reduced costs.

  • Book early: It’s never too soon to lock down below-average auto transport quotes.
  • Open up your delivery timeframe: Save money by adding flexibility with pickup dates and pickup locations. If you need a more specific time, it will most likely come at a higher cost.
  • Choose open transport: Enclosed transport tends to be more expensive than open transport. Usually, unless you have a classic car, open carriers will work for you.
  • Pick terminal-to-terminal delivery if available: Home delivery is nice and convenient, but you’ll find lower prices with terminal-to-terminal shipping.
  • Consider guaranteed pricing: Your original quote will stand, however, not every company offers this. 
  • Look for discounts: Most car shippers offer reduced rates for certain customers, including military discounts and discounts for paying cash.
  • Get multiple quotes: Be sure to compare car shipping quotes online from various providers.

Additional Car Shipping Costs

There are a few add-ons you may want to consider even if you are looking for the lowest car shipping cost. Below are the additional services and fees that you may want to add to your car shipment or avoid altogether.

  • Add-on insurance: Carriers are required to carry basic liability coverage. However, most car shipping companies offer gap coverage that you can purchase for an additional fee.
  • Expedited shipping fee: Expedited shipping is available for people who need their car shipped quickly. Most auto transport companies offer expedited shipping, but the quicker service increases the cost of shipping a car. 
  • Cancellation fee: Once you book your carrier, you are committed to shipping your vehicle, and if you cancel, you will be required to pay a fee. Fees vary depending on providers.

Car Shipping Discounts

To simplify the process, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top discounts offered by AmeriFreight and Montway Auto Transport, two of the best players in the car shipment space. Check out the following discounts to see if you qualify for any:

Car Shipping Companies

Discounts Offered


  • Early bird
  • First responders
  • Medical personnel
  • Military
  • Multiple vehicles
  • Returning customer
  • Senior citizens
  • Student

Montway Auto Transport

  • Cash payment
  • Military
  • Multiple vehicles
  • Returning customer

However, the easiest way to find low car shipping costs is by comparing instant quotes from multiple auto transport companies side by side.

Car Freight Costs: Conclusion

This review detailed the ins and outs of car shipping costs. As you saw above, the prices of open transport are much lower, and the per-mile cost of long-distance trips is lower than short-distance trips. While car shipping costs continuously change, a few providers consistently offer excellent service at easy-to-handle prices. Two of the best vehicle shipping options are AmeriFreight and Montway Auto Transport.

Car Shipping Costs From Recommended Providers

Costs in the auto transport industry can vary by provider and shipment, so it’s important to compare companies when you shop. Our review team found that Montway Auto Transport has the best overall rating for car shipping providers, and AmeriFreight has the best cost rating.

Below is a deeper look into both AmeriFreight and Montway:

Montway Auto Transport: 4.7 Stars

Montway Auto Transport consistently carries some of the lowest car shipping costs in the country. Speedy service and conscientious truckers only add to Montway Auto Transport’s value proposition, drawing in customers searching for affordable and reliable car shipping.

While Montway Auto Transport offers very few bells and whistles, it more than makes up for this with its size and strong industry reputation.  The provider has over 15 years of industry experience, as well as an A+ rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Based on Montway Auto Trasnport’s high customer review scores from Trustpilot and the BBB, customers overwhelmingly seem to be pleased with the provider. That’s part of why our team named it the Best Overall provider for low car shipping costs.

Montway Auto Transport Pros And Cons

Pros Low quotes Strong industry reputation Compare over 15,000 car carriers
Cons No guaranteed pricing

Montway Auto Transport Cost

Below is the average cost to ship a car using Montway Auto Transport.

Average CostAverage Cost Per Mile
$1,401.50 $1.01



Montway Auto Transport Our #1 Rated Provider
BBB Rating : A+ Phone : 844-601-0286 Coverage : 50 states
Pros & Cons
Pros Strong reputation, customer satisfaction, and industry ratings Carrier vetting Large network of 15,000+ carriers Offers expedited delivery Competitive pricing Cons No real-time tracking or mobile-app; must contact company for tracking info No guaranteed pricing $249 cancellation fee No specialty shipping services for recreational vehicles (RVs), boats, trailers, or other watercraft Intrusive Pop-up Ads

Montway Auto Transport is a reputable auto transport broker offering several car shipping services and cheap car shipping rates. We named it the Best Overall car shipping company for 2023.



AmeriFreight: 4.5 Stars

Getting discounts is one of the best ways to lower your car shipping costs, and AmeriFreight offers several ways to save. The Peachtree City, Georgia-based provider has been a customer service leader for years, and its various price reductions mean nearly everyone can save with AmeriFreight.

From savings for signing up within 48 hours of receiving a quote to a senior citizen special, AmeriFreight offers a number of discounts. However, the early bird discount is the only one that can be combined with another AmeriFreight discount.

The transport broker shines in customer satisfaction, receiving 4.7 stars from more than 3,000 Google reviews. Because of its happy clients and potential saving opportunities, we named AmeriFreight the provider that’s Best for Discounts.

AmeriFreight Pros And Cons

Pros Various discounts Price matching Carefully vets auto transporters
Cons Higher initial quotes No guaranteed pricing
AmeriFreight Prices

You can see the average cost to use Amerifreight to ship your vehicle in the table below.

Average CostAverage Cost Per Mile
$1,140.25 $0.94



AmeriFreight Best for Discounts
BBB Rating : A+ Phone : 855-460-6609 Coverage : 50 states
Pros & Cons
Pros Affordable rates and several discount opportunities available Thorough carrier vetting process Excellent reviews on BBB; A+ rating and accreditation Offers a guaranteed price option Delivers coast to coast Cons No real-time GPS tracking or mobile app Charges extra for insurance No locked-in rates No international shipping

AmeriFreight is a leading car shipping broker that partners with over 10,000 car carriers to deliver a wide range of auto transport services. The company also works with government agencies, vehicle manufacturers, and retailers to deliver outsourced logistics services and shipping on a large scale.



Vehicle Transport Cost: FAQ

Below are some frequently asked questions about car shipping costs:

How We Rate Auto Shippers

Our review process aims to deliver consistent and unbiased assessments of car shipping companies. While there are multiple qualities that make an auto transport provider successful, our review team focuses on those we believe are the most important for consumers:

  • Cost: Cost can be difficult to compare between providers because so many factors impact auto shipping rates. To determine our cost score, we perform a secret shopper analysis for a variety of vehicles and routes.
  • Services: Our team of experts looks at the types of services available, as well as insurance coverage and the ability to guarantee pickup and drop-off dates. Ratings also take into account whether the transport company is a broker or a carrier.
  • Reputation: It’s important that a car shipping provider is able to deliver your vehicle in a safe and timely manner. Companies with a strong rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) score well in this category. Established providers with a long history of reliable service also receive positive marks.
  • Customer Experience: We comb through consumer reviews on sites like the BBB to learn about customer experiences. Car transport companies with a low volume of complaints score well in this area.