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, costs of different 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.
What Is The Average Car Shipping Cost?
Though prices vary widely depending on transport carriers and the level of service you choose, you can expect to pay somewhere between 40 cents and $2 per mile when moving your vehicle. These estimates come from two of the top cheap car shipping companies, Easy Auto Ship and Montway Auto Transport, so other car transporters’ prices may be slightly higher.
One of the key variables that affects car shipping costs is distance. Generally speaking, long-distance moves lead to lower costs per mile but higher overall price tags. Check out the chart below, provided by Easy Auto Ship and Montway Auto Transport, for some car shipping cost estimates.
Cost Per Mile
500 miles or less
$1.00 to $1.96
500 to 1,500 miles
$0.60 to $0.93
1,500 miles or more
$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. On the other hand, certain factors may considerably reduce your rates.
What Affects Car Shipping Costs?
Here are some key factors that are likely to affect your car shipping costs:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
Some aspects of car shipping costs are within your control and depend on personal decision-making. If you order an immediate move using an enclosed carrier, expect a steep rate. However, read on for methods that make it easy to ship a car without breaking the bank.
Ways To Lower Your Car Shipping Cost
Car transport costs don’t always have to hurt. 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 drastically 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.
- Choose open transport: Unless you have a classic car, open carriers are usually fine.
- Pick terminal-to-terminal delivery if available: Home delivery is nice, but you’ll find lower prices with terminal-to-terminal shipping.
- Consider guaranteed pricing: Your original quote will stand.
- Look for discounts: Most car shippers offer reduced rates for certain customers.
- Get multiple quotes: Be sure to compare car shipping quotes online from various providers.
To make the process simpler, 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
Montway Auto Transport
The easiest way to find low car shipping costs, however, is by comparing instant quotes from multiple auto transport companies side by side.
Our Recommendations For Low Car Shipping Costs
While car shipping costs continuously change, there are a few providers that consistently offer excellent service at easy-to-handle prices. Two of the best vehicle shipping options are AmeriFreight and Montway Auto Transport. Below, we’ll explain what makes these two auto shipping companies stand out.
AmeriFreight: 4.0 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 2,900 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
Montway Auto Transport: 4.5 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 in search of 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 seem to overwhelmingly 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
Frequently Asked Questions: 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.