Car Shipping Costs – What You Need to Consider


Car shipping services are an excellent option for those who need to transport their vehicle for various reasons. But a few things can impact how much this service costs.

The cost of auto shipping will vary depending on the time of year, route, and vehicle condition. To reduce your auto transport costs, you should consider the following factors:

Time of Year

The time of year can make a big difference in car shipping costs. Summer and January are peak car shipping seasons with higher prices than other times. Fuel prices also impact car shipping rates, so if gas is expensive, you can expect auto transport services to be more costly.

Similarly, the fall is one of the best times to ship a car since weather conditions are generally milder, and drivers can easily navigate roadways. Additionally, schools are back in session, and there is less demand for car shipping services which can drive down prices.

In addition, your vehicle type and how it is loaded can also impact prices. For example, SUVs and pickup trucks cost more to ship than sedans. Also, vehicles with inoperable engines may require a winch to load and unload them, which can add to the cost. The best way to find out the exact price of your car shipping service is to request a quote.


The longer the distance that your car needs to travel, the higher the shipping costs. Transporters must cover more miles on the truck and pay more for gas.

Vehicle size also impacts cost as more oversized vehicles take up more room on the carrier and affect fuel efficiency. Similarly, inoperable cars cost more to ship than operable ones, making it harder for movers to load and unload.

Time of year also factors in with high season and holidays driving up rates due to increased carrier demand. Harsh winter weather can also lead to higher shipping costs for the same reasons.

You’ll see lower rates if you accommodate your pickup and delivery dates. That’s because if your requests aren’t as accommodating, fewer shippers can fulfill them, which drives up prices. Ultimately, you want to avoid adding extra costs to your shipment as they’ll increase your overall shipping rate.

Vehicle Type

The make and model of your vehicle will influence the amount it costs to ship. It’s essential to provide this information when booking your shipment so that carriers can ensure their trailers have enough space and the right equipment to load your car.

The number of providers that offer service on your route will also influence pricing. Carrier competition can impact prices in both the short-term and long-term, with pricing, in some ways going up or down based on demand.

You’ll also pay more to transport a larger vehicle or one with low clearance than a smaller, standard vehicle. The same goes for the condition of your car; if it’s not in working order, it will cost more to ship.

Other factors include the type of delivery you choose. Opting for terminal-to-terminal shipping, where you drop off and pick up your vehicle at a nearby shipping terminal instead of delivering it to your doorstep, is cheaper than door-to-door service. Also, choosing open transport over enclosed transport will lower your cost.

Vehicle Condition

The vehicle’s condition that your car is in can have a significant impact on how much it costs to ship. If your car is inoperable, it will cost more to ship than in good working condition. Also, larger vehicles like SUVs are more expensive to ship than smaller cars.

Seasonality can affect shipping prices, too. During the summer, car transport services are more in demand, and prices tend to rise along major routes. It is because truckers fill up their trailers quickly and have to book extra jobs to meet demand.

Try to be as flexible as you can with drop-off and pickup locations to reduce the cost of your car shipping. For example, choosing to have your vehicle delivered directly to your home instead of dropping it off at a terminal could add hundreds of dollars to the total cost of shipping. Also, consider choosing open shipping instead of enclosed transport if your vehicle could be more valuable, as this will save you money. In addition, be sure to check with the car shipping company about any discounts they may offer.


Car shipping costs can vary greatly depending on the route, time of year, and other factors. Understanding what drives prices and how you can get the best possible rates is essential.

One of the most significant factors is distance. Long-distance routes are more expensive because of fuel charges, tolls, and labor. Additionally, if a pickup or drop-off is located in a rural area, the driver must deviate from his main route, which adds to your final quote.

Other factors that drive costs include the type of car and how it’s shipped. Open shipping is less expensive than enclosed transport, but your vehicle will be exposed to road debris and weather elements that can damage it. Consider choosing enclosed transport if your vintage or classic car requires further protection. You should also take a look at what discounts are available. Many companies offer savings for veterans, students, and first responders. Finally, ensure the company you’re working with has a $100,000 backup cargo insurance policy. If they don’t, then that’s a big red flag!

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