Posted on 03/18/22

Is It Cheaper To Ship A Car By Truck Or Train

Is It Cheaper To Ship A Car By Truck Or Train

It can be difficult to transport a car. Transporting your car from one place to the next requires planning and preparation.

No one wants their car to be damaged in transit. People who move frequently for any purpose are eager to take advantage of cheaper auto shipping to transport their cars.

There are many car shipping options. You can either drive your car yourself or hire a truck to transport it. Or you can use a train service.

It takes so much effort to move your car by yourself. You don't have to drive your car for a long distance if you don’t want to. You can turn to car shipping services. They can ship your car via open or enclosed containers, and will deliver it within the promised timeframe.

Shipping your car by train to save money is a better option than shipping it via truck.

Let's learn more about car shipping by train.

What is it like to ship your car by train?

More train lines offer car shipping services. Although it isn't a common option for auto transport, the relatively low costs and ease of transportation make this mode very popular among those who are willing to transport their cars.

The train transport is not only affordable, but you can also fill your car with any other items and boxes you may need.

Shipping Options: Open and Closed container car shipping by train 

You have two options for shipping your car by train, just like any other shipping option. You can either ship it in an open container or an enclosed container.

Open Container Shipping

Open container shipping is a cost-effective option for moving your car by train. However, the vehicle could be damaged or exposed to extreme weather conditions.

Open container shipping is a cheaper option and quicker way to move your vehicle if you don't have any concerns about dirt, debris, or weather conditions.

A quick car wash can help restore your vehicle to its original condition.

Shipping to enclosed containers

You want your car to arrive in perfect condition? You should consider enclosed container shipping. Although enclosed container shipping can be expensive, it gives you peace of mind knowing that your car will arrive exactly as it was before shipping. You should choose enclosed container shipping if you are concerned about the safety of your vehicle.

Average Cost to Transport Your Car by Train

Standard shipping a car from coast to coast by train costs between $600 and $1,000. Shipping a sedan, pickup truck, SUV or small van can cost you between $800 to $1,070.

How to Calculate the Cost of Shipping Your Car by Train

These are some of the factors that could affect the final cost of your train ride if you decide to transport your car by rail.

  • You can choose the rail line that you want for your move.
  • The distance from the pick-up point to the delivery destination. Cross-country shipments are generally cheaper than those that are short-distance.
  • The shipping method of your move is either open or enclosed. Shipping containers enclosed will cost more than open-container shipping.
  • The route of your move - regardless of whether you're moving to or from a well-known (or less famous) route
  • The peak season of the calendar year is. This can lead to an increase in the cost of your shipment.
  • They also raise car shipping prices when fuel prices rise.
  • The final shipping price of your vehicle also depends on its condition. It takes more effort to load and unload inoperable vehicles. This is why you will have to pay more.
  • Shipping larger vehicles like SUVs costs more than shipping smaller cars and standard sedans.
  • You may be charged additional fees for additional services such as service fees, insurance costs, and carrier prices.

Door-to-door shipping can increase the cost of auto transport. Door-to-door shipping eliminates the need to travel to the terminal to pick up your vehicle. This service will transport your vehicle from the pickup terminal to the delivery terminal. Then, it delivers your vehicle to your home!

However, this service can be purchased at an additional cost.

You may also want the door-to-door shipping service but your train shipping doesn't provide this option. You have the option of arranging a third-party auto shipping company to pick up your shipment at the terminal and deliver it to your home.

The Benefits and Cons of Shipping Cars by Train

Below are some facts and figures about shipping your car by train.


  • Shipping your car by train costs less than shipping it via truck.
  • Nearly all routes are covered by train services.
  • There are two ways to transport your car: in an enclosed or open container.
  • Because it leaves less carbon footprint, shipping a car by train can be an eco-friendly option.
  • Many train car shipping companies allow you to pack your car like a suitcase. This means that you can pack your other items in the car and not pay any additional shipping fees.


  • It takes longer to ship your car by train.
  • Additional services can lead to higher costs, such as third-party shipping to deliver your vehicle to your home.
  • Train routes are clearly defined. Your pick-up and drop-off points are therefore limited.

How to Send Your Car by Train [The Step By Step Method]

We have provided a step-by-step guideline for shipping your car. This will help you to keep the process of moving your vehicle more efficient.

Step 1 - Select a train line that offers car shipping services

First, choose the train line you wish to use for your shipping services. Do extensive research to determine which railway line is best suited for your route to your destination.

Step 2 - Provide Your Information

To complete your shipment, most shipping companies will need basic information. They might ask you the following questions:

  • Your car's make, model, age, as well as its operability
  • Delivery and pick-up at your destination
  • When you expect to receive your shipment
  • Contact information (Name, Email and Phone Number)

Based on the information provided, your shipping company might offer you a quote.

Please note that the initial shipping quote is only an estimate. It does not include insurance fees, service charges, or carrier charges. The shipping company will give you a far higher price than the original quote.

Step 3 - Choose your Shipping Mode

Most shipping service provider train lines offer two shipping options. Both open and enclosed containers are available! The additional services can include door-to-door shipping, terminal-to-terminal, or expedited shipping services.

All options aside, terminal-to-terminal car shipping can be an affordable option.

Step 4 - Book Your Shipping

After you have decided on the details for your shipment you can book your shipment. Either you will have to pay shipping charges upfront or once you receive your shipment.

Step 5 - Prepare Your Car

Prepare your car for transit. (Learn more about this later!)

Step 6 - Ship Your Car

Your shipping company will inspect your vehicle together on the shipping day. Once you have agreed upon the condition of the vehicle, you can send it off to your next destination.

Step 7 - Pick up Your Car

Your car will be delivered on the day you requested. If necessary, inspect the car and pay any charges.

It's as easy as that!

Preparing Your Car for Train Shipping

Your shipping company will be more helpful in getting your vehicle ready for shipment by train. It's a good idea to have the right information and be prepared for any eventualities.

These are the steps to take in order to get your car ready for shipping.

Take out the Accessories:

You can transport anything that fits into your car during shipping. But you must remove any attachments that could cause you to lose them. You might need to remove important documents or medical supplies.

Do not take chances with your valuables when shipping your car by train.

Check the Tires and Battery on Your Car:

After the vehicle arrives at the delivery point, you will likely have to drive it to your house. Right?

You don't need to take your car to the shop immediately after delivery. Instead, make sure you check the condition of the battery and tires before you leave.

Take a photo of the current condition of your car

Shipping your car in an open container increases the chances of it getting damaged.

Before you ship your car, make sure you have information on the liability claims that you can file upon delivery. Documenting the condition of your car is a great way to file such claims (if you have any claimable damages).

How long does it take to ship the car by train?

The average shipping time for different car transport train in the US ranges from 6 to 12 days.

It is impossible to predict when your car will be ready for shipping via any train line. These companies will inform you of an expected time. However, delays can be caused by multiple factors.

Here are the factors that can affect the delivery of your vehicle.

Distance: The distance between your pick-up location and the delivery address will play a significant role in the delivery timeframe. It takes just a few days to deliver a car from several hundred miles away. It might take several days. However, it could take up to 10 days to deliver your car across the country. ).

Road Conditions: Roads may be either helpful or detrimental to your delivery timeframe. Your shipment will arrive on time if your driver follows a smoother route. However, if your delivery driver encounters any obstacles on the route, such as major construction or a breakdown in the railway track they will need to slow down.

This will in turn affect the delivery time.

Weather Conditions The weather can also cause delays in your delivery. In winter, snow and ice can block roads and cause delays.

Time Of The Year: Winters can often not be shipped. Most shipping takes place in the summer. Summer is a busy time for car hauling services. It might be more difficult and costlier to book car shipping services in summer. You might also have to wait longer for your car.

Do you need a sedan to ship? Your chances of getting your car shipped quickly are greater. It may be more difficult to find a space large enough to accommodate your vehicle type if you are shipping an SUV, RV, or ATV.

How can I find cheap car shipping services when transporting my car by train?

It is hard to find a car shipping train service that costs less than the others, especially with so many shipping companies overcrowding the market. You never know what the cost of shipping a car will mean for quality.

We'll be discussing some other ways to save money while maintaining high quality.

Take advantage of discounts: When you're looking for the best shipping company for your move, be sure to check out their special offers. You can also ask for discounts if you call a shipping company directly to get quotes.

Select Open-Container Transport, and choose the Terminal-to-Terminal shipping option as an additional service: Both these shipping options are the most affordable. Open-container shipping reduces the cost of additional protection services. The terminal shipping service also offers savings. Some car shipping companies offer terminal-to-terminal delivery options, but not all.

You can be flexible with your delivery times If you have more time, you can consider more shipping companies to complete your shipment. You don't have to agree to a price in order to get your car to you as quickly as possible.

Planning Your Move in an Off-Peak Season: We know that it isn't always this easy. Plan your move during low-demand times of the year, such as January or the busy summer months.

Select a shipping service that offers insurance at no additional cost: Your car's safety should be the top priority. Shipping service providers companies provide insurance coverage at no extra cost. This will make it easier to plan your car's shipment through such companies.

Our recommendation for car shipping by truck or train?

We've done extensive research on the various shipping options for cars and their prices, and we recommend that you use train shipment services to transport your vehicle.

Why? It's the most affordable way to transport your vehicle. It doesn't matter if your car needs to be moved across the country or just a few miles. This will help you save time and money as well as ensure that your car arrives in its best condition.

We recommend that you get quotes from at least three shipping companies before you make a decision on a train transport service. This will help you to understand what the costs will be and how the entire process of shipping your car by train works.

Once you have read and accepted the terms of the train shipping service you will be able to start the various shipping processes.

We wish you all the best for your move