Posted on 12/22/21

The Real Cost Of Shipping A Car

The Real Cost Of Shipping A Car

Shipping a car can be a daunting task, especially if you are unfamiliar with the process. One of the primary concerns when shipping a car is the cost. The cost of shipping a car depends on several factors, including distance, location, vehicle type, size, shipping method, and services. In this article, we will explore the real cost of shipping a car based on these factors.

Distance and Location

One of the most significant factors that determine the cost of shipping a car is the distance and location. The farther the distance, the higher the cost. Shipping a car locally, within a few hundred miles, may cost a few hundred dollars. However, shipping a car cross-country, from one coast to another, may cost over a thousand dollars.

Moreover, the location also plays a vital role in determining the cost. If you are shipping a car to or from a remote location or an area that is difficult to access, the cost may be higher than shipping to or from a major city.

Vehicle Type and Size

The type and size of the vehicle you are shipping also play a significant role in determining the cost. The larger and heavier the vehicle, the higher the cost. Sedans are usually the cheapest to ship, while SUVs, trucks, and luxury cars may cost more due to their size and weight.

Shipping Method and Services

The shipping method and services you choose also affect the cost of shipping a car. Here are some of the options available:

· Open vs. Enclosed Transport: Open transport is the most common method of shipping a car. Your car will be loaded onto an open trailer along with other cars. This method is cheaper but offers less protection from the elements. Enclosed transport is more expensive but provides better protection for your vehicle. Your car will be loaded onto a covered trailer, protecting it from the elements and road debris.

· Door-to-Door vs. Terminal-to-Terminal: Door-to-door shipping means that the carrier will pick up and deliver your vehicle directly to your address. This service is more convenient but may cost more than terminal-to-terminal shipping. Terminal-to-terminal shipping means that you will drop off and pick up your vehicle at a designated terminal. This service is cheaper but less convenient.

· Expedited vs. Standard Shipping: Expedited shipping means that your vehicle will be shipped faster than standard shipping. This service is more expensive but may be necessary if you need your vehicle delivered quickly. Standard shipping is cheaper but may take longer.

The cost of shipping a car also depends on the time of year. The peak season for car shipping is during the summer months when many people are relocating or going on vacations. The cost may be higher during this time due to the high demand for car carriers.

Time of Year and Demand

Seasonal Fluctuations in Shipping Demand

The time of year can have a significant impact on the demand for car shipping services, resulting in fluctuations in shipping costs. For example, the demand for car shipping services is typically higher during the summer months, when individuals are moving to new locations, attending college, or going on vacation. As a result, prices tend to be higher during this time, and it may be more difficult to find a reputable shipping company with availability.

Peak Shipping Times and Delays

It's important to note that peak shipping times may result in delays in transit and delivery times. During the winter months, for example, weather-related delays can occur, causing the shipment to take longer than expected. When planning to ship your car, it's essential to consider the time of year and any potential delays that may impact your delivery.

Company Reputation and Customer Reviews

When considering a car shipping company, it's crucial to research their reputation and read customer reviews. The reputation of a company can give you an idea of their level of service, reliability, and trustworthiness. Customer reviews can provide valuable insights into their experience with the company and highlight any potential issues or concerns.

It's important to note that the cheapest option may not always be the best choice. While it's understandable to want to save money, it's essential to consider the quality of service and reputation of the company when making your decision.

Hidden Fees and Charges

When shipping a car, it's essential to understand the various fees and charges that may be included in the overall cost. Some of these fees may be hidden or not immediately apparent, so it's crucial to review the contract carefully and ask questions if necessary.

Fuel Surcharges and Taxes

Fuel surcharges are common in the car shipping industry and can vary based on the price of fuel. Additionally, taxes may be added to the overall cost, depending on the state or region where the vehicle is being shipped.

Insurance and Additional Coverage

Car shipping companies typically offer insurance coverage for the vehicle during transit. It's essential to understand the level of coverage provided and any additional coverage options that may be available. Additional coverage options may include liability insurance or coverage for expensive or exotic vehicles.

Storage Fees and Late Delivery Charges

If there are any delays in the delivery of the vehicle or if storage is required, additional fees may be incurred. It's important to understand these fees and factor them into the overall cost of shipping the car.

Negotiation and Cost Reduction Strategies

Requesting Multiple Quotes and Negotiating Rates

One way to reduce the cost of shipping a car is to request quotes from multiple companies and compare their rates. This can give you an idea of the average cost of shipping and help you negotiate rates with the company of your choice.

It's important to note that while negotiating rates can be beneficial, it's essential to consider the reputation and quality of service provided by the company. Choosing a company solely based on the lowest price may result in lower quality service or potential issues during transit.


In conclusion, the cost of shipping a car can be influenced by various factors, including the time of year and demand, company reputation and customer reviews, hidden fees and charges, and negotiation and cost reduction strategies. By understanding these factors and taking them into consideration when choosing a shipping company, you can make an informed decision and ensure a smooth and stress-free car shipping experience.