July 22, 2024
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How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Car?

How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Car

Are you planning to shift your residence within the country or across the country?  Have you bought a new car and need to transport it from one place to another? Whatever the reason, shipping a car is always a hectic process.

When driving for a long distance is very onerous, shipping a car is the best option through a trustworthy shipping company.

If you are wondering how much does it cost to ship a car? Don’t worry; in this article, I will look at the various ways to ship a vehicle within a country and across the country and also discuss the estimated cost of shipping, the type of shipping, and the factors affecting the final cost of shipping.

How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Car?

Before getting the estimated cost of shipping a car, first, you will have to determine the location from where you want to ship a car.

1. Shipping within the country

When you ship a car within the same country, the shipping cost is normally lower. The average price range for domestic car shipping is around $500 to $1,500.

2. Shipping across the country

But when you ship a car across the country (covering a longer distance), you will have to pay a higher cost compared to domestic shipping. The average price range for shipping across the country is estimated between $1,000 and $2,500.

Costs Shipping Your Car

What are the most Common Ways of Shipping a Car According to its Nature?

Your ways of transporting a car also affect your shipping cost. People usually adopt the following ways to ship a car.

1-Port-to-Port Shipping

Port-to-Port Shipping is an ideal way for those who have to ship their car overseas. Here, the car is loaded on a ship at a port and transported to the port of another country. It is much more expensive than all the other options, but it’s necessary, especially for those who want to ship their car outside the country.

2- Terminal-to-Terminal shipping

In Terminal-to-Terminal shipping, you are responsible to drop the car at the closest terminal near your residence, and then picking it up at the terminal closest to the delivery location. Here, you will pay fewer amounts. It is usually used within the country.

3-Door-to-Door Shipping

In door-to-door shipping, the shipping company is responsible to pick up your car from your residence and deliver directly to your desired location. It will cost you more compared to the terminal-to-terminal shipping service where you pick up and drop off at specific terminals.

Car Shipping Options

How Do the Shipping Companies Charge Their Cost?

Shipping companies charge their cost in different ways.

  • Some shipping companies charge the price according to the distance between one city to another city or one country to another country. They offer one package for the first 500 km and another package for a distance of more than 600 km.
  • But some shipping companies charge a cost per KM. As they charge more for the first 500KM and then give some relaxation.
  • Sometimes the shipping companies charge their cost according to the type of car you are shipping. They calculate the size, weight, and the nature of the vehicle.   

How Do the Modes of Shipping A Car Affect The Cost?

It is a commonly asked question how much does it cost to ship a car? It all depends on the modes of shipping. Your cost will fluctuate according to the mode of shipping you adopt. Generally, there are two common modes of shipping a car.

1-Open Air Carrier

Open Air Carriers are a very famous mode of shipping. Almost, 75% of people adopt it because it is a budget-friendly mode. This type of carrier can carry 6 to 10 cars at a time. So they charge less cost. But they leave your car exposed to different weather conditions like dust, storm, debris, rain, and snow. These carriers are useful for open vehicles.

2-Enclosed Carrier

Enclosed carriers are mostly expensive than open-air carriers. These carriers can protect your vehicle from harsh weather conditions.  Generally, they are the best option for luxurious vehicles. They have four walls around them to save your car from damage.

What are the Most Common Vehicles Used for Shipping a Car?

When you ask how much it costs to ship a car across the country, you must know the type of vehicles used for this purpose. The following are the common vehicles used with different costs.


The airplane is the fastest means of transportation that can ship a car across the country. You load your car on a cargo plane and transport it to your desired destination.

It is very popular and suitable for those who want to convey their car quickly or for those who have luxury cars. Here, the cost of shipping easily exceeds the actual value of the car.

2-Freight Train

It is a budget-friendly option. Generally, commercial carriers do not work with individuals for shipping a single vehicle. So you have to get the services of a transportation company where the space may be limited. Then there are the restrictions of the terminals to get your car to and from.

3-Passenger Train

Passenger trains also offer car shipping services. It is also a very budget-friendly vehicle to move your car across the country. They load your car onto a flatbed railcar which is completely secured with straps and chains.

Although it is not fully protected from the weather it’s a safe and reliable option for those who want to reduce shipping costs. You can ride on the passenger train with your vehicle with an additional passenger ticket.


Trucks, both open and closed are the most commonly used option for shipping cars. Most of the people are familiar with them. They usually transport vehicles from warehouses to dealerships, but they are also used to ship cars.

If you ship your car on a truck, you may have to pay between $700 and $1,600 depending on other factors. It is a practical and convenient mode of shipment. Because the trucks often load multiple vehicles, they need some flexibility from your side in case of delay.

5-Cargo Ship

Cargo shipping is also one of the best options to ship a car. The trains or trucks are quite cost-effective for shipping within the country. But when you plan to ship to other countries or continents, then cargo ships are the best safe and affordable options.

They have enclosed containers to protect your cars and they often charge between $1,000 and $3,000 according to the destination.

The following chart will show the estimated cost of shipping a car by each mode of travel.

Transport TypeOpen-air- carrierEnclosed carrierAirplaneFreight TrainPassenger TrainPort-to-Port Shipping
Estimated Cost$800 to $1,500$1,200 to $2,000$2,000 to $5,000$500 to $700$400 to $700$1,500 to $3,000

What are the Factors affecting the cost of shipping a car across the country?

When you talk about shipping a car across the country, it’s very essential to consider all the factors that may affect the cost.

So the cost of shipping a car varies widely depending on numerous factors which include the type of car, shipping modes, pickup and delivery place, and the time.

It’s very necessary to understand how these factors affect the cost of shipping your car so that you can make a well-informed decision in choosing the best shipping options for you.

This section will explore those factors so that you may better prepare yourself for the process.

1-Distance of Shipping

The distance between the pickup and delivery places primarily affects the cost of shipping a car across the country. The mileage between two points determines the cost.

If the distance is more, more fuel as well as labor will be required and this will ultimately lead to higher shipping costs.

Moreover, the place of the pickup and delivery spot can also affect the cost. Shipping to remote areas always requires additional fees.

2-Type of car

The type of your car being shipped is a central factor determining the transport cost. If you ship a larger car like an SUV, it will take up more space on the carrier and needs more fuel to transport.

Furthermore, luxury cars may require extra insurance for security measures during transport. So they will cost you more than the common cars.

3-Season of Work

 During the peak work season, such as summer or most essential holidays, shipping companies’ demand is typically higher, leading to higher shipping rates.

But if you can delay some time, wait for the off-season, and get your car booked in advance, you can get the best possible and cheap price.

4-Size of Car

If your car is bigger, it will cost more to ship. Generally, a bigger-sized vehicle costs $80 more than a smaller size in both open and enclosed transport.

5-Weight of Car

The cost of shipping a car is also affected by the weight of your vehicle. If it is heavy, you will have to pay more than a car lighter in weight.

6-Number of Cars

The number of cars you are transporting will also play a vital role to determine the shipping cost. If you load more than one car, you will pay more. But sometimes, the companies give discounts for shipping more at a time.

7-Shipping options

You have to consider more than one shipping option before making a decision. Open-air carrier is a widely used and the most affordable shipping option for cars.

While on the other hand, enclosed carrier is a more expensive option. But it gives complete security and better protection for your vehicle using straps. Here, your car is loaded into an enclosed trailer that is shielded from any external damage.

8-Delivery Places

Your delivery place also plays an important role to determine the shipping cost. If you prefer door-to-door service which is the most convenient option for you, it’s the most expensive.

But if you want a more affordable option, then pick the terminal-to-terminal option. With a little extra effort on your part, you can save some part of your money.

9-Vehicle condition

 The condition of your car also affects the price. If your car is in good condition, you have to pay less. But improperly conditioned car demands extra labor of loading and unloading, so it is more expensive to ship.

 10-Fuel costs

The fuel prices affect greatly determining the shipping cost of your car. When gas and fuel prices are higher, professional car shipping companies also raise their prices. But if the fuel prices are low, you can have shipped your car at an affordable cost.

11- Expedite Delivery

If you ship your car in a normal routine, you pay the typical cost. But if you have no more time to wait, and you want speedy and urgent delivery, you will have to pay double cost and sometimes triple cost.

What are the Benefits of Shipping a Car?

When you buy a car, you often think about how much it costs to ship a vehicle as well as what are the benefits of shipping instead of driving. There are the following benefits of shipping your vehicle.

1-Safety of the Driver

When an individual driver drives the car for longer distances for many days, he may feel stressed and may have experience of car crashing during his move.

So shipping a car reduces not only the driver’s stress but also ensures the full safety of the vehicle and relaxes the owner.

2-Protection of the Car

For covering longer distances, different parts of your car such as the engine, tires, belts, radiator, brakes, etc. are subject to wear. The rocks, debris, tar, and other materials flying up along with road at a high speed also damage your car.

 So shipping a car can save the vehicle from all types of damage and preserves its resale value.

3-Peace of Mind

Everybody is not comfortable driving long distances, dangerous roads, and especially when driving in unfamiliar cities.

So shipping a car will relax you mentally and keep you away from stressful situations.

4- Insurance or Guarantee

In individual driving, if you, unfortunately, meet an accident, you are responsible for loss both physically and economically.

But shipping a car, the companies guarantee and ensure the insurance of your loss. So it is very safe and protective.

Some Necessary Precautions

When you want to ship your car, you must keep the following things in mind.

  • Choose the carrier within your budget range
  • Get quotes from different shipping companies and finalize the affordable one.
  • Always get your car booked in advance
  • Take pictures of the car before loading for future security in case of loss.
  • Take away your precious luggage from the car before loading.
  • Inspect each and everything carefully while receiving your car.


When you buy a new or used car and want to get it shipped within the country or across the country, you naturally think about how much it costs to ship a car.

So first decide the mode of transport, get quotes from different cargo companies, book the type of carrier suitable for you, and determine the proper time, then order to ship your car. Lastly, inspect everything in your car at the time of delivery.

I hope you get quite enough information about shipping a car from this article. I have tried to cover all the areas regarding the shipping from bidding to delivery. Best of luck, I will come with the next informative article. 

FAQs about Shipping Costs of a Car

Here, I have covered some of the most asked questions that readers often have:

How much does it cost to ship a car across the country?

Cargo ship is the best option to ship a car across the country. Its shipping cost ranges between $1000 and $3000.

What is the budget-friendly way to ship a car?

The train is the budget-friendly way to ship your car. It is the best option for routine shipping. But it is less flexible with pick-up dates and locations.

What is the average cost to ship a car per KM?

Many companies charge $1 per mile up to 500 KM. It is the average cost to ship a car per KM. But some companies charge higher depending on different factors.

Can I keep my things in my car while shipping?

Yes, you can. But if you want to keep them, then you have to pay extra cost as it increases the car’s weight. The companies mostly stress reducing the weight even the gas tank. So, you should not keep personal things in your vehicle.

The other reason is that many transport companies haven’t licensed to ship cars with personal possessions. So if they are caught, they will be fined.

 How can I find the best company to ship my car?

There are many different shipping companies in the world. You can find the best one depending on your delivery point and destination.

Can I get hire a driver to transport my car outside the country?

Yes, you can hire an expert driver who can drive it outside the country. But it would be more expensive. You can drive your car yourself.  It may be the cheapest alternative, but a tiresome and stressful one.

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