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Finding a reputable auto transport company has never been easier. All you have to do submit your auto transport move request to receive various car shipping quotes from our many licensed and insured auto transport partners. We’ll take a look at where you’re moving to; the make, model, year, and condition of your vehicle(s); and your planned move date to put together your free estimate. All car shipping quotes include auto transport costs, as well as more information about company standards.
Average Auto Transport Cost
So how much does it cost to ship a car? CostHelper reports that transporting a four-door sedan coast to coast can run anywhere from $600 to $1,000. While moving an SUV cross-country costs somewhere between $800 to $1,070.
Factors that affect car shipping quotes
Of course, the cost of shipping your car will ultimately depend on a variety of factors including:
- The size and weight of your car Car carriers have a limited number of cars and a limited amount of weight they can each haul. In general, the heavier the car, the more expensive it will be to move it.
- The time of year Since demand is typically highest in the summer, auto transport tends to cost more between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
- The distance traveled Labor costs, tolls and fuel charges all make long distance auto transport pricey. As a result, those moving a car nearby will pay less than those moving their car across the country. Rule of thumb: the more distance you have to move the car, the more expensive your car shipping service will be.
- The make and model of your car In many cases, specialty vehicles, such as luxury cars or classic cars, cost more to move. This is because many specialty cars require special attention and services.
- Insurance needs Your auto transportation company should carry insurance. However, if you’re looking for additional insurance, you may need to purchase a separate policy. Not all auto insurance policies cover vehicles while they are being moved by a car shipping company. Be sure to ask your provider for your policy specifics before purchasing additional insurance.
- Method used Are you using an open air carrier or an enclosed carrier to haul your car? Your transportation method will affect the price of the move.
Open Air vs. Enclosed Auto Transport
Trying to decide between open air and enclosed auto transport? While open air carriers tend to be the most popular way to ship a car (and the most affordable!), enclosed carriers come with important advantages that shouldn’t be overlooked. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of these two auto transport methods.
Open Air Carrier
Pros: One major advantage to shipping your car via an open air carrier is its affordability. Open air car carriers tend to be much less expensive than their enclosed auto transport counterparts. This is because an open air carrier can usually hold up to nine or 10 cars at a time, making it a less expensive endeavor overall. A second pro to choosing an open air carrier company is that they are popular and easy to find. Even if your move is last minute, you should be able to find a reliable car shipping company that’s available. Finally, given that your car will be shipped on an exposed and open trailer, the driver should be able to notice immediately if your car is damaged during the trip and can make you aware of the situation sooner.
Cons: Given an open air carrier’s lack of siding and roof protection, they do present several challenges to potential customers. Namely that your car will be exposed to the elements during its auto transport journey. Depending on the season, this could mean torrential rain, hot sun, blizzards or gusty winds affecting the condition of your car while it’s in route. Given its exposure, your car is also more vulnerable to theft and damage while on the road. Finally, since many of these open air carriers transport and deliver multiple cars at a time, you may have to wait an extra week or two to retrieve your vehicle. And even then, you may have to go pick it up at a central hub instead of having it delivered straight to your doorstep. So before booking an open air transport service, be sure to ask the company whether or not they offer door-to-door delivery.
Pros: Though expensive, enclosed carriers offer many advantages over open-air transport. For one, these enclosed carriers shield and protect vehicles from harsh weather conditions. Those shipping their cars during the winter months who wish to keep their vehicle free from snow and ice damage should consider opting for an enclosed carrier. Another advantage to choosing an enclosed carrier is that your car will have an added level security while in transit. Given that it will be inside an enclosed trailer, the vehicle is much less likely to get broken into or damaged along the way. Finally, choosing an enclosed car carrier means that your car will be one of only four or five cars in transport at one time (oftentimes, less than that!). This means you’ll probably get your car back sooner than if you chose an open air carrier.
Cons: The only major con to choosing an enclosed car carrier (and the reason why few people do) is the high price tag. Given that an enclosed car transport service carries less cars at one time, the cost per car will be higher, according to A-1 Auto Transport.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I find a reputable auto transport company?
Before hiring an auto transport company, make sure that the carrier is licensed and insured. Read reviews online and check their credentials on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website. You can also double-check whether the auto transport company is licensed by looking up the company’s U.S.DOT number on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website. To receive a quote from a reputable auto transport company near you, just submit an auto transport request above.
How much is it to ship a car?
The cost to ship a car varies greatly depending on the distance shipped and the size of your vehicle. Those shipping a car during peak moving season (typically Memorial Day to Labor Day) can expect to pay more, as the demand tends to rise during the summer. In fact, according to CostHelper, shipping a car during the summer costs $200 to $300 more than during the winter months. If you’re shipping your car across the country, you can expect to pay around $1,000. Shorter distances will cost less.
When do I pay the car shipping company?
In many cases, customers aren’t required to pay for the car shipping service until after the car has been delivered. However, many auto transport companies still require an upfront deposit prior to shipping the car. Whatever you do, never pay the full amount until your car has safely arrived at its destination.
Should I choose an open air carrier or enclosed transport?
Choose the auto transportation method that best fits your needs and budget. If you’re trying to save money, then opting for an open air carrier makes sense. If you’re moving a luxury vehicle or valuable vintage car, then consider using an enclosed carrier. Also, those moving during the winter months in harsh weather conditions should opt for an enclosed carrier, as this type of auto transport will better protect cars from the elements.
Can I ship my car with household items inside?
It depends. Many auto transport companies, particularly the open air carrier companies, do not allow customers to keep their belongings in the car for security reasons, as well as weight restriction reasons. However, some car shipping companies do allow customers to pack their cars with household items. Be sure to ask your auto transport company about their policy before shipping your car.
Do I need to purchase insurance when using an auto transport company?
Before hiring a car shipping company, make sure to ask about their insurance policy. By law, auto transport companies must carry insurance. However, it’s your job to ask what exactly their policy covers. For instance, some policies may cover your entire car while in transport, while others may only cover certain parts. Depending on your policy, your own auto insurance company may cover your vehicle while it’s in transport. Be sure to ask whether or not this is the case before purchasing additional insurance.
Do auto transportation companies provide door-to-door delivery?
Many auto transportation companies do provide door-to-door delivery for customers. However, this service often comes with a higher price tag. If using an open air carrier, ask whether or not the service is included in the price. If your car shipping company only delivers cars to one central hub, ask them for available pick-up times and location directions.
4 Alternatives to Using an Auto Transporter
Looking to explore other auto transport options? Here are four alternatives to using an open air or enclosed car carrier to move your vehicle:
Amtrak’s Auto Train Believe it or not, Amtrak’s trains are capable of transporting everything from sedans and vans to SUVS to motorcycles. Those moving along the East Coast between Washington, DC and Orlando, Florida can load their car onto the Auto Train to be transported to their destination. For more information on Amtrak’s Auto Train, check here.
Driving it yourself While certainly the most time consuming, this option allows you to have total control over your car’s move. If you’re moving a short distance, then this is certainly the easiest and cheapest option. If you’re moving out-of-state and/or across the country, this isn’t going to be easy but it can be done. Those up for a road trip should consider this inexpensive alternative to hiring an auto transporter.
Hiring a professional driver If you’re unable to drive the car yourself, but want it to have plenty of personal attention, try hiring a professional driver to move the car for you. While pricey, this option tends to be much more personal than the open air or enclosed trailer options. According to uShip.com, plenty of auto transportation companies actually offer a personal driving service to transport vehicles. The website points out that the drivers are screened and covered by the company’s insurance. However, driver availability is not always guaranteed and you need to be prepared to pay a premium for deadline service, reports the online shipping marketplace. Of course, keep in mind that hiring a professional driving service is more expensive than shipping your car via a traditional auto transporter.
Enlisting a non-professional to drive the car Looking for a budget-friendly option that doesn’t involve you driving the car? Ask around and see if you can find a friend or family member to drive the car. You can also try paying a trustworthy non-professional driver to move your car. Not only will this end up being more affordable than hiring a professional driver, but it will also be more personal than using a large auto transport carrier. Before enlisting a non-professional to move your car, work together to agree upon a price. Also, be sure to wait to pay them until after your car has arrived safe and sound. A non-professional driver should have a valid driver’s license, as well as insurance in case of an accident. Double-check your own auto insurance policy to ensure that it covers potential accidents as well.
Why You Should Use Moving.com to Request Auto Transport
You can rest assured that every auto transport company we partner with is licensed, insured, and readily prepared for all the challenges associated with your car transportation needs. We truly believe that the companies we work with are the best in the business and deliver not just your belongings, but also the peace of mind of a successful move. So don’t let moving your vehicles add unnecessary stress to your move planning. Let us find the right auto shipper for you.