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Direct Express Auto Transport originated the first instant car shipping cost calculator in 2004. No personal information is required to use our quote calculator. We are the highest-rated and most reliable car shipping company.

People Love Direct Express Auto Transport

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How Direct Express Auto Transport Provides The Best Quote Comparisons

When considering whether to use an auto transportation company to ship your car, your first question naturally turns to cost? After all, you could drive it yourself. 

What will speed up auto transport service? The answer is the carrier fee. The highest paying vehicles ship first. Which is why we uniquely offer three tiers of auto transport quotes to compare on every route. How long it takes to ship a car depends upon the tier you select.

With nearly twenty years of experience in the auto transport industry, and having introduced the very first instant quote calculator online, Direct Express Auto Transport scores highest in customer satisfaction. We are experts and can tell you what to expect from start to finish, and how much it will cost to ship a car from your town to any other.

Car Shipping Quote Calculator

We were the first to provide instant auto transport quotes online

Nearly twenty years ago, a customer could not get an auto transport quote online. It did not exist. Back then, auto transport broker websites were merely promotional. Customers who called brokers for a quote to ship a car, would only receive a vehicle shipping estimate if they provided personal information, such as name, address, phone number and email address. We changed all that. 

In 2004, the founder of Direct Express Auto Transport, Mike Rupers, launched the very first instant auto transport quote calculator. We asked for no personal information then, and still do not today. We might be alone in that way. We are different.

When Do You Need Auto Transport Services?

People turn to auto transport services when they are buying a vehicle hundreds or thousands of miles away, and they need their vehicle transported to their home. Or they are moving to another city or state and don’t want to drive the vehicle themselves. So they use auto shipping companies instead. 

As well, college students and military personnel commonly use auto transport services for the same reason. Retirees, often called snowbirds, will use car transport companies to save the hassle of driving. Car transport services are usually very affordable because auto shipping carriers use the same type of hauling trucks that also deliver new vehicles to dealerships.

How To Order Auto Transport Service

1. Answer 5 Quick Car Shipping Quote Questions

Simply enter your origination and destination zip codes. The city, town or area will usually auto-populate. Then choose the year, make and model of the vehicle(s) you are shipping. Select whether it is running or non-running? And then finally, choose whether you wish to go Open or Enclosed transport? That’s it. You should see your car shipping cost in 5 seconds or less! 

Remember, Direct Express Auto Transport uniquely does not ask for any personal information before providing you with a car shipping quote. 

2. Select From Three Auto Transport Pricing Tiers

At Direct Express Auto Transport, we offer three tiers of pricing for every route. That is unique and we hope very helpful. Our car shipping cost calculator determines the most basic rate, the Standard Tier, that works well on popular routes given some customer patience. We recommend selecting the Expedited Tier to ship your vehicle faster. If you are in a bigger hurry, choose the Rush Tier, a very good idea during extreme seasonal fluctuations.

3. Place Your Vehicle Shipment Order

Once you’ve decided upon the best auto transport cost tier for you, please keep going. You are on the right track for a successful vehicle shipment. Our car shipping reviews are stellar! Proceed online to easily place your vehicle shipment order in just minutes. Or call a Direct Express Auto Transport customer service representative during normal business hours at 800-600-3750. No deposit is required to place an order.

4. An Auto Shipping Carrier Gets Assigned

Upon booking, you will instantly receive an order confirmation email. Look for that in your email inbox. Direct Express Auto Transport will notify you via email regarding your auto shipping carrier assignment, which will contain the name of the driver, his phone number, and the estimated dates for pickup and delivery. 


The earliest you may see the carrier assignment email is a few days prior to your first available date to ship. But it also could be a number of days after your first date available, before a car shipping carrier is assigned. We can guide you on how best to speed your order up.

5. Your Pick Up Contact Is Notified

At the same time that Direct Express Auto Transport notifies you via email of the carrier assignment, we also send him your pickup and destination information, including contacts. Please be sure your contacts make themselves available to speak with the carrier dispatch team. Your pickup contact needs to be vigilant and react quickly. You don’t want to miss the car transport carrier.


The auto shipping driver will not just show up unannounced. He or she will call your pickup contact first to coordinate time and place to meet, and also verify information. Most times it is necessary to meet the vehicle transporter close by your neighborhood at a place the driver can safely maneuver. That is still in the spirit of door-to-door service. We make sure the carrier has the proper auto transport insurance coverage. 


Keep in mind that no money changes hands at time of vehicle pickup. Simply fill out a vehicle condition report authorizing the auto shipment and hand over the keys. No other paperwork is necessary. Vehicle title and registration are not needed. It’s actually very easy.

6. Your Delivery Contact Is Notified & Drop Off Made

The auto shipper carrier is once again not supposed to just show up unannounced. The car transport dispatcher ideally should call the day before to alert your destination contact of his pending arrival, and will give a rough estimation of what time of day to expect.


When the car transport carrier does arrive, you should thoroughly inspect your vehicle for any damage, which rarely happens. That is your opportunity to speak up, make proper notes on the vehicle condition report and even take digital photos. Any issues will be addressed later. Regardless of the condition, industry rules state that you are to pay the carrier the balance owed with Cash or Money Order before receiving your vehicle. 


There you have it. Direct Express Auto Transport usually makes this six-step process a breeze and you can drive off with your vehicle.

Direct Express Auto Transport’s Three Tiered Pricing

Standard Rate
Usually Assigned to a carrier 1-8 days from the first date available. And then typically picked up one or two days after assigned.

There is such a thing as a basic auto transport quote and this is it. You are competing against other customers for car transport trailer space. Standard tier, or rate, works well when there is little competition and the route is popular. Otherwise, go to a higher tier to avoid being frustrated.
Expedited Rate
Usually Assigned to a carrier 1-4 days from the first date available. And then typically picked up one or two days after assigned.

If there is a logjam of similar vehicles priced at or near the Standard pricing, just a little bit more can go a long way. With the Expedited tier, or rate, all of a sudden your vehicle is more appealing to car carriers than other vehicles waiting for a lower price. The Expedited car shipping quote might also be used to lure a transport service to a remote location. Take our good advice and just do it. The Expedited car shipping quote is very popular with our customers ...
Rush Rate
Usually Assigned to a carrier 1-2 days from the first date available. And then typically picked up one or two days after assigned.

Some people are in a big hurry. The higher paying Rush tier, or rate, orders tend to get assigned to a car carrier quicker. Since most orders get picked up within one or two days of assignment, the customer also receives his vehicle faster. Of course, there still needs to be a car delivery service making that run and one vehicle alone cannot make that happen. But those situations are the exception and not the rule. Don’t want to mess around? Go with the Rush car shipping quote.

The Main Factors That Determine Car Shipping Cost

Car Shipping Quote Distance

The distance between origination and destination is probably the number one factor determining how much it costs to ship a car. The farther the car moving distance, the higher the expense for car shipping services in terms of fuel, wear and tear on the truck, and time. The price per mile goes down with longer distance, but the overall car shipping quote is higher. The rule of thumb is that the average solo driver (no team), will travel roughly 500 miles per day. Our auto transport quotes calculator was not only the first in the industry, it is still the best at determining the right car shipping price for distances short and long.

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Vehicle Length

A great question is whether the length of the vehicle affects the car delivery service cost? The average sedan or shipping car is about 189 inches long. Any vehicle less than 189 inches becomes more desirable to a professional car shipping service, because it may allow car movers to also ship a longer vehicle for more money. In that vein, longer vehicles over 196 inches start to squeeze a car shipping trailer and he needs to carefully consider how to fit it. Vehicles over 200 inches should certainly have higher pricing to help compensate for the presumed loss in any of the auto transport companies trailer space to accommodate other cars, trucks, vans and SUV’s. Our original first in the industry instant car shipping quotes calculator adjusts for length.

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Vehicle Height

Height matters. Most sedans are about 57 inches high, midsize SUV’s 67 inches and larger SUV’s 73 inches on average. SUV’s are typically have higher pricing to transport than sedans. And special, taller SUV’s are still more than the regular SUV’s because it forces a lower paying sedan to fit over or under it. To compensate for the loss in revenue, we recommend that car shipping companies need more money from the pricing of the much taller SUV’s. And that’s why height matters in car shipping quotes. You can count on our free instant car transport quote calculator to factor height of the vehicle.

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Vehicle Ground Clearance

Direct Express makes sure all vehicles are insured while on the transport carrier. Not everybody is as diligent. The last thing an auto transporter wants is a damage claim. The lower the vehicle ground clearance, the more prone to damage, especially when shipping Open transport. A good rule of thumb would be that any vehicle with 4 inches ground clearance and lower should ship Enclosed, where it can be treated with kid gloves. Any vehicle over 5 inches ground clearance should be safe to go Open. It is that middle inch between four and five that vexes brokers and car transportation services. It can go Open, or to be safe Enclosed. The latter is more expensive by about 40-50%, sometimes more.

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Vehicle Curb Weight

All car shipping services are cognizant of the weight scale stations they must pass through. Nobody wants to be told to remove freight, in this case a vehicle, because he is overweight. Heavier vehicles are also a drag on fuel consumption. That is why vehicles that approach 4,500 pounds and heavier start commanding higher and higher car shipping quotes.

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Vehicle Condition

Is your car operational? Does it run at least well enough to drive it on and off the auto transport carrier? Good. You just saved $200 and maybe more on the non-running fee. It matters to car movers because it is hard to wrestle non-operational vehicles on and off. Car shipping companies prefer to have the option of repositioning a truckload of transport cars, and non-runners put a damper on that flexibility. Finally, there are a limited number of vehicle transport services with a wench to handle the non-runners, and that means they don’t ship nearly as fast as running cars.

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Photo of A Open Transport Carrier

Ship A Car Open or Enclosed

Almost 97% of all car shipments go Open transport. That means they are exposed to the elements. It is the same type of auto transport services that you often see new cars being delivered to dealerships. Open transport is the most cost effective way to ship a car.


The alternative is Enclosed transport. It is the luxury way to ship a vehicle, but costs significantly more. The average Enclosed transport price is roughly 40-50% higher. Part of the reason is that an Enclosed auto hauler can fit only six vehicles, whereas an Open car mover can accommodate nine or ten. Both types of auto transport companies (Open & Enclosed) travel the same distance and have similar expenses. The six vehicles on an Enclosed transport, therefore, must make up the difference in revenue from the Open car moving carrier’s nine or ten.

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Auto Transport Seasonal Fluctuations

Auto Transport’s Seasonal Fluctuations

There are seasonal fluctuations that may affect the car shipment cost, sometimes dramatically. The “snowbirds” from the colder northern states flock to the warmer southern states in the Winter, driving up the price to places like Florida, Texas, California, Arizona and Florida. They return home by the tens of thousands in the Spring, and then car shipping quotes in that direction start to escalate. Our best in class car shipping quotes calculator reflects market conditions during seasonal fluctuations.

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Car Shipping Locations

Car Shipping Locations

Location has a big effect on faster shipping service. According to the 2020 United States Census, 80% of the U.S. population lives in urban areas. That concentration of people makes it easier on car shippers to amalgamate full loads of several vehicles and get on the road. Even still, it is not every day a full load is leaving any city for another. But the chances of it happening sooner rather than later are higher for routes that have higher populations. No personal information is required to use our car shipping quote calculator.

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Finding the Right Auto Transport Service

Car Shipping Quotes & Service from and to the New England States

New England consists of six states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont…

Auto Transport Cost & Service from and to the Atlantic Seaboard States

The Eastern Seaboard states are generally considered to be New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Washington D.C., Maryland…

Reliable Auto Transport Quotes & Service from and to Florida

Florida is probably the biggest car shipping state in the country during “snowbird season”….

Auto Transport Companies from and to the Midwest States

The Midwest is generally considered to be Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota…

Auto Transport Cost from and to Texas & the Southwest States

The southwestern states are Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Texas sure…

Auto Transport Quotes & Service from and to California & the Western States

California is home to nearly one out of every eight Americans. If it were its own country,…

Car Shipping Service To The Southern States

We already discussed Virginia, the Carolinas and Florida as part of the Eastern Atlantic Seaboard…

Car Transport Service To The Great Plains States

The Great Plain states are mainly Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Dakota, North ….

Auto Transport Service To The Pacific Northwest States

The Pacific Northwest includes Washington, Oregon and Idaho. It is a huge…

Car Shipping Service To Colorado

Colorado is synonymous with the Rocky Mountains, which actually…

Reviews From Our Customers

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New England consists of six states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. Despite a low population density, it is relatively easy to ship a car to any three of those six states regardless of the distance. According to the 2020 US Census, the combined New England population is roughly 15.1 million people, or about 4.5% of the total U.S. population.

Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut are easier for auto transporters than it is for Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. Boston is actually the best big hub for auto shippers from or to New England. By far, Boston is the main auto transport hub in New England. 

Southern New Hampshire, for example, is fine for vehicle shipping, because of its proximity to Boston. But once an auto transport service ventures farther north into upper New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine, it becomes increasingly more difficult to move cars in a timely fashion. Our first of a kind Direct Express Auto Transport cost calculator considers that hurdle and adds an incentive for the auto delivery driver.

The Eastern Seaboard states are generally considered to be New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. According to the 2020 US Census, the combined eastern states population is roughly 73.5 million people, or about 22% of the total U.S. population, which obviously helps auto transport cost and service.

New York is like a tale of two cities. The Big Apple is America’s largest city and its positive effect on auto transport companies extends to northern New Jersey, southern Connecticut and eastern Pennsylvania. Upstate New York has far more in common with New England, a mixed bag when it comes to auto transport delivery. Almost all of New Jersey is accessible, including Atlantic City.

In Delaware, Wilmington is by far the best city for auto transport cost and service. In Maryland, what is called the DC corridor, or I-95, runs from Baltimore to Washington, DC and is great for auto transport carriers anywhere. The far western and eastern regions of Maryland (next to Delaware) can be a tad slower. As always, trying to meet an auto transport driver near a big metropolitan area cures the remote location logistical hurdles. Well, that and money. Making it worth an auto transport carrier’s while to go out of his way helps a great deal too.

Southeastern Pennsylvania, in the Philadelphia area, is absolutely fantastic for auto transport rates and service. Venture to central Pennsylvania and the Pocono Mountains, however, and it gets sporadic. The warmer weather months are fine for auto transport carriers. But the winter brings a host of auto transportation logistical problems, as many remote areas become almost impassable for large car transport carriers. If you are also shipping from or to a remote location, the problem of timely auto transport delivery becomes even more pronounced.

Following I-95 straight down the corridor, and we run into Virginia, which is wonderful for auto transporters in the Arlington and Alexandria areas near D.C., and for the most part okay into Richmond and Norfolk. It gets slow in the western part of Virginia near Lynchburg, and the southwestern region as well.

North Carolina is actually easier for auto transport service carriers to Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh-Durham. However, the tawny coastal towns from Elizabeth City to Wilmington are tougher for auto transporters. The same holds true in South Carolina from Myrtle Beach to Hilton Head, with the possible exception of Charleston. Columbia is by far the best place for transporting a car in South Carolina.

Florida is probably the largest car shipping state in the country during “snowbird season”. Every year the snowbirds flock to Florida in the winter, and then return home again in the spring. An auto transport company can’t go wrong following the I-95 corridor along Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, Orlando, Melbourne, Port St. Lucie, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Those are all great destinations from and to Florida. According to the 2020 US Census, the Florida population has roughly 21.8 million people, or about 6.6% of the total U.S. population.

It is much the same thing on the Gulf of Mexico side, following I-75 through Tampa, St. Petersburg, Fort Myers and Naples. Shipping cars to the Gulf coast is a like an easy tropical breeze. Snowbirds from the Midwest states tend to favor the Gulf of Mexico side. The east coast folks tend to favor the Atlantic side, and in particular, New Yorkers gravitate to Miami. But really, you find people from everywhere in Florida. And many are just searching for their lost shaker of salt, as Jimmy Buffett might say.

Go south of Homestead into the Florida Keys, however, and all bets are off. Shipping a car to Key West is extremely difficult. Not many car transport carriers just passing through. Do yourself a favor by meeting an auto transport carrier in either Key Largo or Homestead. You will get the best auto transport cost and service the closer you get to Miami or Fort Lauderdale. That’s good advice to everybody in Florida. 

The Midwest is generally considered to be Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota. It is not hard for an auto transport company to put together a full load in the Midwest. Just look at the big cities packed so closely together: Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Saint Louis, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Des Moines and Minneapolis. Those are very popular car shipping routes. The combined Midwest population is roughly 62.3 million people, or about 18.8% of the total U.S. population.

The freeway system throughout the Midwest is beautifully laid out. For that, we have President Dwight D. Eisenhower to thank. Way to go Ike! The East-West Interstates I-70, I-80, I-90 and I-94 cut through the Midwest states, while the North-South interstates I-35, I-39, I-55, I-57, I-65, I-69, I-71, I-75, I-77 and more, weave their way as well. 

Being in the center of the country, folks in the Midwest are using auto transport services in every direction. Chicago is king, but there are scores of huge metropolitan areas all over the Midwest. Direct Express Auto Transport created the very first auto transport rate calculator in 2004. Try it now in the Midwest. 

The southwestern states are generally considered to be Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. According to the 2020 US Census, the combined Texas, New Mexico and Arizona population is roughly 38.9 million people, or about 11.7% of the total U.S. population.

Texas is almost like two very different states. The eastern part that includes Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Houston, is where most of the Texas population resides, and therefore, most auto transport services happen. Dallas is one of the four easiest places to ship your car in America, the others being Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta. 

The western part of Texas, including Amarillo, Lubbock, Midland and Odessa, and along the Mexican border in places like El Paso, Laredo, McAllen, are so spread out that it becomes very difficult for car transport companies to get things done quickly. The auto transport cost goes way up at the border. It is practically speaking, the end of the distribution line, folks.

New Mexico has only one reliable place for car shipping and that’s Albuquerque. No other place can be counted on, including Santa Fe. For sure vehicles are shipped all over New Mexico, like Las Cruces, but it typically takes longer than average. 

In Arizona, Phoenix is wonderful for auto transport services. That includes Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale and Glendale. All wonderful for the best auto transport rates and service. Farther south, Tucson is good too. Flagstaff much less so because of the higher elevation. Use our original auto transport cost calculator to see the difference.

The western states of California, Nevada and Utah have a combined population of 45.2 million people, which is about 13.6% of the total U.S. population, according to the 2020 US Census. California alone is home to 39 million people. If it were its own country, California’s economy would rank sixth worldwide. No surprise that California is bustling with auto transport carriers. The Los Angeles basin, in particular, is a fantastic place to ship a car.

San Diego is often overlooked and in Los Angeles’ shadow. But it is a huge metropolitan center and an excellent place the best auto transport quotes and service. Once over The Los Angeles Grapevine, as they call it, which is over the San Gabriel Mountains, all of a sudden the road turns to desert. Things get tough in the desert even for towns like Bakersfield and Fresno. The Sierra Nevada Mountain range is also hard for auto transport service companies.

The San Francisco Bay Area, which also includes Oakland, San Jose and Sacramento, is wonderful for auto transport companies. Santa Cruz and Monterey are actually touch-and-go. It happens, but not as fast as you would hope. North of Sacramento, vehicle shipments slow to a crawl. If you are using our auto transport cost calculator, you will see that the best pricing is in the Los Angeles Basin and San Francisco Bay areas.

In Nevada, Las Vegas is a very popular destination for car shipping companies. Everywhere else in Nevada is a lot slower, including Reno. The same holds true for Utah, where auto transport quotes and service go very well in Salt Lake City, but for the rest of the state a customer may wait a while longer for a car shipping service. 

The Southern Dixieland states are generally considered to be Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia. According to the 2020 US Census, the combined southern population is roughly 39.6 million people, or about 11.9% of the total U.S. population. 


Auto transport service reviews are in, and the best car shipping place in Dixie is Atlanta! In fact, Atlanta is one of the busiest auto transport service hubs in the country. Just fantastic! In Alabama, it is Birmingham that works best. The more rural locations tend to be slower for vehicle shipping.


In Mississippi, shipping a car is usually slower, save Jackson, which is only moderately better. It has to do with population size, which is smaller and for the most part very rural in Mississippi. In Louisiana, however, New Orleans, also called “The Big Easy”, is a fine place to ship a car. The rest of Louisiana is a tad slower, and the Bayou can be frustrating. 


Arkansas has Little Rock to speed things along. Tennessee is much easier, because of Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville. Kentucky has the triangle cities of Louisville, Lexington and Covington, across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, which is by far the best place for auto transport companies. West Virginia is the most frustrating state east of the Mississippi River, because of the Appalachian Mountains and sparse population. 

The Great Plain states are Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. Amazingly, in that entire huge swath of land covering so much of the central United States, only Oklahoma City is somewhat reliable to ship a car. Isn’t that something? According to the 2020 US Census, the combined Great Plains population is roughly 12.2 million people, or about 3.7% of the total U.S. population. That’s very few folks across an incredibly large land mass.

In the Great Plains states, we recommend you get your car closer to a major interstate. We shoot straight at Direct Express Auto Transport. It serves no good purpose to sugar coat anything. There are two ways to look at it. There are so few vehicles shipping to or from the Great Plains, which can mean that what is available is actually in high demand. Conversely, there are so few cars available that it becomes difficult and expensive to amalgamate full loads, or about 10 vehicles, to or from the Great Plains. Patience becomes a virtue.

The Pacific Northwest includes Washington, Oregon and Idaho. According to the 2020 US Census, the combined Pacific northwest population is roughly 14 million people, or about 4% of the total U.S.. It is a huge chunk of territory with only three reliable cities for car shippers, Seattle, Portland and Boise. The latter works fairly well if shipping a car in the western region, but otherwise it is not big enough to attract fast service from the eastern half of the country, or for that matter, from or to Auto Transport Direct – Home.

Shipping a car from either Seattle or Portland usually goes lightning fast almost year-round. However, car shipping to Seattle or Portland is slower from anywhere, including (state), except the Pacific seaboard. The rest of Washington and Oregon is very much like Idaho when it comes to car shipping. It is tough. The Direct Express Auto Transport quote calculator will provide a reliable quote to ship your car in any of those places.

According to the 2020 US Census, the Colorado population is roughly 5.8 million people, or about 1.7% of the total U.S. population. Colorado is synonymous with the Rocky Mountains, which actually runs from Canada to New Mexico. For most of the year, an auto transport service can ship a car in a timely fashion from or to Colorado. Once the snow falls and until it melts, however, auto transport service in Colorado becomes extremely difficult. The reality of that is reflected in our auto transport cost calculator. 

From April until about November, in most years, Colorado is easily accessible and inclement weather not a concern. Typically our auto transport rate calculator shows that it is cheaper shipping from Colorado, rather than transporting to it. That is especially true in the large Denver metropolitan area, and in other cities such as Fort Collins, Loveland, Boulder, Aurora, Colorado Springs, Greeley, Longmont, Lakewood and Littleton.