The Original Auto Transport Quote Calculator

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How Much Does It Cost To Ship My Car?

The 9 Main Factors That Determine Car Shipping Cost

Car Shipping 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 distance, the higher the expense for the carrier in terms of fuel, wear and tear on the truck, and time. The price per mile goes down with distance, but the overall car shipping rate is higher. The rule of thumb is that the average sole driver (no team), will travel roughly 500 miles per day. The Direct Express quote calculator was not only the first in the industry, it is still the best at determining the right car shipping rate for distances short and long.

Vehicle Length

The length of the vehicle affects the car transport cost. The average sedan or car is about 189 inches long. Any vehicle less than that becomes more desirable to a car carrier because it may allow him to also transport a longer one for more money. In that vein, longer vehicles over 196 inches start to squeeze a car transporter and he needs to carefully consider how to fit it. Vehicles over 200 inches should certainly be priced higher to help compensate for the presumed loss in carrier space to accommodate other cars, trucks, vans and SUV’s. Our original first in the industry car shipping calculator adjusts for length.

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 priced higher to transport than sedans. And 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, the carrier needs more money from the shipping rate of the much taller SUV’s. And that’s why height matters in car shipping. You can count on our free car transport quote calculator to factor height of the vehicle.

Vehicle Ground Clearance

Direct Express makes sure all vehicles are insured while on the transport carrier. Not everybody is as diligent. The last thing a car 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 carriers. It can go Open, or to be safe Enclosed. The latter is more expensive by about 40-50%, sometimes more.

Vehicle Curb Weight

All car transport carriers 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 rates, which is reflected in the quote.

Vehicle Condition

Is your car operational? Does it run at least well enough to drive it on and off the carrier? Good. You just saved $150 on the non-running fee. It matters to a carrier because it is hard to wrestle non-operational vehicles on and off. The carrier prefers to have the option of repositioning his load, and non-runners put a damper on that flexibility. Finally, there are a limited number of carriers with a wench to handle the non-runners, and that means they don’t ship nearly as fast as running cars despite the extra $150.

Type: Open or Enclosed Transport

Almost 97% of all car shipments go Open transport. That means exposed to the elements. It is the same type of carrier 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 carrier can fit only six vehicles, whereas an Open carrier can accommodate nine or ten. Both types of carriers (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 carrier’s nine or ten.

Auto Transport 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 vehicle shipping rates in that direction escalate. Our best car shipping quotes calculator reflects market conditions during seasonal fluctuations.

Car Shipping Locations

Location has a big effect on faster car shipping service. According to the 2010 United States Census, 80.7% of the U.S. population lives in urban areas. That concentration of people makes it easier on car transporters 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 the Direct Express quote calculator.

How Auto Transport Works

Your vehicle is just 5 steps away to on its way and delivered.

Car transport quote

Get Your Auto Transport Quote

How much does it cost to ship my car? To find out and instantly see your auto transport quotes, simply enter your origination and destination zip codes anywhere in the continental USA. 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. Click the “Get My Quote Now” button and you should see your vehicle shipping cost in 15 seconds!

Car Shipment Order

Order Your Vehicle Shipment Online

You may have noticed that Direct Express is perhaps the only major auto shipping broker who does not ask for any personal information before providing the visitor with a quote. Your name, phone number and email address are not required, which makes us unique, maybe even cool. But now we do need to know more about you and your vehicle because that information is appropriate to transport your car. It will take only five minutes to fill out the online order form. Please provide your pickup and destination contacts. Choose the first date your vehicle is available for pickup, while understanding it might be later that a carrier emerges. Your vehicle is insured up to $150,000. Upon checkout, please place a nominal deposit with your credit or debit card and your order is officially submitted.

Car Shipping Carrier

Car Shipping Carrier Assignment Notification

Upon entering your vehicle transport order either online or by calling our customer service representatives at 800-600-3750, you will instantly receive an Order Confirmation email. Next and hopefully sooner rather than later, a Carrier Assignment email will be sent containing the name of the car shipment driver, his phone number and the estimated dates for pickup and delivery. The first available date is simply the starting date and it may take longer to get assigned.

Auto Transport assignment

Your Assigned Auto Transporter Will Call Your Pickup Contact

Direct Express Auto Transport notifies the carrier about your pickup and destination information, including contacts. The carrier should not show up unannounced. He should call your pickup contact first to coordinate time and place to meet, and also verify information. Most times it is necessary to meet the auto transport service close by at a place the driver can safely maneuver a big truck. That is still in the spirit of door-to-door service. No money changes hands at pickup. Simply fill out a vehicle condition report authorizing the car shipment and hand over the keys to the driver. No other paperwork is necessary. Auto shipping can be very easy with the right coordination.

Car Shipping delivery

Your Car Transport Order Arrives at its Destination

The vehicle transporter is once again not supposed to just show up unannounced. The driver ideally should call the day before to alert your destination contact of his pending arrival. There are often delays, but when the carrier does arrive, please inspect your vehicle for any damage, which rarely happens. That is your opportunity to speak up, make proper notes in the vehicle condition report and even take digital photos. Regardless of the condition, industry rules state that you are to pay the auto shipping service driver the balance owed with Cash or Money Order before receiving your vehicle. There you have it. Direct Express Auto Transport usually makes this five-step process a breeze and you can drive off with your vehicle.

Auto Transport Is What We Do

Auto Transport Quotes – Our Three Levels

Auto Transport Standard Rate

Auto Transport Standard Rate

There is such a thing as a basic auto shipping rate from any point to any other point. It must be acceptable for a auto transporter service. That is our Standard Rate. Whether you realize it or not, you are actually competing against other customers for car carrier space when shipping a vehicle cross-country or even regionally. Choosing the Standard Rate means you understand that you might ship right away, or in a few days after the first date available, or possibly longer if lots of competition or a lack of carriers. Obviously, nobody can guarantee what cannot be controlled. But we do try to exert some modem of control with our Expedited and Rush rates.

Car Shipping Expedited Price

Car Shipping Expedited Rate

The Expedited Rate is the proverbial tie breaker if there is a logjam of similar vehicles priced at or near the Standard Rate. You know, just a little bit more can go a long way. All of a sudden, your vehicle is more appealing to a carrier than others waiting. It is often times worth it to many customers to pay just a wee bit more and eliminate stress. Pay the carrier (not us) more and save on rental fees on the other end. Smart. The Expedited Rate might also be used to lure a carrier to a remote location. It might not seem “expedited” if it still takes the better part of a week to be assigned, but it might have taken even longer had you not opted for it. Take our good advice and just do it. The auto shipping Expedited Rate is very popular with our customers.

Car Transport Rush Quote

Car Transport Rush Rate

The Rush Rate is only about a couple hundred bucks more than the Standard Rate, but sure seems to get carriers to jump. Some people are in a big hurry. Maybe in a bind or very anxious. If a carrier is putting together a full load of several cars, trucks and SUV’s, then he is quite naturally drawn to the higher paying Rush Rate order. Those tend to get Assigned quicker, and 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 carrier 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 Rush Rate.

Watch How Car Shipping Works

What Is The Auto Transport Industry?

Auto Transport IndustryThe auto transport industry can be separated into three parts: Brokers, Carriers, and Lead Providers. Auto shipping brokers book the overwhelming majority of the orders and need the carriers to haul their customers’ vehicles. The vehicle carriers are usually independent owner operators (tens of thousands of them) on the road and unable to fill their truck space themselves. Carriers need the auto transport brokers to do that. It is actually a very efficient system. No auto transportation company could even begin to service the entire country. It would be impossible. Then comes the notorious vehicle shipping lead providers masquerading as legitimate vehicle shipping brokers online with websites that mimic broker sites. The lead providers sell their visitors’ information. Direct Express Auto Transport is one of the very few vehicle shipping companies that do not buy leads, and therefore, do not sell customer information to third parties. An honest and ethical auto shipping broker is best equipped to service the customer.

Direct Express Auto Transport Reviews

Why We Are A Five Star Auto Transport Company

Direct Express Auto Transport consistently earns high auto shipping reviews, usually five stars on TransportReviews, TrustPilot, FaceBook, the BBB and Google+ Plus. Some reviewers are later offered a small rebate on their deposit, which is not tied to their rating score nor price, as an incentive to share their experience. The thing to remember is that we have shipped over 200,000 new and used vehicles and while not perfect, ours is an amazing track record of success. Our car transport quote calculator does such the best job of providing free accurate rates that we simply have a much higher percentage of satisfied customers. It also helps that Direct Express Auto Transport has an experienced staff of customer service representatives. We care and it shows. Call us today at 800-600-3750!

Direct Express Auto Transport

Hours of Operation

Eastern: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm
Central: 8:00 am – 7:00 pm
Mountain: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
Pacific: 6:00 am – 5:00 pm

Covered Up To $150,000

Door-to-Door Auto Transport Service
In the spirit of Door-to-Door, our network of vehicle carriers pickup and deliver as close as they can to the customer.

Customer Service Professionals
We have an experienced staff of seasoned customer service professionals ready to help in any way they can. Call us now at 800-600-3750.

The Car Shipping Carrier Network
We have at our disposal a network of over ten thousand drivers. We know them and they know us.