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A Houston to Atlanta Car Shipping driver prepares a vehicle for shipment

Cost to Ship a Car: A Comprehensive Guide

Relocating to a new place can be an exciting experience, but shipping a car can quickly become stressful and overwhelming. Whether you’re moving across the country or just a few states away, the cost to ship a car will be one of your biggest concerns. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of car shipping and provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Factors That Affect The Cost To Ship a Car

The cost of shipping a car depends on several factors, including the move’s distance, the vehicle’s size and weight, and the shipping method. Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors.


The distance of the move is the most significant factor affecting the cost of shipping a car. Longer distances usually mean higher prices. That is because the shipping company will have to spend more time and resources transporting the vehicle from one place to another.

Size and Weight of the Vehicle

The size and weight of the vehicle also play a crucial role in determining the cost of car shipping. Larger vehicles, such as SUVs and trucks, are more expensive to transport than smaller vehicles, such as sedans. That is because larger vehicles require more fuel and space on the auto transport truck and are more challenging to load and unload.

Shipping Method

The shipping method you choose will also significantly impact the cost to ship a car. There are two main methods: open and enclosed shipping. Open vehicle shipping, also called open-air transport, is the most common and affordable option, while enclosed shipping is more secure and expensive.

Average Cost of Shipping a Car

The average cost of shipping a car ranges from $500 to $2,000. This estimate is based on vehicle shipping a standard-sized car within the contiguous United States. However, the actual cost will vary based on the factors discussed above.

Saving Money on Car Shipping

There are several ways to save money on car shipping. Here are some tips to help you reduce the cost of shipping your car:

  • Book in Advance: Booking your shipment in advance will give you more time to compare prices and find the best deal.
  • Compare Quotes: Get quotes from multiple shipping companies and compare the prices to find the best deal.
  • Choose the Right Shipping Method: Choose the most suitable shipping method based on your budget and the level of security you need.
  • Be Flexible with Pick-up and Delivery Dates: Flexibility with pick-up and delivery dates can help you save money.
  • Consider Shipping During Off-Peak Seasons: Shipping during off-peak seasons can be less expensive than shipping during peak seasons.

Search For The Best Car Shipping Company For You

Another way to ensure a successful car shipping experience is to work with a reputable and experienced auto transport company. Do your research, read reviews, and ask for recommendations from friends and family. A reputable auto transport company will have the necessary equipment, expertise, and experience to transport your vehicle safely and efficiently. Remember, the key to saving money on vehicle shipping is to compare quotes, choose the best shipping method, and be flexible with pick-up and delivery dates.

In addition to working with a reputable car shipping company, it’s also important to properly prepare your car for shipping. That includes removing all personal items from the vehicle, checking for any existing damage and making a note of it, and ensuring that your car is in good working condition.

Make Sure Your Vehicle Is Adequately Insured

Finally, ensure adequate insurance coverage for your vehicle during transit. Most car shipping companies will offer insurance coverage, but it’s essential to understand the details and ensure that you have the right coverage for your needs. Maintaining your private auto insurance is also a wise thing to do.


The distance, size, and weight of the vehicle and the shipping method all play a crucial role in determining the cost of shipping a car. Considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and ensure a smooth and cost-effective car shipping experience.

Shipping a car can be a complex and challenging process, but with the right preparation and planning, you can make the experience as stress-free and cost-effective as possible. By considering the factors that affect the cost of shipping, working with a reputable car shipping company, preparing your car properly, and having adequate insurance coverage, you can ensure a successful and enjoyable car transport experience.

The Original Car Shipping Quote Calculator

Direct Express Auto Transport originated the instant car shipping quote calculator in 2004. It is still the best, most sophisticated, reliable tool available anywhere online. We offer three options that we call tiers of car shipping estimates. The standard rate is the cheapest car shipping quote but may take longer. Use it if not in a hurry and are patient. The expedited car shipping rate is most recommended, and we have countless satisfied customers as a result because the shipping process tends to go quicker. The rush rate is our highest level of car shipping service, and we have many customers who are glad they went with that method.

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