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The Original Car Shipping Cost Calculator

How much does car shipping cost? The Direct Express Auto Transport quote calculator has been the best since 2004. No personal information required. It’s hassle free! Find out why we are the most reliable car shipping company!

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How much does it cost to ship a car?

Car shipping quotes vary greatly depending on distance, size of the vehicle, locations, and seasonality. Thre is no easy answer whether to drive or ship a car. For the most part, it is less expensive to drive your vehile… unless one thing goes wrong. Then you will have wished that you had shipped the car and saved yourself the stress and aggrivation. All in all, car shipping cost is remarkably affordable and easier than you ever imagined. Curious about what it will cost to ship your car anywhere? Our customer service staff can give you great advice when you call 800-800-3750.

Car transport brokers and carriers explained

The auto transport industry can be best separated into Brokers and Carriers. The car transport brokers book the vast majority of customer orders and rely heavily on auto transport carriers to move the vehicles. It is a very efficient system, which allows brokers and carriers, usually on load boards such as CentralDispatch, to collaborate and get vehicles shipped. The brokers absolutely need carriers. The reverse is also true, as the carriers are too busy on the road, and must depend on the brokers to fill their truck space.

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 it shipped to their home. Or they are moving to another city or state and don’t want to drive their vehicle themselves. So they ship it instead. College students and military personnel commonly use car shipping services for the same reason. Retirees, often called snowbirds, will use car transport companies to save the hassle of driving. Auto transport services are usually very affordable because carriers use the same trucks that also deliver new vehicles to dealerships.

How To Order A Car Shipment

1. Get Your Car Shipping Quote

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! Direct Express does not ask for any personal information before providing you with a car shipping quote. We are one of the only auto transport brokers in the business to do this! Your name, phone number and email address are not required to get a quote.

2. Select From Three Auto Transport Quote Rate

At Direct Express Auto Transport, we offer three rate of pricing based upon how much of a hurry you are in? Most customers don’t realize it, but they are actually competing against other customers for space on a car transport trailer. Obviously, a carrier will want to select the best paying orders. We are very good at figuring that out. Our car shipping cost calculator determines the most basic rate (Standard Tier), that works well on popular routes with little competition. But in remote locations at either end, or in stiff competition on popular routes, we recommend selecting the Expedited Tier. If in an even bigger hurry, choose the Rush Tier, a very good idea during extreme seasonal fluctuations.

3. Order Your Auto Shipment

Once you’ve decided the best car shipping cost tier for you, please 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. Either the online form or customer service representative will ask you to provide pertinent information such as your pickup and destination contacts, and the first date that your vehicle is available for pickup. Upon checkout, please enter your credit or debit card information so that your order is officially entered. Your credit card will only be charged upon assignment. Isn’t that nice? No deposit is required to place an order.

4. Assignment To A Car Transport Carrier

Upon booking, you will instantly receive an Order Confirmation email. Look for that in your email inbox or drag it over from another folder. Direct Express Auto Transport will notify you via email regarding your 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 may also be a number of days after your first date available before a carrier calls to lay claim to your order. It is generally not every day that a carrier is leaving one town for another with a full load. The first available date is simply the starting date. Talk to our customer service team about how to hasten the car shipping process?

5. Your Shipping Contact Is Notified And Vehicle Picked Up

At the same time that Direct Express notifies you via email of the Carrier Assignment, we also send the carrier your pickup and destination information, including contacts. Please be sure your contacts make themselves available to speak with the carrier. Your pickup contact needs to be vigilant and react quickly. You don’t want to miss the car transport carrier because it might be awhile before another is ready to go.

The carrier 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 carrier close by your neighborhood at a place the driver can safely maneuver his or her big truck. That is still in the spirit of door-to-door service. Keep in mind no money changes hands at pickup. Simply fill out a vehicle condition report authorizing the car shipment and hand over the keys. No other paperwork is necessary. It’s actually very easy.

6. The Auto Transporter Delivers Your Vehicle

The auto transporter, or carrier, 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, and will give a rough estimation of what time of day to expect. They almost always miss the target time, so please be patient and understanding. Other customers may delay him. Traffic conditions might slow him. Mechanical difficulties or inclement weather might throw a monkey-wrench into his plans. He wants to deliver your car as fast and as badly as you do. Time is money and delays frustrate him too.

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

01
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.
02
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 ...
03
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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Ship A Car Open or Enclosed

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 Car Transport Service

Car Shipping Service To The New England States

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

Auto Transport Service To The Atlantic Seaboard States

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

Car Transport Service To Florida

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

Auto Transport Service To The Midwest States

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

Auto Transport Service To Texas & The Southwest States

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

Car Shipping Service To California & The Western States

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

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…

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 ….

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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 shipping cars to any of three of those six states regardless of the distance. According to the 2020 US Census, the combined New England population is roughly 15 million people, or about 5% of the total U.S..

Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut are easier to ship a car than it is Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. Boston is actually the best big hub for car shippers PWS landing page home 2 to New England. Seemingly all roads lead PWS landing page home 2 to Boston.

Southern New Hampshire, for example, is fine for car shipping PWS landing page home 2, 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 ship cars in a timely fashion PWS landing page home 2. Our first of a kind Direct Express Auto Transport quote calculator considers that hurdle and adds an incentive for the car shipping carrier driver.

The Eastern Seaboard states are generally considered to be New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina. According to the 2020 US Census, the combined eastern states population is roughly 74 million people, or about 22% of the total U.S., which obviously means a lot of car shipping traffic PWS landing page home 2.

New York is like a tale of two cities. The Big Apple is America’s largest city and its positive effect on car shipping PWS landing page home 2 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 car shipping. Almost all of New Jersey is accessible PWS landing page home 2, including Atlantic City.

In Delaware, Wilmington is by far the best for car shippers PWS landing page home 2. In Maryland, what is called the DC corridor, or I-95, runs from Baltimore to Washington, DC and is great for car shipping anywhere PWS landing page home 2. The far western and eastern regions of Maryland (next to Delaware) can be a tad slower. As always, trying to meet an auto transporter 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 car shippers PWS landing page home 2. 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 car shipping problems as many remote areas become almost impassable for large car shipping carriers. If you are also shipping from or to a remote location PWS landing page home 2, the problem of timely car shipping becomes even more pronounced.

Following I-95 straight down the corridor, and we run into Virginia, which is wonderful for car shippers 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 southwestern part as well.

North Carolina is actually easier for car shipping carriers PWS landing page home 2  to Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh-Durham. However, the cute coastal towns from Elizabeth City to Wilmington are tougher for car shippers. The same holds true in South Carolina from Myrtle Beach to Hilton Head, with the possible exception of Charleston. PWS landing page home 2 Columbia is by far the best place for shipping a car in South Carolina.

Florida is probably the biggest car shipping state in the country during “snowbird season”. Every year the snowbirds PWS landing page home 2 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 PWS landing page home 2. According to the 2020 US Census, the Florida population is roughly 22 million people, or about 7% of the total U.S.

It is the same thing on the Gulf of Mexico side following I-75 through Tampa, St. Petersburg, Fort Myers and Naples. Shipping cars to there is a like an easy tropical breeze. Snowbirds from the Midwest states tend to favor the Gulf side. The east coast folks tend to favor the Atlantic side, and in particular, New Yorkers gravitate to Miami. But really, you find people PWS landing page home 2 all over just about everywhere in Florida.

Go south of Homestead into the Florida Keys, however, and all bets are off. Shipping a car to Key West is almost like shipping it to Cuba. Who do you think is passing through? Jimmy Buffett? You will find him looking for his lost shaker of salt in Margaritaville. Where is that? Wherever you are in the Florida Keys is Margaritaville. Ha! But seriously folks, PWS landing page home 2 do yourself a favor by meeting an auto transport carrier driver in either Key Largo or Homestead.

The Midwest is Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota. It is not hard for a car shipping company to put together a full load in the Midwest PWS landing page home 2. 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 routes PWS landing page home 2. The combined Midwest population is roughly 50 million people, or about 15% of the total U.S..

The freeway system throughout the Midwest is beautifully laid out. For that, we have President Dwight D. Eisenhower to thank. Way to go Ike!

We consider the southwestern states to be Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. The eastern part that includes Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Houston is where most of the population resides and, therefore, most auto transport shipments take place. According to the 2020 US Census, the combined Texas and southwest states population is roughly 49 million people, or about 15% of the total U.S.

Texas is really like two very different states.PWS landing page home 2 Dallas is one of the four easiest places to ship a car, the others being Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta. The western part of Texas, and along the Mexican border, is so spread out that it becomes very difficult for auto transport companies to get things done quickly.

New Mexico has only one reliable place for car shipping and that’s Albuquerque. No other place can be reliably counted on, including Santa Fe. It happens most certainly, but slowly. We recommend adding more to lure a car shipping service.

In Arizona, Phoenix is wonderful for car shipping companies. Tucson is alright. Flagstaff much less so. Use our original car shipping cost calculator to see the difference.

California alone is home to 39 million people, or nearly one out of every eight Americans. If it were its own country, California’s economy would rank sixth worldwide. No surprise that California is bustling with auto transport carriers. According to the 2020 US Census, the combined California and western states population is roughly 46 million people, or about 14% of the total U.S..

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 to ship a car . 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 car shipping service companies.

The San Francisco Bay Area, which also includes Oakland, San Jose and Sacramento, is wonderful again 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, car shipments slow to a crawl. If you are using our auto transport quote calculator, you will see that rates are best 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 slower, including Reno. The same holds true for Utah, where things go very well in Salt Lake City, except in the winter, but for the rest of the state a customer may wait awhile longer for a car shipping service.

Car Shipping Service To The Pacific Northwest States

The Pacific Northwest includes Washington, Oregon and Idaho. 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. According to the 2020 US Census, the combined Pacific northwest population is roughly 14 million people, or about 4% of the total U.S..

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, 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.

Colorado is synonymous with the Rocky Mountains, which actually run from Canada to New Mexico. For most of the year, an auto transport service PWS landing page home 2  can ship in a timely fashion from or to Colorado. Once the snow falls and until it melts, however, car shipping in Colorado becomes extremely difficult. That reality is reflected in our car shipping cost calculator. According to the 2020 US Census, the Colorado England population is roughly 6 million people, or about 2% of the total U.S..

Let’s talk Dixie! That would be Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia. According to the 2020 US Census, the combined southern population is roughly 40 million people, or about 12% of the total U.S..

Car shipping traffic is usually very good in Atlanta PWS landing page home 2. The rest of Georgia, however, can be difficult to ship fast. That largely holds true for the rest of the southern states. The big cities work very well, but the rural areas and small towns tend to be much slower.

In Alabama, it is Birmingham that hums and everywhere else … not so much. Here is Alabama’s big secret. Their beaches south of Mobile are awesome! So beautiful.

In Mississippi, shipping a car PWS landing page home 2 is usually slow, 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. Meanwhile in Louisiana, however, New Orleans, which is 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. Which is why Direct Express Auto Transport points you back to New Orleans when shipping a car PWS landing page home 2.

Arkansas has Little Rock to speed things along. Tennessee is much easier because of Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville. Kentucky has the triangle 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. Lots of long and winding roads. Certainly beautiful, but PWS landing page home 2 patience is required.

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 10 million people, or about 3% of the total U.S.. Very few folks across an incredibly large land mass.

In the Great Plains states, we recommend you get your car to a major interstate and then pray. 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 PWS landing page home 2 to or from the Great Plains, that what is available is 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.