How much does car shipping cost and is it worth it? (2023) (2023)

Car shipping costs range from a few hundred dollars for intrastate transit to over $2,000 for a 3,000 mile shipment, but is it worth the cost of shipping a car?

If you are moving and don't want to drive your car yourself, you can hire a courier to pick it up and drop it off for you. Average car shipping costs for open haul range from about $1.17 per mile for short shipments of several hundred miles to 59 cents per mile for long cross-country trips.

Car shipping costs vary widely based on distance, vehicle, route, time of year, shipping service, and more. On the team at Guides Auto, we've reviewed the bestcar transport companiesand will help you decide if sending a car is worth it.

Why trust our teamThe Guias Auto team is committed to providing reliable information to help you make the best possible decision about shipping your vehicle. Our researchers, writers and editors are dedicated to researching suppliers and analyzing customer feedback and ideas so you can choose with confidence.

How much does car shipping cost and is it worth it? (2023) (6)

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How much does it cost to ship a car?

Comparing various shipping distances and companies, we found open car shipping costs$1,150 on averageand attached car shipping costs$1,670 on average. Our team compared quotes from leading auto shipping brokers including Montway Auto Transport, SGT Auto Transport, American Auto Shipping andeasy automatic submission.

Car transportation cost per mile

The rate per mile decreases the farther you send a car. For shorter distances of less than 1,000 miles, you can pay an average of up to $1.17 per mile for open carrier or $1.73 per mile for closed carrier. Forlong distance and cross country transport, you can pay as little as 59 cents per mile for open transport or 87 cents per mile for closed transport on average.

Open car shipping cost

On average, quotes for open freight range from $703 for a 600-mile shipment to $1,626 for across country shipping. Between open cart transport andclosed auto transport, open shipping is cheaper. The open car transport service is affordable because carriers can move 10 or more vehicles at a time.

Open carriers also move most new and used car inventory between dealerships across the country. In fact, many of our recommended car shipping companies provide dealership shipping services with open carriers.

Below you can see the average quotes we receive for four open shipping lanes.

transport routeMileageAverage price
Denver for Kansas City, Mo.600$ 703
Los Angeles to Seattle1.135$ 1.147
Miami is Minneapolis1.800$ 1.126
New York to Los Angeles2.775$ 1.626

*Quotes apply to a 2020 Toyota Camry.

Car transport costs are not based on mileage alone. You can see that shipping from Miami to Minneapolis is cheaper than shipping from Los Angeles to Seattle, even though it is a longer distance. This could be because there were more carriers available on the eastern roads than on the west coast when we received these quotes.

Automotive transportation cost in Hawaii

Shipping to Hawaii is slightly different than shipping across the contiguous states. It involves shipping between the ports of California and Honolulu. If you ship a car from the interior, you will pay for shipping to the California port and then for ocean freight to Hawaii.

The following table compares the average quotes for shipping to Hawaii from a port in California and for open carrier shipping from Denver.

rotadelivery serviceaverage price
Long Beach, California, Honoluluport to port$ 1.931
Denver to Honoluludoor to door$ 2.673

*Quotes apply to a 2020 Toyota Camry.

Closed car shipping cost

The average cost to ship a car with a closed carrier ranges from $1,040 for a 600-mile shipment to $2,409 for a cross-country shipment. Based on the rates we reviewed, attached shipping costs on average$520 more than send open cars.

Although closed car transport is more expensive, you may want to use it if you have a valuable or old vehicle.Transport of classic coachesit usually includes closed freight because it protects the vehicles on all sides. Enclosed trailers can only carry a few cars at a time, which is one reason they cost more.

The following table shows average prices for closed shipments over various distances.

transport routeMileageAverage price
Denver for Kansas City, Mo.600$ 1.040
Los Angeles to Seattle1.135$ 1.568
Miami is Minneapolis1.800$ 1.665
New York to Los Angeles2.775$ 2.409

*Quotes apply to a 2020 Toyota Camry.

Car shipping cost per vehicle

Vehicle size also affects what you pay for car shipping. Full-size SUVs and similar types of vehicles take up more space and may limit the number of other vehicles that can fit in a car carrier. They also take up more weight capacity on the trailer.

Below, you can see that a Chevy Suburban and a Ford F-150 cost about $250 more to ship, on average, than a Toyota Camry.

Vehicletransport routeAverage price
Toyota camry 2020Los Angeles to Seattle (1,135 miles)$ 1.147
Toyota Rav4 2020Los Angeles to Seattle (1,135 miles)$ 1.240
Chevrolet Suburban 2020Los Angeles to Seattle (1,135 miles)$ 1.387
Ford F-150 2020Los Angeles to Seattle (1,135 miles)$ 1.397

What else affects car shipping costs?

In addition to vehicle size, the shipping service you choose, and distance, there are a few other factors that affect shipping prices.

  • Station: Car transport prices are higher when there are more people on the move, which is during summer and January.
  • carrier availability: If there are fewer carriers available for a route, the costs will be higher.
  • expedited transport: You'll pay more if you need your car picked up a few days after booking.
  • Location: If the carrier needs to travel to a rural area to pick up or deliver your car, you'll pay a little more.
  • vehicle condition: Unoperable vehicles require more time and effort to load, so they cost more to ship.

How much does car shipping cost and is it worth it? (2023) (9)

Be prepared for price changes

In the car transport industry, many car transporters are independent companies. This means that car transport quotes are not always set in stone. Some car transport companies offer fixed prices, but most do not.

When you get an instant quote, the company tries to secure a carrier for that price. But depending on market conditions, the quote may not be high enough to get you a carrier within your time frame. In that case, the broker would have to increase the car freight rate for you to pick up the car.

Alternative transport options

truck transportIt is usually the most comfortable option for transporting a car, but there are other options as well.

train shipping

You can ship your car on the Amtrak route between the greater Orlando, Florida area and the Washington, DC suburbs. Compared to trucking, it is generally cheaper. However, you can only send your car along this route, you must buy a passenger ticket and travel.

Transport from Porto to Porto

Port to port transport involves sending your car on a sea vessel to reach your destination. An example is shipping from California to Hawaii or Alaska, but you can also ship your car to international destinations this way. Depending on the service, your car can travel protected inside a container or in a large onboard garage.

Air Transport

It is possible to send a car by air, although you will pay good money for this. Air freight is only worthwhile for luxury vehicles or supercars that need to be shipped on a tight schedule.

Conclusion: Is it worth sending a car?

It is often worth it to ship a car if you need to move the vehicle more than 500 miles. The vehicle will no longer wear out during car transport, and you won't have to pay for food, lodging, or gas to drive it yourself.

But if you only have a few hundred miles to go, sending a car might not be the cheapest way to move it. It may be more advantageous to drive the car yourself or arrange for someone else to drive it in this case.

Best Car Transport Companies

It is best to compare online car shipping quotes from various companies when shopping. Different car transport companies offer different payment options and collection times. Our top picks for the industry include Montway Auto Transport, SGT Auto Transport and American Auto Shipping.

Montway Auto Transport: Editor's Choice

Montway Auto Transport is one of the most popular car transport companies and has shipped more than 700,000 vehicles since its founding in 2006. Montway offersdoor to door servicewith open and closed modes of transportation in all 50 states. The auto shipping broker can also arrange international shipping. Montway has a strong reputation in the industry, with aA+ ratingand Better Business Bureau (BBB) ​​accreditation.

Keep reading:Montway Automated Transport Review

SGT Auto Transport: complete selection of services

SGT Auto Transport is another reputable car transport company. One thing that sets the company apart is the price match guarantee. If you find a lower written quote from a competitor, SGT will match that price. The company offers open and enclosed transport as well as motorcycle freight and offers guaranteed pick-up dates. SGT Auto Transportes has aa ratingand BBB certification.

Keep reading:SGT Automatic Transport Review

American Auto Shipping - Great Customer Service

American Auto Shipping offers open and closed service in the contiguous United States plus Hawaii. The company offers three collection options: standard, priority, and expedited. Priority service costs $200 more and picks up the car in two business days, while express service costs $500 more and picks up the car in just one business day. American Auto Shipping has aA+ ratingdo BBB.

Keep reading:US Auto Ship

Cost to ship a car - FAQ

Our Methodology

Because consumers trust us to provide factual and accurate information, we created a comprehensive rating system to formulate our ranking of the best auto transport companies. We collected data on dozens of vehicle transport providers to rank companies on a wide range of ranking factors. The end result was an overall ranking for each supplier, with the companies that scored the most points at the top of the list.

These are the factors our rankings take into account:

  • Cost (30% of total score): Car transport companies with affordable shipping rates, fixed prices, and discount opportunities scored highest in this category.
  • Services (25% of the total score): Companies that offer a variety of automotive transportation options, strong insurance coverage, and additional benefits are more likely to meet consumers' needs.
  • Customer Experience (25% of total score)– This score is based on customer satisfaction ratings and the availability of extras like GPS tracking. We also considered the responsiveness, friendliness, and friendliness of each carrier's customer support team based on our own buyer analysis.
  • Reputation (20% of the total score): Our research team considered availability, industry expert reviews, and years in business when assigning this score.

*Data accurate at time of publication.


What time of year is best to ship a car? ›

Overall, the best time of year to ship your car to your new home or location is the fall. This is because September, October, and November offer up good driving conditions for most of the US. Also, there's less traffic on the roads since kids are back in school and people are not traveling or vacationing.

What month is the cheapest to ship a car? ›

Ship in the Off Season

The busiest months of the year in the auto transport industry are June-August. The slowest months are December-February. If you want cheap car shipping, do it during the slow months of the year. The shipping rate you pay in January will be much lower than the rate you pay in July.

What is the average price to ship a car in the US? ›

The industry average cost to ship a car with an auto transport company is upwards of $2.00 per mile for journeys less than 200 miles.
The Average Cost to Ship a Car.
Average Cost to Ship a Car
Average Cost$1,650 at the national average rate
Highest Cost$2,100 for an enclosed carrier, rush
1 more row
Mar 28, 2023

What is the cheapest company to ship your car? ›

Top Cheap Car Shipping Companies
  • #1 Montway Auto Transport: Best Overall.
  • #2 Sherpa Auto Transport: Best for Locked-In Rates.
  • #3 AmeriFreight: Best Discounts.

What day of the year is cheapest to buy a car? ›

Just like other retailers, auto dealers have Black Friday car sales with excellent deals. In addition to being part of the long Thanksgiving weekend and the kick-off to the holiday season, Black Friday also sits at the end of the fall sell-off season.

What time of year is shipping cheapest? ›

The Quiet Shipping Season is the year when freight demand is the lowest, and supply chain disruptions are minimal. This season falls between January and March. During this time, shippers can benefit from reduced capacity in the freight market and take advantage of lower spot market rates.

How long before car prices go down? ›

“We currently estimate the average transaction price of a new vehicle in the U.S. to decline by around 2.5% to 5% year-over-year in 2023, supported by increasing inventory availability as supply constraints ease and as automakers produce more lower-end models equipped with fewer high-end features.

What is the slowest car buying month? ›

Most discounted months

The months of January through April are generally slow-selling ones and have the smallest discounts off MSRP.

What time of year are new cars cheapest? ›

The cheapest time to buy a car is in December, but you can also get good deals in September. This is around the time the next model year's cars usually start to arrive. Take advantage of Labor Day weekend sales for discounts, rebates and other incentives.

Is it cheaper to ship car than drive? ›

Driving costs include food, lodging, and fuel for one person. Like we said earlier, the cost to ship a car is almost always higher than the cost of driving that car the same distance. Even when you factor in additional costs like hotels, gas, and food, driving is still cheaper.

Is it cheaper to ship more than one car? ›

Just like any other product or service, it's far more cost-effective on a per car basis when you ship more than one at the same time. Of course, that's not to say it'll be cheap. However, if you plan accordingly and ship multiple cars at the same time, you will be able to make considerable savings.

Which type of cover is best for car? ›

The best kind of car covers are made with breathable fabric. Since cars have so many opportunities to get wet — rain, snow, and ice — breathable material helps improve airflow and reduce condensation. Another factor that makes a car cover great? One that's water-resistant to keep mold and mildew at bay.

How can I ship more cheaply? ›

Use flat-rate shipping where possible—flat-rate shipping will almost always be the best value for money, especially for domestic delivery. Flat-rate shipping means that you can predict prices more accurately. No matter what kind of parcel you have or what dimensions or weight it is, the price will always be the same.

Which shipping company has the cheapest rates? ›

Best and Cheapest Shipping Companies for Small Businesses
  • United States Postal Service.
  • Sendle.
  • UPS.
  • DHL Express.
  • FedEx.
  • Spee-dee.
  • LSO.
  • LaserShip.
Mar 13, 2023

How do I know if a transport company is legit? ›

All car shipping companies have to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA will issue them with a motor carrier number. If an auto transport company doesn't have this number, they're not authorized to operate. You should be able to find this number on the company's website.

Should I buy a car now or wait until 2023? ›

Americans planning to shop for a new car in 2023 might find slightly better prices than during the past two years, though auto industry analysts say it is likely better to wait until the fall. Since mid-2021, car buyers have been frustrated by rising prices, skimpy selection and long waits for deliveries.

Will car prices drop in 2023? ›

There is good news on the horizon in 2023, however. J.P. Morgan estimates that prices for both new and used vehicles are set to decrease as supply chain issues abate and inflation is poised to keep easing.

Will used car prices go down in 2023? ›

Used car prices expected to start dropping in 2023, but not how consumers may expect.

What will the shipping rate increase be in 2023? ›

USPS 2023 Shipping Rate Changes Highlights:

Priority Mail Express service prices would increase by 6.6 percent. First-Class Package Service prices would increase by 7.8 percent. Overall, Priority Mail service prices would increase by approximately 5.5 percent. There is no price increase for Parcel Select Ground.

Are shipping prices negotiable? ›

Here's a secret: UPS, FedEx, and US Postal Service shipping rates are not set in stone. These carriers want your business, and for larger retailers, they're often willing to negotiate rates. In fact, negotiating shipping rates is so common that there are entire companies dedicated to doing it for you.

Why is shipping suddenly so expensive? ›

The more shipped products, the more costs are associated with their shipment. If the demand shoots up and supply remains the same, prices are bound to go up. These disruptions in the supply chain force businesses to charge more for a product to offset their shipping costs.

Will car prices go down after the recession? ›

Historically, it may be reasonable to expect car prices to drop in a recession. However, there may be other factors that could significantly affect your ability to get a deal on the car you want.

What is the best day to buy a car? ›

1. Mondays. Monday can be the best day of the week to buy a new car. Other potential shoppers are often at work, so representatives at car dealerships are focused on anyone who comes in the door.

What month are the least cars sold? ›

New and Used Cars

Auto sales traditionally drop to their lowest levels of the year from January through early March.

How old of a car should I buy? ›

In retaining “like new” quality and inheriting a slower depreciation rate, the best used car age for buying is 2-3 years. In fact, Americans are saving up to $14,000 on a 3-year-old vehicle. For example, a car that may have cost you $30,000 when new would cost around $16,000 after just 3 years.

Is it a good idea to buy a new car? ›

New cars come with the latest safety features and are very likely to be reliable, though they can come with a higher price tag and higher insurance costs. Used cars are generally cheaper because the high depreciation of their early years is already behind them and you may not need as much insurance coverage.

What is the automotive industry forecast for 2023? ›

Inventory levels at some automakers are moving back up above pre-pandemic normal, suggesting that overall demand has slowed in some corners of the market.” Fleet sales for the full year of 2023 are forecast at 2.2 million, up 23% from 2022, when 1.8 million units were sold to commercial buyers.

What is Toyotathon? ›

Toyotathon is a time of the year when drivers can save on select new Toyota vehicles. Toyotathon takes place towards the end of the year right in time for the holidays. What are the Toyotathon dates in 2022/2023? Toyotathon will start on November 14, 2022 and end January 3, 2023.

Should I ship my car with a full tank? ›

Do Not Fill the Tank. Your vehicle is being transported, not driven, so there's no need to fill the tank with gas prior to loading. In addition, having a full tank of gasoline will make the vehicle heavier which will ultimately add weight and risk to the shipment being transported.

Is it cheaper to ship car in winter? ›

Shipping your vehicle in the winter typically will cost less than it would in the summer as it tends to be a slower period for auto transport companies. This is why it's smart for price-conscious shippers to ship their car during the winter.

How much does it cost in gas to drive across the country? ›

Per mile, with the above fuel economy, a road trip will cost between $0.12 and $0.19 per mile of your trip. Per day, traveling between 700 and 840 miles adds up to a fuel cost between $84 and $160.

Is paying extra for shipping worth it? ›

Expedited shipping speeds the delivery time. If something must be delivered fast, then yes, expedited shipping is worth the added expense. If speed of receipt by the addressee is not important, I recommend using regular shipping methods and saving your money.

Is it worth paying extra for faster shipping? ›

Is Expedited Shipping Worth it? The answer to this question comes down to your circumstances and needs. If you do not require the product urgently, the expedited shipping process is not worth the cost. However, if you want the product urgently, paying the extra money can be necessary and worth it.

Is it cheaper to ship separately or together? ›

Is it cheaper to ship items separately or together? Generally, splitting shipments into multiple packages is more costly because you have to generate two shipping labels and use two sets of packaging for a single order.

What is the most popular car color? ›

America's Most Popular Car Colors (according to iSeeCars.Com) Grayscale colors (white, black, gray, and silver) represent a total of 78.5% of all vehicles on the road in the United States. White sits atop the list as the most popular choice.

What are the disadvantages of a car cover? ›

Disadvantages to car covers
  • Car covers can trap moisture next to your paintwork. Whilst they can keep the elements out, some car covers (those that are 100% waterproof) can stop moisture from getting out. ...
  • Car covers can scratch your car. ...
  • It's easy to buy the wrong size or type of car cover.
Oct 26, 2020

Which shipping is cheapest and fastest? ›

Priority Mail Express from the USPS will likely be your cheapest option among the three major carriers. Delivery times range from next day to two days, with regular pricing starting at $27.25 for a half-pound package. Holiday and Sunday delivery costs extra.

What is the cheapest and fastest way to ship? ›

The cheapest way to ship large, light packages is typically USPS Priority Mail with variable pricing. If you need faster delivery, parcel shipping is the cheapest option. UPS is typically slightly cheaper than FedEx.

How to calculate shipping fees? ›

This one's pretty straightforward: the bigger the package, the more it's going to cost to ship. Most shipping carriers use a pricing method known as dimensional weight to calculate the rates they offer. This is calculated by multiplying the length, height, and the width of the package.

What shipping company is best buy with? ›

We use these major carriers to ship items: UPS, FedEx and USPS. In select areas we may also use Best Buy employees or these other carriers to ship items: OnTrac, Lone Star Overnight (LSO), Deliv, Shipt, and Roadie.

What is the fastest shipping method? ›

The fastest overnight delivery option is FedEx First Overnight. You can expect your package or envelope to be delivered by 8 a.m. the next business day in most areas.

How does Shippo work? ›

We're simply a label creation platform that allows you to create and purchase shipping labels to print off and affix to your shipments. You can choose to use your own packaging material from a local supplier, but many carriers also offer supplies free of charge, depending on the service.

Are there fake shipping companies? ›

Yes, just like phony banking websites, false shipping line websites are built using the “phishing” technique. The International Maritime Bureau is cautioning users of these sites. Such websites have been developed to provide scammers more validity to lure in their intended victims.

Is American auto transport reliable? ›

Is American Auto Shipping Right for You? American Auto Shipping is one of the best and most highly rated transport brokers in the business. This is easy to see by their A+ BBB rating and 4.4-star customer rating. They offer great benefits such as their price lock guarantee and $500 damage coverage.

What are the busiest shipping months? ›

Peak season happens every year, and if you're importing you need to be prepared. August to October is historically prime shipping time, with back to school and holiday shopping propelling consumer demand every year.

What time of year is shipping busiest? ›

Peak shipping season starts in mid-August and stretches to the end of autumn, usually until Thanksgiving. Peak shipping season occurs because of increased demand across many markets during these months.

What is the busiest shipping day of the year? ›

The USPS said its busiest time begins two weeks before Christmas and customer traffic at Post Office locations typically starts increasing the week of Dec. 6, with Dec. 13-18 being the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week of the holiday season.

Will the shipping crisis end? ›

Owing to a combination of port congestion, slow circulatory movement, and high shipping rates, it's estimated that supply chains will remain disrupted well into 2022.

Why is shipping so expensive lately? ›

The more shipped products, the more costs are associated with their shipment. If the demand shoots up and supply remains the same, prices are bound to go up. These disruptions in the supply chain force businesses to charge more for a product to offset their shipping costs.

What is the fastest shipping right now? ›

The fastest overnight delivery option is FedEx First Overnight. You can expect your package or envelope to be delivered by 8 a.m. the next business day in most areas.

Are shipping costs declining? ›

Freight cost changes from 2020-2023

Now two years into the supply chain crisis, rates have dropped significantly – although on some lanes prices are still much higher than they were pre-pandemic.

Is shipping speeding up? ›

The data shows that container ships are moving much quicker than other vessel types, averaging 14.64 knots year to date through October, 27% faster than the global average for all commercial ships of 11.84 knots. In March-August, container-ship speed rose 4% worldwide versus the same period in 2020.

What is the most popular shipping? ›

What is the biggest mail day? ›

Holiday Stuffing: Monday is one of the Busiest Mailing Days of the Year.

Who has the cheapest 1 day shipping? ›

USPS overnight shipping

Among the three major carriers, USPS offers the cheapest overnight shipping option. That's because USPS runs local routes daily, so they don't have to go out of their way to deliver to your end customer.

What is the best way to ship 2 day? ›

USPS Priority Mail is generally the cheapest option for 2-3 day shipping. FedEx, UPS, and other courier companies offer delivery services with similar lead time expectations, but USPS offers the lowest rates.


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