When moving across the country, driving your car across multiples states is not always an option for a number of good reasons.
Sometimes it’s much easier to just fly to your new home, especially when it’s a long-distance move. In such cases, it’ll make a lot of sense to hire a car shipping company to transport your car to the place you yourself are moving to.
That’s right, the safest and most cost-efficient way to transport your car long distance is to hire a professional auto transporter with many years of experience in the vehicle transportation business.
And even though it’s not a good idea to hire an auto shipper solely based on prices, it can be really useful for you to know how much it costs to ship a car cross country.
So, how much does it cost to ship a car to another state?
10 Factors that determine the car shipping cost
The cost to ship a car across the US will depend on a number of crucial price-forming factors that you should be well aware of from the start.
The distance between Point A (origination) and Point B (destination) is one of the major factors that determines the cost to ship a car. Logically speaking, the farther that distance is, the higher the costs will be for the auto transportation company when it comes to time, fuel, and the truck’s wear and tear.
While it’s true that the farther the distance, the price per mile will generally go down, the overall car shipping rate will still be higher, at least in most cases.
#2. PRICE OF FUEL
It’s easy to figure out that the current fuel prices will influence directly the car shipping cost.
#3. LENGTH OF VEHICLE
The average length of a sedan is roughly 189 inches. Longer vehicles than that may be more expensive to transport, while vehicles over 200 inches in length will certainly cost more to ship because the car shipping company will want to compensate for the lost carrier space.
Thus said, you should be able to get a good price by a cross-country vehicle transporter if your car is more compact.
#4. HEIGHT OF VEHICLE
In the car shipping industry, the height of a vehicle matters and it will also be taken into account when the car shipping cost is being formed. The majority of sedans are roughly 57 inches high, while SUVs can go from about 67 inches (midsize) to about 73 inches (large).
Again, considering the carrier space offered by a car shipping company, taller vehicles usually cost more to ship than shorter ones.
#5. WEIGHT OF VEHICLE
Needless to say, the cost to ship a car will increase in direct proportion to the overall weight of the car for transportation. It’s easy to guess that heavier vehicles lead to increased fuel consumption by a shipper’s transportation truck.
As a result, vehicles that approach and surpass the 4,500-pound mark will call for higher car shipping rates.
#6. CONDITION OF VEHICLE
The car shipping cost will also depend on whether your car is operational or not. If it can be driven on and off the car carrier, then you won’t need to worry about paying an extra fee known as a non-running fee.
However, if the vehicle you want shipped is non-operational, then the auto shipping company will need to load it on the truck using a special hoisting device (a wench), and that extra service and apparent hindrance will cost you around $150-$200.
Also, there are those car shippers that may refuse to transport your non-running car at all simply because they don’t have the necessary equipment to handle non-operational vehicles.
#7. OPEN OR ENCLOSED TRANSPORT
There are two types of vehicle transportation methods: Open and Enclosed. Naturally, the cost to transport a car will depend primarily on which car shipment type you choose.
Almost all car shipments are done using the Open transport. Why? It is the cheapest way to ship a car to another state or across the country. And because of the lower rates, you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that that is the preferred method of transporting new cars to their respective dealerships.
Its main drawback is that all vehicles that are being transported will be exposed to the elements – rain, wind, dust, hail, snow, and so on.
Also, it’s important to understand that Open transport is way cheaper because an Open carrier can transport nine or ten cars at a time, while an Enclosed carrier can only accommodate six vehicles at a time.
The enclosed car shipping method usually costs about 40-50% more than Open transport. It’s a luxurious way to ship a car but it can be the right one for you if 1) you can afford it, and 2) your car is too valuable to be subjected to the elements.
As mentioned above, the Enclosed transport can only accommodate six vehicles at a time, so the car shipping company will need to make up the difference in revenue compared to the Open transport one.
Generally speaking, you should expect to pay more when you’re shipping your car during the peak months. For instance, in the summer, the prices to ship a car can increase by as much as $200-$300. You may have never thought about it, but sometimes seasonal fluctuations can have a huge impact on the car shipment cost.
One example of such a seasonal influence is when, in wintertime, many people from the much colder northern states move temporarily to the warmer southern states such as Florida, Texas, Florida, and California. And then, in spring, they return home, thus raising the car shipping rates in that particular south-north direction.
Most of the times though, you shouldn’t worry too much about the seasonal fluctuations increasing the cost to ship your car to another part of the country.
#9. DELIVERY TIME
If you want or need your vehicle to be shipped fast (express shipping), expect to pay an extra fee for expedited car shipping services, anywhere from $200 to $500. On the other hand, if you’re not in a rush and can choose flexible shipping, then you won’t need to pay that extra money.
Also, if you want your car delivered on a specific date, your auto shipper should be able to store your vehicle in their facilities until that date arrives – for an extra fee, of course.
#10. AUTO SHIPPER
Some auto shipping companies will always charge more than others even when all other car shipping parameters are identical. And this is the main reason why you should compare several car shipping quotes before deciding which auto shipper to go with.
What’s the average cost to ship a car across the country?
As you can see above, the typical cost to ship a car cross country will depend on a number of important factors. Without a doubt, the best way to learn how much you will have to pay for having your own vehicle shipped to the new address is to request accurate car shipping estimates from top-rated long-distance car shippers near you.
Still, it’s important to have some type of price references to be prepared, for the car transport rates you will be quoted.
The average cost to ship a car starts from around $500 for short interstate transports and can easily reach about $1,500 for longer cross-country transports.
- New York – Florida: an average cost of $650-$850 to transport sedans; an average price of $800-$1,100 to transport SUVs, vans or pickup trucks.
- East Coast to West Coast: an average of $1,100 for sedans; an average price of $1,300 for SUVs, vans or pickup trucks.
- Midwest to East Coast: an average cost of $685 for sedans; an average price of $785 for SUVs, vans or pickup trucks.
- Midwest to West Coast: an average cost of $920 for sedans; an average price of $1,060 for SUVs, vans or pickup trucks.
- South to North: an average cost of $710 for sedans; an average price of $815 for SUVs, vans or pickup trucks.
What’s the average cost to ship a car per mile?
If you’re interested in getting a very rough estimate about how much it will cost to ship a car across the country, you can use a specific formula that will give you the average cost to transport a car per mile.
So, all you need to do is multiply the route distance in miles by the average cost to ship a vehicle per mile.
- 500 miles. In such cases, the average cost to ship a car per mile is $1.00, meaning you’ll pay roughly $520 for having your car shipped from Virginia Beach, VA to Atlanta, GA (distance: 520 miles);
- 1,000 miles. In such cases, the average cost to ship a car per mile is $0,75, meaning you’ll pay roughly $750 for having your car shipped from Dallas, TX to Detroit, MI (distance: 1,000 miles);
- 2,000 miles. In such cases, the average cost to ship a car per mile is $0,50, meaning you’ll pay roughly $1,038 for having your car shipped from Philadelphia, PA to Phoenix, AZ (distance: 2,077 miles);
- Coast to coast. In such cases, the average cost to ship a car per mile is $0,40, meaning you’ll pay roughly $1,116 for having your car shipped from New York, NY to Los Angeles, CA (distance: 2,790 miles);
Important: Bear in mind that the resulted figure can only serve you as a reference price to know what to expect from the car shipping service price-wise. It’s important to understand that it will NOT be accurate.
To get precise vehicle shipping quotes, use our car shipping calculator to get in touch with reputable car shippers.