How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car Across the Country?

Rochdi Rais Rochdi Rais · Updated February 23, 2024

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Are you planning on moving interstate or buying a car from a different state, but you’re unsure about how much it will cost to ship a car across the country? It’s no secret that the process of transporting a vehicle to a different state can be complicated and time-consuming.

One of the biggest considerations is the cost of shipping a car across the country, which can vary based on various factors. In this post, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to know about pricing and how to select the most suitable method of transportation for you.

Factors Impacting the Cost to Ship a Car Across the Country

The distance between the pickup and delivery points is one of the biggest considerations when determining the cost to ship a car across the country. The longer the distance, the higher the overall cost will be. Apart from distance, other considerations include the type and make of the car, the condition of the vehicle, the season, and the method of transportation.

The Make and Model of the Car

The type and make of a car impacts the cost of transit. The size, weight, and age of a vehicle are also factors, as it affects the total weight of the shipment. Luxury cars, sports cars, and vintage vehicles require specialized auto transport carriers and may cost relatively more than standard cars. This is because the carriers used for these vehicles need higher levels of insurance to ensure their safety and protection.

Vehicle’s Condition

The condition of your car is also a significant factor to consider when determining the shipping costs. Non-operational cars will require more equipment and handling to load onto the carrier.

This may lead to higher shipping costs because it will add more vehicle-specific handling requirements during transport. It’s always advisable to inform the auto shipping service providers of your car’s condition ahead of time, as this will impact your final quote.


The season can also affect the cost of shipping a car across the country. During peak seasons, such as summer, transportation companies may have higher prices due to increased demand. Snowbirds who move from colder regions to warmer regions tend to transport their cars within specific periods, causing prices to increase. On the other hand, shipping outside peak seasons can reduce the cost of transportation significantly.

Transportation Method

There are two primary methods of car transportation: open and enclosed. Open car carriers are the most common, and they are relatively affordable. The carriers have no roof or sides, so the vehicles are exposed to the weather elements during transit.

Enclosed car carriers, on the other hand, are more expensive than their open-air counterparts. In this method, cars are fully enclosed in a trailer, offering higher levels of protection and security during transport.

Another option to consider is door-to-door transportation. This is a relatively convenient shipping method whereby the transporter picks up the car from its location and delivers it to the destination. This method eliminates the need to travel to the pickup and drop-off points, which can be time-consuming and costly.

Cost to Ship a Car Across the Country

Now that we’ve highlighted the essential factors impacting the cost of car shipping, let’s look at the actual costs involved. Unfortunately, we cannot give a standard final cost for moving your car across the country as the overall price is dependent on the considerations listed above.

However, you can get a median price estimate from these stats: the distance of the shipment, the car’s make and model, and the method of transportation. According to uShip, the cost of shipping a sedan across the country ranges from $600 to $1,000, and for an SUV or a truck, the cost ranges between $800 to $1,500.

Tips for Reducing the Cost to Ship a Car Across the Country

To make the most of your budget when shipping a car across the country, consider the following tips to help reduce your car shipping costs:

  1. Be flexible with your shipping dates: If you can be flexible with your pickup and delivery dates, you can potentially save on shipping costs. Auto transport companies might offer discounted rates during off-peak seasons or if they have extra space on their carriers.
  2. Choose open carriers over enclosed carriers: Open carriers are more affordable than enclosed carriers. If your car is not a luxury, sports, or vintage vehicle, consider using an open carrier to save on shipping costs.
  3. Compare multiple quotes: Obtain quotes from multiple auto transport companies to compare their services and prices. This will give you a better understanding of the average cost to ship a car across the country and help you find the best deal.
  4. Research discounts and promotions: Some auto transport companies may offer discounts for military personnel, students, or repeat customers. Always ask about available discounts and promotions to potentially lower your shipping costs.

How to Ensure a Smooth Car Shipping Process

To ensure a smooth car shipping experience, consider the following steps:

  1. Research auto transport companies: Look for reputable and experienced auto transport companies with positive reviews, proper licensing, and insurance coverage.
  2. Obtain multiple quotes: Request quotes from multiple auto transport companies to compare their services, prices, and additional features.
  3. Prepare your vehicle: Clean your car, remove personal belongings, and perform a maintenance check before shipping. Document your vehicle’s condition with photos and share any special instructions with the transport company.
  4. Understand your shipping contract: Read your shipping contract carefully, and make sure you understand the terms and conditions, including insurance coverage, pickup and delivery windows, and cancellation policies.
  5. Inspect your vehicle upon delivery: Inspect it thoroughly for any damage or discrepancies when it arrives at its destination. If you notice any issues, report them to the auto transport company immediately.


How Is the Cost to Ship a Car Across the Country Determined?

Factors impacting car shipping costs include distance, car make and model, vehicle condition, season, and transportation method.

How Does the Car’s Make and Model Affect Shipping Costs?

Luxury, sports, and vintage vehicles may require specialized carriers and higher insurance levels, leading to increased shipping costs.

How Does the Vehicle’s Condition Impact Shipping Costs?

Non-operational cars require additional equipment and handling, which can increase shipping costs due to added handling requirements during transport.

Do Seasons Affect Car Shipping Costs?

Yes, peak seasons like summer can result in higher prices due to increased demand, while shipping outside peak seasons can reduce transportation costs.

What Are the Primary Methods of Car Transportation?

The two primary methods of car transportation are open and enclosed carriers. Open carriers are more affordable, while enclosed carriers offer higher levels of protection.

Bottom Line: Cost to Ship a Car Across the Country

When transporting your car cross-country, we advise you to do your research on the service providers available, read reviews, and obtain as many different quotes as possible before making your final decision. Comparing and choosing the right auto transporter can lead to significant savings. Finally, ask the right questions, know the company’s insurance policies, and understand the transportation contract terms to avoid any misunderstandings.

By following the tips and advice shared in this post, you’ll be on the right path towards a successful and cost-effective car shipping experience.

Are you looking for a reliable and cost-effective way to transport your car cross-country? Look no further than CitizenShipper. Our platform connects shippers with vetted and insured drivers who can get your vehicle to its destination safely and efficiently. Head over to our website to learn more.