Car shipping costs vary, and the price depends on several factors. When you need to transport a vehicle, it’s only natural to wonder about the average cost to ship a car. The common answer to “How much does it cost to ship a car?” is “It depends.”
Auto transport rates depend on distance, vehicle make and model, modifications, whether you choose to ship it via open or enclosed trailer, and a few more. We take all these factors into account when calculating average car shipping rates.
Factors Affecting Your Auto Transport Rate!
Make, Model, and Modifications
Auto carriers have to comply with FMCSA regulations that determine the cargo weight limit. The purpose of these rules is to preserve our nation’s infrastructure and keep trucks moving efficiently. Hence, it comes as no surprise that car haulers would try to get the most out the official weight limitations and load as many vehicles as possible.
And that’s when vehicle make, model and modifications begin to matter. You won’t argue that an SUV would take up more space on a transport trailer than a small sedan. And it’s heavier too. Therefore, by committing to transport a bigger and/or heavier vehicle the carrier will be able to load a smaller number of cars on a truck. So if you are a big-car owner, expect to pay more if you ever need to transport it.
Whether your vehicle is operable or not will also affect the cost to ship a car. If a car does not start but can roll and steer, a winch is used to load it on a trailer. A winch doesn’t come standard on transport trucks and can be difficult to operate sometimes; therefore a driver must be trained to use it. If a car doesn’t roll and steer, the transporter will need to utilize a forklift to load it. Additional equipment and driver skill come at a price. Therefore, if you are shipping an inoperable vehicle, make sure to mention its condition when you request a quote. It will help us provide you with the most accurate estimate.
Type of Transport
Whether you choose open or enclosed trailer, will affect the price as well. The most popular type of transport is the open trailer, and, because most carriers in the US are open, the price is lower. Enclosed carriers, besides offering more protection, are only about ten percent of all car shipping trucks which translates into a longer wait and higher price. These types of covered trucks are usually booked for classic, sports, and luxury automobiles.
Distance / Miles
Distance is an important piece of information that plays a significant role in the cost to ship a car. It’s not rocket science: the longer the distance, the more expensive the cost will be. Yet, the distance alone doesn’t determine the cost to haul a vehicle. Sometimes moving a vehicle all the way across the North American continent won’t be the most expensive service. To learn why, move on to the next factor.
Location / Population
The location is a very important factor that affects the cost of shipping a vehicle. If you live in a rural area far from major cities or highways, very few trucks will be passing by. Most truckers travel between major cities where they have better chances of fully loading their truckers than near a small town. Truckers don’t fancy going to rural areas, especially if they have to pick up only one vehicle. Therefore, you’ll have to make it worth the trucker’s effort, time and extra gas expense. However, if your car is traveling to one of the popular destinations where a carrier has more opportunities to pick up and deliver vehicles, you stand a good chance of getting a good price.
Supply / Demand
Average auto transport costs depend mainly on these factors, supply/demand often being the most important. Every year seasonality affects prices on certain routes such as the Florida routes. The snowbirds moving season is every winter and spring; this is the time snowbirds moving to the southern states affect vehicle transport prices. In winter snowbirds travel south to escape the cold weather of the northern states, and then in the spring, they come back north to escape the scorching heat of the southern states. This means that prices go up on certain routes, certain months, and often times prices may change daily. This happens every year not only with Florida routes but many other southern states as well.
When the demand is high, on certain routes, the supply becomes short, which contributes to higher prices. The number of vehicles being shipped on a certain route will affect the price of shipping. What happens is that a customer competes with other customers for a spot on the car carrier, and usually, a better paying vehicle secures its spot on a trailer first. When there are many vehicles waiting to be shipped, as in the case of New York – California route, prices go up, and if you pay the current market price, your vehicle will be shipped first. However, if you are fine with waiting a few extra days, you can get a better price. Demand and supply sometimes change daily, so it is one of the major factors causing the average car shipping rates fluctuations.
Additionally, whether you need your vehicle to be delivered on a specific date, or require an expedited service will most likely affect the cost to ship a car. If you prefer for your vehicle to travel via the top load, you’ll have to pay extra as well. And whether you choose door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal delivery will contribute to the price.
Average Car Shipping Rates
Below you will find recent average car transport rates for open car carrier shipping a standard sedan. Please, keep in mind that these are only average prices. Rates can vary not only based on make and model but based on the supply and demand situation and may change daily. For an accurate quote call or request a quote online.
Current average car shipping rates – updated monthly:
|Los Angeles, CA
|New York, NY
|Los Angeles, CA
|San Jose, CA
|South Pasadena, CA
All of our quotes are manual. We do not employ any software to calculate the cost to ship a car. Our agents track price fluctuations daily to provide you with the most current and accurate vehicle shipping rate.
We cover the entire U.S.territory, including Hawaii and Alaska. To get a quote and ship your vehicle with Corsia Logistics, fill out our online quote request or drop us a line. If you prefer a more personalized service, call us at (818) 850-5258, and one of our relocation specialists will be happy to assist you. Whether your vehicle is inoperable or operable, whether you need open or enclosed transport, we can help. Don’t forget to inquire about car shipping discounts. Corsia Logistics will happily offer a discount to members of the military and students.
For more information and answers to the most common car transport questions, please check our FAQ section or just call us.