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car shipping


everything you need to know

Here you can find our complete car shipping guide with all the necessary questions and answers to learn how car shipping works. 

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car shipping industry

Car shipping is an industry defined by frequent changes and affected by constant government regulations. State and federal regulations apply to every car carrier across the country. Based on the type of car carrier, various elements affect pricing, shipment time and  insurance coverage.

car shipping cost

The cost to ship a car depends on several factors. Each factor is very important when the final price is calculated – whether we calculate it manually or a software does it. The final car shipping price estimate must include each and every parameter.

Vehicle make and model

Smaller cars are cheaper to ship, while bigger, heavier vehicles are more expensive. The make and model of your vehicle, as well as any modifications done to it, and whether there will be any personal items loaded inside, all matter.

Transport Type

Open auto transport is the standard shipping method in the industry. It is used for all vehicle types and it is the less expensive option due to higher availability. Enclosed auto transport is more expensive and often used for sports, luxury or classic automobiles.


The longer the distance the less it costs per mile, but that is never the decisive factor. Shorter distances still consume gas and require the same amount of work, but in the end it is fewer miles traveled, which increases the price per mile as well.


Auto transport to and from rural areas is a more complex and economically challenging. Fewer auto haulers are willing to go to remote areas to pick-up or deliver vehicles. This often means higher prices and longer wait for pick-up, or delivery.

Vehicle Condition

To ship a non-running vehicle we need a truck that can winch it onto the trailer. This requires more work, more time and additional equipment. A special truck, and special skill set means a higher rate. In some cases, we may even need a forklift.

Supply & Demand

When supply is higher than demand, prices drop, but when demand is higher prices go up. When demand is high the truck space is limited and this means prices increase. That is why a quote is good for one week only. Understanding supply and demand is very important in the auto transport industry.

Additional cost to ship a car factors

car shipping services dealership auto transport corsia

If the answer is yes, keep in mind that expedited auto transport service costs more. If you need your vehicle picked-up or delivered on an exact date, or by an exact date, expect to pay a premium.

Door-to-door auto transport is the standard shipping method of Corsia Logistics. Terminal to terminal is an option as well, and contrary to popular opinion, it often costs more due to storage fees and proximity of the terminal.

Top load means loading a vehicle on the top deck of the vehicle transport trailer. This ensures against possible leaks from other vehicles, from flying road debris, and it is generally safer.

manual Vs. automated quotes

Auto transport prices depend on supply and demand fluctuations. Daily fluctuations in supply and demand affect car shipping prices. An automated price often can not take that into consideration.

A logistics expert can quote a very accurate price based on current supply and demand situation, and that is why a manual quote is usually more accurate.

All quotes are not created equal, neither are all auto transport companies. When you search online you will come across three major entities involved in the auto transport business – broker/carrier companies, leads generators and auctions.

How does auto transport work?

Research and choose among the best car shipping companies. Corsia is one of the best – we offer peace of mind.

Booking your shipment is easily done online or by phone. We do not ask for money up front. 

Choose your first available pick-up date. That is when your pick-up windows stars. 

Accept delivery of your vehicle when the time comes. Inspect your car alongside the carrier and sign your Bill of Lading. This is it.

cost to ship a car example prices
car shipping services Corsia Auto transport

This is for short distances between 1-500 miles. A 300-mile trip would cost $585.

This is 500 to 1500 miles. For 1000 miles the cost would be $940.

This is for 1500 miles or more.  A trip of 1500 miles would be $885.

A correctly quoted rate is a current market price that will ship a car now.

What company do I trust to quote me a fair price?

The engine of the car shipping industry is all the small and mid-size broker and carrier car shipping companies. They work together on daily basis to deliver efficient and affordable car shipping service.

However, lead generator websites and auctions enter the industry as well. Prices often vary between all these entities. Some companies will quote high prices, while others will quote unrealistically low rate.

The prices given by lead generator websites and auction websites are usually low-ball prices. Broker and carrier companies can give you the most realistic market price.

The most realistic rate comes from a reputable auto transport broker or a carrier company. This is the engine of the industry – the professionals who work daily with national dispatch boards and see how prices change. This is what keeps the prices competitive and the industry in balance. Small and medium size broker companies do not allow monopolization of the market by large corporations.

Majority of the orders in the auto transport industry are booked with brokers. The chances of you finding a car carrier who is in the same area as your car, has a spot open, and it is going in your desired direction are usually pretty slim. This is why the broker company is a key element in the industry. Most of the car carriers are small owner operated companies you can not find online. But you can find brokers who work to find customers to fill the trailers.

A broker makes sure the carrier is licensed and insured, and checks their safety ratings across the board. A trustworthy broker company will work for you, the customer, to find the right carrier that travels your route and matches your requirements for a type of trailer, insurance liability and delivery time. They will provide a fair, current market price that will ship your vehicle in a timely and professional manner. Most carriers do not manage the customer shipping process.

A carrier is responsible to load, deliver and unload your vehicle. About 90 percent of the car carriers in the US are small, owner operated companies. This is why the prices you receive online are from auto transport broker companies. A broker is a registered, licensed and bonded entity that is placed to manage your vehicle shipments. It is the agent that makes sure the small carrier companies’ cargo space is filled. Small broker companies can leverage the industry, and keep it in balance.

Together small and mid-size broker and carrier companies create a very efficient logistics ecosystem that works in harmony to provide timely auto transport services. 

This entity is not an auto transport company of any type. This is an online business created to collect private information for other businesses. These lead generator websites are often found online and customers frequently confuse them with auto transport companies. But de facto, they are neither a carrier nor a broker. After receiving the customer’s request they sell the information to several auto transport companies. Then you receive several calls from companies competing for your business. It is often unpleasant to receive 5 to 10 calls in a matter of hours. Moreover, these companies know they are competing against each other and thus quote unrealistically low rates.

The third entity is auction websites or marketplaces. We advise our customers to avoid such platforms because this is where underbidding wars happen. They start too high and go down to an unrealistically low rate. Most companies are not able to give a realistic rate because they need to compete live with large companies who simply can afford to quote low. On the other hand, often due to fees imposed from the auction website, auto transport companies are forced to quote higher prices so they can make at least some profit. It is not only the companies’ fault, or the platform itself. The demand for low prices has always been a factor.

How do I know I am getting a fair auto transport price?

car shipping service in an enclosed carrier

A fair auto transport price is a current market price that takes into account all factors. In some cases you will receive unrealistic price quotes – some too high, others too low. This is usually the case when you get quotes from lead generator websites, or auctions.

Some companies quote low-ball prices and then call and ask for more money. They usually ask you to pay a deposit upfront and this means you cannot cancel. When they fail to pick up your car within the specified time frame for these money, you are either stuck waiting or lose the deposit if you cancel.

The most competitive prices come from small and mid-size car transport companies. An established company has 5-star reputation and is in business to stay in business. Corsia is one of the best car shipping companies and we understand the importance of a realistic price that will ship a car now.

When you call or request a quote online, our logistics experts will discuss your options, budget and preferences and quote current market price with no hidden fees.