- On average, consumers pay between $1,000 and $2,000 for car shipping services using open auto transport trucks.
- Costs range from $1,500 to $2,500 for enclosed auto transport.
- Short-distance costs range from $450 to $750, and long-distance costs range from $1,500 to $2,300.
Our team has spent over 300 hours researching car shipping costs, and have reviewed 25 providers in the auto transport industry in order to bring you the most up-to-date information. In this article, we’ll explain what goes into car shipping costs as well as average prices, tips for finding the lowest rate, and recommendations for the best car shipping companies in the industry.
How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Car?
Our team surveyed 1,000 people who had shipped a car, and we learned that 41 percent paid between $1,000 and $2,000 for their shipment. This range of car shipping prices was the most common in the survey. You can see the breakdown of the average cost to ship a car below.
- 41 percent of respondents paid between $1,000 and $1,999
- 18 percent of respondents paid between $500 and $999
- 16 percent of respondents paid over $2,000
- 16 percent of respondents paid below $500
- 10 percent of respondents said someone else paid
The infographic below depicts the participants’ responses related to their car shipping costs.
Average Cost To Ship A Car Per Mile
According to our industry-wide review, you can expect to pay between 40 cents and $2 per mile when shipping your car. Cost per mile is a great way to view how much you’ll pay for your vehicle transport with an auto shipping company.
|Distance||Cost Per Mile|
|500 miles or less||$1.00 to $1.96|
|500 to 1,500 miles||$0.60 to $0.93|
|1,500 miles or more||$0.40 to $0.60|
Car Shipping Cost
Considering these average figures, it’s important to note that the cost to ship a car is not a single fixed price. Costs are often determined through a bidding process and can change after the initial quote. You can find car shipping calculators on many provider websites that can help you estimate your costs.
The cost of car shipping depends on several factors, including the total distance you need to ship your vehicle, the type of carrier you choose (open or enclosed), and the company you decide to use. We will review each of these factors in the following sections.
Car Shipping Rates By Company
Keep in mind that your actual price will vary depending on the provider you choose as well as the shipping services you decide on. The table below shows the average car shipping costs we received from our top-rated providers, so you can see how they compare to the industry averages we mentioned above.
|Montway Auto Transport||$1,409|
|SGT Auto Transport||$1,524|
|Sherpa Auto Transport||$1,669|
|Easy Auto Ship||$1,716|
*Prices are averaged based on prices our review team received to ship an operable 2018 Toyota Rav4 utilizing open and enclosed carriers.
Cost To Ship A Car By Distance
Short-distance shipments cost less than long-distance loads in total. However, on a per-mile basis, long-distance shipping costs significantly less than shorter distances. Below we will discuss the different prices to ship a vehicle 500 miles and 3,000 miles or more.
Short-Distance Car Shipping Cost
Short-distance car shipping costs range from $0.85 per mile to $2.10 per mile. On average, consumers pay auto transport carriers a total of $732 or $1.45 per mile to ship a car 500 miles. See below for the lowest, highest, and average cost to ship a vehicle 503 miles via open car transport through various car shipping companies.
|Short-Distance Car Shipping: 500 Miles||Cost per mile||Total cost|
*These quotes were gathered for an operable 2018 Toyota RAV4.
Long-Distance Car Shipping Cost
Consumers usually pay between $0.53 and $1.12 per mile for long-distance car shipping. The average price for cross-country shipping breaks down to $0.76 per mile or $2,313 total for open shipments of 3,000 miles or more. For reference, a vehicle shipment from Seattle, Washington, to Orlando, Florida, is approximately 3,000 miles. See below for the total costs to ship a vehicle across the country via open car transport through 18 different car shipping companies.
|Long-Distance Car Shipping: 3,000 miles||Cost per mile||Total cost|
Car Shipping Prices By Carrier Type
When shipping your car, you’ll likely have the choice to ship your vehicle through open or enclosed auto transport.
Open vehicle transport is the most common transport service for car shipping and also has the lowest overall costs. This type of transport exposes your vehicle to the elements during shipping without an exterior covering. Open car shipping is far less expensive than enclosed car shipping, as more cars are able to be shipped on one carrier this way.
Enclosed carrier transport provides more protection for the vehicle being shipped, as it’s transported inside an enclosed trailer. Costs are much higher with enclosed shipping since the transport vehicle can’t fit as many cars at once as compared to open carrier transport. Luxury or classic cars and cars that need more protection are often shipped through this method.
Open Car Transport Cost
According to our research, a 1,500-mile open transport shipment typically costs around $1,425. Depending on the company, you could pay anywhere from $1,110 to $1,945 for that distance, which is why it’s important to compare providers when you shop.
The table below contains the lowest, highest, and average cost consumers pay to ship a vehicle using open-air transport trailers.
|Open Car Transport Cost||Cost per mile||Total cost|
*Costs are an aggregation of the total price we received from 18 car shipping companies to ship an operable 2018 Toyota Rav4.
Enclosed Car Shipping Cost
The greater peace of mind that enclosed shipping can offer might be worth the extra cost for some customers. Most consumers pay an average of 1.18 per mile for enclosed shipping. With prices ranging from $1,475 to $2,495, you can expect to pay a total of $1,816 for enclosed transport:
|Enclosed Car Transport Cost||Cost per mile||Total cost|
The table above shows the total cost to ship an operable 2018 Toyota Rav4 1,556 miles via an enclosed carrier with various car shipping providers.
Car Shipping Rates: What To Know
Many factors can affect the cost of shipping a car. In addition to the size of your car and shipping distance, market factors can impact car shipping rates. Because shippers bid on your contract, carrier competition can also play a role in the price you pay. Below, we outline and explain many common factors that affect car shipping prices.
While you can receive an auto shipping quote directly from a broker, this won’t always be the final price you pay. Once you’ve decided to ship your vehicle, you’ll need to navigate through the many providers at your disposal, which can feel like a hassle.
Calculate Car Shipping Costs
In order for you to calculate the cost of shipping a car, there are several important factors to take into consideration. See the chart below for more information:
|Car Shipping Factor||Details|
|Vehicle size||The size of the vehicle and the type of vehicle can both factor into your shipping costs. Ground clearance can also affect costs, with cars lower to the ground being more expensive to ship.|
|Vehicle condition||If your vehicle can brake, steer, and roll on its own, it will cost less to ship. Vehicles that are inoperable and must be forklifted or winched onto the truck cost more to ship.|
|Shipping distance||You'll get a better rate per mile the farther you ship your car, but the overall cost will be higher.|
|Pickup location and delivery location||Shipping to and from urban areas is cheaper than shipping to rural areas. You can also save money by shipping to a terminal instead of opting for door-to-door service.|
|Extra features||Extra features like added insurance coverage, expedited shipping, home delivery, and single-car shipping (where your vehicle ships in its own car carrier with no other vehicles) will cost more.|
|Type of transport||You can typically choose between open and enclosed transport. Open transport is cheaper if you’re looking for a budget-friendly shipping option.|
|Time of year||Auto shipping is more expensive during certain months due to higher demand. You’ll find the highest rates are generally during the summer and in January.|
|Price of fuel||High fuel prices increase the operating costs for car shippers, which may be passed on to the consumer.|
Auto Shipping Costs: Conclusion
Car transport companies often offer cost per miles prices for car shipping services. You’ll typically find that the shorter the shipping distance, the more it will cost you per mile. If you’re shipping your vehicle long-distance, you’ll pay less per mile but more overall.
While your car shipping costs will likely vary due to various factors, it’s easy to obtain instant quotes from auto shippers. We suggest requesting car shipping quotes from various reputable car shipping providers to get the best price for your needs. Montway Auto Transport and uShip are two great providers to start your search with.
If you’re looking for more information on car transport services and the shipping process, check out our article on how to ship a car.
Recommended Car Shipping Companies And Prices
For low-cost auto shipping options, you could post your shipping request and get free quotes from Montway Auto Transport or uShip. See below for more information on each provider.
Montway Auto Transport Cost
Based on our cost research, Montway Auto Transport prices are competitive within the car shipping industry. You may even be able to find the lowest rates through the company, depending on your shipping needs. You can request open auto transport or enclosed shipping, and there are options for door-to-door delivery and expedited shipping as well. The table below shows the cost to ship a vehicle using Montway Auto Transport.
|Shipping Distance||Carrier type||Total Cost||Cost per mile|
|500 miles or less||Open||$719||$1.43|
|500 to 1,500 miles||Open||$1,369||$0.88|
|500 to 1,500 miles||Enclosed||$1,739||$1.12|
|3,000 miles or more||Open||$1,809||$0.60|
To learn more about this provider, see our complete Montway Auto Transport review.
uShip Auto Shipping Cost
For a low-cost auto transport service option, uShip is a good place to start. The auto transport company serves the entire U.S. and even offers overseas shipping if you’re looking to ship a car internationally. While uShip does not guarantee that every auto mover has insurance, you can purchase extra insurance protection from uShip for an additional fee.
Like Montway Auto Transport, uShip is a marketplace that pairs shippers with customers. With uShip, you have the option to pay more for an instant rate or post your request to have auto transporters bid on your contract, reducing the final cost. The table below shows the cost to ship a vehicle using uShip.
|Shipping Distance||Carrier type||Total cost||Cost per mile|
|500 miles or less||Open||$689||$1.39|
|500 to 1,500 miles||Open||$1,249||$0.80|
|500 to 1,500 miles||Enclosed||$1,529||$0.98|
|3,000 miles or more||Open||$2,177||$0.72|
If you’re looking to learn more about this company, read our complete uShip review.
Vehicle Transport Cost: FAQ
Below are some frequently asked questions on car shipping costs: