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Montway Auto Transport, Sherpa Auto Transport, and Easy Auto Ship are three great options for cheap car shipping services.

 

Planning your next move? We'll show you how to get cheap car shipping by comparing providers and shopping for affordable services. Auto shipping is a supply-and-demand business, so prices can fluctuate widely. Using a shipping broker is often the easiest way to secure a carrier at a reasonable cost.

In this article, we’ll detail the factors that go into the cost of car shipping services, provide recommendations for transport companies, and give tips on how to lower costs. You can also read about the best car shipping companies and start comparing free quotes right away from our top picks.

 

In this article:

How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Car?

According to our research, a 1,500-mile open transport shipment typically costs around $1,056. Depending on the company, you could pay anywhere from $884 to $1,598 for that distance, which is why it's important to compare providers when you shop.

Below are average price ranges for distances of 500, 1,500, and 3,000 miles.

Open Car Shipping Distance Average Price Range
500 miles (Chicago to Kansas City, MO) $675 to $828
1,500 miles (Los Angeles to Houston) $884 to $1,598
3,000 miles (New York City to San Francisco) $1,160 to $1,820
 

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.

The price of long-distance car transport services isn’t set in stone. According to Montway Auto Transport, car shipping costs are usually around $1.96 per mile for distances under 500 miles. The rate decreases to 93 cents per mile for distances between 500 and 1,500 miles and drops to 58 cents per mile for distances over 1,500 miles.

Many auto movers work through a bidding process, so prices are typically not fixed, which means it’s possible to get cheap car shipping rates from multiple companies. 

Cost To Transport A Car Across The Country

In our analysis, we received multiple quotes for shipping a vehicle on an open carrier from New York to San Francisco. Shipping across the country costs about $1,541 between major cities. Quotes ranged from $1,160 to $1,820, with AmeriFreight offering the cheapest cross-country option on average. 

Shipping a car long distance, from California to Florida for example, costs more than shipping a car between states. However, it costs less per mile.

Cheapest Way To Ship A Car To Another State

Whether you're shipping a car to a neighboring state or halfway across the country, it's cheapest to use a shipping broker that offers open car transport. The good news is that most carriers provide this as a standard option and will deliver your vehicle to your door.


What’s The Cheapest Way To Ship A Car?

The cheapest and easiest way to ship a car is through open auto transport (instead of enclosed auto transport). Open-air transporters can fit 10 or more vehicles at once. According to our quote data, the average 1,500-mile open car shipment costs $1,056. Enclosed carriers cost about $1,645 for the same distance.

Door-To-Door Auto Transport

The most common pickup and delivery option is door-to-door shipping. Most car shipping calculators online default to this service. With door-to-door transport, the carrier will meet you at or near your pickup and drop-off locations. Be aware that you may need to meet the carrier on a nearby street or in a parking lot if your neighborhood has limited truck access.

Terminal-To-Terminal Transport

Another cheap vehicle shipping option is terminal-to-terminal transport, where you drop off your car at an auto shipping terminal in one location and pick it up at a terminal at the destination. 

Not all car transport companies offer terminal-to-terminal transport, and this type of shipping only makes sense if both cities have a terminal. Also, you may have to wait days or even weeks for an auto carrier to pick up your vehicle. 

Shipping Luxury Or Classic Cars

The extra protection offered by enclosed car shipping is the way to go if you're shipping a classic or luxury vehicle. You can expect to pay more for enclosed transport, but you can also find lower rates by comparing your options early. Shop at least two weeks in advance to get the best price on an enclosed carrier for your car. 

How Can I Save Money On Shipping A Car?

The best way to save money on shipping a car is to compare open car transport quotes at least two weeks before you plan on moving. You can also choose terminal-to-terminal shipping for cheaper service if it’s available on your route.

Tips For Finding Cheap Car Shipping

You can get cheap car shipping quotes from providers in the following ways:

  • Reserve early: If you book as soon as possible, more carriers will be available for your dates, and you'll avoid the hassle of expedited fees.
  • Be flexible with pickup and delivery dates: Flexibility with pickup and delivery dates will increase the number of shippers that can take your job.
  • Use shipping terminals (if available): You can save money by dropping your car off and picking it up at a shipping terminal.
  • Request open shipping: Open shipping is cheaper than enclosed shipping. (Low-clearance or modified vehicles may require enclosed transport.)
  • Clean out your car: Reduce the weight of your vehicle as much as possible by removing all personal items before shipping.
  • Compare multiple quotes: Look at quotes and offers from multiple auto shipping companies to find the best price. 

How Car Shipping Costs Are Determined

Many factors affect your car shipping cost, including:

  • Size and weight of your car: The heavier your car, the more you’ll pay to transport it. SUVs and trucks usually cost more to ship than cars.
  • Pickup and delivery locations: Urban areas will likely be less expensive to ship to and from.
  • Vehicle condition: It’s easier to move a car if it’s drivable, which means working vehicles are less expensive to ship than inoperable ones.
  • Shipping distance: Shorter distances usually have higher per-mile costs but cheaper prices overall.
  • Time of year: It’s more expensive to transport your car in January and summer months since these are peak car shipping times.
  • Transport type: For cheap car shipping, opt for open carrier transport. But if you want your car to have full protection, use an enclosed trailer.
  • Fuel prices: If gas prices are especially high, some companies charge customers additional fees.

5 Cheap Car Shipping Companies

Cost is among the most important factors when choosing a car shipping company. However, you certainly want to make sure your carrier is reliable as well as cheap. Only pick an auto shipper that is registered and licensed. Also, make sure your shipper has the proper insurance policies for peace of mind in case your vehicle suffers damage during transport.

The table below shows several of our recommendations for cheap car shipping.

Cheap Car Shipping Companies Motor 1 Overall Rating Cost Rating Get a Free Quote
Montway Auto Transport 4.6 4.3 Get Quote
Sherpa Auto Transport 4.5 4.6 Get Quote
AmeriFreight 4.5 4.3 Get Quote
Easy Auto Ship 4.5 3.8 Get Quote
uShip 4.4 4.0 Get Quote
 

Montway Auto Transport: Best Overall

Founded: 2006
Headquarters: Schaumburg, Illinois
Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating: A+ with accreditation

Montway Auto Transport is an auto shipping broker that works with over 15,000 motor carriers across the United States. Montway rates are competitive, and customers can ship anywhere in the U.S. The company has no listing fees but does impose a minimum $199 fee if you decide to cancel after a carrier accepts your shipment.

When we reached out to Montway for a car shipping quote, we found lower average costs for open vehicle transport than with almost every other company we contacted. 

Montway Auto Transport Pros Montway Auto Transport Cons
Over 15,000 auto carriers No guaranteed pricing
Competitive prices Minimum $199 cancellation fee
Military and return-customer discounts  
Strong customer reputation  
 

Montway has a 4.5-star rating from customers on the BBB. For more information about this auto transport company, read our full Montway Auto Transport review

 

Sherpa Auto Transport: Locked-In Prices

Founded: 2017
Headquarters: Charlotte, North Carolina
BBB Rating: A+ with accreditation

Sherpa Auto Transport has an excellent customer reputation and an A+ rating from the BBB. While the initial quotes you receive from Sherpa may be slightly higher than some competitors, the company offers a Price Lock Promise that ensures you won't pay more for shipping than your initial quote indicates.

With other auto shipping providers, your initial quote is just an estimate and your final rate may be higher. Sherpa rates may ultimately end up lower than other shippers, and you can have peace of mind that your original quote is the maximum you'll pay.

Sherpa Auto Transport Pros Sherpa Auto Transport Cons
Price Lock Promise Sometimes more expensive than competitors' initial quotes
Vetted network of insured carriers No terminal-to-terminal shipping option
Easy-to-use booking process No shipping to Alaska or Hawaii
A+ rating from the BBB and few customer complaints  
 

Sherpa has a 4.9-star rating from customers on the BBB. Read our full Sherpa Auto Transport review for more information. 

 

AmeriFreight: Best Discounts

Founded: 2004
Headquarters: Peachtree City, Georgia
BBB Rating: A+ with accreditation

One of our top-rated providers overall, AmeriFreight partners with over 10,000 car shipping companies to transport vehicles cross-country. AmeriFreight carefully vets all of its truckers to verify they are fully insured and consistently meet customer expectations.

The AmeriFreight website says the cost to ship a vehicle ranges from $450 to $2,500, with increased fees for shipping to Alaska and Hawaii. Many auto transport brokers do not offer special discounts, but AmeriFreight is an exception. Customers can find the following discounts:

  • Military: $35 off
  • First responders: $35 off
  • Medical personnel: $35 off
  • Early Bird: $35 off if you sign up within 48 hours of getting a quote
  • Students: $25 off
  • Senior citizens: $25 off
  • Return customer: $50 off
  • Multiple vehicles: $50 off every additional vehicle

The Early Bird is the only discount AmeriFreight allows you to use in combination with another discount on the same order. Customers can get locked-in pricing by choosing AmeriFreight's First Class Rate. 

AmeriFreight Pros AmeriFreight Cons
A+ rating from the BBB with accreditation Slower online quotes process than some competitors
Many discount opportunities  
Strict car shipper vetting process  
Top-rated customer service  
 

AmeriFreight has a 4.9-star rating from customers on the BBB. Read our full AmeriFreight review for more information.  

 

Easy Auto Ship: Best For A Quick Pickup

Founded: 2013
Headquarters: Youngstown, Ohio
BBB Rating: A+ with accreditation

Easy Auto Ship specializes in low-cost auto shipping and relocation services. Rates with Easy Auto Ship average around $1.20 per mile, though this depends on your shipping distance and the other factors mentioned above. Easy Auto Ship offers discounts for military members and veterans, as well as for paying in cash.

Another perk of Easy Auto Ship is vehicle tracking and periodic alerts throughout the transportation process. For example, you get an alert when your car is assigned a driver and when it’s picked up. You can also call the company for a real-time update on the location of your vehicle. In addition to vehicles, Easy Auto Ship can ship RVs, motorcycles, golf carts, and more.

Easy Auto Ship Pros Easy Auto Ship Cons
A+ rating from the BBB with accreditation More complaints than other top providers
Low rates  
Vehicle tracking  
 

Easy Auto Ship has a 4.6-star rating from customers on the BBB. Read our Easy Auto Ship review for more information. 

 

uShip: Best Car Shipping Marketplace

Founded: 2003
Headquarters: Austin, Texas
BBB Rating: A+ with accreditation

If you want car shipping for cheap, you can let auto transporters bid directly for the job. uShip is a marketplace where independent carriers bid against each other to transport your vehicle. When reaching out for a quote, you can request an instant quote or post your shipping request to the marketplace for bidding. Instant quotes can be more expensive, so if time allows, we recommend posting your job to find cheap car shipping rates.

In addition to shipping costs, uShip charges a service fee that ranges from $25 to $150. Some shippers carry insurance, but if your carrier doesn't have insurance, you can purchase it separately.

uShip Pros uShip Cons
Established industry reputation Does not verify insurance coverage of shippers
Makes it easy to compare offers from a wide range of shippers and brokers Does not have the best process for resolving issues with drivers
Hassle-free shipping No price guarantee, so quoted prices may fluctuate
Competitive prices  
 

uShip has a 4.6-star rating from customers on the BBB. Learn more in our complete uShip review.

 

Plan Ahead For Cheap Car Shipping

The best way to find affordable car shipping costs is to plan ahead and compare multiple quotes. The earlier you can book, the better chance you have of securing your ideal time frame and finding low rates. We recommend comparing quotes from at least three providers to find the best option.


FAQ: Cheap Car Shipping

What’s the cheapest way to ship my car?

The cheapest way to ship a car is to use open car transport services. Other ways to find the lowest vehicle shipping prices include reviewing multiple quotes from providers, being flexible on drop-off and pickup dates, and paying with cash on delivery.

What is the cheapest car shipping company?

Our research found that AmeriFreight and Montway Auto Transport tend to have some of the cheapest prices in the auto transport industry. The cost of car shipping services varies based on distance and numerous other factors.

Why is car shipping so expensive?

Car shipping can be expensive because it takes a lot of time, money, and labor to move 10 cars at once across the country. Car shipping costs are also dependent on market conditions as carriers can choose to accept a shipment or not at a given price.

Is it worth it to ship a car?

It’s often worth it to ship your car if you are moving over 500 miles. However, if you’re doing a shorter in-state move, you’d save money by driving the vehicle or having someone else drive it.

What is the cheapest way to ship a car across the country?

The cheapest way to ship a car across the country is to use an open car transport service and book at least two weeks in advance. Also, pay the driver with cash upon delivery for a slightly lower price (instead of by credit card online).

How much does it cost to ship a car 1,000 miles?

The shipping price for a 1,000-mile move could be anywhere from $750 to $1,000 or more. Factors such as the season of the year, distance, transport method, and type of car all affect shipping costs.

Is it cheaper to ship more than one car?

Car carriers such as AmeriFreight and Montway offer discounts for transporting multiple vehicles. Montway says vehicles need to be on the same transport carrier and heading to the same location to receive the discount.


Methodology

In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of car shipping companies to formulate rankings of the best transporters. Providers receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.

  • Reputation: Shippers with a history of strong business practices and endorsements from experts receive the highest scores in this category.
  • Cost: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of shipping routes, distances, and vehicles. Companies with lower prices and many discount opportunities receive the best scores.
  • Services: This rating is based on types of auto transport services available, insurance coverage, and the ability to guarantee pick-up and dropoff dates.
  • Customer Experience: We comb through customer reviews and perform our own shopper analysis to get a sense of the responsiveness and helpfulness of each car transporter.