What is the Most Expensive Place in the U.S. To Ship A Vehicle to or From?
If you didn’t know, auto transport isn’t the cheapest industry for customers. It’s not like it’s incredibly expensive, but shipping a vehicle requires hundreds of dollars – sometimes thousands – and days or even weeks of your time.
Then again, it’s not like there’s many alternatives; auto transportation services are the way they are because it’s the best and least expensive method of shipping a vehicle that we have available to us. Customers have to abide by that, unfortunately, but it’s either that or drive the car yourself (or pay someone else to drive it for you).
Of course, this brings with it it’s own slew of problems, including the mileage and wear and tear you put on the vehicle when you drive it long distances. If you want to avoid all that, you have to ship a vehicle.
Before we talk about the most expensive place in the country to ship a vehicle to or from – and there are actually a few, and it changes, so it’s not set-in-stone or anything – we need to talk about what actually goes into pricing your shipment. Auto transport prices are based on several factors, including:
- Geographical locations of your pickup and delivery locations
- Distance between your pickup and delivery locations
- Fuel prices at time of shipment
- How many other people are also shipping along your route
- Carrier availability along your route
- Inclement weather along your route
- Distance of pickup/delivery locations to interstate highways
- Distance of pickup/delivery locations to major metro areas
We could go on – these are just some of the most important factors. But what it all comes down to is the fact that the auto transport industry is based heavily on routes, with routes in between major metropolitan areas being cheaper than rural routes. Some of those factors are such that no one in the industry has control over them, fuel prices and the weather being the main ones there.
But all this just boils down to the fact that some places, such as Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Houston and Miami (and not necessarily in that particular order) are some of the easiest and cheapest places to get to or from because their routes are popular with customers and carriers.
Not only that, the weather is typically nice enough to drive big trucks through, and they’re connected to some of the most heavily-traveled interstates in the country. This is especially true for the more southern cities like Houston and Miami, which just so happen to be two of the largest metro areas in the nation.
Now let’s start thinking of areas that are isolated, hard to get to or from, with few people living and moving there and bad weather during the fall, winter and early spring (a map generally helps with this). These are areas like the Dakotas, Montana, and Wyoming.
If you look at a map of the U.S. that has the interstate highway system on it (Google Maps is great, by the way) you can see where there are large cities with major routes in and out, and you can see where there aren’t a lot of places that have high concentrations of highways or interstate in and out.
Large swaths of the Midwest have few routes through them, with only the largest cities in those states having adequate infrastructure to support auto transportation trucks. That and the fact that most of the cities in the Midwest are either huge or not – there’s not a lot of in-between like there is on the coasts or in New England. This makes areas such as North and South Dakota some of the most expensive areas in the United States to ship to throughout most of the year.
The Dakotas are particularly troublesome because of their lack of populations and geographic isolation. Auto shippers prefer routes that go through major metro areas, but if you look at a map where are all the largest cities located?
The Midwest has a few, but the coasts and the southern U.S. have the most population centers – the Great Lakes, too. The Great Lakes region has a lot of interstates running in and out, making areas such as Cleveland and Chicago a lot cheaper to get to or from, but shippers don’t keep going northwest into North Dakota because no one ships there. Same with Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, and even Idaho.
With Minnesota you at least have Minneapolis, home to over 400,000 residents. During the winter it gets more expensive, but if you think Minneapolis prices are high, wait til you get quotes to Minot, North Dakota. It’s the way of the industry, unfortunately.
If you have questions about where you are shipping from or to, don’t hesitate to call us at 800-930-7417 to speak to one of our live agents. We have real live people waiting in the wings to help you with your auto shipping needs, and they can answer questions and break down the industry for you if you need assistance.
You can also fill out our free quote form for a free, no-hassle quote to ship your vehicle anywhere in the U.S. We specialize in shipping to and from all 50 states, and we price our quotes to move your vehicle when you need it moved.