The average cost to ship a car within the continental U.S. is around $1,000, with the lowest flirting near $700-$750 and the highest average price being in the $1200-$1,300 neighborhood. In general, the per-mile average for automobile shipping is $0.60/mile for distances over 1,000 miles. Shorter routes cost more per mile (around $1 per mile). 

However, the total cost is affected by factors such as the selected transportation method, the time of the year, the distance that has to be covered, and the vehicle size, among others. That being said, you may find companies that charge a flat fee for car shipping. In this case, though, look at the fine print as there are usually extra charges that add to the shipping cost quickly. 

Are you trying to figure out how much it costs to ship a car? If so, you’ve come to the right place! There are a lot of factors that will impact your overall shipping prices and services, and we have a handy breakdown of all the things that will affect your prices. So read on, learn about how much it costs to ship a car, and get free quotes to ship your vehicle via our online form or by calling us toll-free any time.


Average Car Shipping Costs Per Transport Type

The most cost-effective way to transport a car is by open transport as enclosed transport shipping costs around $400-$500 more than open transport shipping (always for the same car type and traveled distance). Having said that, the overwhelming majority of car owners prefer open transport carriers, leaving the premium shipping option for individuals with exotic cars, classic cars, luxury cars, and other custom vehicles. In this case, owners of such vehicles go to great lengths to protect their property, which is why they prefer not only enclosed auto shipping but also options with things like liftgate elevators that cause much less damage to cars compared to ramps. Even door-to-door transport services come into play here, which means more expensive car shipping. 

Contact us for more information about the cost of these perks. 


Average Car Shipping Costs Per Distance Traveled 

Bear in mind that the longer the trip, the more gas the truck driver will need. This automatically means more expensive car shipping services. The following table provides an average car shipping cost per distance after calculating and comparing the costs of 3 car sizes across 5 distances using the current prices, offers, and availability. 

Please note that these are subject to change, though. We are just giving you an idea of the average cost per transport type here. To get a precise estimate of the cost, use our Auto Transport Calculator to get a quote. 

Average cost Open transport Enclosed transport
150 miles $470 $350 $590
550 miles $750 $550 $950
1,000 miles $1,150 $900 $1,400
1,050 miles $985 $720 $1,250
2,750 miles $1,300 $1,050 $1,550


The bigger the car, the more it will cost to ship. For every car size you jump up, you add another $100 (approximately) to the price tag. Roughly estimated, an average car will cost you about $850 to ship. An SUV requires around $920, while a truck is charged nearly $1,100 to transport. Of course, enclosed shipping increases the total cost by around $200 on average. 

It should also be noted that the car shipping cost is also affected by whether the transport distance involves in-state or cross country trips. Surcharges, such as charges for overnight trips, charges for leaving the state, toll roads, and gas play a role in the final quote you will receive. 

Also, if a shipment is to or from a location that is difficult to reach (i.e., a place remote from an interstate), this automatically makes the shipment more expensive than shipments to major cities with easy access. So, the average cross-country cost to ship a vehicle is $1,300, while an in-state trip will set you back $500 on average (covering 150 miles or less). 


Average Car Shipping Cost Based On Vehicle Size 

Vehicle Type Average Weight (pounds) Estimated Cost per 1,000 miles
Minivan 4500 $0.96
Midsize SUV 4300 $0.86
Mid-sized Pickup Truck 4300 $0.86
Mid-sized car 3500 $0.75
Compact car 3000 $0.59


The reason why bigger cars are costlier to transport is that they take up more space on the transport truck. Also, a heavier vehicle is not as easy on the carrier’s gas mileage as a lighter one. Consequently, it will cost you less to ship smaller cars like a Ford Escape or a Kia Sportage than a Ford F-150 or a Chevrolet Silverado. 

The following table offers an overview of the average cost to ship a car, SUV, or truck via OPEN transport. 

Distance (miles) Truck SUV Car
150 miles $400 $380 $350
550 miles $650 $580 $540
1,000 miles $1,070 $920 $850
1,100 miles $900 $770 $750
2,750 miles $1,200 $1,100 $1,050


Here are the average automobile shipping costs by distance to ship an SUV or a truck via ENCLOSED transport:

Distance (miles) SUV Truck
150 miles $490 $600
550 miles $780 $940
1,000 miles $1,250 $1,490
1,050 miles $990 $1,280
2,750 miles $1,370 $1,620



Average Car Shipping Costs By Freight

Although most operators use trucks to transport cars, there are other methods as well, such as airplanes, trains, or ships. Air transportation will cost you as much as $100,00 if you are shipping your automobile to an international destination and less if sending your car within the country (i.e., Hawaii or Alaska). Nevertheless, it remains much more expensive than shipping a vehicle by truck. But, if you are after an easy move while relocating overseas, air freight is a good option. 

Shipping your car on a train, on the other hand, will cost you no more than $1,000 (route- and railway company-depending, of course). It is an economical (and practical) transportation method due to the rising fuel prices. 

As for the charges to ship a car, they range between $1,000 and $5,000, depending on the distance that has to be covered. It remains a handy option for destinations like Hawaii or Alaska. 

Other factors that affect automobile shipping costs:

  • The condition of the vehicle – If the car is not in working condition, you will be called to pay more to ship it.
  • Extra services – If you require expedited auto shipping or additional insurance, you increase the shipping cost of your vehicle by around $250 to $550. 
  • Route – Direct routes, traffic jams, and road closures influence the price.
  • Number of vehicles – Naturally, it will cost you more to ship more than one car although you might be able to obtain a discount on the total cost. 
  • Seasonality – During peak car shipping season, prices heat up. This is usually done in the summertime because trucks book up fast, which means that the competition on finding available trucks to load and ship the cars is high. In general, you are called to pay between $200-$350 more in the summer than in the winter months. As for the winter season, it is cheaper to ship a car, but also much slower, due to the weather conditions that may come into play. 
  • Failed delivery –  Sometimes, car owners fail to make contact during the delivery window, which results in a failed delivery. When that happens, the surcharges are quite hefty and count several hundred dollars.

Disclaimer: The price ranges you see in these tables are subject to change. This means that they are just indicators of the costs related to automobile shipping. Things like gas price fluctuations and other factors may have already changed the prices when you view this page. To get a BINDING price quote, use our online auto transports calculator. 


Factors That Affect the Cost of Shipping a Car

The total cost you pay to ship your vehicle has a number of composite factors.

For starters, where are you shipping from or to? The distance between the two plays a major role in your total price. What kind of vehicle are you shipping? What condition is it in? These variables are also important.

Carriers will take all this information and more to come up with a total price for your specific car transport services. Luckily, with American Auto Shipping, we can find you the best quotes from the best companies completely free of charge.

Distance: Where are you shipping from and to?

The distance between your pickup and delivery locations tends to be the #1 most important factor in your car transport price.

The further you ship, the more expensive it usually is. Most companies will price shipments on a per-mile basis, and the price per mile tends to go down for longer distances. Short distances are cheaper, but cost more per mile, while longer shipments are more expensive, but cost less per mile.

Luckily for you, using our services will get you the right price, every time.

Vehicle Type: What are you shipping?

What you’re shipping is almost as important as where you’re shipping from and to.

Shippers need exact information regarding your vehicle so they know how much space to allocate for it. Larger vehicles cost more to ship for this reason.

If your vehicle is a van or a pickup truck, prospective carriers may need the dimensions of it. This is true for any larger-than-average vehicle, really.

Note that you can get a free quote to ship any kind of vehicle through our free quote form. If you are shipping heavy equipment, you can use our heavy equipment quote request form and give us all the pertinent information right there.

Maneuverability: Does your vehicle run?

The condition of your vehicle will also play an important role in how much it costs to ship your car. If your car doesn’t start, but it can still roll, brake, and steer, a winch can be used to load and unload it.

This is great – vehicles are usually loaded via driving them onto the truck. So a winch, while being more expensive, won’t be nearly as bad if it can’t roll, brake, or steer.

However, this is something you’ll need to talk to your agent about. Not all shippers have a winch on their truck. If you don’t tell your agent that your vehicle is not running, they may dispatch a truck that cannot load your vehicle.

You don’t want this to happen, as they will likely make you pay for wrongful dispatch as well as for the new carrier.

Transport Type: How do you want your vehicle shipped?

Enclosed Car Shipping Services

Most vehicles that are transported are done so via an open auto transport truck. Open shipping is the cheapest method and easily the most popular for this reason. Enclosed transportation provides extra protection from inclement weather, road debris, and other vehicles on the road. However, it also comes at a higher cost – usually 35-50% more than the cost of open shipping on the same route. For heavy equipment and vehicles that can’t fit on a standard carrier, flatbed shipping is also available. This is used on an as-needed basis, whereas open and enclosed transportation is usually available on-demand.

Origination: Are you shipping from a major city?

Major cities and their metro areas are more popular than rural locations for several reasons.

For starters, there are naturally more carriers in larger cities. Also, there are more potential customers.

This makes things cheaper since carriers don’t have to go out of their way to pickup or deliver a vehicle.

For rural shipments, if you’re close to a highway, that will help your price. If you’re in the middle of nowhere, however, prices tend to be at their highest.

Seasonality: What season is it?

You’d be surprised, but the seasons can and will affect auto transport services and how much it will take to ship your car.

Summer shipping sees a lot more trucks on the road, which can decrease prices along some routes. Popular routes may see price increases due to high demand from customers but only so many carriers.

However, during the winter months, warmer states are more popular. Couple this with lower demand during the winter and prices can get higher depending on the route. At the same time, some routes see price decreases as well.

We recommend speaking to an agent about your shipment to find out more.


Car Shipping Cost FAQs

How much is auto transport?

The cost of auto transport will depend on distance, vehicle type and condition, carrier type, and season. Shipments of less than 1000 miles tend to cost more than $1/mile, whereas shipments over 1000 miles tend to cost less.

How long does it take for a car to be shipped?

Once you place an order to ship your car, it will take, on average, 1-7 days for your vehicle to be picked up. Once it is en route, it can take anywhere from a few days to two weeks to deliver the vehicle. This is based on the normal drive time for the route.

How much does it cost to ship a car 1000 miles?

Shipments that average 1000 miles tend to cost $500-$800 depending on various factors. Time of year, what you need to ship, what kind of carrier you need, all will factor into your final price. Fill out our free quote form to get an instant estimate to ship your vehicle.

How much does it cost to ship a car to Hawaii?

You might be asked to pay between $1,000- $1,500, depending on the vehicle size and the transportation method.

How much is it to ship a car to Canada or Alaska?

For Canada, the average shipping cost is between $750 and $2,650, while the average price to ship an automobile to Alaska is $1,000 or slightly more. Again, the distance, as well as customs and duties, play a major role in the total price you will be asked to pay.

How much does it cost to ship an automobile overseas?

The destination influences the cost, in this case. For instance, a shipment to Australia can cost you between $1,600 – $ 6.500 and around $1,500 if you ship the car to the UK.

What is an open transport?

Open transport is the cheapest and most cost-effective method to ship a vehicle. Up to ten vehicles at a time can fit on an open transport truck. They are known as “open” because they leave the vehicles open to the elements.

How long does it take to ship a car from New York to Florida?

Total drive time from New York to Florida averages 16-18 hours. This results in 2-3 days of driving, as carriers can only travel for so far and so long before they have to take a brake.

How long does it take to ship a car from California to New York?

On average it takes 7-10 days for a carrier to travel from California to New York. This can be increased if they have to stop at other pickup or delivery locations along the way. Other factors, such as inclement weather, traffic, and more, will also affect transit times.

Dave Armstrong
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