How Much to Ship a Vehicle Across The US?

If you’re relocating to the other side of the country for a new job, you likely need to get there fast and driving may not be an option. Or, maybe you’re planning on spending the winter in a warmer, southern state. It’s always easier and more convenient to fly but what if you’d like the luxury of having your vehicle with you while you’re out of town?

In these cases, it makes the most sense to hire an auto transport company to haul your vehicle to the desired location across the US. However, the first question you’ll likely ask your auto transport company is: how much will it cost to ship my vehicle across the US? This question doesn’t have a simple, one-size fits all answer and will depend on various factors. Regardless, according to the A-1 Auto Transport website, the average cost to ship a vehicle within the continental United States is $950 with the highest average cost being $1,200 and the lowest $700.

We’ll outline all of the factors that influence the price of shipping a car cross-country as well as provide you with some money saving tips to get the best deal possible!

Vehicle Shipping Quotes Per Mile

On average, shipping a vehicle across the country will cost $.60 per mile for trips over 1,000 miles. Whereas, shorter distance trips cost more per mile. Some of the factors that impact this price include distance, vehicle size, chosen method of transportation and time of year the vehicle is being shipped.

Keep in mind that some auto shipping companies may charge a flat shipping fee instead of a per-mile rate but the price you pay will still largely depend on distance.

How does size and weight affect the price of shipping a vehicle across the US?

In general, the larger the vehicle, the more it will cost to have it shipped. Larger cars take up more space on the transport whereas, smaller, more compact vehicles are lighter and take up less space in comparison. This fact is reflected in the lower cost of transporting smaller vehicles across the country. Additionally, the heavier weight of larger vehicles affects the fuel consumption of the transport.

While some auto transport companies allow personal items to be loaded into the vehicle prior to shipment, this will increase the weight and the overall price you pay. This may seem like a desirable option for transporting your goods to your final location, but it will cost you a bit more and car shipping companies are typically not licensed to transport household items. In this case, they will require you to leave the vehicle empty before being loaded on the auto transport. Always speak with your car shipping company early to ask them about their particular policies!

Auto Shipping Methods and Average Costs

Although trucks are the most common way to ship a vehicle across the US, there are other methods provided by your auto shipping company. Let’s examine the various methods and their associated rates.

  • Shipping a vehicle by transport truck. The average price to ship a vehicle across the country by truck is $950. For an extra cost, you can opt for the convenience of door-to-door service. Or, if you’re looking to save some money, you can drop off and pick up your car at a dedicated terminal.
  • Air transportation. Transporting a vehicle via airplane is arguably the most expensive method. Depending on location, you could end up paying as much as $100,000. Because of the significant expense, airplane transportation is not a common method for shipping a car across the country. However, it is the fastest method and often desirable for people relocating internationally.
  • Transporting a car by train. The price to ship a car by rail varies depending on the route but it will usually run you less that $1,000. The increase in fuel prices have made this method more economical as trains require less gas to run than transport trucks.
  • Boat transportation. You can easily transport your vehicle to locations such as Alaska or Hawaii by ship. This method of transportation will cost you between $1,000 and $5,000.

How does the time of year change the price of transporting a vehicle cross-country?

In the summer months, the auto transport industry tends to be at its busiest and trucks book up fast. Because of this, the competition for getting your vehicle on an open transport is high and you can expect to pay more. In general, you’ll usually pay around $200 to $300 more to transport your vehicle across the US in the summer than in wintertime. Excluding holidays, shipping a car during the winter is typically less expensive and slower.

Also, keep in mind that the entire industry usually becomes backed up during the tail end of December and much of January. it’s always recommended to start scheduling with an auto shipping company as early as possible to acquire your desired date for transport.

Shipping Luxury, Antique and Rare Vehicles Across the US

If you are the owner of an antique, luxury, exotic or rare vehicle, you will likely go to great lengths to ensure that it is properly protected. Because of this, you will ultimately end up spending more money to have your car shipped across the country. Some of the ways you can pay to protect your vehicle include:

  • Closed auto shipping. This method helps protect your car from the elements and inclement weather during travel.
  • Door-to-door service. For an extra fee you can have peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is fully protected from pick up to drop off.
  • Liftgate elevators. Instead of using a ramp to have your car loaded onto the hauler you can elect for a liftgate elevator. This option is less likely to cause damage to your vehicle.

Closed vehicle hauling will generally cost you 60% more than shipping your vehicle on an open-air trailer. For details and costs associated with door-to-door service and liftgate elevators, speak with an auto shipping expert.

What extra fees can I expect when shipping my car across the US?

As always, check with your auto transport company in regards to surcharges. Here are some of the extra fees you may run into:

  • Additional space required for oversized cars can cost you double the regular price.
  • Fuel surcharges will fluctuate depending on market prices.
  • Insurance for valuable or rare cars will acquire additional charges, varying by carrier.
  • Express shipping your vehicle can cost you $200 to $500 more. This will vary depending on the time of year and other factors.

Hire an Auto Transport Company with Experience!

With over 30 years of experience in the auto transport industry, Ship Vehicles knows a thing or two about shipping vehicles across the US. When you partner with us we guarantee that you’ll get the best price without compromising the excellent service and individual attention that you deserve.

Our dedicated team of car shipping experts will provide you with all the information and attention to detail that you need to make shipping your vehicle across the US a smooth and painless process. Take a moment to fill out our online quote request form or give one our live representatives a call today for your no obligation quote!

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