Car Shipping Cost

What Are the Standard Costs Involved in Shipping a Car Across the Country or to Another State?

If you've read our last related page about cross-country shipping …

You know there's a lot on your plate to consider.

Getting an accurate auto shipping quote is usually a matter of simply filling out a quote form per your shipping details and specific vehicle requirements. This also entails deciding beforehand how much extra you're willing to spend for add-on options such as an enclosed carrier.

The efficiency, type of car transport, vetting transport companies, and your desired delivery time. Well, today we're going to dive deeper into the actual expected costs you can predict when getting auto transport quotes.

We'll do our best to give as many specifics as possible, but the factors will depend on a myriad of different choices you have at your fingertips.

Primarily, different auto transport routes and companies will require unique assessments of cost, and a few pillars stick out to us as the most important.

Think of the type of transport you want, whether your vehicle is a truck, SUV, or regular car, the condition it's in, and your desired start and end locations.

Let's get started with defining each, so you can get the most accurate car shipping rates!

Here's A Full List of 6 Shipping Cost Considerations:

1. Open vs. Enclosed Transport

2. Car vs. SUV vs. Truck (Make & Model)

3. High Demand Route & Distance

4. The Condition of Your Vehicle

5. Pickup & Drop-off Locations

6. The 'Season' Consideration

Now that you've got the outline, we'll specify each option for you in a series of six major points.

1. Do You Want Open or Enclosed Transport?

The cheapest, most popular way to ship a vehicle is open transport.

This is the industry-norm, and most clients choose this option, seeing that it's the cheapest and entry level auto shipping rates start here.

However, the clients with luxury automobiles, collector's cars, antiques, classics, and precious foreign exotics usually opt for an enclosed carrier. This is because the prices of these cars, the condition, and their inherent value to the owner is sky-high.

You're welcome to upgrade to an enclosed carrier too, even without a luxury vehicle. If you're closely attached to your vehicle and it's one of your prized possessions, it just may be worth it to you to pay extra.

Just know, the open transport is the standard option, and will be the starting point for moving your car.

2. Is Your Vehicle a Car, SUV or Truck?

Considering the type, make, and model of your vehicle is of paramount importance when calculating the total auto shipment cost.

Any top-rated auto transport company will ask you the specifications of your vehicle being shipped.

Obviously, longer, taller, heavier vehicles like SUVs and trucks will naturally require more space on the carrier, and take up more weight on it, requiring more overall fuel and precious cargo space for a successful cross-country or state to state shipment.

Also, if you've got a truck or Jeep that's lifted, or has aftermarket tires and wheels on it, it will inevitably take far more space to load a vehicle like this than the usual. These types of shipments either occupy multiple positions on the car carrier or need to be shipped on a flatbed truck.

Therefore, we will ask you basic questions about your vehicle type, year, make, model, and size so we can give you an accurate quote and calculate the right prices for you on your auto transport shipment.

Get an auto transport quote easily right here online!

3. High-Demand Routes & Total Distance

Of course, no auto transport quote would be accurate or complete, without considering the total distance your vehicle will be traveling.

It should be considered the main starting point on your journey, and similar to the carrier type (open or enclosed) it's a very basic beginning cost.

Whether filling out a quote online, or speaking with one of our team members, you'll want to share this information first so you can get the most efficient service.

With most auto transport quote calculators, this will be the number one question: which states are you shipping to, and from? From there, we can accurately assess how far the car needs to travel for a successful journey.

Since all auto transport carriers take up a lot of fuel for the trek, and are weighted down by several other vehicles, drivers and companies should know their cost of fuel by usage and price per mile.

Needless to say, a relatively quick car transport from Denver to Las Vegas will cost incalculably less than a wide-ranging, cross-country auto transport from LA to NYC and vice versa!

So, when providing as close of an estimate to your ideal pick-ups and drop-offs…

It assists reliable auto transport companies, whether through an instant auto transport quote or human calculation, can quote your state-to-state vehicle shipment. Patriot Auto Transport manually quotes each shipment to ensure a valid accurate quote each time!

On top of this, you'll want to know whether your vehicle is locally-delivered or using high-demand routes. If your car will be spending most of its time on the highways, this makes for quicker, more optimal transportation.

But, if your car needs specific, rural deliveries, it makes it tougher. We'll cover this in point number five… but the general rule of thumb is to use frequently used, high-traffic roads and highways that traverse from state to state rather easily.

This makes sure you are saving money, by using roads in which other customers' cars on the transport will also be using.

4. What's the Condition of Your Vehicle?

Another point to consider here is what type of condition your car is in when you get picked up and transport.

If your car is in working condition, it's a lot easier for us to have it picked-up and loaded onto the car transporter. However, if your car is inoperable, it will need extra care to be loaded, ships at a higher rate and yields typically a longer estimated pick-up window.

Let's say your car is inoperable, but it is accessible and can still roll, brake, and steer…the good news is it can still be transported, but inoperable vehicles do come with challenges.

This is because your car can still be loaded, via winch, as long as both the loading and unloading locations are conducive and accessible for a large car carrier to negotiate.

This way, we're loading / unloading a car that's operable, easy for the drivers to drive on and off the car carrier, and will be picked-up and delivered quicker to your chosen destination.

5. Desired Pick-Up & Drop-Off Locations

Another important point to keep in mind is the pick-up and drop-offs you'd like.

If you live in a rural area, your best choice is to have your car picked-up and dropped-off in a larger, metropolitan area, city suburb, or off major Interstate Highways, in which the driver can just take a quick exit and get back on the road. The auto transport trucks are carrying multiple additional vehicles besides your own and keep a tight schedule traveling hundreds of miles daily, in addition to a number of restraints and restrictions the large trucks face.

Sometimes a shipper may opt to have it delivered to a more removed location and is ok with the premium associated with this as well as the extra time the transport can take on both the pick-up side as well as the delivery side.

We ask that you please think about it from the company's point of view: it takes extra fuel, resources, and time to interact in a removed or remote location.

Let's say you don't live in a major city like Atlanta or Seattle, or a metro area like Newton, MA, or Irvine, CA, or off a widely utilized interstate like the 405, 95, or 40 … If you're willing to meet the driver in a more optimal location for the pick-up point, and/or delivery, you'll save a few dollars and headaches.

Some locations are considered too remote and are not serviceable either because of the distance or accessibility, so if you're willing to meet elsewhere in these instances you'll be able to get your car shipped sooner rather than later.

Last but not least is the season in which you choose to ship…

6. Which Season Are You Shipping In?

A very important consideration popular among car shippers is seasonality.

Why is this? Its volume driven. In high demand seasons the price to ship your car will increase due to the limited available space on each car carrier.

Let's talk seasons:

It's a very popular option for customers to "fly south" for the winter. This mass exodus is known as "Snowbird Season" in the auto transport industry.

To provide a visual, when you're snowed in by 12-inches of Jack Frost, it's not that fun to pull out your daily driver to do what you could be doing in a more welcoming environment. This auto transport season is extremely popular among retirees.

Life is a lot more enjoyable with the warmth and sunshine of Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and Sarasota, Florida, than let's say it would be struggling through the brutal winters of Massachusetts, Minnesota, or New York!

This spike in auto shipping rates only typically impacts the northeast and northern midwest state customers transporting their vehicles to states such as South Carolina and Florida during the fall and winter months.

This reigns true once again around spring when those same shippers ship their vehicles back from Florida to the northern states when winter has finally retired once again for the year.

Keep an eye out for Snowbird and Reverse Snowbird Seasons, so you won't need to get caught up in the busy mix if you don't have to.

Again, we like to educate our customers with as much knowledge as possible so you can make the decision that best suits your needs, taking what we're sharing with you now, so you're not blindsided by variables unforeseen.

This season yields the heaviest volume throughout the entire United States car transport industry. It typically begins around mid spring and subsides in late summer.

Therefore, it behooves you to plan ahead for these times, and ideally avoid them if at all possible. If you absolutely have to ship a vehicle around these times, know you'll be competing with the highest amount of others wanting to do the same in spring and summer.

Thousands upon thousands of people relocate for work, school, moving back home, or for fun and play during this time period.

Auto transport rates during this period are much higher than the more palatable months such as October or February.

Many auto shipping routes experience significant volume increases and a few examples are Los Angeles to NYC, San Francisco to Washington, DC, Boston to Los Angeles, LA (once again) to Chicago, Orange County, CA to Seattle, etc...and vice versa.

During this time period it is especially advised to have a trusted backup contact (family member, friend, neighbor, colleague, etc…) just incase to assist with your auto transport if you will be departing the area prior to your vehicle being picked-up and loaded onto the car carrier.

This surge of the holiday season car shippers typically begins in early December.

Due to the backlog that can occur along some routes (due to the combination of both volume and drivers industry-wide taking time off to spend time with family) doesn't end until mid to late January.

When shipping your car state to state or across the country, you'll need to factor this in to get the best rate. Ideally, if you can route your desired time around these high-seasons, you can save a bit of money here.

It's tougher to do if you don't have that long of a timeframe, or much advanced notice, but if you do, you can plan ahead!

This is what we advise anyway; if possible and you have the flexibility, set up your auto transport pick-up with to occur prior to the rush of December or after the accrued volume that is present until mid to late January. This way, you can avoid the variables of the holiday season, and more predictably estimate when your vehicle will be picked-up and delivered, in addition to this you will save money on your vehicle move.

If you fall into any of the aforementioned categories, and you've got to have your vehicle with you year round (as many of us do!), just know that you'll be competing for both open carrier and enclosed carrier space with thousands of others who have the same idea.

Of course, for this reason the costs shoot up around these times for those who want to ship their cars when many others are making that same choice. Most reputable auto transport companies will provide this information ahead of time so you know what to expect.

Make sure to check auto transport pricing and clarify any extra costs for seasonality, and of course make sure to include your first available shipping date on the online auto shipping quote form so you can be accurately quoted.

So, Why Choose Patriot Auto Transport Over the Others?

Keeping all the necessary costs variables in mind, while constructing the perfect order for your desired auto transport company to handle…

It's no easy task.

The simplest place you can begin is filling out our easy to use online car shipping quote form that will give you an honest, upfront price, and generally lead you to the next steps of speaking with someone on our team about your vehicle move!

With our easy-to-use car transport rate form, we ask all the relevant information for your upcoming trip, and you can get the shipping price as promised.

Then, if you decide to move forward with your auto transport, we are accessible both via email and over the phone to speak with you about your upcoming car relocation without any sales pressure or tactics.

At first, this whole trip process of pick-ups and drop-offs, timing, seasonality, and size/vehicle dimension considerations seems like it couldn't get more difficult.

But we ensure that the process is handled from start to finish, and making you feel it was one of the easiest trips you've ever planned.


Another thought about planning ahead…

We'd highly recommend that you rank the most important points for your requirements on a scale from 1-10.

Then, you can review each of the six points we've shared today. Example, if you believe seasonality is a relevant consideration, you can rank it a 10/10 and include it in your car shipping quote info.

This car shipping process makes your decision very straightforward.

Then, when you find a car transport company offering the specific services you deem important, give them a call, or fill out an instant quote form.

The Car Transport Services We Offer at Patriot Auto Transport:

At Patriot Auto Transport, we offer all full-service car shipping services.

Since we've chosen to specialize on your needs in this sector, we always remain reliable and efficient.

If we journeyed out of our area of expertise, serving all transports, like valuables, furniture, and collectibles…

All the key considerations might get left out in the cold.

But, considering we're ONLY focused on moving your car from one state to the next or cross country we do it very well.

All major cities are supported and optimized for our transport. We give you access to ship to and from LA, NYC, Dallas, Houston, Austin, Boston, Denver, Washington, DC, Pittsburgh, Miami, Portland, Baltimore, Nashville, Chicago, Seattle and several more across the U.S.A.! We are a nationwide auto transport company.

Now, you just plug-in your info on the quote form for your upcoming trip. Then, lean on us to do the rest.

With Patriot Auto Transport, you can rest easy that your car is in great hands; we'll do our best to see to a five star auto transport experience by providing a firm and fair shipping rate, as well as a safe and reliable trip!