An open carrier transporting cars for long-distance moving overlay

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car Across the Country?

Posted in Car Shipping on April 14, 2023

If you’re considering a big move across the country, you may be concerned about what it’ll cost to transport your car. You’ll want to make sure that your beloved vehicle is moved safely and securely – but at an affordable price. So, how much does it cost to ship a car? In this blog post, we’ll help you understand the price of auto transport from one state to another and explain different factors that will influence the total cost of auto transport.

The cost of transporting your vehicle across the country can vary greatly depending on several factors – the distance and the route of shipment, the type and size of your vehicle, the method of transport you’ve chosen, and the type of delivery you’ve requested. Additionally, the time of year when you’re relocating can also have an impact on the price because the demand is higher during peak moving seasons.

What Are the Factors That Affect Car Shipping Costs?

Moving across the country to go live in a new state can be an exciting experience, although certainly not a stress-free one – it may come with numerous challenges. One of the most daunting tasks involved in the process of relocating to a new city is transporting your vehicle to the new location.

The decision to use an auto transport service comes with numerous factors to consider, the most important being the cost of relocating your car. Let’s discuss the key factors that impact the cost of these services – knowing this is considered a relocation essential.

Ready to move with us? Get A Free Quote

Distance and Route

The distance and route that your vehicle will travel are two of the most significant determinants of the cost. It can be cheaper to ship a car to a neighboring state than to a farther location.

The route taken to transport your vehicle can also impact the price, as some routes have more demand than others. Additionally, rough terrains and difficult-to-access locations may also add to the overall cost of the shipment. Still, regardless of the distance, the benefits of car shipping are undeniable.

Vehicle Type and Size

When you want to ship a car, its type and size will contribute to the cost as well. Larger and heavier cars will require a more substantial carrier that can handle the weight and size, which will increase the cost. The value of the car also plays a factor.

If you’re transporting a luxury vehicle, you’ll need to pay more for increased security measures like enclosed trailers or even air cargo – unless you don’t want to experience plenty of anxiety during the move. Similarly, if you’re moving a classic car, you may need to go with a transport company and cross-country movers that specialize in handling vintage or exotic automobiles.

Shipping Method and Delivery Option

The method used for transporting your vehicle to its new home, and the delivery options that you choose will also affect the cost of services. For example, open transport is a more economical option but might expose your car to the elements during travel.

Enclosed transport, on the other hand, affords more protection but can be significantly more expensive. Additionally, the delivery option you choose – door-to-door versus terminal-to-terminal – and the urgency required can also impact the cost – this is one of the important relocation tips to know.

Season and Demand

The season and demand for auto transport services play a big role in determining how much you have to pay your long-distance movers to have your vehicle transported. Prices can be higher during peak times to movemoving season includes the spring and summer months. Similarly, events such as auto shows may drive up the demand for these services, resulting in higher pricing. Adjust your move-in accordingly if you can to save money.

A toy car placed on top of some coin towers
The price of auto transport can vary depending on numerous factors

How to Save Money on Car Shipping?

Moving to another state can be exciting, but it can also be a costly affair. One of the biggest expenses in your relocation budget is often auto transport, which can have a significant impact on the overall cost of your relocation to a new state.

Fortunately, there are various ways to save money when you have to ship belongings to another state. To help you out, we will share some useful relocation hacks that can help you cut down on the costs associated with shipping your vehicle to another state.

Choose the Right Time to Ship a Car

The timing of your move can affect the cost of moving your car across state lines. We’ve mentioned that if you ship your car during peak season when many people are moving cross country, prices will be higher. So, if possible, plan your move for the off-peak season when demand is lower and prices are often reduced. Additionally, try to schedule your car shipment as far in advance as possible to give yourself more time to compare quotes and find the most affordable option.

Take Advantage of Bundle Discounts for Cross-Country Moving

If you are using a professional long-distance moving company to help you relocate to your new city, consider bundling cross-country moving services to save money. Many companies offer discounts for bundling services, such as packing assistance and basic relocation services with auto transport. By taking advantage of these discounts, you can go well below the average cost to ship a car and significantly reduce the total price of your relocation.

Stacked coins and a jar full of coins
There are a few tricks you can do to save money on auto transport - why not try them?

How to Prepare the Vehicle for Shipping?

When it comes to transporting your four-wheeler across the country, proper preparation is crucial to ensure a smooth and stress-free process. This involves cleaning and inspecting your vehicle, removing personal items and valuables, disabling alarms, and securing loose parts. Now, let’s delve into each of these preparation steps in detail to help you prepare for the auto transport process.

Cleaning and Inspecting Your Four Wheeler

Before transporting your car anywhere, it is important to thoroughly clean it both inside and out. This will allow you to inspect it for any existing damage or scratches, as well as any mechanical issues that may require attention. Cleaning your vehicle will also help to prevent any damage caused by dirt or debris during transport.

Start by washing your car with gentle soap and water, paying close attention to the wheels and undercarriage. Make sure to rinse off all soap residue and dry your vehicle completely. Then, inspect your car for any visible damage, such as dents, scratches, or chipped paint. Take photos of any damage you find, as this will serve as evidence in case of any disputes with your chosen relocation company.

Removing Personal Items and Valuables

Remember to remove any personal items or valuables from the inside of your vehicle before you hand it over to the auto transport company. This includes things like GPS devices, electronic devices, and documents. The transport company is not responsible for any loss or damage to personal items left inside the vehicle, so it is best to remove them altogether.

Also, make sure to remove any loose items from the trunk or back seat, such as car mats or spare tires. These items can shift during transport and cause damage to your vehicle or other cars in transit. If you have any custom add-ons, such as spoilers or bike racks, you should remove them as well.

Disabling Alarms and Securing Loose Parts

Finally, it is important to disable the car alarm or a security system on your car. This will prevent any false alarms from going off during transport, which can be a nuisance to the driver and other cars on the transport truck. Here are the essential steps you need to take:

  • Locate the car alarm system – The alarm system can be located under the dashboard, near the steering column, or under the hood. Check your car’s manual to determine the exact location.
  • Disable the alarm system – Once you’ve located the alarm system, disable it by disconnecting the fuse or unplugging the wiring harness. This will prevent the alarm from being triggered during transport.
  • Inform the transport company – Let the transport company know that you have disabled the alarm system, and provide any necessary instructions on how to re-enable it upon delivery.

Additionally, make sure to secure any loose parts on your vehicle, such as side mirrors or antennae. This can be done by using tape or zip ties to hold the parts in place. This will prevent them from moving or coming loose during transport, which can cause damage to your vehicle or other cars in transit.

Man checking his car before moving cross country
Prepare your car for transport - unless you want it to get damaged in the process

Expenses Breakdown – How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car?

So, how much does shipping a car cost exactly? The cost of transporting a car across the country can vary greatly depending on your circumstances. On average, the basic cost of shipping a car can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars. This price includes the fee for transporting the car from one location to another, but it may not include additional expenses such as insurance, door-to-door delivery, or expedited shipping.

The type of vehicle being shipped can also impact the cost. Larger vehicles, such as SUVs and trucks, are generally more expensive to ship than smaller cars. Luxury and high-end vehicles may also cost more due to their higher value and the need for extra insurance coverage.

Transport companies may offer different types of transport methods, such as open transport or enclosed transport. Open transport is usually the more affordable option, while enclosed transport offers better protection for the car during transport. The cost of each transport method may vary.

The distance of the shipment is also very important. Generally, the farther the car needs to travel, the more expensive the shipping will be. Transport companies may charge a rate per mile. Overall, the cost of shipping a car across the country can vary depending on several factors.

It is important to get quotes from several transport companies and consider all the expenses involved to ensure that you are getting the best value for your money. Additionally, you need to be careful when selecting an auto transport company – look for red flags and do your research so you can avoid common relocation scams.

Woman and man writing a list with a laptop in front of them
Take your time when choosing a transport company - you should aim for the best

Regardless of the Cost of Shipping a Car, You Need Reliable Long-Distance Movers By Your Side

Transporting a car across state lines is no easy task – however, it can be done in an efficient and timely fashion with the right long-distance moving team by your side. The cost of such a service may seem too much, but when you compare that to the costs associated with driving and buying a replacement vehicle, there is no better option than professional auto transport.

If you are planning on relocating to another state and need help getting your car across the country hassle-free and efficiently, hire Cross Country Movers for great results. All our employees have extensive experience working in the relocation industry, and we understand all aspects of moving vehicles long distances. We provide personalized solutions to all clients so that their expectations are met 100%. So don’t wait – reach out to Cross Country Movers today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Ship a Non-Running Vehicle?

Yes, it is possible to ship a non-running vehicle. However, the transportation process may require special arrangements and equipment and may also incur additional costs. It is recommended to inform the shipping company about the condition of the vehicle beforehand to ensure smooth and safe transportation.

How Long Does It Take to Ship a Car Across the Country?

The time it takes to ship a car across the country depends on various factors such as the distance, the route, the mode of transportation, and the shipping company’s schedules. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few days to two weeks for a car to be shipped coast-to-coast within the continental United States.

Shipping by open transport is typically faster and more affordable, while enclosed transport is slower but offers better protection. It is advisable to consult with the shipping company to get an estimated transit time based on your specific needs and circumstances.

What Should I Do if My Car Is Damaged During Transport?

If your car is damaged during transport, the first thing you should do is document the damage by taking photos and noting the date and time. Then, notify the auto transport company immediately and file a damage claim. Most companies have a claims process in place and will provide you with instructions on how to proceed.

It is essential to provide as much evidence as possible to support your claim, including photos and any relevant documents, such as the bill of lading or inspection report. Finally, follow up with the company regularly to ensure that your claim is being processed and resolved in a timely manner.

How Do I File a Complaint Against a Car Shipping Company?

To file a complaint against a car shipping company, start by contacting the company’s customer service department and explaining the issue in detail. If the company is unable to resolve your complaint satisfactorily, you can file a complaint with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

The FMCSA is a government agency that regulates and oversees the transportation industry and can investigate complaints related to safety violations, licensing, and other issues. To file a complaint with the FMCSA, visit their website and fill out the online complaint form. Be sure to provide all relevant information and documentation to support your claim. You can also contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or other consumer protection agencies for assistance.

Hannah Michaelson

Hannah is a freelance relocation writer from NYC that has become an expert on packing and unpacking.

    Choose locations, date and size.
    Tell Us About Yourself

      Choose locations, date and size.
      Tell Us About Yourself
      Need to move your car/automobile?
      Get a Free Estimate 800-611-0502