How Much Is It to Ship a Car?

If you need to transport your vehicle from one state to another, you should expect to pay between $450 and $4,000. Most estimates for 4-door sedans we came across on uShip sat between $750 and $1,200.

Which factors affect the price? Distance and location, car size and weight, shipping dates, and open or closed transport.

We’ll give you some basic 4-door sedan examples from uShip’s quotes:

  • Buick Lucerne: Salt Lake City, UT, to Seattle, WA—$794 to $1,216
  • Honda Civic: Beverly Hills, CA, to Brooklyn, NY—$1,309 to $2,440
  • Hyundai Sonata: Austin, TX, to Chicago, IL—$669 to $1,209

Most companies do door-to-door delivery, which is great for your average move. But if you’d rather pick up your car in the city and then drive it out to the country, you can see if a company can drop it off in a central location or port.

Distance and location

If you need exact day pickup dates or expedited delivery, you’ll pay more. And the type of area you’re moving to will affect your price too. If you’re in a city, transports are frequent, so it should cost less than if you live out in the boonies where your house is an hour from the nearest highway.

To ship a car across the country from Beverly Hills, California to Brooklyn, New York, you’ll be looking at the mid-to-high end of the spectrum, which means about $1,500. A shorter move, though, like from Portland to Boise, means you can get away with shipping your car for under a grand (probably).

To give you an idea, here’s what it looks like to ship a Toyota Camry across multiple distances:

  • Short distance: Los Angeles, CA, to San Francisco, CA—$413 to $535
  • Medium distance: Los Angeles, CA, to Wichita, KS—$1,012 to $1,548
  • Long distance: Los Angeles, CA, to Boston, MA—$1,479 to $1,711
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Consider using a local carrier

When you can, consider using a local company. That way, you won’t have to spend a lot of gas to pick up the car in the first place.

Car size and weight

Regardless of how far you’re going, heavier and bigger cars will cost more than light, small cars. Reason being, trucks can only haul so much weight. If you’re looking to move an Astrovan or two, you’ll pay more because it requires more coordination on the shipper’s end.

For instance, if you’re planning on moving a big ol’ Dodge Ram 3500, even a shorter trip will start near a thousand bucks. Especially if you have modifications (i.e., large tires, lift kits, etc.), since their size and weight may raise your cost of shipping.

You can pack a SmartCar in a much smaller space with more cars, and it’s lighter too.

  • Fiat 500 (small car): Los Angeles to Denver—$829 to $926
  • Dodge Ram (large truck): Los Angeles to Denver—$1,029 to $1,856
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Does it cost more to ship a convertible car?

In our estimates, a BMW X1 Convertible ranged from $893 to $1,204 going from Los Angeles to Denver. A regular BMW X1 was $829 to $1,204 for that same trip, so there may be a small difference in price, but for the most part, it’ll be the same.

Shipping dates and time expectations

If you can be flexible with your shipping dates and times, you may get a better deal. Having specific dates or using expedited shipping increases your cost because the moving company will have to coordinate other shipments around it.

We recommend planning well in advance, but if you’re crunched for time, at least you have the option to make it work.

The time of the year can also affect your price. More people move in the summer, so prices are higher then. If you can move in the winter, you’ll save some money—snowbirds, rejoice!

Insurance

Make sure you’re happy with the coverage you’re getting, and if not, see if you can add more. Basic insurance will cover liability for accidents, but possibly exclude weather and other hazards. Double-check the payout amounts, and see what your deductible will be (if any).

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Shipping a pricey car? Consider complete coverage.

Complete coverage will always be more expensive than basic liability insurance, but it may be worth it in the long run if you have a Porsche Spyder or another high-value car.

Open and closed transport

If you need to keep your Rolls Royce pristine, you can find a shipper with closed-carrier transport, which ensures that dirt, weather, and other debris won’t damage your vehicle. Many shippers like Montway offer this option.

While you shouldn’t expect damage from an open-carrier transport, it is a possibility, so just be prepared. If you just need to get your old work truck across the States, though, going with open transport will save you money.

How can I save money on shipping my car?

To avoid paying higher costs, you can opt for open transport. On top of that, you may be able to save by paying in cash instead of using a credit card—Montway offers a $50 discount if you pay with cash.

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Cut out the middleman

You can also save money sometimes by avoiding a broker and working directly with a company—that way, you cut out middleman fees.

It’s also worth checking what your car insurance covers, since they may already include auto transport in your regular costs.

Other discounts that may be available to you:

  • First-time customer
  • Return customer
  • Online booking
  • Military
  • First responder
  • Seasonal/snowbird
  • Student
  • Senior Citizen
  • Early bird discount (booking right after you get your quote)
  • Multiple vehicles

Every company is different and might not offer these discounts. As an example, Amerifreight offers most of these categories, and each one can save you $25–$50 each.

You know car shipping prices, now what?

Now that you know how much it costs to ship a car, what else do you need to know? We can help you find the best car shippers or full-service movers. If there’s a question you want answered, tell us in the comments below.