How Much to Ship a Car to Another State: Cost Factors and Considerations

Shipping a car to another state often poses a significant logistical question marked by several variables. We’re looking at varying costs depending on the distance, the type of transport, and the specifics of the vehicle being shipped. For instance, shipping costs for an average-sized sedan on an open car transport trailer typically range from $400 to $3,000, hinting at the broad spectrum of pricing in the auto transport industry.

A car being loaded onto a truck with a state border sign in the background

We understand that the main factor influencing the cost to ship a car to another state is the distance of transit. To illustrate, shorter routes under 500 miles may cost around $1.85 per mile, but the price per mile decreases for longer distances, showing how rates are inversely related to distance. It’s also paramount to consider the type of shipping—whether open or enclosed—as well as any additional services that may increase the overall expenses.

Lastly, we take into account the type of car, as special vehicles like classic or luxury cars might require additional care and thus, a higher shipping cost. By carefully vetting auto transport companies and being clear about our needs, we can manage expectations and budget accordingly. It’s a balance between cost, safety, and convenience that dictates the best approach to shipping a vehicle to another state.

Essentials of Car Shipping

When planning to ship a car, the primary considerations include choosing a reputable auto transport company, deciding on the method of transport, and preparing for the pickup date.

Selecting the Right Transport Provider

We ensure that the chosen auto transport company is reliable and has a good track record. This can often be verified through customer reviews and the company’s credentials.

Method of Transport

The method of transport, such as open or enclosed car carriers, is crucial for safety and cost. Open carriers are more common and affordable, while enclosed carriers provide additional protection, which might be preferred for high-value vehicles.


Booking with an auto transport company involves selecting a convenient pickup location and a suitable date. Transporting a vehicle can vary in cost, depending on the distance and type of service.

Costs can range broadly, whether it’s under $400 for shorter distances or over $2,000 for cross-country transport. Nevertheless, our team advises clients to get quotes from multiple car shipping companies to compare services and prices, ensuring the best deal.


⚠️ Important Consideration

We recommend inspecting the vehicle before and after transport to ensure no damages occur during the journey. It’s always best to remove personal items from the car as they are not usually covered by the transport insurance.

Transport Options for Shipping Your Car

Before picking a method to ship your car to another state, it’s essential to understand the various transport options available. These options can significantly impact the safety, cost, and timing of your vehicle’s journey.

Open Transport vs. Enclosed Transport

Open Transport

Open Car Transport is where vehicles are loaded onto an exposed trailer. This is a cost-efficient mode of transport and is suitable for most cars. It’s the most common choice due to its affordability, and while it exposes vehicles to the elements, the risk of damage is low.

Enclosed Transport

Enclosed Car Shipping, alternatively, uses fully covered carriers, protecting cars from outdoor elements and road debris. While this option comes at a premium, it’s the best choice for high-value or classic cars that require extra protection.

Door-to-Door Service vs. Terminal-to-Terminal Shipping

Door-to-Door Service

Door-to-Door Service provides the convenience of having your car picked up and delivered to the specified locations. This service removes the need to drive your car to a terminal, saving you time.

Terminal-to-Terminal Shipping

Terminal-to-Terminal Shipping is a more budget-friendly option where you deliver and collect your car from transport company terminals. This can be less convenient but may offer significant savings.

Special Considerations for Classic or Luxury Cars

Enclosed Auto Transport

When dealing with high-value vehicles such as classic or luxury cars, opting for Enclosed Auto Transport is advisable. It provides a higher level of security and protection from potential transit damage and environmental factors.

Classic and luxury vehicles often hold significant monetary and sentimental value. This entails that every precaution should be taken to ensure their safe arrival, which can include climate-controlled environments or customized strapping techniques within an enclosed carrier.

Cost and Timing Factors

Shipping a car to another state involves various elements that affect timing and total expenses. We’ll examine shipping quotes, what time of year offers the lowest rates, and how distance plays a pivotal role in the cost.

Evaluating Car Shipping Quotes

When we assess shipping quotes from different vehicle moving companies, we consider several components. Shipping prices account for the car’s size, the transport distance, and the chosen method – open or enclosed carrier. Additionally, we analyze fuel prices and the specific associations between insurance and regulatory fees to estimate the final price. Car shipping calculators online can provide estimations, but direct quotes offer the most accurate figures.

Best Time of Year for Lower Rates

Season Rate Fluctuation
Winter Lower rates due to reduced demand
Summer Higher rates from increased demand

We know that the time of year has a significant impact on car shipping cost. Typically, demand surges in the summer, leading to higher rates. In the winter, we can find the cheapest way to ship a car due to reduced demand. It’s worth noting that external conditions like weather might alter scheduled timelines.

How Distance Affects Car Shipping Cost

The further the distance, the higher the cost to ship a car to another state.

We have observed that long-distance shipping yields a higher overall cost. However, many companies offer better rates per mile for long distances, so the increase isn’t linear. To obtain the best rates, we compare quotes and consider that shorter trips often have a higher cost per mile than longer trips. While the outright cost for a longer haul may be more, per-mile expenses could be lower, granting cost-effectiveness over great distances.

Preparing Your Vehicle for Transport

When it’s time to ship your vehicle to another state, there are key steps to take ensuring it’s ready for transport. These include providing accurate documentation, removing personal items, and securing insurance coverage to protect against any unforeseen damages.

Providing Necessary Documentation and Information

We’ll start by gathering necessary documents such as insurance certificates and the bill of lading. This bill is crucial; it serves as a receipt and a document of title for the car. Ensure that all information is correct, especially the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

Items to Remove and How to Prepare Your Car

To prepare your automobile for its journey, there’s a checklist we must follow to prevent any issues or additional charges:

  • Remove personal items: Unsecured objects might be tossed around during transit, which could cause damage. Plus, most car shipping companies prohibit shipping personal items in the vehicle.
  • Prepare your car: It’s wise to reduce the fuel level to about 1/4 of a tank, which makes the car lighter and helps lower shipping costs. Leave only enough gas to drive the car to a nearby service station.

Insurance and Protecting Your Car from Damage

We ensure our car has the right insurance coverage in case of damage during transit. It’s important to do the following:

  • Verify insurance: Confirm that the transport company’s insurance covers new damages during shipment and ask for a copy of the insurance policy.
  • Document vehicle condition: Before shipping, we thoroughly document the car’s condition, noting any existing scratches or dents to help identify any new damages upon delivery. GPS tracking may also be provided by the carrier for real-time monitoring.

Take these steps to help ensure a smooth and secure transport of your vehicle to its new state.

Rate this post
Ran When Parked