In 2021, 8.4% of Americans changed residences. While that could mean a move just down the street, it also includes those who have relocated from one coast to the other.
It’s stressful making a long-distance move, so if you’re going through one soon, do yourself a favor and outsource work to as many people as possible! For example, you should have your vehicle shipped so you don’t have to make the arduous drive on your own.
If this sounds like a good idea, then you’ll want to know how much it costs to ship a car across the country. Read on to find out!
The Cost to Ship a Car
On average, shipping a car will cost you between $600 to over $4,000. The difference between the 2 ends is massive, so you probably want to narrow things down a bit.
Here are the things that’ll affect the cost of shipping a car.
The farther a driver has to go, the more fuel they have to use. Naturally, a long-distance move will cost significantly more than one within a state.
However, the good news is that the price per mile goes down as the miles go up. For example, you’ll have to pay over $1.00/mile for short-distance moves. But for ones over 2,500 miles, they cost around $0.60/mile.
The Pickup and Dropoff Points
Distance isn’t the only thing that affects pricing; 2 trips of equal lengths can differ in cost simply because of the pickup and dropoff locations!
Rural destinations will rack up the bill because it’ll take longer for truckers to get out there. Plus, the majority of their clients are in big cities, so they’re making a big detour to get and drop off your vehicle. Otherwise, they can save time by rounding up all vehicles in close proximity.
So if you can, try picking major metropolitan areas when booking auto shipping services. You can potentially save hundreds of dollars by doing so!
The Hauler Type
You can choose between open or enclosed haulers, which both have their own pros and cons.
But the biggest pro of open haulers is they’re cheaper. These can accommodate more vehicles and most truckers have this type of hauler. This means it’ll be easier to book and it’ll be more affordable too.
However, open haulers leave your car vulnerable to things like wind, rain, hail, snow, dust, and debris. Also, thieves can see exactly what cargo’s on the hauler, so it may tempt them to steal your car.
If you have a classic or luxury vehicle, paying extra for enclosed shipping might be a better choice. But these haulers contain fewer vehicles and there are not as many truckers. Try to book as early as possible to avoid disappointment.
Car shipping prices will fluctuate depending on supply and demand. Try to avoid peak seasons since it’ll be a headache trying to get someone. Not only that, but you’ll have to pay a fortune too!
Better seasons to try include spring and fall. Just avoid spring break and the beginning of the fall semester, as those will cause small peaks in business.
Also, the worst season to transport your car is summer. Everyone’s out of school, so it’s the best time for relocating. Families will quickly snatch up bookings and drive prices up!
Winter’s not good either. Road conditions can be treacherous and there are fewer daylight hours, so it’ll be slow goings. Truckers will also take time off for the holidays and then they’ll have to deal with the backlog after they return.
The Shipping Speed
If you need same-day or next-day pickup, then expedited shipping will cost a lot more. It can help you out in a pinch though, such as if an unreliable auto transporter flakes on you.
But in most other cases, economy and standard shipping will suffice. Get the lowest prices possible by booking as soon as you know your moving date. That way, you can select economy shipping and get your vehicle by the time you move.
The State of Your Vehicle
If your car’s in drivable condition, then you won’t have to worry about extra costs. But if it’s inoperable, the driver will need extra time to source and use equipment to move your car in and out of their hauler. This additional service will add to your expenses.
Also, the smaller your vehicle, the less you’ll have to pay. It’ll take up less room in the hauler, so the driver can fit more vehicles in one trip. And because your car’s lighter, it’ll save them more fuel too.
The Insurance You Get
By law, auto shippers must carry cargo insurance. These are pretty generous and will cover reimbursements for most situations.
However, some companies offer extra insurance for better peace of mind. If you choose to take extra policies, then this will of course take more money out of the bank.
Ship a Car Across the Country Without Spending a Fortune
The cost to ship a car across the country will cost between $600 to over $4,000. As you can see, the exact price will depend on several things, such as the distance, start and end locations, season, and your car itself.
What you should do is ask several companies for pricing and compare them. Not only will you get a better idea of what you’ll pay, but you’ll have a higher chance of finding a trucker that can accommodate your schedule.
So the next step in shipping a car cross-country is to do your research, gather quotes, and book accordingly!