When you need to ship a car, securing a reputable auto transport company has never been this easy. All you need to do is submit the dimensions and weight of your vehicle for transport on our online quote form. Just fill out the basic year, make, model, and driving condition of your vehicle and within minutes we will provide you a list of affordable car transport quotes along with information on the company’s standards and policies.
How Much Does Car Shipping Cost?
So, what does it cost to transport a car? Cross country car transport on a 4 door sedan can range anywhere from $500 to $1,000. Transporting a larger SUV across the country should cost in the range of $800 to $1100.
Factors That Affect The Cost of Car Shipping
Ultimately, the cost of transporting your vehicle will be based on several factors such as:
- You vehicle’s size and weight. Since a carrier only has a limited number of spots available for your car and only a limited amount of weight that can be hauled at any given time, the heavier the vehicle, the most it will be to transport it.
- Time of year. The summer months tend to be more expensive while it is most affordable during the winter.
- The distance. The longer the distance needing to be traveled, the more expensive it will be. The cost of labor, tolls, and fuel prices can all make vehicle transport more expensive.
- Your vehicles make and model. In most cases, if you are shipping a luxury vehicle or classic car the costs to transport them will be higher. Many of these specialty vehicles require additional services and special attention.
- Insurance Coverage. Any reputable auto transport carrier will have insurance coverage. Depending on the coverage they offer you may want to purchase a separate insurance policy with additional coverage. Not every insurance provider will cover a vehicle that is being transported with a car hauling company. Make sure you check with your insurance provider and verify the specifics of your policy before deciding to buy additional coverage.
- Shipping method used. Will you be shipping your car in an open or enclosed carrier to transport your vehicle? The type of method you choose to ship your vehicle will affect its final cost.
Open Vs. Enclosed Carrier
If you are stuck trying to decide between open or enclosed we can help you. Open carriers are the most popular and affordable solution. Since an open-air carrier can hold between 7-10 cars at any given time it makes the cost more affordable.
There are however many advantages to using an enclosed transport carrier that should be considered before making a decision. Listed below are some of the benefits and disadvantages of these different methods of car transport.
Open Transport Carrier
The Good: One of the nice things about transporting a vehicle with an open transport carrier is that it is much more affordable and the reason it’s the most popular method used to ship a car compared to the more expensive enclosed transport option.
Since an open carrier is able to fit between 7-10 cars at any given time this allows the pricing to be more flexible with the best shipping rates possible. Open transports are also much easier to find and schedule due to their popularity as well as being the main shipping method used by most private sellers and auto dealerships.
Even if you have an emergency or just didn’t plan far enough ahead of time with the pickup schedule, you should still be able to secure an open carrier transport at the last minute. Since vehicles being transported on an open carrier are exposed and easily visible to the driver, any incidental damages that might occur during the transport can be spotted and you notified before your car is delivered. No one likes surprises like that.
The Bad: There do remain several disadvantages to using an open carrier that should be considered before shipping your vehicle. Since the open carrier is “open”, as the name implies, all the vehicles loaded on the trailer are open and exposed to all the potentially hazardous weather conditions and damages that could occur during the transport on an open highway.
This method of transport provides no protection to the vehicles during their transport as there is no siding or roof protection provided. Depending on the season of when you ship your vehicle it could easily be exposed to harsh rainfall, hail, blizzards, and even damage caused by the extreme heat due to the sun. Another disadvantage is that because an open carrier hauls so many cars at once, it can result in delays with delivery sometimes taking as much as a week or two longer than planned.
If you aren’t transporting a vehicle with a door-to-door shipping option, matters can also become complicated if you need to travel a long distance for pickup at a central hub or terminal. Terminal to terminal shipping is a more affordable shipping option using the open carrier route but depending on the terminal pick up and drop off location and distance from you it can be a major hassle.
Door-to-door shipping is a little more expensive than using the terminal to terminal method but if you need to travel any significant distance to get to either the pickup or drop off then door-to-door transport is the better and most convenient option.
Just be sure when looking at the provided shipping quotes with any car transport company, you confirm the method of transport being used by it door-to-door shipping or terminal to terminal.
Enclosed Carrier Transport
The Good: While shipping a vehicle using an enclosed transport option tends to be more expensive for shipment, it does provide many beneficial advantages over its open carrier counterpart. For starters, an enclosed carrier is able to provide the most protection from any harsh weather conditions or possible damages that might otherwise occur on a fast-moving highway due to the vehicles being openly exposed.
If you need to ship your vehicle during the winter months this is the better option if you want to guarantee your car remains free of potential damages that could occur due to weather conditions or ice damage on the road. This method of transport also provides an additional level of security during its transport that many people find is an absolute, especially when shipping a luxury vehicle or classic car.
And since the vehicle is secured and safe inside the enclosed carrier at all times, the chances for theft or break-in are drastically reduced compared to using the open carrier method. And one of the best advantages provided by using an enclosed carrier is that there will only be 4 or 5 vehicles max loaded on the carrier at any one time.
You will also have your vehicle delivered in a much quicker time frame with an enclosed transport compared to the open transport method which comparatively holds up to ten vehicles at once and needs to make more stops along the route to your destination.
The Bad: The only real drawback to using an enclosed carrier (and why it’s used much less frequently) for car transport is the higher price tag that comes with it. This of course is due to the volume of cars able to be shipped on an enclosed carrier. Since it can hold only a few cars during the transport compared to 10 with an open carrier, this makes the price increase and you must weigh the advantages over the higher price tag.
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