Shipping a car is big business, but it doesn’t have to be extremely expensive. Whether you’re moving to another part of your state or preparing for a cross-country move between New York and California, there are a few simple strategies you can use to find quality auto transportation services at affordable rates. affordable.
We at the Home Media Critics Team have researched best car transport companies to help you make an informed autoship decision. Our experts also have some helpful tips to easily navigate the auto transport industry and lock in the best price.
How much does shipping a car cost?
Shipping a car can cost anywhere from $400 to $2,000, but this largely depends on the distance between locations and a fixed rate per mile. We did some research and found that the average cost to ship a car with open transport is around $618 for 500 miles and around $1,140 for 1,500 miles.
Here are some additional estimates for door-to-door shipping of a working 2018 Hyundai Sonata:
*These estimates are the average quotes between Montway Auto Transport and Easy Auto Ship.
It is important to remember that car shipping costs are fluid. Prices change according to demand and market conditions. You might find different car shipping quote online from week to week, even from the same car transport service.
Factors That Affect Car Shipping Rates
Several key factors determine how much you pay for vehicle transport. When comparing quotes from car transport companies, keep these parameters in mind:
- Shipping distance: The distance of your vehicle’s shipping route has a direct impact on the cost. You will pay a lower per kilometer rate for long distance shipments, but the overall price will be higher.
- Pickup and delivery points: Carriers often charge more to collect a vehicle away from a major freeway or freeway, which is why terminal shipping is cheaper than door-to-door car transport.
- Kind of transportation: Open automatic transport is more cost effective than closed automatic transport. Open shipping is your best shipping option, unless you are shipping a luxury, classic, or other high-end automobile.
- Vehicle type: SUVs and trucks generally cost more to ship than standard cars because they weigh more and take up more space in trailers.
- Vehicle condition: An inoperable vehicle costs more to ship than a functional vehicle due to the added hassle of loading and unloading.
- Fuel costs: If gas prices are higher, professional car transporters also increase their prices.
- Transit time: The more you schedule a shipment, the more likely you are to find a better rate, which is why expedited shipping is always more expensive.
- Period of the year: Automotive shipping is a seasonal business. You can expect to pay higher rates during the summer months, when families move often, and in January, when snowbirds head south to avoid harsh winters.
Tips for finding cheap car delivery
Booking well in advance of the actual shipping day is your surest way to get cheap car transport. Shipping is a supply and demand market, so if you need a car shipped quickly, there will be fewer carriers available and the price will be higher.
If you book more than two weeks in advance, it gives carriers more opportunity to accept your shipments. With more carriers, you will have more bids for your vehicle, which lowers the shipping price of the car for you.
But you can guarantee the lowest possible price and achieve maximum peace of mind with these tips:
- Choose open car transport: Unless you are shipping a high value car such as a classic, collectible or luxury vehicle, go with an open carrier. It’s the cheapest way to ship, and you’ll have more autoshippers available to you.
- Be flexible: This applies to both your pick-up date and your drop-off time. By being as flexible as possible, you open up your autoship to offers from more car carriers.
- Compare Instant Quotes: The more prices you compare, the better deals you will get overall. Most freight brokers will have car shipping calculators for free quotes.
- Take advantage of discounts: Some companies offer discounts for students, military, first responders and more. Be on the lookout for these.
- Keep in mind the weight of the vehicle: Shipping companies may charge more for the extra weight of the vehicle, so it’s a good idea to remove all personal items and have about a quarter tank of gas.
Our recommendations for shipping cheap cars
Although no auto transport company has a clear advantage when it comes to shipping cheap cars, a few auto transport brokers stand out with consistently affordable rates. Here are our top three picks for cheap car shipping companies:
*Ratings are determined by our editorial review team. Learn more about our scoring methodology below.
#1 Montway Auto Transport: Editor’s Choice
Montway Auto Transport is our top car transportation company because of its affordable prices, wide range of services, and reputation for strong customer service. In addition to international shipping and expedited shipping, Montway also ships from any dealership or auction site to your door.
The company has a A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a 4.6 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot. Combined with competitive pricing, these features add up to make Montway Auto Transport our top cheap car shipping recommendation.
keep reading: Montway Auto Transport Reviews
#2 Sherpa Auto Transport: Fixed pricing
Sherpa Auto Transport boasts 4.9 out of 5.0 stars and an A+ rating from BBB. These high ratings are partly due to the company’s price lock promise, which locks your shipping rate with your initial quote. Sherpa Auto Transport ships to the 48 contiguous states, offers three-day pickup windows, and will reimburse you for a car wash if your vehicle is dirty when it reaches its destination.
keep reading: Sherpa Auto Transport Review
#3 AmeriFreight: Additional Protection Plan
AmeriFreight offers shipments to all 50 states, which includes expedited car shipping services and motorcycle and boat shipments. One thing that sets AmeriFreight apart from other ship brokers is its Allied Fidelity Total Assurance (AFta) plan, which is additional insurance coverage available at multiple levels:
- Complete: For $100, this plan pays up to $2,000 for major damages, $800 for minor damages, $300 for lost or stolen keys, and cancellation coverage.
- Standard: Costing $80, this plan pays up to $2,000 for major damages, $800 for minor damages, and $300 for lost or stolen keys.
- Basic: This plan costs $50 and provides up to $600 for minor damages.
keep reading: AmeriFreight Reviews
Methodology: how we evaluate suppliers
Because consumers rely on us to provide unbiased and accurate information, we’ve created a comprehensive rating system to formulate our ranking of the best car transport companies. We’ve collected data on dozens of auto transport providers to rank companies on a wide range of ranking factors. The end result was an overall score for each vendor, with the companies scoring the most points at the top of the list.
Here are the factors taken into account by our assessments:
- Cost (30% of total score): Car transport companies offering affordable fares, fixed prices and discount opportunities performed best in this category.
- Services (25% of total score): Companies that offer a variety of choices for car transportation, strong insurance coverage, and additional benefits are more likely to meet consumer needs.
- Customer experience (25% of total score): This score is based on customer satisfaction ratings and the availability of extras like GPS tracking. We also considered the responsiveness, friendliness and helpfulness of each carrier’s customer service team based on our own customer analysis.
- Reputation (20% of total score): Our research team considered availability, industry expert ratings, and years in business when assigning this rating.
*Data correct at time of publication.