How Much Does It Cost to Transport a Car?
Whether you’re a car enthusiast looking to save that vintage roadster from excess miles or someone looking to move cross country who needs to transport an extra car, you’ll probably have lots of questions about how you can ship a vehicle. The primary question, of course, and one which answers many of the other questions is: how much will it cost? The short and frustrating answer is that it depends.
But with a little knowledge, you’ll be able to more confidently predict the price of your car transport and choose an option that works best for your situation. There are a number of ways that you can transport vehicles. Those with the money, and perhaps a precious vehicle, may opt for the priciest choice, which is to transport by airplane, an option that can cost as much as $40,000. A good option for someone looking to transport from one major city to another is to ship by rail. Train transport averages about $1,000, but leaves the customer having to consider how to get the vehicle to and from depots on either end of the transport. A cost effective way of transporting overseas is to utilize ships. Ocean transport is about $5,000 and is much more cost effective than flying a vehicle to its destination.
The most common method of transporting vehicles, however, is by semi truck. Truck transportation tends to be cheaper, more convenient, and offers the consumer the most options. As you begin the process of choosing a company and calculating a price, you should contact each company for a quote. The company should provide this service for free; you should never have to pay for a quote. Many companies provide online cost calculators to make the process easy for you, while some charge a flat fee based on distance of the move. You should note that any quote is only an estimate. Shipping companies take bids from carriers and the final cost will depend on the bid.
So what does transporting by semi cost? Depending on a number of factors a transport by truck can cost between $500 and $1,600 (and sometimes more than that depending on the options you choose). Here are some of the factors that will influence the cost of your transport:
- Type of vehicle: An open transport, which has no enclosures, is the most commonly used type of semi and the cheapest method. For those with valuable cars they want to protect, you can opt for a closed transport (with walls and a roof) but it may cost up to 40% more to do so.
- Distance: While shorter moves will cost less overall, you’ll pay more per mile to transport over short distances. The average per mile cost for journeys under 200 miles is about $2.00/mile while transporting long distance (1,500 plus miles) can cost as little as $.58/mile.
- Make, model, and size of your vehicle: You may wonder why this would influence cost. It’s because the type of car tells the shipper its size and thus how much space it will take on a transport vehicle. The larger the vehicle, the more you will pay.
- Condition of your vehicle: Vehicles that aren’t in running condition often have to be loaded by winch or forklift, which costs the company money they will charge you.
- Location: You can choose to transport your vehicle from depot to depot to save money, but depots are usually in larger cities. Door to door service costs more, and if you live far from a major highway, you can expect to pay a premium for such service.
- Time of year: Summer is usually the busiest time of year for vehicle transporters because this is when most people move. Because of high demand, you can expect to pay more in summer. Winter can be a very cost effective time to transport (particularly if you are in no hurry) but be aware that areas with snow and ice can increase time and cost of the move.
- Other factors that can increase price: Fuel surcharges when the market is high; fees for an oversized vehicle; need for an express delivery; and cost of insurance, particularly for valuable vehicles.
Ivan Young is a writer from Happy Writers, Co. in partnership with Faxage, the online faxing service.