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What Factors Affect Car Shipping Cost in the USA

Factors Affecting Car Shipping Cost

Cars are the primary means of transportation worldwide, but what if it needs to be transported from one point to another for trading or personal purposes. Car shipping costs in the USA vary across states and cities, depending on many factors.

When deciding on a car shipping company to transport vehicles from one location to another without the need to drive it yourself, consider not only the budget but the provided quality and many other factors we’ll discuss in this article. 

Why Shipping a Car?

Many reasons may prompt you to hire a car shipping company, and besides commercial reasons like shipping for car dealers and traders, other reasons could be:

In these situations, vehicle shipping is the best option, which provides several advantages, such as: 

What Factors Affect Car Shipping Cost

Factors that affect car shipping costs in the USA are numerous, many of which vary according to the client’s preferences. While care transport prices vary significantly, the main factors that affect car shipping costs in the USA include: 

Time frame 

The fastest you want your car to be delivered, the more you will have to pay. Therefore, if the timeline is not strict, your shipment could take weeks but cost less. Furthermore, appoint your car shipping date as early as possible to allow plenty of time for you and the car shipping company to prepare the shipment and reserve a spot on the carrier.

An additional factor that could affect car shipping costs in the USA is the urgent situations where you will need to pay extra fees to get your vehicle picked up, documented, and loaded correctly on the chosen carrier in no time. The more you need to get it shipped quickly, the more it’ll cost.

Transporting options

There are many ways to get your car shipped, such as trains, port-to-port, air freight, and road trucks. There are two main types to choose from, open or enclosed. While the open shipping carriers have lower costs, they tend to have higher risks. Find out How to Protect Your Classic Car on an Open Trailer.

A carrier will carry your car and many other vehicles due to the carrier design; it will also be exposed to environmental elements and road hazards. On the other hand, enclosed carriers provide a safer trip for your car, protecting it from possible damages. But it also has limited capacity regarding the number of loaded cars and is more expensive.

Read more about Why to Choose an Enclosed Auto Transport.

Car type, status, and size 

Rates will also differ depending on the space your vehicle will take and the demanded amount of care. Not all cars are the same size or weight, as the smaller and lighter cars will bill less, and bigger and heavier cars could cost more, especially if specific machines are needed to load and unload your vehicle.

Moreover, luxury and new cars need more care to protect them from possible scratches for several reasons. Therefore, they may require specific modifications on the carrier, enabling the company to add to the bill.

Here is a Guide to Collectible Cars Transportation.

The start and final location 

Car shipping companies’ job is to transport vehicles from where it is located and deliver them to the desired location without even having to start them. Hence, mileage plays an essential role as one of the main factors that affect car shipping costs in the USA. Therefore, it is obvious that car transportation fees between states are entirely different from those between cities. Of course, when requiring a door-delivery service, the price will automatically increase.  

The season of the year 

Weather can significantly affect your vehicle’s shipment because if it rains, snows, or the road ices during winter, the car shipping company will take massive measurements to ensure that your car is safe and delivered on time, as driving under these conditions is much more challenging. Conversely, summer can give a hard time when transporting cars because you do not want the temperature or dry environment to tamper with your shipment. 

Besides that, summer is considered a peak season in the car shipping business, where schools are closed, and people try to move before they reopen. Another peak season arises during winter, as many individuals travel to warmer places, then when spring comes, they relocate back home. 

Tracking additional services

As mentioned earlier, home delivery for car shipping companies is classified as an extra service, impacting shipment quotes. Another additional service that could be provided and affects car shipping costs in the USA is top-loading when your vehicle is placed on the upper level of a two-store carrier.

It helps avoid road debris and the other cars’ conditions because your car will be loaded with many other vehicles that may or may not be old or damaged. Having your vehicle placed underneath means facing the possibility of leakage or falling parts from the upper cars.


After getting a clear idea of the reasons that contribute to the transporting service cost, you will be able to determine whether the quote you were offered is good or you should keep looking for a better one. However, a trusted automobile transport company will always offer competitive quotes. So, make sure you’re dealing with a reliable one. Some vehicle transportation companies like Tempus Logix offer a free online calculator to estimate the car shipping costs in the USA.

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