How Much Does It Cost to Ship A Car Across the Country In 2023

What to Expect During the Auto Transport Process

Any time you decide it is time to relocate, finding a transport company that will safely move your car from point A to point B will be on top of your list. Thus, learning more about the average cost and factors into the price will help you make a more informed decision. So read on to learn more about the cost to ship a car and how the price is determined.

What Is the Average Cost to Ship A Car? 

The cost to transport a car, by most companies, is determined by the miles the car will spend sitting locked in a truck. So, learning at least some numbers on how the averages are positioned will give you an idea of what to expect.

If you are moving somewhere close, which is less than 500 miles, the average cost of shipping a car price is $1,650 at the national average rate, or you can expect around $1.48 per mile. However, if you are moving on the other coast, say 2500+ miles, the overall price can go dramatically, down, even up to $0.64 per mile.

Cost to Ship A Car by Distance H: Short-Distance Car Transport Costs

Let’s go into more detail. $500-$1,800 is what you need for that short trip of yours. Anything further away, and if you have a cheap car, you might start considering what is better. And yes, shorter trips will be cheaper, but the cost per mile will be slightly higher.

So, let’s say if the lowest cost is $500, the cost per mile would be $0.97. But make sure you are not going for the most expensive option of $1,800, where the cost per mile is $3.50.

Long-Distance Car Shipping Costs

With long-distance trips, the cost to transport a car will set you back $1,100 and $3,100. Because of the bigger mileage, the cost per mile here is lower. AmeriFreight, for example, is a stretch that offers prices of $0.40 per mile. And while the average is around $2000 with around $0.71 per mile, the prices can vary up to $1.12 per mile, or $3100 in total.

Car Shipping Prices by Carrier Type

Based on where you live, where you go, and what is your preference, other shipping methods are available as well. Freight trains, for example, are quite a budget-friendly option. However, as an individual, a commercial carrier cannot transfer just a single vehicle.

Only Amrtrak offers such an option, and for up to $300 (one way), a regular-size car will be transferred, but that only pertains to the East Coast region. Plus, you must ride as well, which costs $89 for a one-way passenger ticket. Port-to-port shipping is another option, especially if your moving is across any large body of water. Just know this is much more expensive than the previous option, and an average trip here can be from the $1,500-2,000 range.

Cost to Ship A Open Car

On average, the cost to transport your car via open trailer runs between $500 to $1000, making this choice one of the most affordable. Furthermore, when you ship your car on an open trailer that is almost filled, your rate decreases. While you still run the risk of having your vehicle exposed to the outdoor elements, the lower rate proves to be a plus if you’re working with a tight budget.

Enclosed Car Shipping Cost

The enclosed option costs more than the open trailer due to the extra protection from the weather and other elements that four walls and a roof provide. On average, the price comes in at $1782. Of course, mileage, availability, and your location factor into the cost. However, if you don’t mind paying more for the extra peace of mind, then the price would be worth it if it falls within your budget.

Car Shipping Rates: What To Know

As far as rates go, you’re already aware that distance and the type of carrier factor into the cost. However, you’ll need to consider the size and weight of your vehicle and if you want your car or truck to be the only one (or one of a few) on the trailer. Regardless, the only way to gain a firm grasp on the cost of transporting a car is to contact auto transport companies to get some quotes and compare prices and services to find out which one works best for you.

How To Get Lower Cost to Ship Car 

Hence, to get the most inexpensive rate possible, you may have to do some planning ahead. For example, during certain times of the year, like late spring and early winter, availability is low for shipping services which drive prices higher. Thus, you might aim for February and March when road conditions are still safe, and there’s a slowdown in the moving seasons.

Likewise, if you avoid expedited shipping and allow for some flexibility in the delivery time, then you’ll pay a lower rate. Just the same if you choose to pick up your vehicle at a location that would store it for a few hours versus curbside delivery, you can expect to pay less.


How do I transport my car to the US?

You’ll need to consult with a car shipping service about options, such as open carrier versus enclosed carrier, and to get a quote. Once you select a company, you’ll communicate with the rep about the distance, location for pickup and drop-off, and any final details.

How much does it cost to ship a car from another country to the US?

On average, you’re looking at paying between $1500 and $5000. Shipping across borders on the same continent may cost less than overseas shipping. The most expensive option, air freight, can cost as much as $40,000.

Is it cheaper to ship a car than drive?

The length of the trip and the distance play major roles in the cost of either one. However, if you’re moving across the country, driving may not be the most impractical choice but also the most expensive one. You must consider the cost of fuel, lodging, and wear on your vehicle. In this case, you would save time and money if you ship your car.

What is the 25-year rule?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), by law, you can’t ship a car from a foreign country to the U.S. if it’s less than 25 years old and was not manufactured to comply with FMVSS or was not certified by the original manufacturer. The NHTSA would have to make the determination for eligibility to be imported.


So, finding out the cost to transport your car is simple if you find a reputable car shipping service. A knowledgeable service agent will review all factors which determine the quote that they provide along with requirements for preparation and insurance before the shipping date. Hence, you can avoid the guesswork and still find an affordable and efficient car shipping service that best meets your needs and timeline.