Cheap Car Shipping Services

According to – the average cost of delivering a car within the United States is about $550. It can range from $300 to $1200. Whereas, the average cost of shipping a car within the United States is between $350 and $1,200, depending on the distance and the mode of transportation you use.

Whether you sell your car across states or relocate to another state for a job, either way, your car needs to be moved need. When driving is not an option, you should find the cheapest way to ship your car, without your budget exploding.

Transportation includes various modes, such as road, rail, sea, or air. Prices depend on the type of vehicle, the distance, and the carrier. For example, you cannot transport a vintage car in the same way you would transport a standard sedan.

Photo by Markus Spiske

Keep reading to find out about cheap solutions for car delivery.

What Determines a Cheap Price for Car Shipping?

When you send a car from one place to another, certain factors affect the price. Let’s look at each factor in more detail.

Type of Car

An SUV will need a bigger transport vehicle than you would for a sedan. Luxury vehicles need a carrier that provides extra protection, much like a vintage collector’s car, which requires extra special care.

Environment and Weather

Will your vehicle be exposed to adverse weather conditions? Whether your car is being moved in mid-winter or the heat of summer, the weather conditions should be taken into account. Protecting the car from foreign objects during transport is a more expensive choice; however, it can be worth it.


How far is your car going? Moving across the state is cheaper than traveling all over the country. The more miles it travels, the higher the cost of transportation will be.

Moving outside the country? Don’t worry, international car shipping options are numerous as well.

Next, let’s take a look at different ways of how to deliver your car.

Open Transport | Cheapest Way To Ship A Car

Open road delivery is the most common way of getting your car delivered and is also considered to be the cheapest road transport service. Open carriers are a good option when you are transporting your average daily vehicle. They are also more common than any other mode of transport, making it cheaper.

Usually, your car is transported on a truck or trailer from about 70 to 85 feet long. A typical trailer can hold two rows of vehicles on two levels. The one downside is that there are no sides or roofs on the trailers, so the vehicles are exposed to external elements.

If your vehicle is not too far away from your destination, your carrier can use a smaller trailer. This trailer can carry up to 6 vehicles. Another option could also be a single trailer.

Benefits of Open Transport

Open road transport is the cheapest way to send a car. This method has its pros and cons. Let’s look at the benefits before we discuss toe more expensive options for transport.

No Waiting

Since there are more open carriers than any other type of carrier, it means that they are naturally more available to book when you need one.

Multiple Cars

If you have several cars, you can transport them at the same time. That saves time and money, rather than booking a few different carriers. Your vehicles not only arrive at the same time but the more cars that are transported, the cheaper the rates will be.

One Size Fits All

The open car carrier is designed for most types of cars, including luxury cars, large SUVs, compact cars, or sedans.

Environmental Choice

Open vehicles consume less fuel than closed vehicles. Lower fuel consumption is better for the environment and lower costs for the consumer.

Visual Checks

The driver can see the vehicles throughout the whole journey. Due to it being open, it is, therefore, easy to keep an eye on all the cars.

The open-air carrier is the cheapest way to transport one or more cars.

Enclosed Transport | Affordable Auto Transport

Most companies use multi-purpose open road carriers. However, there are times when closed road transport is better. Both open and closed trucks and trailers are used, but there are a few differences. Let’s take a look at them.

A closed tractor truck has four sides and a roof. It protects vehicles during transportation. It is also securely fastened and prevents debris and weather conditions from affecting the vehicles. That makes it difficult for the driver to carry out regular vehicle checks.

Enclosed transport is suitable for exclusive and higher class cars. Although this form of transport protects vehicles more from foreign objects, it is more expensive and may not fit into the budget of most consumers.

What Affects the Cost of Enclosed Transport

Closed transport consumes more fuel than open road transport. The higher the cost of fuel, the more expensive it is. Closed road transport can cost twice as much per mile compared to open transport. However, we have solutions to make sure you get the lowest price possible. The cost of fuel is not the only thing that affects the price. Here are other determining factors:


Sending a car to a place that has severe weather conditions, or during winter can often be more expensive. The increase in costs is usually due to the reduction in the number of planned routes and an increase in the risk associated with driving in adverse weather conditions. For example, driving a truck in a snowstorm on icy roads involves higher risks as well as higher insurance costs.


If you send a vehicle to a remote location, the cost will increase. If the area is difficult to reach or far from the city, you can also expect to pay more. Door-to-door delivery is another option that increases the price of transportation. One way to reduce this is by arranging for your car to be delivered to a nearby city.

Metropolitan Areas

The price will be lower if you live in the city or near populated traffic routes. By getting your car delivered to a freight-intensive zone, can reduce your costs by as much as 50%.

Photo by timJ


If you live in remote areas, like the mountains, expect to pay more. There are additional security measures for closed trucks at high altitudes. Going up the steep mountains will take much longer because the truck will need to drive much slower up and down the mountain – expect to pay a couple of hundred dollars extra for delivery.

Number of Vehicles

Closed road carriers can only hold 2 or 3 vehicles at a time. Fewer vehicles mean higher costs.

Specialized Trailer

Closed road carriers use specialized trailers and equipment. Special harnesses and cables are also used and reduce the load on the road. The additional outer layers increase trailer safety.

Because closed vehicles are not used as often as open trailers, they are more expensive. Less demand means that the carrier charges more for the service to make it profitable.

Never use an online quote to estimate the cost of a closed transport vehicle. Consider this a mere estimate. Always ask the shipping company for a personal quote; this way, your price will truly reflect every aspect of your vehicle’s movement.

Benefits of Enclosed Transport

Here are some of the benefits you will get when choosing closed transport.


If you have a classic, exclusive, or vintage car, it’s better to choose an enclosed vehicle. This will protect your car on the road. The car is protected from the weather conditions and hazards on the road inside the closed transport trailer.

Weather Protection

Weather conditions will not affect your car. Snow, rain, dust, dirt, and road debris will not be able to enter your car in a closed trailer. There will also be no need to specify the details of your car when it arrives.


Any car worth more than $75,000 is recommended to be transported in a closed trailer. A convertible, classic, antique, retro, or an exotic car should be transported in closed trailers.

Closed trailers allow transporting up to seven vehicles at a time. However, more time is needed for loading and unloading, as closed transport has special mounting requirements. They also have additional equipment that ensures vehicle safety, plus higher insurance costs.

Some qualified professionals load and unload your vehicle with care. Your car is also protected every step of the way, so it arrives in the same condition as it was when it left home.

Satellite Tracking

Satellite tracking is often added to your closed transport. Therefore you will always know where your car is throughout the transportation process.

The safety and security of your vehicle are worth the extra cost of enclosed transportation.

Cheapest Car Shipping Delivery Options

Door to Door Shipping

When you choose door-to-door road transport, the driver picks up and delivers your car to a specific address – save time and money by using this service. You do not need to agree on a drop-off or pick-up location, and it is the cheapest way to get your car to its destination.

There may be restrictions on your particular situation. Here are a few things that can affect delivery:

  • Narrow streets
  • A steep slope.
  • Closed community
  • The low branches of trees
  • Enclosed Complex

If your area is experiencing difficulties with delivery, arrange a meeting with a carrier nearby. Remember that a road transport trailer can be a single carrier or can have 8 to 10 vehicles on it. When planning the delivery, take into account the different aspects of your area and district.

In addition to door-to-door service, transport companies will arrange for transportation between the two central points. That is delivery from one terminal to another terminal.

Terminal to Terminal Shipping

Another option is a terminal to terminal road transport. Terminal to terminal transport allows you to pick up your car on the day and time of its receipt and delivery. Your vehicle will be securely locked in place until the vehicle is loaded or delivered. You do not need to be there to drop off or pick up your vehicle.

When you use the terminal to terminal shipping, you land and pick up your car in a pre-arranged terminal or zone. Terminals are often located near local airports and major highways in major cities.

If it is difficult to operate large transport trailers in the residential parts of the city, this is why terminals are nearby where 80% of the population lives. That makes terminal to terminal transport more convenient for most people that are having a car transported.

Ship by Train

Photo by Gabriel Sanchez

If you travel between Virginia and Florida, you and your car can travel by Amtrak AutoTrain. Amtrak is designed for snowbirds heading to Florida. Travelers put their cars on a train in Washington, D.C.

Passengers and vehicles land near Orlando, Florida. Fares for passengers and vehicles range from $300 to $575.

Another option is for your car to be delivered by rail on a regular train. If you are shipping more than 750 miles, the price is comparable to that of road transport. Although the vehicle is enclosed, it can be vulnerable while waiting at the railway station.

Train transport is most often used by dealers who move several vehicles at once. Individual owners can use this service, but you cannot choose specific dates. This service is also only available in certain locations, and a truck is required to disembark and lift the car, which is an additional cost and service.

Hire a Driver

If you can’t drive across the country, you can get someone else to do it. However, what if you don’t have a friend or relative who wants to go on a trip? Do you want to entrust your car in the hands of a stranger?

You can use such a service as Auto Driveaway. That is a national relocation service that carries out road transport through the U.S. with the help of a fleet of drivers. Pre-selected drivers come with recommendations. The driver pays for gas, housing, and food. The owner of the vehicle pays the insurance and fees. The fee is, on average, costs around $1,100.

The main disadvantage here is that you will be putting extra miles on your car. Other ways of traveling do not increase the mileage of your car.

Photo by Pietro De Grandi

To sum it up

If you want to find the cheapest way to transport your car, the best way to do so is to take advantage of open road transport. Almost 95% of the vehicles transported using this method. They dive on an open carrier with other cars, SUVs, and trucks. They are then delivered to their destination at the same time.

If you want better prices, you can start by having a flexible schedule. Having a 3 to 5-day boarding and/or delivery window will allow you to get a more affordable price for shipping your vehicle.

On the other hand, if you require a fixed delivery schedule, inform the carrier in advance. Always be clear about your needs because you do not want any surprises to pop up at a later stage.