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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Home Maintenance & Moving > Auto Transport

Auto Transport Cost


How Much Does Auto Transport Cost?

 
low costLow: $600-$1,000average costMedium: $800-$1,070high costHigh: over $1,000
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The cost to ship a car within the United States is based on the distance traveled, the size of the car and the time of year.

Typical costs:

  • Coast to coast transport for a compact four-door sedan runs $600-$1,000. The lower end of the scale represents shipping during the winter months, the higher end during peak summer periods.
  • Moving a small van, pick up or SUV costs about $800-$1,070 from California to New York. The larger versions of these vehicles run $900-$1,170. The same summer price hikes apply.
  • Auto movers charge $650-$850 to transport sedans between New York and Florida. SUVs, vans and pick ups run $800-$1,000; large SUVs and vans run $900-$1,100.
  • Transporting a car between Hawaii and the west coast runs $800-$1,360.
  • Car shipping between Seattle, Washington and Juneau, Alaska costs about $1,010, which includes a fuel surcharge of 15%. The cost is slightly less if the mover drives the car onto the deck.
Related articles: Shipping a Car Overseas, Long Distance Mover, Self Storage, Moving Boxes and Supplies

What should be included:
  • Vehicles are either shipped on open carriers or in containers. When using enclosed shipping, the size of the auto cannot exceed the size of a standard container, which measures 7x7x19 feet.
  • Shipping times vary according to the auto mover's schedule. Allow one to three weeks standard sailing time to Hawaii. Coast to coast delivery takes about 14-16 days. When available, expedited service could save a week in transit and cost an extra $200-$500.
  • Tip: Prepare the car for the move by cleaning it thoroughly in and out and removing any loose items that might move around during shipment and cause damage, then take photographs to document the condition of the vehicle.
Additional costs:
  • During peak summer months, it costs $200-$300 more to ship a vehicle across the country than during winter months.
  • Exotic or classic cars -- often higher end or specialty models on the way to car shows -- may be loaded by full lift gates into closed containers and cost $800-$3,000 extra.
  • Terminals are the centers where cars are loaded for transport. Car owners not living near a terminal will pay extra to have the car sent to an embarkation point -- like the Seattle, Washington terminal serving Alaskan deliveries.
  • Land shipments have additional options. For example, a car being shipped to New York City may actually land in a terminal in New Jersey where it may be picked up by the owner. Transport to New York City may cost around $180 extra. Ask the auto shipper for terminal locations and pickup and delivery costs.
  • If the car is not in working order, a fee will be charged to handle any loading difficulties.
Discounts:
  • Some auto movers offer a discount if more than one car is shipped to the same destination.
  • A terminal-to-terminal discount is available through some shippers. The owner drives the car to the loading dock and picks it up at the destination point.
Shopping for auto transport:
  • Movecars.com offers a listing of auto shippers by state[1] .
  • Check a potential shipper's consumer rating at transportreviews.com[2] . Safety records may be viewed at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration[3] .
  • Along with auto moving companies, some household movers offer the service, however it is generally more expensive because moving companies charge by weight and cars are heavy.
  • Dependable Auto Shippers offers an online calculator[4] that estimates the price to ship a car.
  • Tip: Make sure the gas tank is no more than one-quarter full to decrease the weight of the vehicle.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.movecars.com/toc/find/index.htm#by_state
  2.  www.transportreviews.com/company/
  3.  www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/sites/company-safety.htm
  4.  www.dasautoshippers.com/
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