The cost of shipping a car : important factors to consider

Will shipping my car break my bank account ?

The average cost to ship a car can vary immensely depending on your needs and the destination. Of course, the cost of shipping a car from the USA to Europe is not the same as just taking your car From Oregon to California. It can go from $200 for a shorter distance to $3000 for a cross country trip, and even above for international shipping. But all in all, it is much less than what some people imagine it to be. To make sure you are not overwhelmed or surprised by any hidden costs you will have to do your research and know exactly what you want, and what best fits your needs. Here are a few points you might want to look at.

Transport methods and car types

Cars can be transported by truck, train, boat, or air. When assessing the average cost of shipping a car across country you will mostly look at truck or rail transport options. However, you will soon realize that trucking is the most popular and cheapest option by far. There are 2 ways to ship a car by truck : open or enclosed transport. Meaning with an open trailer or an enclosed trailer. It has been estimated that 90% of customers prefer the cheaper option that is open transport, as most people are just moving their trustworthy family cars that do not require any specific care. Most open trips are secure and reliable, and it can save you up to $500 on shipment, depending on the carrier company you chose. Enclosed transportation is best kept for the shipment of luxury or collection cars and is thus more expensive. We generally recommend enclosed trailers for project cars,  in pieces or rusty and for higher hand vehicles such as concours classic cars or super cars. Train shipment is a notch above in price but is not very practical if you want door-to-door delivery. Sea and air methods for overseas car shipping are the most expensive. Here, prices vary according to the type of container you choose: single car or multiple car containers.

Time and distance

It might come as a surprise but choosing the right time to ship a car always influences the end price of the service. Car shipping companies advise customers to avoid the period from April to September as summer is the busiest time and prices are much higher. Everything slows down during fall and the cost of shipping a car coast to coast goes down too. Another important factor is scheduling your car shipping well in advance. Most companies are always really busy and cannot just show up to pick up your car on short notice. Be sure to allow 2 to 4 weeks of preparation if you want a better price and if you are not in a hurry. Urgent shipments can be quite expensive. As for overseas options, the cost of shipping a car to Europe for example, or to any other part of the world, has several additional costs. Depending on the car shipping company you choose, the destination, and your needs, prices can vary accordingly. Be sure to inform yourself about import fees, custom duties, or any other extras that the country or the car shipping company could ask for. Prices go down if you choose to drive your car directly to the port of shipping and if you have someone trustworthy to pick it up once destination is reached.

Other cost-affecting factors

Besides the cost for just shipping the car, there are other numerous factors that can influence the final price you will pay. For example, some customers choose to go through a car transport broker to find a car shipping company that suits them. They will do all the research job for you and come up with different quotes from different carriers. But the broker will also add their own fees, so if you can manage it yourself, it is best to contact car shipping companies directly. In turn, some car shipping companies add additional insurance contracts on cars shipped overseas, or on luxury or classic cars that need special attention, as most companies have between $50 000 to $10 000 in coverage. Be sure to check the insurance provided by the company you are considering before signing any contract. The best car shipping companies will make sure you understand the process well and will want to create a trustful relationship with you. And if you happen to be someone who ships cars often, maybe for a specific business reason, a return customer usually gets a discount. Some companies even give discounts for first-time shippers.

As we have seen, the cost of shipping a car does not have to be overly expensive, especially if you plan well in advance and do not have many special requirements. It is most of the time a better, and safer, option than driving the car yourself on a long trip. It is also the best option for your car technically, as it doesn’t add unnecessary mileage and keeps it safe from damage. Trusting a good, professional car shipping company brings peace of mind for a reasonable cost, and lets you take care of other important business.