What Factors Affect Car Shipping Cost?


Shipping a vehicle is a wonderful way to save time and unnecessary mileage on your car.  It will also provide a lot of convenience and peace of mind.  Although there are definite perks of shipping a car across country, it is quite different from shipping most other things such as household goods.  There are several factors that determine what a quote for car shipping will be.  We will examine those factors in this article.

car shipping cost23

Factor # 1: Distance and Location


The most obvious factor for determining the cost for car shipping is the distance for shipping and the locations at the pick up and delivery points.  The further you need to send a vehicle, the higher the cost will be.  The higher cost is derived because the truck will go further mileage and will consume more fuel due to the longer distance trip.  Because fuel prices are going up, auto transport companies will end up charging more as they have to spend more on diesel.  Longer distance trips also mean more time is needed to complete the move. The geographical location is very important as well.  Popular locations such as big cities will provide a lower cost due to there being more trucks in the area.  Locations which are considered remote, such as rural areas will end up costing more as the truck has to go off route to reach the pick up and delivery locations.   If the locations are too remote, then it is a good idea to negotiate a more centralized location in order to bring costs down.


Factor #2:  Vehicle Size


Another factor to consider when looking for a quote for car shipping is the size of the vehicle which you are trying to ship.  Pretty self explanatory on this one with a big vehicle costing more to transport than a smaller vehicle.  This is due to the fact that a big vehicle will take up more space on the trailer and will weigh more.  It is important to note that modifications such as lowering kits or custom exhaust systems might increase the cost as well.  If the vehicle is too low, then it is recommended that you go for enclosed transport which will also increase the cost drastically.  Transporting large vehicles requires more effort and safety measures than small cars do and that also adds to the cost.  If you wish to ship a vehicle which is inoperable, then it will also cost more because the transporter will have to utilize a winch in order to load and unload the vehicle.  Make sure to be transparent about the size, condition, and any modifications on your vehicle in order to avoid mispricing and delays.


Factor #3: Seasonal Demand


Just as with most other industries, there are peak demand times and there are low demand times.  This is due to the fact that most people move and buy cars when the weather is warm.  Because of this, shipping in the spring/summer months will always be more expensive than the fall/winter months.  Although there are definitely more people moving during the summer months, that does not mean that you will transport a vehicle for a very low price during the winter.  When there are extreme weather conditions such as snow storms, you can expect price increases as most drivers choose to stay home to be safe.  Sometimes it is better to wait if you have the option to do so.  Snowbird shippers, which are people who move away temporarily for the duration of the cold months to the southern states and then move back north when it gets warmer, have an impact on pricing.  Transportation of vehicles from the north to the south becomes expensive when fall starts and the same thing happens once spring comes around but prices go up from south to north.


Factor #4:  Pick Up and Delivery Time Flexibility


Just as with anything else, if you want a service expedited then you will have to pay a premium.  If you have the patience and time to wait, then you will pay a lower price.  Most companies offer several different packages to choose from.  Some will be more budget friendly while others will cost a whole lot more.  This is largely due to the fact that most vehicle shipments end up on the national load board.  The auto carrier companies will then select the highest paying shipments on these load boards.  One can see why those who pay more will get picked up first and those paying less might have to wait.  If you need a guaranteed pick up date, then you will have to pay the most.  In such cases, the extra money which you pay will go to hiring a local truck that can guarantee the exact time of pick up since they are near your location and then your vehicle will be loaded onto the large semi that will transport it to its destination.


Factor #5:  Transportation Options


There are different types of vehicle transportation options which will also determine the price of your shipment to an extent.  The two main types of transportation when it comes to auto transportation are open carrier and enclosed carrier transport.  Open transportation is most common and widely available making it the cheaper option.  Enclosed transport on the other hand will cost more because it is considered specialized and harder to find.  An enclosed auto transporter provides higher insurance limits resulting in a higher overall cost as well.  This is a good option for high end or classic vehicles especially during bad weather months because an enclosed carrier provides total protection from the elements.  

Get a Free Quote


Is it Operable?  


Transport Type:  


Shipping services

Back To Top

Call (312) 224-8620 to find out more information about your auto transport.

© Copyright 2023 TCI Logistics
Web Design and SEO by Zashev Design