If you are planning to ship a car, the first question on your mind is probably, “How much will it cost?” Unlike other products and services, there is not a single fixed rate for auto shipment. There are actually a number of different factors that come into play when determining how a car’s shipping price is calculated. Auto-shipping is also a supply/demand business, which means rates will fluctuate based on demand. Let’s delve a little deeper into how shipping rates are calculated and what factors affect shipping prices.

Factors That Determine Shipping Rates

1. Distance: As one might expect, the farther you are shipping a car, the more it will cost you. Longer trips usually cost less per mile, but since there are more miles to be traveled you can expect this to be reflected in the price.

2. Vehicle Size and Type: Another important factor that will determine shipping costs is the make, model, and size of the vehicle being shipped. Since auto carriers have weight restrictions, larger and heavier vehicles will cost more to ship than smaller vehicles.

3. Vehicle Condition: If your vehicle is inoperable, you can expect to pay a higher price to ship it. That’s because inoperable vehicles require special equipment to load and unload the vehicle on and off the carrier. There is usually an additional charge of about $200 for vehicles that are not in working condition.

4. Location of Shipment: Another factor that affects shipping rates is the location of pickup and/or delivery. Heavily traveled routes such as those between major cities will cost less because there are likely to be other vehicles for carriers to pick up and drop off along the way. On the other hand, if you are delivering a vehicle to a rural area that is not heavily traveled, you can expect to pay a premium price.

5. Type of Carrier: Most shipping companies will give you the option of choosing between open and enclosed transport. Enclosed transport is more expensive because the carrier can hold fewer vehicles.

6. Time of Year: Given that this is a supply and demand industry, truckers will set prices based on demand. During certain times of the year, car shipping is in higher demand and this can sometimes affect shipping rates in those areas.

7. Fuel Costs: Gas and diesel prices can also affect shipping rates. Just as with the airline industry, if fuel prices go up so do the prices.

8. Expedited/ Rush Service: If you need your car delivered in a hurry, there are expedited shipping options that will increase the rate. On the other hand, if you are more flexible with your delivery date, you can save a lot of money.

Average Rates to Ship a Car

The typical car shipping cost can range anywhere from $500 to $1500. On average, the cost is about $2.92 per mile for distances under 200 miles and $0.78 per mile for distances over 1,000 miles. These numbers can give you a rough estimate of shipping costs, but the only way to get an accurate quote is by requesting a personalized estimate.