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Factors That Affect the Cost of Car Shipping

Written by Jimmy Rustling

Car shipping prices depend on several variables, including vehicle type, distance traveled and condition of the vehicle being transported.

Your auto transport carrier’s route has an impactful effect on cost due to traffic, weather and road conditions.

Vehicle type

The car shipping industry can be divided into two distinct groups: auto transport brokers and car carriers.

A broker serves as the middleman and books most orders without owning transport trucks themselves – they rely instead on car carriers to pick up and drop off cars on their behalf. Together, these two entities create an efficient system which enables customers to select an option that meets both their needs and budget perfectly.

When choosing a car shipping company, it is wise to read customer reviews online in order to assess how other people perceive them and their services.

A reputable company should have a customer support team available 24/7 that can answer any queries regarding the process; failing this may indicate poor service. If you have a hard time getting into contact with your chosen company, it may be time to consider a new company.

One important consideration when shipping your vehicle is its type and what kind of services you require; enclosed car shipping will typically be more costly than open air carrier shipping. Additionally, its condition could also influence pricing if certain models require extra care or are more costly.


Distance is a primary factor when it comes to car shipping rates. Most companies calculate costs per mile; longer routes tend to cost more due to wear-and-tear damage as well as fuel expenses and mileage charges.

Many auto transport companies offer easy-to-use online calculators that allow you to estimate your vehicle shipping rate and find the ideal deal for your needs.

Location also plays a part in car shipping rates; closeness between pick-up and destination locations can reduce car shipping costs as carriers will need to drive less for loading and unloading purposes.

On the other hand, rural areas will likely increase costs because carriers will likely make extra trips or drive further to reach them.

Time of year also plays a factor in car shipping rates. June to August are traditionally busier months in this industry while December to February tend to be slower. To get a cheaper quote and faster delivery times, try scheduling your shipping during off season months like December through February. If you do this, be aware that weather conditions may create unavoidable delays and plan accordingly.

Vehicle condition

Professional car shipping companies usually assign an agent to each shipment, which improves communication and accountability. Your agent will keep in contact with your vehicle throughout its transport, calling before they arrive at pick up or delivery to notify you when they’ve arrived safely and providing you with copies of vehicle inspection reports to document any damages sustained during transport.

Before transporting your vehicle, it is essential that all personal belongings are removed as most car carrier services will not accept them due to insurance and safety reasons. You should leave no more than a quarter tank of fuel in the tank to reduce extra weight and perform routine maintenance like fluid checks and battery charges on it before taking high-quality photographs of the condition of your car. You can click here to learn more about routine car maintenance.

Before hiring a car shipping company, always do a background check online and read customer reviews to gather more information on their service quality, customer support and pricing options.

Also take note of their length of time in business as this can indicate stability and reliability – it might even be worthwhile getting in touch with former customers to inquire about their experiences with them! Alternatively, you can read online reviews on independent sites.


When shipping your vehicle across large distances, safety is always of utmost concern. Therefore, before choosing a reputable auto transport company as your provider, always request written proof of insurance from them and speak with your own auto insurer about additional coverage options. This may be necessary if you are considering shipping your car overseas.

Most reputable car shipping companies, like Roadrunner car shipping, provide cargo insurance that protects the cars they transport, known as car shipping or transport insurance and are typically included as part of your final quote. This way, most costs associated with covering your vehicle during transit will be covered by your carrier instead.

Note that auto transport insurance usually does not cover damage to your personal items. These may be covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy, instead. You can click the link: for more information.

Before handing your vehicle over to a carrier, take pictures of both its interior and exterior to compare its condition once at its destination and file any claims that may arise if necessary.

Shipping a car makes transportation easier. It can also save you money, particularly if you follow the tips above.

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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.