Auto Transport Quotes

Jason Hilderbrand

12 Nov 2021 2 years ago

Auto transport quotes are utilized by people who want to pay less for the relocation of their vehicles. When people buy cars, they imagine driving themselves everywhere throughout the country. Sure, some of the trips never happen, but people who love them like to be in them. But, before they do, they have to familiarize themselves with each step of the shipping process. Depending on where the car transports to and from, the person may need special documentation for their car. Each of these different details, along with a few others, determines the price you’ll pay. The total amount quoted to you will tie to not just where you are shipping your car to, but how you want it to get there.

Car Shipping Cost

Car shipping companies understand how valuable a car is to a person. Your vehicle is an extension of your personality. It expresses who you are. Companies know that one of the most nerve-wracking moments of preparing to ship a car is finding out the cost. If you’re entirely new to the process of shipping a car, you may picture a much higher number than you receive. But, if you stop and think about it, it makes sense that shipping a car wouldn’t be too expensive. If it was, then there wouldn’t be such a large market for car shipping.

But, enough about the sentiments of shipping a car. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty details, so you can decide if shipping a car is right for you.

Auto Transport Quotes: Factors Influencing Cost

There are quite a few factors you’ll need to consider when shipping a car. Some of them will seem like basic knowledge — things you already know if you stop and think about it. Other factors you may not be familiar with are because you haven’t known anyone who’s in the car shipping industry.

So let’s take a moment to consider the basic components of what influences the cost to ship a car.

First, and foremost, you need to consider the size and weight of your vehicle. It stands to reason that the larger your vehicle is and the more it weighs, the more you’re going to pay for shipping. It’s similar to when you go to the grocery store and purchase fruit, each fruit has a set price per pound. And shipping a car is no different.

Certain shipping companies set prices depending on the vehicle type rather than its weight. They break vehicles up into different categories/classifications, so you won’t have to guess how much shipping your vehicle is going to cost.

The other factors influencing the cost of shipping your vehicle are the location you’re sending it to and your chosen shipping method. Like with most shipments, the further you send something, the more it’s going to cost you. But the other thing you need to keep in mind is how you choose to send your shipment.

Similar to when you go to the post office to mail a package, the shop has a handful of different selections. You can choose to send your package express and in a deluxe box, or you can make a more economical choice that reflects the budget you’ve set aside for your shipment.

You should also take notice of whether insurance is included in the cost of shipping your car, or if it is an additional cost you have to pay. Be wary of any companies who cannot offer you insurance for the vehicle you’re shipping. A good company will value your car as much as you do.

If you’re hungry to see some numbers and estimates take a look at the table below to get an idea of the average cost to ship a car.

DistanceBase Price Per mileExample DistanceExample Price
1-500 Miles$1.00400 miles$400
500+ miles$0.75900 miles$675
1,000+ miles$0.601,200 miles$720
2,000+ miles$0.502,400 miles$1,200
2,500+ miles$0.403,600 miles$1,440

Shipping Methods

If you’re new to the world of shipping cars across the country, you may not know all the details about how to choose a shipping company, and you want your car transferred.

Cars are shipped using one of two methods, open shipping or enclosed shipping. Open shipping is more economical and involves your car being loaded onto a truck that’s carrying a group of other vehicles. (See the image below for reference.) Your car, as well as the other cars being transported on the truck, will be open to the elements. Depending on the make, model, and time of year you decide to ship your car, you may not care if your car could be subjected to the different weather patterns of the season. You also may feel more comfortable using open shipping if your car is not traveling a far distance.

Closed shipping is similar to open shipping, in the way that your car will be loaded into the truck using a similar method. The main difference will be that the truck, will be closed, instead of open. That way if you’re shipping your car during a season known for bad weather or reckless driving, you won’t have to worry about your car being damaged. It will be safe and secure inside the truck transporting your car to its final destination.

Understanding the Car Shipping Industry

One important thing to do when getting an auto transport quote and shipping a car is to understand the industry. If you’re unfamiliar with how the car shipping industry works, you may risk making mistakes. There are two primary types of carriers for shipping cars. Local small businesses, and commercial carriers.

Local small businesses may be able to offer you all the same services but at a higher cost. They won’t have the same funding or demand for shipping cars as a larger carrier. This won’t only affect how much you pay, it’ll also influence how fast your car can be shipped and delivered.

Commercial shipping companies like Sakaem have more resources they can offer to their customers. The company’s size enables them to assign a shipment advisor to each customer who decides to use their services. The shipment advisor is able to answer any questions the customer has before, during, and after their car is transferred from its pickup location to its final destination. The shipment advisor can also provide the customer with progress updates as the car makes its way to its final destination.

Knowing these details about the car shipping industry will help you make a decision about your chosen carrier and services. Commercial carriers cater to both individuals and businesses, so if you have multiple cars to ship that won’t be an issue.

Another important detail to know about the car shipping industry is making sure the carrier you are interested in using will ship to the location your car needs to go to. Local small businesses may not be able to ship as far as the distance you need to travel. Luckily, commercial car shippers don’t have this issue as much. Sakaem is a company able to ship cars just about anywhere in the USA. They have 900+ carriers, over 100 years of combined experience, and have shipped over 130,000 cars.

How Seasons Determine Costs

Beyond the importance of knowing how the size of your car and your chosen shipping method influences the price you’ll pay, it’s also important to know how the seasons affect the price you’ll pay. The different seasons of the year will play a role in determining the auto transport quote you’ll receive from your shipping carrier. Typically, the summertime is when the vast majority of car shipping occurs. The high demand for car shipping makes for more competition but comes with additional costs. Because there is so much activity on the roads, car shipping carriers oftentimes have to offset the cost of shipping a car. They do this by estimating how much more they’ll have to pay to ship cargo when the roads are congested and fuel prices are high.

Something similar also occurs during the winter shipping months. Many people who ship cars frequently know that the winter months are the quiet time for car shipping. But, what often occurs is that because there are large groups of people who try to save money, the roads become just as crowded. Attempting to ship a car during the winter months also comes at a higher price, because shipping carriers need to offset the cost of shipping cars during the down season.

Documents You’ll Need to Ship Your Car

When you ship your car across the country, you will need to provide documentation. For in-country shipments you won’t need to provide as much paperwork as if you are sending your vehicle overseas., but it’s important for you to prepare for whatever your situation is.

If your vehicle ships from one area of the country to another, you’ll need to be able to prove your ownership of the car. You’ll need all the details of the make and model of your car, and you’ll also need to have your driver’s license with you, so they can confirm your identity.

Take a quick look below at the list of different documents you’ll most likely need when you go to ship your car.

  • Bill of lading
  • Proof of Car Insurance
  • Personal Information
  • Insurance Terms and Conditions
  • Original Registration and Title
  • Photo Identification
  • Shipper and Consignee Information
  • Absent Owner Authorization

How Do I Get Auto Transport Quote

The sections above prepare you for everything that you’ll need to do to ship your car. They also explain how each decision you make will play a role in determining the number you are quoted. The process of getting an auto transport quote is quite easy. Typically, all you need to do is go to a car shipping website like this one provided by Forbes and put in the requested details. You’ll be asked to share what location you want to ship to and from, and what type of shipping you’d like to use Most calculators will allow you to choose from both open and enclosed shipping, so you’ll be able to do a price comparison for each.

Also, when you go to use the car shipping calculator to get an auto transport quote, be certain you know the make and model of your car. You’ll be asked to provide these details as well as when you’d like your car to be shipped. Keep in mind that the season, shipping demands, and the price you’re willing to play will determine how fast your car will get from point A to point B.

After you put all your details into the auto quote calculator, you’ll be provided with a free instant quote. In just a few clicks you’ll get a rough estimate on how much it will cost to ship your car. Now, as we discussed earlier, the quote you receive isn’t necessarily the final number. You’ll still need to choose whether you’d like any of the premium services that are offered by the company.

If you choose to use door-to-door service, then the carrier sends an agent to your home to get your vehicle. They’ll pick it up, and load it onto the shipping truck. Then, once the car has arrived in your area, the car will be unloaded from the truck and dropped off right at your home. This service comes at an additional cost. But it keeps you from having to drop off, or pick up your car.

Comparing Auto Transport Quotes

Beyond getting an auto transport quote, you’ll also want to take the time to compare auto transport quotes. Different sites and different companies may provide you with a variety of numbers. Depending on your budget and shipping needs, you may feel drawn to use one company over another. Taking the time to do research and get multiple auto transport quotes will help you get a sense of what the same services cost for different shipping carriers. But, when comparing auto transport quotes, be certain you are remembering to read the details of the different companies you are comparing. What’s covered for insurance may vary for each company. The price you pay may also reflect the company’s reputation, customer service, and resources they provide to you during each step of the shipping process.


After reading this blog post, you’ve gained a greater understanding of the car shipping industry. You now know all the different factors contributing to the number you’re given as your auto transport quote. You’ve also learned the difference between open and enclosed shipping as well as how much a company is willing to do to give you the shipping experience you want to have. By shopping around, you’ll discover what services carriers provide, and at what cost. You’ll also get to have an honest conversation with yourself about how you’d like to ship your car to its final destination.

Jason Hilderbrand