Car Shipping Cost Calculator

Brantley Kendall

21 Sep 2022 2 years ago

One of the first things you’re likely to think about when shipping your car is the car shipping cost. With so many car shipping companies to choose from, auto transport cost is often a determining factor. While it’s not something you should base your decision on exclusively, it’s bound to have some bearing on your choice of auto transport company. 

If you’re wondering how much it might cost to ship your car with SAKAEM Logistics, this post will answer your question and much more. 

How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Car?

Whether you want to move your car 500 miles or 2,000 miles, finding out the cost of the service is often very nerve-wracking. If you’ve never shipped a car before, you’re probably imagining a price that’s quite high, when in actual fact, car shipping is a very affordable service.

You’re probably keen on seeing some numbers, so let’s get things started with a table that gives you 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
1000+ miles$0.601,200 miles$720
2000+ miles$0.502,400 miles$1,200
2500+ miles$0.403,600 miles$1,440

The figures in the table are just estimations as there are several factors that can affect the cost of shipping your car.   

What Factors Affect Your Auto Shipping Cost?

When you ship a vehicle, whether it’s a car, motorcycle, truck, van, SUV, or classic car, you’ll find that rates are different. There’s no one-size fits all price because a number of factors combine to formulate the cost. These factors include:

  • Distance: As you already realize, the further your car has to travel, the higher the cost. As you can see from the table above, long trips cost less per mile, but the journey is longer which means the price will be higher. 
  • Vehicle size and type: The make, model, and year also determines the rate. When you use our online quote calculator, it will make the necessary adjustments. 
  • Condition of the vehicle: If your vehicle is not running, you’ll pay an additional premium because additional specialist equipment will be needed for loading and unloading. 
  • The route: If the beginning or the end of your vehicle’s journey is in a large metro area the cost of shipping will be lower. The same applies for major routes.  
  • Time of year: Auto transport prices are set depending on demand. One example of how this can affect the cost is with seasonal shippers who are heading south for the winter or north in the spring. Demand increases substantially up and down the eastern seaboard. These seasonal demands can affect states such as California and Texas, along with other warm winter states. 
  • Type of transport service: There are a number of different transport services that cost more than standard shipping services. These include enclosed transport, classic/exotic car transport, expedited service, and guaranteed pick up. 
  • Weather conditions: When the weather is bad, moving cars gets a little harder which will increase the cost. However, great weather tends to keep prices down. 
  • Fuel costs: The price of fuel is another factor that affects shipping rates. 
  • COVID19: Mandatory lockdowns and increased precautions led to an increase in prices.
open car shipping

Getting a Car Transport Quote

Knowing what is taken into consideration when it comes to the cost to ship a car is just part of the process. Now you need to know how to get your personalised quote. Don’t worry, it’s relatively pain-free and you’ll receive your quote in under 60 seconds. 

Get the ball rolling by clicking on the instant quote calculator link. Before you get your quote you’ll need to provide some details. These include:

  • Car pick-up location (zip code or name of the city)
  • Car delivery location (zip code or name of the city)
  • You must decide whether you want open or enclosed car shipping
  • Year, make, and model of your vehicle (choose from the drop down list)
  • Indicate whether your vehicle is running or not
  • First available pick-up date
  • Your phone number
  • Email address for receiving the quote

There is also the option of speaking with a representative directly over the phone. 

Don’t content yourself with getting one quote. It’s a good idea to get several quotes from different companies so you can compare them. Different companies will provide their services at a variety of prices. Which one you’re drawn to will depend on your preferences, needs, and budget. 

When comparing quotes, remember to pay close attention to the details and what each quote includes. 

How Long Does it Take to Ship a Car?

The time it takes to ship a car also depends on several factors, but for your convenience, you’ll find an approximation of the average time it takes in the table below:

Distance from pick-up to delivery locationAverage transit time in calendar days
0-200 miles1-2 days
200-600 miles2-4 days
600-1000 miles3-5 days
1000-1500 miles4-6 days
1500-2000 miles5-7 days
2000-2400 miles6-8 days
2000+ miles7-9 days

The figures above are just a rough guide. It’s almost impossible to give you any specifics because everyone’s auto transport needs are different. Several variables can affect the car shipping timeline. They include:

  • Distance: The distance between the pick-up and delivery location is the most obvious factor. The further the distance between these two points, the longer it will take for your vehicle to be delivered.  
  • Pick-up and delivery location: Pick-up and delivery locations in metropolitan areas are easier to reach by the carrier, compared to more rural locations. When a carrier drives along main highways and interstates, it takes less time for a vehicle to be transported. 
  • Time of the year: One of the peak times of the year for car shipping companies is between May and September. Transit times tend to be shorter during this period as there are more trucks available to meet the demand. 
  • Weather conditions: Transit times can increase when there is heavy rain, strong winds, thunderstorms, and snow. Drivers have to be more careful and drive slower in severe weather conditions. There may also be cancellations or long delays. 
  • Road conditions: Road conditions can be very unpredictable. The highway could be closed at short notice because of traffic jams, accidents, or construction work. 
  • Extra stops: An average carrier can transport up to nine vehicles on one trailer. This means the driver may have to make several stops along the way which increases the car shipping time. 
  • Method of transportation: Open car transport is one of the fastest ways to ship a car across the country. The driver may have to make several stops along the way, but it is the most common auto transport method. This means you should be able to book this service much faster. 
  • Driver’s hours: The Department of Transport mandates the time a driver is allowed to drive on the highway and the number of rest stops they must make.
  • International shipping: Shipping your vehicle internationally varies considerably. The type of vehicle you have, the season, your chosen international port, and customs fees all affect the final cost of shipping your vehicle overseas.  
enclosed car shipping

What Are The Car Transportation Options?

There are two main types of auto transport carriers: those that are open to the elements and those that are closed. 

You can expect to pay more for enclosed car shipping compared with shipping in an open transport trailer. That being said, if your car is valuable and its value might decrease with exposure to the elements, it might be worth paying the extra for an enclosed shipping service. Your vehicle would be completely protected from the elements and traffic grime. 

As well as choosing between open and enclosed car shipping, there are additional types of service that have the potential to increase the car shipping cost.

  • Expedited/Express/Rush Car Shipping: The cost of this type of car shipping service is higher. You don’t have to wait long to get your vehicle shipped to a chosen location. 
  • Guaranteed Shipping: This service guarantees your vehicle will be shipped on a specific date. It might be used by people who need to ship their vehicles for business purposes or are moving to one state to another state. 
  • Top Loading: You may be able to request that your vehicle is transported on the top deck of the trailer. This reduces its exposure to traffic grime and leaks from vehicles above. 
  • Door-to-door shipping: With this car shipping service you don’t have the hassle of picking your vehicle up from a terminal or drop-off point. Your vehicle is picked up and delivered to your door.
  • Cross-border shipping: It’s possible to ship your vehicle to Canada or Mexico if you choose SAKAEM Logistics. The carriers we use have experience with cross-border shipping, so you can expect a seamless and stress-free service.     

Ship Your Car in Three Simple Steps

You don’t have to worry about the car shipping process being complicated. All it takes is three steps. 

  • Step #1: Request your quote and make your booking: We explained how to get a quote using an instant quote calculator. If you like the price, go ahead and finalize your booking. 
  • Step #2: Your car is collected: When the driver arrives, you examine your vehicle and note any existing damage on the Bill of Lading. Your vehicle is loaded onto the trailer and the driver will be on their way. 
  • Step #3: Your car is delivered: A few days later, depending on the distance, your vehicle is delivered to your chosen location. 

What Documents Are Required to Ship a Car?

  • Bill of lading: This is the document where the terms of shipment are laid out and agreed to. The terms include the price and any other special instructions. You also use this document to note the condition of your vehicle before shipping. It is a contract between the shipping company and the customer and you should always be given a copy. 
  • Insurance terms and conditions: In this document, you’ll find what is and isn’t covered in the event of an accident or other damage. 
  • Lien-holder authorization: If there is a pre-existing loan on your vehicle, the lender’s approval has to be given before a carrier can ship it. 
  • Absent owner authorization: If you know you won’t be present when your vehicle is shipped you’ll need to sign all the necessary paperwork and authorize someone else to act on your behalf. 
  • Title and registration: This is the most important document of all because it proves you’re the owner of the vehicle. 

When You Ship Your Car With SAKAEM, We’ll Exceed Your Expectations

You can expect a level of service that goes above and beyond when you ship your vehicle with SAKAEM. We promise to deliver the following:

  • Access to a broad network of auto carriers that are trustworthy and reliable
  • The cost to ship a car is fixed once you’ve been given a quote, provided your requirements and market conditions remain the same
  • The information we provide and the service we deliver is fully transparent
  • Zero down payment is required
  • You pay nothing upfront and there are no hidden fees or unexpected costs
  • We have more than two decades of industry experience
  • The more you use our services, the better the price will be


What is a car shipping quote calculator?

A car shipping quote calculator provides a non-binding rough estimate of what it will cost to ship your vehicle. 

What does a car shipping quote include?

A car shipping quote from SAKAEM is fully inclusive of all fees and insurance charges. 

How long is a quote valid for?

A quote is valid for seven working days. 

What are the payment options?

Generally, you’ll be able to pay using cash, checks, money orders, and major credit cards. Some auto transport companies also offer financing options. 

What if the shipping quote is too high?

If you’re looking for a better deal, contact us and we’ll get the most attractive deals based on your individual needs.  

Brantley Kendall