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5 Main Factors That Contribute to Car Shipping Rates

5 Main Factors That Contribute to Car Shipping Rates

One of the many reasons people may choose not to ship their car is because they fear the cost. However, once you factor in additional costs from driving the car, not to mention the risk you carry by driving a car yourself, it actually ends up being more cost-effective to work with a knowledgeable company.

Car shipping rates often vary from company to company. However, your decision to choose one auto transport company over another should not come down to cost alone. When it comes to choosing the right car shipping company for your needs, it’s best to understand the factors that go into the rates you may receive.

Factors in Car Shipping Rates

Location and Distance

Whether you’re transporting your car a state over or across America entirely, the location will be a major factor that influences your car shipping rate. The total distance your car needs to travel affects the cost significantly, as well as the location it is being shipped to. If you’re transporting your car to a major city, you can expect less expensive rates.

The reason for these rates is because major cities are popular auto transport routes. Meanwhile, rural areas will have fewer routes, which means the truck carrying your vehicle may have to drive further out from its route to deliver it. Additional miles mean added costs.


Believe it or not, there’s actually a season when car shipping companies are busier than others. Spring and Fall are the busiest seasons, as seasonal residents move between summer and winter homes. Be sure to book early to lock in the best rates and ensure that your schedule can be accommodated. February and March tend to be slow, as season residents who move immediately after the holidays are finished with their moves, so you may be able to get a good rate to move during those times.

Vehicle transportation costs are typically higher with increased winter traffic and dangerous road conditions. While you may not see a drastic difference between the winter and summer rates, seasons will affect the overall price. Along with that, you may choose an enclosed shipping service, which will often be more expensive than an open trailer.

Delivery Time Flexibility

When you begin working with a car shipping company, they will give you a delivery time-frame. If you’re someone who needs your car by a certain date, you can expect to pay expedited car shipping rates. Expedited shipping is more expensive, just like any other shipping service, because it requires a quick pick-up and faster delivery along with proper planning.

If you’re more flexible when you need your car delivered, you can expect to pay less. This allows the car shipping company to organize the most efficient routes and processes with more time and zero rush.

Open or Enclosed Delivery

Most car shipping and logistics companies offer an open or enclosed delivery. Open delivery is the less expensive option because cars are uncovered and exposed while in transport. There are typically few problems with shipping a car in an open trailer; however, debris is a major concern for many auto owners. Open car shipping means that more cars can be loaded onto the truck and transported simultaneously.

Enclosed car shipping is a more premium service that’s often requested for expensive, luxury or sports cars. Because debris can chip the paint off of cars, enclosed delivery provides car owners with peace of mind, although it does come at a higher price.

Size and Weight of Vehicle Being Shipped

No matter which company you choose for auto transportation, the size and weight of the vehicle being transported will affect the cost. A larger vehicle is more expensive to transport because it takes up more space and weighs more. On the other hand, small cars take up less space and are lighter, which costs the car shipping company less. These savings are then passed on to customers with smaller vehicles.

Car Shipping Rates

The best way to determine how much you’ll end up paying to ship your car is to request quotes from auto transport companies in your area. Once you receive your quote, you can ask for more details if they’re not already provided to you. While a quote may differ from the final cost of shipping the vehicle, you can at least get an idea of how much it will cost you to ship your car from one state to another.

Contact us today to learn more about us and get your free quote.