How To Save Money Shipping Your Car Cross Country

Shipping a car long distances can be stressful and expensive. If you drive an inexpensive vehicle, consider the tradeoffs of selling the vehicle and buying a similar vehicle in the new city. You can also drive the car to the destination. It’s cheaper to drive but is not practical as it may mean that you have to drive for several days. But you have several options if you decide to ship your car.

Shipping your vehicle cross country – What you need to know

How much does it cost?

The cost depends on the distance you need to transport the car and the type of service you would like.

  • Shipping by truck is cheaper than rail.
  • Uncovered transport is more expensive than covered transport.
  • The cost for moving a commuter vehicle is cheaper than exotic or classic vehicles. That’s because of the additional insurance and careful handling required to move these cars.
  • Larger-size vehicles such as full-size trucks cost more to ship than small SUVs.
  • Shipping during November and December (which are closer to the holidays) is generally more expensive. It’s cheaper to ship in the fall and spring.
  • Shipping your car to a major city is cheaper than shipping it to a smaller remote city. If you can have your car dropped off in a big city and then drive it to a small city, you will save a lot of money. You can also authorize someone to pick up the car on your behalf.


The cost of transport includes insurance that will cover any damage to your car during transport.

Ways to ship a car

Truck – This is the cheapest option. Shipping by truck is the most common method to get your car from one place to another. You have two options to transport your car by truck – covered transport and uncovered transport. Covered transport means that your car will be placed inside the truck and is more expensive than uncovered transport where your car is transported by open-air trailers.

Rail – Transporting your car by rail is more expensive than moving them by truck. Only a few transportation companies offer this option.

Get multiple quotes

Shipping a car is expensive and prices vary wildly sometimes. Get quotes from multiple companies before choosing your transportation company.

Shipping companies


uship charges $2.92 per mile if the distance is less than 200 miles. But if the distance is 1,000 miles or more, it costs $0.78 per mile. The website has a handy calculator where you can enter the make and model of your car, the condition of the car, type of transport you need (open, covered, or expedited)  to get an accurate estimate of shipping costs.


Runbuggy is a popular way to transport vehicles. Many dealers use Runbuggy to move vehicles from auction locations to their lots. You can get updates as your car is transported to its destination.

Coastal Auto Shipping

Costal Auto Shipping ships cars and motorcycles nationwide. You can ship your vehicles nationwide and to Puerto Rico, Alaska, and Hawaii.


Amerifreight is known for its great customer service. The typical cost to ship a car from Los Angeles to Miami is $900.

Bottom Line

Getting your car shipped cross country is expensive and stressful. But with some planning and getting quotes from multiple transportation companies, you can reduce your transportation costs and have peace of mind that your vehicles will be at the destination when you need it. If you have an older vehicle, shipping it via uncovered transport will be cheaper. Shipping during fall and spring, rather than during the holidays will save you money. Similarly, shipping to a big city will save you money compared to shipping your car to a smaller city.

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