If you're planning on relocating to a new home or if you need to ship a vehicle that you have purchased or plan to sell in the future, you'll need to have an accurate estimate of your auto transport cost in order to assess how much the process will cost you. There are thousands of auto transport companies in the United States alone, and rates vary significantly depending upon the type of car, the model year, the condition of the vehicle, how far you're shipping it, the mode of transport that you choose, whether you purchase transport insurance, how quickly the vehicle needs to arrive, and more. To estimate your car shipping cost, one of the best things to do is to contact a few companies that provide these services and ask each one for a car shipping quote. You can then compare these quotes and come up with a general idea of the expense necessary to ship your vehicle. Otherwise, read on for a brief guideline on how to estimate the costs of auto transport.
Distance and Time
Two of the most important factors in estimating the cost of shipping your vehicle are the distance that the car has to travel and the time that you have in order for the vehicle to arrive at its final destination. If at all possible, you should plan enough time to allow the transport company to get the vehicle to its final destination at their own pace; while most companies have an expediting service, this can add hundreds of dollars to the costs of shipping your vehicle.
Expect to pay anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars to ship your car within one country from different points. There will be additional charges if the vehicle has to cross a border between countries; the car transport service may charge you an additional fee for the added time and effort that it takes to send the car across a border, and you'll likely have to pay the government to bring the car across the border as well. This can add several hundred dollars to the total cost of transport.
If your vehicle needs to be transferred overseas, you'll likely see a dramatic jump in the cost of shipping the car. If you opt for a boat method of transport, that is generally much slower than the alternative but is also quite a bit cheaper. Airplanes can transport cars very quickly between locations, but the costs are usually several thousand dollars to do so.
Mode of Shipping
Enclosed shipping refers to protected and isolated packaged vehicles moving between locations. Unenclosed shipping is cheaper but puts your car at an added risk of damage, theft and vandalism. The difference between paying for enclosed and unenclosed shipping can be anywhere from about one hundred dollars up to several hundred dollars in some cases.