Moving a vehicle from one location to another can be a complex and often costly endeavor. Whether you’re relocating across the country, purchasing a car from another state, or sending a vehicle to a distant relative, understanding the factors influencing vehicle transport prices can help you plan and budget effectively. Here are 10 key factors that affect the price of vehicle transport.


The distance between the pickup and delivery locations is one of the most significant factors affecting the cost of vehicle transport. Generally, the longer the distance, the higher the cost. This is because longer distances often require more fuel, time, and resources to ensure safe and timely delivery. Carriers also consider the availability of return loads when setting prices for longer routes.

Vehicle Type and Size

The type and size of the vehicle you need to transport can greatly impact the cost. Smaller vehicles take up less space on the carrier and are often lighter, leading to lower transportation costs. On the other hand, larger vehicles such as trucks, SUVs, and vans may require more space and have a higher weight, leading to a higher cost. Additionally, special vehicles like luxury cars, sports cars, and vintage automobiles may require extra care and attention, leading to increased costs.

Transport Type

There are two primary methods of vehicle transport – open transport and enclosed transport. Open transport involves shipping vehicles on an open-air carrier, while enclosed transport provides protection from the elements and additional security. Enclosed transport is typically more expensive due to its enhanced protection, making it a preferred choice for high-value or classic cars.

Pickup and Delivery Locations

The locations for pickup and delivery play a role in determining the price. If your vehicle needs to be transported to or from a remote area where carriers have limited access, the cost might be higher. Urban areas with heavy traffic congestion could also affect pricing due to potential delays and increased fuel consumption.

Season and Demand

Just like any other service, vehicle transport experiences fluctuations in demand throughout the year. The law of supply and demand comes into play with peak seasons, such as summer, leading to higher prices due to increased demand. During off-peak months, when there is less demand for car shipping services, you may have more legroom to negotiate with carriers. If you have flexible timing, scheduling your vehicle transport during off-peak periods could save you money.

Time Sensitivity

If you require expedited shipping or have a specific delivery deadline, it can impact the vehicle transport price. Expedited services often come with higher costs due to the need for special arrangements and faster scheduling to meet your timeframe.

Fuel Costs

Fuel costs are a significant consideration for vehicle transport companies. Fluctuations in fuel prices can directly influence the overall cost of transportation. When fuel prices are high, carriers might adjust their prices to account for the increased operating expenses.

Vehicle Condition

The condition of your vehicle matters as well. If your vehicle is not in working condition, it might require special equipment for loading and unloading, which can lead to additional charges. Communicating the exact condition of your vehicle upfront can help carriers provide you with an accurate quote.

Additional Services

Additional services, such as door-to-door delivery, tracking, and insurance coverage, can affect the price. While these services provide convenience and peace of mind when you need to ship a car across country, they may come at an extra cost.

Carrier Choice

The choice of vehicle transport company can significantly impact the price. Established and reputable companies might charge higher rates due to their track record, quality of service, and insurance coverage. Cheaper options might be available, but it’s essential to research and read reviews to ensure you’re choosing a reliable carrier.

Final Thoughts

Several factors come into play when determining the price of vehicle transport. Each factor contributes to the final cost, from distance and vehicle type to transport method and additional services.

To make an informed decision and get the best value for your money, it’s crucial to consider your specific needs, do thorough research, and obtain quotes from multiple transport companies. By understanding these factors, you can confidently navigate the world of vehicle transport and ensure a smooth and cost-effective experience.