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How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car Cross-Country?

Whether you’re relocating to a different state or need to transport a vehicle across the country, shipping a car can be a significant undertaking. That said, understanding the factors that influence the cost to ship a car cross-country can help ensure a seamless and budget-friendly experience

In this article, we’ll focus on a fundamental aspect of car shipping costs: distance. We’ll shed light on why distance plays a pivotal role in determining the cheapest way to ship a car. Here’s everything you need to know to optimize your shipping expenses and find the best cross-country car shipping companies.


Car shipping costs can be influenced by several factors, and understanding these key elements can help you choose the best way to ship a car. Here are the primary factors that impact the cost to ship a car cross-country:

Distance: The distance between the pickup and delivery locations is one of the most significant factors influencing the cost to ship a car cross-country. As you might expect, longer distances typically translate to higher shipping rates. The logistics involved in transporting a vehicle across several states can incur additional expenses, making it essential to carefully evaluate distance when planning your car shipment.

Vehicle Size: The size and dimensions of your vehicle play a crucial role in determining the cost to ship a car cross-country. Larger and heavier vehicles, such as SUVs and trucks, may require specialized carriers or additional equipment, resulting in higher fees.

Transport Method: Carriers offer various transport methods, including open transport and enclosed transport. Open transport, being the more common and cost-effective option, involves shipping your vehicle on an open trailer. On the other hand, enclosed transport provides added protection by placing your car in an enclosed trailer, making it ideal for high-value or classic vehicles. Naturally, the choice of transport method will influence the overall shipping cost to ship a car cross-country.

Time of Year: Seasonal fluctuations can impact car shipping rates. During peak seasons, such as summer, when many people are relocating, the demand for car transport services tends to rise. Consequently, prices may be higher during these busy periods. If possible, plan your car shipment during off-peak months to secure more competitive rates.


Among these variables, distance stands out as a primary factor in determining car shipping rates. As mentioned earlier, the farther the distance, the more resources, time, and effort are required to transport your vehicle safely and efficiently.

Shipping a car locally or within a neighboring state will generally be more cost-effective than shipping it across the country. The logistics and fuel expenses involved in covering thousands of miles add up, impacting the overall cost to ship a car cross-country.

At uShip, we understand the critical role that distance plays in the cost to ship a car cross-country. Our platform empowers you to compare quotes from a vast network of feedback-rated carriers, helping you find the most budget-friendly option for your specific shipping needs. Keep distance in mind when obtaining quotes and making shipping arrangements, and you’ll be on the right path to a successful and affordable car shipping experience.


When it comes to shipping your car, you have several options to choose from, each with its advantages and considerations. Understanding these car shipping options can help you choose the best way to ship a car cross-country based on your budget, distance, and vehicle’s specific requirements.


Open transport is the most common and cost-effective car shipping option. Your vehicle will be loaded onto an open-air trailer along with other cars or by itself, and exposed to the elements during transit.

Pros: Open transport is more affordable compared to enclosed transport, making it a popular choice for everyday vehicles. It’s suitable for most standard vehicles and offers faster pickup and delivery times.

Cons: As your vehicle is exposed to the elements, there’s a higher chance of encountering road debris and weather-related risks. While most vehicles arrive in excellent condition, there may be minor cosmetic wear from the journey.


Enclosed transport involves shipping your vehicle in a fully covered trailer, offering superior protection from the elements and potential road hazards.

Pros: This option is ideal for luxury, high-value, or classic vehicles, providing an added layer of security and shielding your car from potential damage.

Cons: Enclosed transport is more expensive than open transport due to the specialized equipment and extra care involved. It may also have slightly longer pickup and delivery times as there are fewer enclosed carriers available.

vintage yellow vehicle loading onto enclosed trailer - cost to ship a car cross-country


Door-to-door delivery offers the convenience of having your vehicle picked up from your location and delivered to your desired destination, whenever possible. Note: Both open and enclosed transporters offer door-to-door delivery.

Pros: This option saves you time and effort by eliminating the need to drop off or pick up your vehicle at a terminal. It provides a seamless and direct service from your doorstep to the desired location.

Cons: Door-to-door delivery may not always be feasible in certain areas or with larger carriers. In these cases, terminal-to-terminal delivery may be offered as an alternative, requiring you to drop off and collect your vehicle at designated terminals.


Now that you understand different car shipping options, let’s explore how distance affects the cost to ship a car cross-country. Distance is a key determinant in calculating the final shipping price, and understanding its impact can help you effectively budget for your car transport needs.

Here’s a breakdown of shipping rates for different distance ranges, highlighting cost-saving opportunities for shorter or longer distances:

cost to ship a car cross-country examples

Keep in mind that these shipping rates are approximate and subject to change based on various factors, including current market conditions, vehicle size, type, and other specific requirements. Always compare multiple quotes from different cross-country car shipping companies on uShip to find the best deal that suits your needs and budget.


Saving on car shipping costs is a priority for many vehicle owners, and understanding how distance influences expenses can help you make the best decision for your budget. Here are some practical tips to help you reduce car shipping expenses:

Optimize Timing: Timing plays a crucial role in determining shipping costs. Consider planning your car shipment during off-peak seasons when demand is lower, typically during the fall and winter months. This can lead to more competitive rates and potentially save you money.

Consolidate Shipments: If you have multiple vehicles to ship or are relocating with a group of people, consider consolidating shipments. Shipping multiple vehicles together on the same carrier can lead to cost savings since carriers can distribute the overall expenses among different clients.

Flexible Pickup and Delivery Locations: If possible, be open to flexible pickup and delivery locations. Sometimes, choosing a nearby terminal instead of door-to-door delivery can result in more cost-effective options.

Choose Open Transport: For standard vehicles, open transport is an economical choice. As mentioned earlier, open transport is generally less expensive than enclosed transport and works well for short to medium distances.

Remove Personal Items: Ensure your vehicle is completely empty of personal belongings before shipping. Shipping personal items can add weight and may lead to additional charges, especially for long-distance shipments.


When it comes to reliable, efficient, and cost-effective car shipping solutions, uShip is one of the best options for finding cross-country car shipping companies.

As a leading car shipping marketplace, we take pride in connecting our customers with top-rated professional and independent transporters who deliver exceptional service across various distances.

Expertise and Reliability: With years of experience in the industry, we’ve earned a reputation for providing expert car shipping solutions tailored to your unique needs.

Competitive Pricing: At uShip, we understand the importance of budget considerations. By leveraging our extensive network of carriers, we provide you with competitive and transparent pricing options, providing the best value for your car shipping investment.

Personalized Solutions: We know that every car shipping request is different, and distance is a crucial factor in determining the most suitable option for you. uShip offers personalized solutions based on your specific shipping requirements, whether you’re moving locally or across the country.

Ease and Convenience: Our user-friendly platform makes the car shipping process a breeze. By listing your vehicle and providing essential details, you can receive quotes from multiple carriers, compare pricing, and choose the best option that fits your budget and distance requirements.

No matter the distance or destination, uShip is here to provide you with a seamless and stress-free car shipping experience. With our expertise, competitive pricing, and personalized solutions, you can count on uShip to be your reliable car shipping partner from start to finish.


Understanding the different factors that influence the cost to ship a car cross-country empowers you to make cost-effective decisions when transporting your vehicle.

As you embark on your car shipping journey, rely on uShip services for a reliable and seamless experience. Our expertise, competitive pricing, and personalized solutions make us your trusted car shipping partner.

When you choose uShip, you can rest assured that your vehicle is in the hands of top-rated carriers who prioritize the safety and efficiency of your car’s transport.


How much does it cost to ship a car across the country?

The cost to ship a car cross-country can vary based on distance, vehicle size, and transport method. Depending on these factors, costs can range from a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars.

What’s the cheapest way to transport a car?

Open transport is generally the cheapest way to transport a car. It offers a cost-effective solution for most standard vehicles.

How do I calculate the cost of shipping my car?

You can calculate the cost to ship a car cross-country by considering distance, vehicle size, transport method, and additional services you may need. Create a free listing on uShip for the most up-to-date pricing.

Are there any additional fees involved in car shipping?

Additional fees, such as insurance, expedited shipping, or terminal handling, may apply depending on your specific requirements.

Can I ship personal belongings in my car during transport?

Generally, it’s not recommended to ship personal belongings in your car during transport. Carriers may have restrictions, and insurance may not cover the items.

How long does it take to ship a car?

Shipping times can depend on the distance and other factors like carrier availability and road conditions. Typically, it can take a couple of days to a week or more for delivery.

Are there any insurance options for car shipping?

Any reputable cross-country car shipping company should offer insurance coverage to protect your vehicle during transport. You can also purchase a uShip Protection Plan at checkout for total peace of mind.

What are the risks associated with open transport?

While open transport is safe for most vehicles, there’s a slight risk of exposure to road debris and weather elements.

What factors can affect the delivery time of a shipped car?

Factors such as distance, weather conditions, carrier availability, and any potential delays can affect the delivery time of a shipped car.

How do I choose a reputable car shipping company?

Choose a reputable car shipping company by checking customer reviews, credentials, insurance coverage, and years of experience in the industry.

Ready to find cross-country car shipping companies for your ride? Start your free listing today.