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Transporting Vehicles Nationwide or Near You

When you buy a car and can't drive it off the lot, out of the auction, or get to the seller's home, you may need to ship your car. Shipping a vehicle can be a tedious and costly experience. You want to make sure you're working with the best auto transport company at their best rate. Buying a car is an investment, and you want an experienced carrier. Someone who can make sure your car arrives the same way it leaves.

Research service providers and compare their services, history, and prices. Find out which carrier is best for your transportation needs and budget. Talk to them directly to get a feel for their communication styles and expertise. uShip allows you to do all of these things in one platform. Find carriers who want to move your shipment, get quotes, talk to them directly, and check out their shipping history.

Shipping a Car From a Dealership

Maybe you're a car dealership and you're trying to complete a sale with an added value of shipping the car to the buyer, or you could have just purchased a vehicle from a dealership and need to get it delivered. Either way, you need to contact a professional car shipping company to help out.

If you are a dealer, be sure to investigate the carrier's background first to make sure they have completed shipments like this. It's important to know that when the vehicle is delivered, there is customer service included in the experience. This helps you retain customers, and get referrals for new customers.

Purchasing cars from afar, or without a way to get to the dealer can bring the need for a car delivery service. If the dealer can't get the vehicle to you, start looking yourself for car carriers. It's important to look at the experience the service providers, as well as the pricing. While saving on the bottom line, especially after a large purchase, sounds great, it's more important to make sure your car is delivered safely.

Pick up location as a cost to ship a car factor
Line of car carriers lined up to ship cars

Getting a Car From an Independent Seller

Have you bought a new car on eBay or Craigslist and you need it delivered? Talk to the seller directly and see if they have any suggestions on carriers, or if they're able to get the vehicle to you. We highly suggest considering your options if they don't have a solution. Research carriers who may be able to get the vehicle. Compare their pricing, services, and talk to them to see what kind of experience they have. Let the seller know who you choose to go with, and the time frame for pick up.

Car Shipping Services

Open Transport for Your Automobile

Open transport for vehicles is the industry standard. You have seen these car carriers on the road countless times, moving multiple cars. Whether you're moving a new, used, or junk car; open transport is the cheapest way to ship a car. Roughly 90% of car transport services operate an open trailer, so choosing this service means you will have access to the best coverage, and the best rates.

Distance as a car shipping cost component

Vehicle Ground Clearance

When it comes to open transport for vehicles, ground clearance is important. The closer a vehicle is to the ground, the higher the chance is that damage will occur. To help prevent this, it is advised that vehicles with ground clearance of 4 inches and below be shipped using enclosed vehicle shipping.

Man smiling at a vehicle delivery

Enclosed Vehicle Transport

If you're needing to move your exotic car, antique car, or vintage race car, enclosed transport may be your preferred service type. Closed transport provides the most protection for your vehicle during transit. With an enclosed trailer, you can protect your car from weather conditions, dirt, debris, and other things it may encounter on an open car carrier. Enclosed vehicle transport will usually cost a little more than open transport, but we do recommend this service type for special cars that are delicate, have a high sentimental value, or are worth $50,000 or more.

Door to Door Car Shipping

Door-to-Door service is provided by most auto transport companies. The transport company will pick up and deliver your vehicle as close to your door as possible. Keep in mind, semi-trucks and trailers can't easily make clearance in some residential streets and apartment communities. If necessary, work out an accessible parking lot to load or unload your car with your provider in advance.

Expedited Car Shipping Services

Do you need a vehicle to be transported last minute or to be at a specific location by a deadline? Many auto transport companies offer premium services that can expedite the shipping process of your vehicle. This service will generally begin within 24 to 48 hours from when you place an order with car transport companies.

uShip Instant Rates for Your Car Shipping

uShip offers you options, like booking with an Instant Rate Carrier or taking your shipment listing to our marketplace. If you're moving a vehicle that is not modified, you will see an option to select an instant rate from one of our qualified brokers. These brokers can offer a rate immediately, based on the vehicle type and the pickup and delivery locations. They will then assign your vehicle shipment to a carrier who will complete your shipment. If your vehicle qualifies for an instant rate, and you choose a rate that works for you, you are saving yourself time by avoiding taking your shipment to the marketplace. In the marketplace, you, the brokers, and the carriers are all able to negotiate shipping rates. When choosing an instant rate, there's no need to negotiate. Simply select a rate and the hired company will take care of the rest.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Car?

The average cost to ship a car using auto transport companies in the US depends on what kind of trailer you prefer, how far it's going, and your pick up and delivery needs. It costs $2.92 per mile to ship a car less than 200 miles, but costs $0.78 per mile to ship a car 1,000 miles or more.

If you're still curious about what it costs to ship your car, truck, or van you can visit our cost to ship index, which includes hundreds of auto transport shipments completed through the uShip marketplace. You'll find how much it is to ship a car cross country or how much it costs to ship a car internationally. You will even find how much it costs to transport locally from a dealership or that Craigslist car from another state. Create a listing to get quotes directly from auto transport companies on your specific shipment.

What Goes Into Car Shipping Quotes?


Distance is the main factor calculated in the cost to ship a car. If you're not going far, it will cost less overall, but will be a higher cost per mile. This is directly related to the amount of fuel used to transport your vehicle.

Vehicle Height

When shipping vehicles, height matters for cost. Most sedans average a height of 57 inches, while SUVs can range from 63 to 73 inches. Due to this height difference, SUVs are typically more expensive to transport than sedans. Additionally, special SUVs that are taller than usual force sedans to be shipped under or over the taller vehicle.

Vehicle Length

Some vehicle transportation companies use vehicle length towards the calculation of the cost to ship a car. With the average length of a sedan being 189 inches, vehicles under this length become desirable and cheaper to ship. Vehicles over the length of 196 inches become trickier to fit inside a transport vehicle, causing auto transport companies to increase the costs.

Vehicle Make and Model

Vehicle make and model is a factor that goes into the cost of shipping a car, which is why uShip asks you for these details when you're creating your vehicle shipment listing. The larger the vehicle, or the more weight added to the car carrier, the higher the vehicle shipping rate as the transporter can move fewer cars to meet weight restrictions.

Transport Type

As mentioned above, there are many types of auto transport. You can choose open transport to save some money, or enclosed transport for added security at a higher cost.

Vehicle Condition

If your vehicle is in working condition, you will receieve more affordable shipping quotes than a vehicle that does not work. It's important to note a vehicle that is inoperable in your shipment listing for this reason.

Pick Up and Delivery Locations

Urban and metropolitan areas typically have a lot of car transport trucks available, and shipments available which keeps the cost to ship a car lower than a rural area. It's hard to add a rural stop to a shipping lane, and will require additional fuel and time, increasing your overall auto shipping quote.


Shipping a vehicle in the summer months costs less than shipping a car in the winter. In many areas of the United States, snow and ice affect the typical trucking lanes, potentially bringing a higher car shipping rate.

Shipping a Car with uShip

uShip brings everything you need when looking for a transporter into one platform. Create a shipment listing detailing your needs for transport and your vehicle. This will help service providers give you their best quotes. Once your shipment listing is complete, you will see instant rates, or you can enter the marketplace where the carriers compete for your business. Either way, you can click on the carrier's name to find out more about their car shipping history, and their company. If you choose to go into the marketplace, you can talk to the carriers directly to find out more about their experience. When you have found a carrier whose experience and services meet your need, and whose quote is within your budget, accept the quote and you're on your way to your car delivery.

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Rural areas being a cost to ship a car factor

Ship a Car Cross-Country

Just bought a car on the other side of the country? Relocating and need your car shipped cross country? uShip can take the stress out of moving a car across the nation, but there are a few things to keep in mind as you are reviewing quotes from auto carriers. While open transport is more budget-friendly, because of the long distance travelled in a cross country move, you may want to consider enclosed car transport for added safety.

Decide how lenient you can be in your delivery dates. Moving a car across the country can take up to two weeks, especially if the carrier has multiple vehicles for delivery. You'll want to prepare to be without your vehicle for the time it takes to be delivered, or you can request a faster auto delivery. Keep in mind, a faster delivery could result in a more expensive total shipping price. Track your car shipment easily with uShip's new and improved tracking function.

Check out the transporter profiles to see if they have moved vehicles across the country before, and see what their customers have to say in their review of the service. Using uShip to ship a car cross country means you're backed by safe shipping at the best rates.

Transport a Car State to State

There are a few things to keep in mind when you are shipping cars from state to state. Be sure you know what agencies you need to work with in order to update your license and registration if you are relocating. The first thing you will want to do is get quotes to ship your car to another state. This is a great way to see the cost to ship your vehicle state to state, get reviews of the auto transporters, and talk to them directly. You can also check out our cost to ship index before you submit your shipment information for a quote. Consider your service type preference. Is it best to have your car in an enclosed trailer, or is the low rate of open transport a better option? To transport a vehicle to another state, car shipping companies are required to obtain a Motor Carrier (MC) number from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). It's important to check the uShip transporter profile to see their MC number is listed. You can also review their car shipping insurance coverage through their profile. You can also purchase additional cargo insurance through uShip. When you use uShip to ship a car to another state, you're not only able to communicate directly with the carrier, but uShip's support team is on hand 7 days a week to help ease the stress of having your car moved.

Car shipping in a metropolitan region as a factor in a cost to ship a car

Craigslist Auto Shipping

When you need to transport your vehicle you bought on Craigslist, you have a few options: your car can be towed, driven or loaded into a car carrier. If the car is not in working condition, driving it is not an option. When shipping an inoperable car, you may incur additional transportation fees; especially if there is difficulty loading it onto a trailer or tow dolly, or the wheels aren't highway ready.

There are many options for shipping your car, from large multi-vehicle transport trailers, to single-car “hot-shot” transport. After you know what car transport service you prefer for your Craigslist vehicle move, use uShip to find safe and reliable auto transport. Confirm each vehicle shipping company’s legal carrier status and credentials by checking their USDOT or MC numbers, found on their uShip profile, against records at The Department of Transportation. You should also inquire about insurance and review their profile for feedback and comments.

Communicate with the transportation company so they know that they will be picking the vehicle up from the Craigslist seller’s home or business. If you are unable to be present during the move, you will need someone you trust to complete and sign off on the pre-shipment or post-shipment inspections. Transportation companies will check out your automobile and give you a condition report, which is very important if you have to make an insurance claim later on.

Auto Transport Insurance

Along with transporter reviews and vehicle preparation you should take a moment to explore your cargo insurance options. Review the details of what your transporter's insurance covers and, if you'd like, seek out independent options. We recommend contacting your current auto insurance provider and asking how you are covered during transportation.

Then, check out uShip Cargo Insurance and find out what your best coverage options are. Insurance coverage is very important during transportation. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires all registered transporters to provide a certificate of insurance to their shipping customers. Make sure you have this document in your hands prior to shipment and review the details listed. Verify the information on the certificate with the noted insurance company or the Department of Transportation.

Preparing Your Vehicle for Transport

  • 1. Leave only a quarter-tank of gas in the tank.
  • 2. Wash and clean your car fully, inside and out.
  • 3. Check all fluids in your car.
  • 4. Alert your transporter to any leaking fluids.
  • 5. Check your battery charge and tire pressure.
  • 6. Take high-quality photographs at pickup and delivery.
  • 7. Remove all ornaments (roof racks, spoilers, antenna, etc).
  • 8. Remove things like toll tags and EZ passes from windshields.
  • 9. Remove all personal belongings.
  • 10. Leave behind a spare tire and jack.

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