Tips for Shipping a Car

Written on:July 19, 2011
Add One

One of the side effects of the success of websites like eBay Motors and is that many people are now buying cars that are far away from them.  This has created more demand for related services, like remote mechanical pre-purchase inspections, and cross-country auto shipping. This is no small niche either, with over 16 million cars per year being sold over the internet.  If you are considering purchasing a car that will need to be shipped, there’s some things you should keep in mind.

We consulted with the experts at, and compiled a list of tips to help you if you’re considering shipping a car:

Some people’s first instinct is that shipping a car would be extremely expensive, and they jump right into trying to find an alternate solution, like paying a college student to deliver the car by driving it.  The fact is, the pricing isn’t really much more than you would have to pay someone to drive it, especially when you consider the current high price of gasoline.  You also avoid the delays and risks associated with finding someone to drive the car, not to mention handing over your keys to a complete stranger without a business license.

While quotes can vary based on the vehicle type, distance, and current market, shipping a medium sized sedan a few hundred miles is in the $500 range,  1500 miles is in the $1200 range, and across the country is roughly $1500.   That’s not bad at all if you consider the cost to do it yourself.  A DIY cross country trip would involve about $400-500 worth of gas, and 4 days of hotel, food, and miscellaneous costs, which is easily another $500, if not more.  If you figure in time off from work, it’s probably more expensive to do it yourself.

Before selecting an auto transporter, here’s some things to consider:

  • Prices can vary wildly based on current market conditions.  If you’re flexible with your dates, you could save a significant amount by shifting the departure or arrival dates.
  • An “open carrier”, where your car rides in the open air, will be less expensive than a carrier that puts your vehicle inside of the cargo area of an enclosed trailer
  • Choosing a “multi carrier”, where your vehicle is on a truck with others, can save you money, but will typically involve a longer transport time.
  • When selecting a carrier, make sure it’s an established business.  Check references, and find out how long they’ve been in business, also, check the BBB website, is a good source of information as well.  You should also ask what amount of liability insurance they carry.  Most reputable carriers will have at least $50,000 of coverage per vehicle.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

6 − one =

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>