Overview of Cheapest Car Shipping Method

If you're planning a move, there's a good chance you're searching for cheapest way to transport a vehicle. This article demonstrates how to negotiate competitive rates for high-quality auto transport services. To assist consumers in understanding the auto transport industry, our team compiles a list of the top auto transport companies annually. We have spent over 300 hours gathering hundreds of quotes, surveying thousands of consumers, evaluating transportation services, and interacting with companies via remote purchasing. Due to the supply-and-demand nature of the auto shipping industry, brokers are frequently the most cost-effective way to secure auto carriers. This article will explain the factors that determine the cost of auto transport, offer suggestions for auto transport companies, and offer tips for lowering transport rates.

What's In This Article?

  1. Types of Cheapest Way to Transport A Vehicle
  2. Cheapest Way to Transport A Vehicle
  3. What Should The Cost Be To Ship A Car?
  4. Preparing Your Car For Shipping
  5. Obtain Various Quotes
  6. What Documentation Do I Need to Ship My Car?
  7. How Do We Evaluate Car Transporters?

Types of Cheapest Way to Transport A Vehicle

When reserving the cheapest way to transport a vehicle, most companies offer various alternatives. Suppose you are looking for the cheapest way to transport a vehicle; adhere to the most affordable options.

Depending on the specificity of your needs, comparing the additional costs of alternative solutions may be worthwhile.

Let's start with the available auto transport methods:

Winch Truck

Towing services are an alternative to driving oneself. You will not increase the mileage or cause damage to your vehicle. Prices may vary based on the number of tow truck companies in your area; the greater the number, the more competitive the prices.

However, if you're moving more than 500 miles, it's unlikely that you'll be able to hire a tow truck because they only travel certain distances.


This is not a common practice, so finding your vehicle's parking spot may require time and effort. This may also lead to price increases. In addition, the likelihood that your car will be vandalized while being transported by train increases. Therefore, we would never consider this mode of transportation.


Hiring a carrier is the best option available. There are many available transporters and shipping options. You can rely on these trained and seasoned experts to cheapest way to transport a vehicle safely over long distances.

They are also required by law to carry cargo insurance, so if something goes wrong during the voyage, you will not be required to use your insurance to receive reasonable compensation.

Open Air Vehicle Transport

In general, open-air auto transport is the cheapest way to transport a vehicle. In addition, almost all low-cost transport vehicles use open transport trailers, making them the industry standard for low-cost transport vehicles.

Depending on vehicle size, weight, and clearances, open-air tractors can affordably transport eight to ten vehicles. This means inexpensive transporters can make multiple trips along a given route to deliver automobiles and transfer new products.

Open delivery provides more scheduling options when scheduling the cheapest way to transport a vehicle. Distributing the carrier's price to customers also aids in allocating petroleum costs.

best cheapest way to transport a vehicle

Enclosed Car Transportation

Enclosed car transport is a form of vehicle transport that offers protection for the vehicle. This method is ideal for transporting a classic or expensive vehicle. Typically, enclosed transporters can transport up to seven automobiles at once.

Enclosed car transport prices are calculated similarly to open car transport prices, but you'll pay 30 to 40 percent more per trip for added protection.

Express delivery

Several companies offer expedited cargo services for an additional fee if you need your vehicle transported quickly.

Terminal to Terminal

Although terminal to terminal shipments allow auto transport companies to collect multiple vehicles from a single location, loading vehicles at these facilities can be challenging.

For example, the loading space, traffic, and time required to transport cars at these facilities can be problematic for drivers. Even though terminal to terminal shipping is the least expensive way to ship a car, we typically do not recommend it due to the increased risk of vehicle damage resulting from transfers between multiple parties.

In addition, we do not recommend this mode of transportation because it increases transit times at every checkpoint.

Transport from Door to Door

A door to door service is our company's standard mode of cheapest way to transport a vehicle. The vehicle is collected close to the provided address and delivered to the address or the nearest truck-accessible location.

You will have the most peace of mind and be able to find cheapest way to transport a vehicle if you approach public transportation in this manner.

best cheapest way to transport a vehicle

Cheapest Way to Transport A Vehicle

During our investigation, we discovered numerous methods for reducing the cost of auto transport.

  • If you book your shipment in advance, you will have more time to compare various alternatives. This gives carriers more time to compete for your business if you employ a shipping broker.
  • A larger pickup and delivery window will attract more bids from vehicle carriers, which could result in a lower final cost. If you require a specific delivery date, additional charges will apply.
  • When feasible, terminal to terminal shipping is less expensive than door to door shipping.
  • If you are transporting a classic car or another high-value vehicle, the additional protection an enclosed carrier provides may be worth the added expense. If you wish to save money, using an open carrier is generally more economical.
  • Traveling to a convenient pickup or delivery location: If you live in or are relocating to a remote rural area, you may wish to meet your transporter at a more convenient location. Transport companies typically charge less when pickup and delivery locations are close to urban centers or major highways.
  • As evidenced by the rate tables above, shipping costs vary between providers, even for identical shipments. Obtaining free price quotes from multiple vendors enables you to determine which offers the most competitive pricing for your needs.

What Should The Cost Be To Ship A Car?

If you need to move a car more than 2,000 miles, the least expensive option costs, on average, $0.58 per mile. The average cost per mile for distances of less than 100 miles is $2.75.

No matter what kind of shipping you choose, the following things will affect how much it costs:

Car size and weight: How big and heavy your car is affects how much it costs to ship. Most of the time, it costs more to move an SUV or truck than it does to move a passenger.

Type of car: If you're shipping motorbikes or all-terrain vehicles ATVs, you'll pay less than the average, but if you're shipping recreational vehicles (RVs), you can expect to spend a lot.

Locations for pick-up and delivery: Shipping to and from cities will be cheaper than shipping to and from rural areas.

Condition of the car: Shipping is easier if the car can still be driven, so it costs less to ship a working car than a broken one.

Distance: Shipping costs are usually higher per mile, but the total price is lower when the distance is short.

Time of year: Moving a car is most expensive in January and the summer because that's when most people do it.

Type of transport: You should use an open carrier if you want to move your car for less money. Still, use a covered trailer if you want to be completely safe from things on the road and bad weather.

Fuel prices: If gas prices are very high, businesses may charge their customer's extra fees.

best cheapest way to transport a vehicle

Preparing Your Car For Shipping

Getting your car ready for shipping is important if you want the process to go smoothly and without stress.

Before you get picked up, you should clean the inside and outside of your car. This ensures your car looks its best when you get it and helps you find any scratches or damage that may have happened during shipping.

Also, remove personal items from your car so you don't lose or break them. Lastly, keep your gas level below a quarter tank to prevent leaks and the car from getting too heavy.

If you do these simple things, you can ensure your car is ready to go to its new home.

Obtain Various Quotes

Getting multiple quotes is one of the best ways to find the cheapest way to transport a vehicle. We recommend contacting three to five businesses and avoiding those with the lowest or highest prices.

Why should you avoid a company with such low prices? Because those prices are too reasonable to be true.

When companies bid on your job, they may offer you prices too good to be true, causing you to choose them and then raise the price after you've booked. You might pay a non-refundable fee and end up with a company you thought had low rates but is more expensive.

What Documentation Do I Need to Ship My Car?

A bill of lading and the terms and conditions of your insurance are required for car transfer. You must also have lienholder permission and an absent owner license to ship to or from Hawaii.

best cheapest way to transport a vehicle

How Do We Evaluate Car Transporters?

Our review method strives to provide fair and consistent ratings of car shipping companies. Even though many factors contribute to a good car transport company, our review team focuses on the ones we believe are the most important to customers:

Cost: Costs can be difficult to compare between companies because they depend on various factors. We sent a "secret shopper" to test other cars and paths to determine our cost score.

Services: Our expert team considers the services provided, insurance coverage, and the ability to guarantee pick-up and drop-off times. Ratings also consider whether the shipping company is a broker or a provider.

Reputation: The company you hire to ship your car must arrive safely and on time. Companies with high Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings perform well in this category. Providers who have been in business for a long time and have always done an excellent job also receive high marks.

Customer Experience: We read customer reviews on sites like the Better Business Bureau to learn about customer experiences. Companies that receive fewer complaints perform well in this category.


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