Transporting your car by commercial trucking service is a convenient option when you need to move your vehicle long distances. Whether you’re relocating, selling your used car remotely, or need to deliver a newly purchased vehicle, professional car haulers can handle the job. However, like any transportation service, auto shipping does involve costs. In this article, we explore the average pricing and factors that influence the price of transporting a car by truck.
On average, transporting a car via an open carrier truck ranges from $1 to $5 per mile, depending on the location, size of vehicle, and additional services requested. Most auto transport companies work out flat rates based on mileage between pickup and delivery points.
For example, a 500-mile trip from New York City to Philadelphia would typically cost between $500-$700 using the standard per-mile pricing structure. Mileage is determined using mapping software like Google Maps to calculate the most direct road route.
Key Factors Affecting Pricing
- Mileage – As mentioned, per-mile pricing is the norm, so longer distances mean higher costs.
- Vehicle Size – Larger SUVs, trucks, and commercial vehicles incur surcharges over standard passenger car rates.
- Time of Year – Peak summer and holiday seasons from May-September generally see 10-20% premiums over winter pricing.
- Expedited Delivery – Requesting shorter transit times adds $100-300 on average to the standard 3-7 business day delivery schedule.
- Additional Services – Options like enclosed carriers, guaranteed pickup/delivery windows, and liftgate services add costs.
Example Pricing Table
|Up to 500 Miles
This table shows sample auto transport price ranges based on mileage in 500-mile increments using enclosed vs. open carriers. Rates assume standard passenger vehicle transportation during fall/winter season with no additional handling requirements.
The best way to get an accurate price quote for moving your specific vehicle is to contact 3-5 reputable auto transport companies. Provide details like your pickup/delivery ZIP codes, desired dates, vehicle make/model/year, and any special needs. Request binding price quotes in writing to compare costs and service levels like included wait time limits and carrier type (enclosed vs. open).
Questions for Carriers
When seeking quotes, ask carriers questions like:
- What is your standard transit time estimate between my locations?
- Do you provide enclosed carriers or open transport options?
- What additional fees apply for large/heavy vehicles?
- Do you offer liftgate or inside delivery assistance?
- Is the quote binding or subject to change?
- What is your damage claim process and maximum liability coverage?
Comparing multiple quotes lets you identify the most cost-effective carrier for your needs while also evaluating service differences and policies.
Additional Tips to Save
A few other potential ways to save include:
- Requesting mid-week rather than weekend delivery dates.
- Waiving expedited or guaranteed delivery times if possible.
- Paying cash rather than credit which some companies discount.
- Considering an open rather than enclosed transport.
- Checking for loyalty program or AAA/AARP membership discounts.
With the right research and planning, you can identify competitive auto transport rates for budget-friendly vehicle relocation. Just be sure to vet carriers thoroughly for positive reviews and reputable service to ensure a smooth trip.