Average Cost to Ship a Car Per Mile

Your vehicle is a part of your daily life. You use it for work, play, school, and more. In most places you need to drive to get around quickly. When it comes time to move or buy a car, you need to know the average cost to ship a car per mile to decide if auto transport is for you.

The Cost to Ship a Car Per Mile

What will be the average cost to ship a car per mile with a car shipping company? You will notice that the more miles you travel with auto transport companies, the cheaper each mile the vehicle is shipped will be.

This is because the vehicle is traveling on the car carrier a longer distance. So that means there will be a larger truck with more space for cars, dividing the costs of more miles.

The more miles you travel with an auto transport company, the less each mile will cost. You'll notice it's a sliding scale. It's important to note that the costs per mile mentioned here are for a standard sedans that run and drive. Factors such as larger size and weight will add to the cost to ship.

As of 2024 to ship a car 100-200 miles will be $1.75 per mile. Shipping 200-300 miles will typically be $1.50 per mile. If you take a trip that is over 500 miles, like a state to state transport , you will then look at a rate of about $1.20 per mile. Finally, if shipping a car 1,000 you are looking at $0.90 a mile. After which the price per mile will drop significantly, as 2000 miles can cost $0.60 cents a mile and considered cross country car transport.

These are car shipping industry costs. The average car shipping costs are set by the carriers directly. Beware if any auto transport companies offer lower prices than these estimates, as it could be a scam.

Examples of the Cost to Ship a Car Per Mile - Shorter Distance Average Cost

  • To ship a car 200 miles, you should pay $1.50 per mile which comes to $300.
  • To transport a car 300 miles, you should also pay $1.50 per mile which comes to $450.
  • Shipping a car 500 miles, the cost typically drops to 1.20 a mile at $625.
  • To transport a vehicle 1000 miles, it's at $0.90 per mile, so you are then paying $900.
  • To transport a vehicle 2000 miles, it's at $0.60 per mile, so you are then paying $1200.

As you can see car shipping consisting of 1000 miles is only $275 more than a 500 mile trip. As you add miles, each one decreases in cost.

Average Cost to Ship a Car Per Mile Long Distance

Now, if this a long transport such as a vehicle traveling cross country , then this is where you will notice that there is a larger discount per mile for the average car shipping cost. A coast to coast auto transport using car shipping companies and ranging about 2500-3000 miles can cost you as little as $0.55 per mile.

So those shipping costs would be from $1,250 to $1500. That means a car shipping that is 6 times the distance only costs 3 times that of a short distance transport.

The table below can be used for easy reference:

DistanceCost Per mileSample Rate
500 Miles$1.50$750
1000 Miles$0.90$900
2000 Miles$0.60$1,200
2,500 Miles$0.55$1,375

Again, if you have to ship a car across the country, then this is where you’ll get the best car transport cost savings. Again, most reputable auto shipping companies will charge about $0.50-.0.60 per mile.

A fun fact here is that a cross country trip at $0.60 per mile has over 50% less car shipping costs per mile than a short-distance trip under 500 miles at $1.50 per mile!

Price Factors

There will be various factors that will increase or decrease those per mile car shipping prices. Let's go over the most common of these factors taken into account by car transport companies. This way you can be ready on what to expect for your type of vehicle.

The Type of Auto Carrier

There are generally two type of haulers that auto transport companies offer to move vehicles for you. Both offer door to door service.

Open Carrier Transport Truck

Open transport carriers are by far is the cheapest way and most common form of transport. This is a very popular method to ship a car because it is cost effective to use open transport and each truck is capable of shipping up to 10 vehicles at once.

Since there are so many open car transport carriers competing for truck space, this also is why it's the cheapest option to save money.

Enclosed Auto Transport

Enclosed auto transport is also known as "covered" transport. Enclosed shipping services offered by car shipping companies allow you the extra security and confidence of having your vehicle in a sealed enclosure within the trailer of a semi truck.

An enclosed carrier used in conjunction with a reputable car shipping company will guarantee that your vehicle is protected from the elements. The truck driver has specialized training and experience handling valuable vehicles.

Enclosed car shipments do not see the open air. That means vehicles will not be exposed to sunlight, rain, dust, rocks, and more. This is usually a service for classics , custom vehicles, or exotic cars as well.

The average vehicle shipping cost for cross country enclosed transport is 1.20 per mile. Therefore, a 2000 mile enclosed transportation would cost $2400.00. In general, enclosed transportation with most auto shipping companies is 40-60% more than the open carrier average price.

Timeframe / Urgency

Unless you have to be picked up in a hurry, a standard timeframe of 0-5 days from the pickup date with standard shipping. For an additional fee, shipping cars via expedited / fast transport will allow for a typically wait time of only 24-48 hours. Having a vehicle pick up on a flexible schedule provides the best cost savings.

Vehicle Size / Vehicle Type

Vehicle size does matter when it comes to car shipping rates. The average car shipping cost per mile examples noted are for a standard small sedan.

Larger sedans, SUVs, trucks, Minivans, work vans, and other larger vehicles will cost more since they weigh more and are larger which makes it so the carrier can hold less vehicles to stay within government mandated weight limits.

Vehicle Not Running

There may be the need to move a car that does not run. That could be from a location to a repair shop or a location where it can be safely repaired. Or an auction car that needs to go right to a vehicle refurbisher or used for parts. Regardless of the why, the actual car shipping quote will reflect if the vehicle needs to be winched or forklifted.

Time of Year

There are different times of year that shipping costs will adjust. These are most commonly known as the snowbird routes or peak car shipping season. These high volume routes take up a big chunk of auto transport services year after year.

The easiest way to look at it would be considering the weather. The cold months, they go south. Southbound shipping goes south / southeast / southwest.

In the spring they return home. So the rate will pop upwards anything going north / northeast / northwest. Aside from these, dates on or close to holidays like Christmas and New Year's will cause delays and price increases.

The Route

As a general rule, populated cities and towns will have a lot of transport coming to and from. Therefore the pickup and delivery locations play a big part in pricing.

So shipments like New Jersey to Florida, California to Texas, will always have quick options for transport with little wait time and standard pricing. But locations where nobody ships cars will have extended wait times and less favorable pricing. Up to 25% above standard pricing in some cases.

Fuel Cost

More than ever in comparison to recent years is fuel cost a huge factor. The open carrier's gas mileage / fuel consumption on a full load of up to 10 vehicles can be close to 0.90-1.10 gallons per mile.

With diesel prices going from a national average of $3.64 al the way to $5.11 car transport costs may continue to soar. For that reason, make sure to verify how long car shipping quotes remain valid.

Call Us Today

We'll give you a price to have your vehicle shipped that includes zero hidden fees in the final price with qualified car carriers. You can ship either open auto transport or enclosed transport. Call 800-284-7177 today or book online with the most reliable car transportation company in the nation.

Carl has a decade of experience in the car shipping industry. He has worked in nearly every aspect of the transport business since 2014, taking charge of various roles in the company such as dispatching, sales, and customer service.

During those years, Carl amassed an invaluable amount of experience which has contributed to his writing of every article and and guide on NX since taking over content in 2015.