Cross Country Auto Shipping: What it Costs and How

Cross country auto shipping is a service that takes a vehicle and moves it from one state on one side of the country to a state on the opposite side. This can be coast to coast or half way. Of these, most cross-country transport consists of people moving, relocating, retiring, going to college, military transfers, snowbirds staying away from the cold, for example.

auto transport truck in side mirror driving on the interstate

In all these situations you will need to know the cost to ship a car. That’s where National Express comes in. Shipping a car across the country is very common, and we handle thousands of shipments every year.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Vehicle Across the Country?

Most of the costs you will incur in shipping a car across the country are determined by size, weight, distance, and locations. In brief, it can cost anywhere from $1.75 a mile for very short distances that are not cross country, or about 56 cents a mile for coast to coast. So for this type of shipping, you are looking at let’s say $840 for about 1500 miles, and about $1680 fir 3000 miles on a full cross country move. Here are some sample prices:

  • Philadelphia, PA to Portland, OR – $1,375
  • Charlotte, NC to Phoenix, AZ – $995
  • Boston, MA to Las Vegas, NV – $1,350
  • Hartford, CT to San Diego, CA – $1,395
  • Los Angeles, CA to Miami, FL – $1,150
  • Seattle, WA to New York, NY – $1,250
  • Richmond, VA to San Francisco, CA – $1,295

The above estimates above represent the open transport The most common way to ship cars. You do have the option of enclosed transport for more protection bit it is pricier than open transport because you will be paying extra for the additional comfort of knowing your car will be shipped with minimal risk of damage. This extra cost might be unnecessary for you if you’re not shipping a car that is exotic, classic, or highly valued in any other financial or sentimental way. You may be able to save money by going with open. Pick open transport for your daily driver or family hauler.

Take Advantage Of Discounts

There are multiple discounts that you can take advantage of to make sure that you can save a few bucks from shipping your car.

· Military Discounts

· Student Discounts

· Return Customers

· Multiple Car Discounts

The discounts mentioned above depends on your situation and position. For example, members of the military and students, can get their respective discounts. Meanwhile, for people who are transporting more than one car, you can get deals depending on how many vehicles you will be transporting.

How to You Take a Car Across the Country?

These are the different methods of transportation for a car, and you can choose for yourself which method is best for you and your car. You can consider the distance, weather, and your vehicle’s value of car when choosing.

Open Transport

If you are looking for a more budget-friendly method, you can opt for open transport. If your car is traveling shorter cross country distances or you do not mind a little dust and rain, open transport will suffice for you and your budget. It is also the most common way and the cheapest way to ship a car. For more information go to our open carrier transport page.

Enclosed Transport

On the other hand, if you want to protect your vehicle or you are transporting a luxury or exotic vehicle, it might be better if you choose the pricier enclosed transport to avoid scratches from road debris, especially if your car is traveling long distances. It is also advisable to choose this method if you are transporting a car during the winter season to shield your car from the weather. Very sensitive vehicles or high value vehicles need enclosed transport. Visit our enclosed shipping information for more details.

Getting A Car Shipping Quote Instantly

It’s relatively easy to get a shipping quote from companies to compare the prices that suit your budget better. With our car shipping calculator, you can determine the price immediately. If the quote is bigger than you can afford, you can look into different discounts to lower the price. You can inquire about certain discounts when you are communicating with them so that they can include it in your car shipping quote.

Vehicle Pickup

After determining the cost, the next thing you should do is arrange the vehicle pickup for your cross-country move. We will then assign the fastest and closest carrier, to ship your vehicle across the country. You can do the process completely online, or you can call us at 800-284-7177.

Schedule Enough Time

Because the process ( and especially cross country auto transport) there are a lot of moving parts. So it’s good to always be prepared with at least a 24-48 hour window so that way should the carrier get delayed (i.e. tire damage, car on the carrier won’t start and we can’t unload) you are not affected. Don’t leave plans for the last minute. Expedited services cost a lot more if you realized you should have made arrangements sooner. This seems simple, but everyone can get busy and forget to plan or underestimate how long it takes to get a car from one of the country to another. Be smart, plan ahead.

Pickup Address / Location

Make sure that you have verified your pickup address and that your car will be available on the day that it will be picked up. In a rare situation where mapping isn’t available, your pickup might be delayed because the driver cannot find your location. Be sure to be specific especially if you are in a new development or rural unmapped area. Checking Your Car Before the Pickup Before you have your vehicle shipped out, make sure that your car is secured and clean. Check that there are no damages before you hand over your car. It is advisable that you take a picture of every part of the car as proof that there is no damage before you shipped it out. Waiting For Your Car / Travel Time It take anywhere from 3 days to two weeks depending on how far you vehicle is traveling. For example, a typical cross country transport takes about 3-4 days for 1550 miles. Or 7-10 for a 2,734 mile trip. For complete information on the timing of your vehicle, you can head to How Long Does it Take? (to transport a car). At this time realtime tracking is not available.

Receiving the Vehicle

Check For Damages After Your Cross Country Move

The first thing that the courier will do is to check your car if there are any damages. Since they are experts in transporting cars and have the proper documentation, there is a rare chance that there will be any damage during the shipment. If, however, there is damage in your car, you must use the bill of lading. This is the most important document in auto shipping. The driver will inspect the vehicle at pickup, inspect the vehicle at delivery and give you a copy of that one too. Compare both. If you do not sign off on new damage at delivery it cannot be claimed.

Paying for your Cross Country Auto Shipping

The most common way customers ship is via the deposit and C.O.D. (collect on delivery) method. It provides a discount. You pay nothing to book, a deposit when a carrier is assigned, and finally a the remaining balance is given to the driver at the delivery location in the form of cash, cashier’s check, or money order. You can also pay via credit card in full. But keep in mind, you lose your cash discount. It’s free to book and when a carrier is assigned we immediately bill the entire balance on your method of payment.