Cost to Ship A Car State to State vs. Cost to Drive

March 25, 2020 Red Semi Truck On An Interstate Highway

You need to transport your car from one state to the other. Should you consider shipping it, or should you drive it to the destination instead? More often than not, car owners find themselves faced with such a predicament. And usually, they don’t know the cost to ship a car state to state and how it compares to driving.


While there are multiple factors worth considering in this situation, it’s prudent for car owners to check the costs involved before making a decision. Compare prices and find out which option fits your budget best.

Will you actually save money by driving my vehicle from California to North Carolina, or not?


While it’s not an easy “yes” or “no” answer for anyone deliberating whether to ship or drive their vehicle across the country, there are some things you will need to consider.


What Factors Into The Cost To Ship A Car State To State?


When hiring a car transport company, several factors affect the cost of shipping a vehicle from one point to another. The most obvious one is the choice of auto shipping companies.


Different car transport companies price their services differently. While most of them offer quotes within the average ranges, some auto shipping quotes can be overpriced. The distance involved also affects the final cost of shipping your car from one state to the other. The longer the distance, the more you will pay for the vehicle’s transport.


The size of the vehicle to be shipped is another significant factor car transport companies take into consideration when quoting auto shipping charges. SUVs and pickup trucks will cost you more to ship than a sedan, due to their size differences. If the vehicle is longer than average, it will take up space where another vehicle could be added to the trailer.


Similarly, the weight of the vehicle will also determine the amount of money you will be charged for shipping your car. Auto transport carriers are supposed to observe strict weight considerations. As such, heavier vehicles will bring higher auto shipping rates.


One thing to remember is to keep your personal items that are stored in your vehicle under one hundred pounds. This will help you save on the cost of shipping by keeping the weight of your vehicle down.


What are the Cost Differences Between Open Carrier and Enclosed?


The choice between shipping your vehicle in an open carrier as opposed to an enclosed carrier will also affect your transport cost. Open carrier, which involves vehicles being shipped in an open trailer, is considerably less expensive compared to the alternative. Enclosed auto transport costs more, but it does come with additional security measures. In the end, the car owner gets to choose what he deems preferable.


The insurance coverage associated with each option is different also. When choosing an open carrier transport, your insurance coverage should be around $100,00. However, with enclosed auto transport, your insurance coverage starts at $250,000. This price difference will also affect your transport quote.


What Factors into the Cost of Driving State-to-State?


When you decide to drive your vehicle from one state to another rather than having it shipped, there are several factors you need to consider when adding up the cost. It’s easy to assume the overall cost will be less expensive compare to shipping your vehicle, but that’s not always the case.


To begin with, you should factor in the cost of fuel. Not all vehicles get good gas mileage. The longer the distance you have to drive, the higher your fuel cost will be.


If the distance is long, you will need to rest at some point when driving from state to state. Depending on your choice of accommodations, the costs involved might end up increasing your total budget. When you add in the cost of food and refreshments, your budget will increase even more.


You may also need to factor in time away from your business or job as part of your driving costs. Two or three days away from work could mean losing a part of your regular pay.


The best way of comparing the cost of shipping a car from state to state and driving it on your own is figuring out the number of hours involved and multiplying it by your hourly rate. Together with the cost of fuel and other extra expenses, you will be able to calculate the amount of money you are likely to spend if you decide to drive the car.


Shipping Your Vehicle from Chicago  to Seattle, Washington


For someone who wants to transport his car from Chicago to Seattle, Washington, using a car transport company, it will cost you approximately $1,000. In the case of driving your car from state to state, your drive time will be a day and a half. This doesn’t include rest stops, bathroom breaks, or mealtimes. This will also mean putting 2,064 miles on your vehicle.


Shipping Your Vehicle from Miami to Chicago


Shipping a car from Miami to Chicago will cost the average car owner $550. If you choose to drive your car instead, you should be prepared to do 23 hours of driving and 1,377 miles on your brand-new/new-to-you vehicle.


Shipping Your Vehicle from Chicago to Albany


If you are a car owner shipping your vehicle from Chicago to Albany, you will spend around $700 when you choose a car transport company. Or, you can choose to drive 14 hours for 844 miles on your own, instead.


Shipping Your Vehicle from Chicago to Saint Paul, Minnesota


For shorter distances such as Chicago to Saint Paul, Minnesota, it may cost a car owner up to $480 to ship his vehicle. Or, you can sacrifice seven hours of driving time, plus the cost of fuel making the 402-mile trip.




Choosing an auto transport company to ship your car is a wise and affordable decision. Costs aside, when you choose to ship, you are avoiding putting extra mileage on your vehicle, especially if you have just bought it online. This alternative is also convenient and comes with better safety measures and excellent insurance coverage. Most importantly, you will save essential time, which you can use to do what you love most. Are you ready to ship your car?