Cross Country Car Shipping: The Cost to Ship a Car Across the US

What Is Cross-Country Car Shipping?

Cross-country car shipping is when you ship a car across the country from one end to another. You can ship a car cross-country from north to south, east to west, or on any other auto shipping route that spans a large chunk of the country. Cross-country car transport usually spans 2,000 miles or more from east to west, and 1,300 to 1,500 miles or so from north to south. Other shorter car shipping routes might be considered “cross-country,” though, depending on the placement of the car pickup and delivery locations. You can move a car across the country on your own, rent a trailer hitch, or secure other self-shipping equipment for the job. Professional cross-country car shipping services vary greatly in price depending on the car transport company you contract through. Some movers and travelers prefer DIY cross-country car transport because of the lower out-the-door costs.

However, DIY cross-country auto transport is hard work. It's very time-consuming, taxing, and the cost of car shipping could end up being way more than you think! The money you save initially to move a car across the country could be wasted on potential damages during vehicle transport.

Instead of risking the well-being of both your vehicle and your bank account, why not work with a reputable professional auto transport service like Nexus Auto Transport? The cost to ship a car across the country with a top auto shipping company is less than you might think!

When you ship your car with Nexus, cross-country car shipping is easy and cost-effective. Whether you need to ship your car from Alabama to California or Florida to Washington, our car shipping cost calculator will provide you with affordable vehicle shipping rates within seconds.

If you’ve got a big move coming up and need to get to your destination quickly, you might not have the option to drive your car there. Or maybe you’re spending winter vacation in the South and want to fly there, but you don’t want to have to drive a rental.

No matter the reason for shipping a car or how long your stay is at your destination, hiring the best auto transport company to ship your car is the most sensible option. This is especially true when you consider how cheap it is to fly nowadays.

And if you’re worried about the overall cost to ship a car, Nexus can help. Auto shipping costs are often difficult to calculate on your own. If you don’t know what you’re doing or what to demand from a car transport company, you might get ripped off by an unethical auto shipping service provider.

That’s not the case with Nexus. We’re always transparent about car shipping costs. That’s why we’ve created this handy primer to tell you everything you need to know about transporting a car across the country.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car Across the Country?

The cost to ship a car across the country ranges from $600 to $4,100 or so depending on your vehicle’s make, model, and the method of auto transport you choose.

The Average Cost To Ship A Car Across The Country

Car Shipment Average Car Shipping Cost
Ship a 4-door sedan from CA to NY $600 to $1,000 for open car hauling
Transport an SUV, van, or truck from CA to NY $800 to $1,070 for open vehicle hauling
Ship an SUV, van, or truck from NY to FL $800 to $1,100 for open vehicle hauling
Transport a classic car from NY to FL $1,600 to $4,100 for closed car hauling, special protection

All told, the average cost to ship a car across the country is about $0.30 a mile for a family sedan, $0.34 to $0.36 a mile for an SUV or truck, and $1.05 per mile for a classic or exotic car.

Of course, these prices are only estimates. The cost of your auto shipment depends on multiple factors including the time of year, your scheduling flexibility, and driver availability.

A great way to get a more accurate picture of how much it will cost you to ship your car is to use an online auto shipping calculator. An auto transport calculator will help you figure out the overall price to ship a vehicle based on your budget, schedule, and route.

How Do You Ship a Car Across the Country?

You can easily ship your car across the country in six simple steps.

  • 1) Pick a car shipping pickup location and destination.
  • 2) Choose your dates for pickup and delivery.
  • 3) Find a top auto shipping company to work with.
  • 4) Secure an instant car shipping quote.
  • 5) Prepare your vehicle for shipment to maximize efficiency.
  • 6) Make plans to drop your car off and pick it up.

Nexus Auto Transport makes the cross-country car shipping process much easier with affordable door-to-door shipping options! With this car transport service, we’ll pick your vehicle up from your home (or allocated address) and drop it off wherever you decide! This is a convenient option for those who are too busy to hang around at depots to drop off or pick up their car.

Within door-to-door shipping, you can choose from open and enclosed car haulers. Open car haulers are readily available and less expensive than closed car haulers. But, you do risk potential rain or snow damage to your car as it is not in an enclosed carrier.

However, this kind of damage is extremely rare.

We recommend closed car hauling for classic cars or expensive sports cars. After all, they are your prized possessions. Although this car shipping service is more expensive, the protection your car receives from the elements and potential road hazards is worth it.


What Is the Cheapest Way to Ship a Car Across the Country?

Looking for affordable cross-country car shipping services? We’ve compiled an in-depth list of insiders’ tips to help you cut costs when shipping a car across the United States:

  • As we’ll cover in greater depth later, choosing to ship your car between September and November will help you save on car shipping costs.
  • The cheapest way to ship your car is via an open car hauler. Typically, an open auto transporter holds up to ten vehicles at a time. This extended capacity lets operators save on transportation, oil, and fuel costs. Those savings are passed on to you, the car transport customer!
  • Open auto transport that includes terminal-to-terminal delivery is the cheapest way to transport your car at any time of year. It requires less driver labor and it's less inconvenient for them, as well. You will have to factor in the added costs of traveling to both terminals, though, and driving your car to and from both sites. And, if there are storage fees, then door-to-door car shipping service might be the cheaper choice.
  • When looking into vehicle transportation, you should look for potential car transport discounts. For example, at Nexus Auto Transport, we offer a military discount to show our gratitude to those who serve our country.
  • As the distance you ship your car increases, the cost per mile of transport decreases. Therefore, shipping your car a longer distance might end up saving you money on travel costs and other transport expenditures!
  • When time is of the essence, expedited car shipping is an option. However, a quicker car delivery turnaround comes with a bigger price tag. So if you’re looking for the cheapest way to transport your car, make sure you organize it with plenty of time to spare.


$800
Ship across the country a four-door sedan average ship cost
$1000
Ship from California to New York a SUV, truck, or van average ship cost

What Do I Need To Know About Shipping A Car Across The Country?

When you move a car across the country, choosing the right car delivery service to ship your car is crucial. Cross-country car transport is an involved process. You should only work with an auto transport company that hires experienced, safe drivers with all the proper certifications and training.

That's where Nexus Auto Transport comes in. Our network of cross-country car transport drivers will ship your car across the country with the utmost care. From pickup to delivery, our network of cross-country car shipping experts goes the extra mile to keep your car safe and sound.

For those who want to know how much to ship a vehicle across the U.S. at a given time, you need to learn a bit more about the auto transport industry. Because the auto transport industry is a seasonal operation, the time of year that you ship a car across the country will play a pivotal role in determining the cost of shipment.

How Seasons Affect the Cost of Shipment

The season that you choose to ship your car can affect the cost of transportation due to how many people are on the road as well as weather conditions. Let’s go deeper into this below.

Shipping a Car in Winter

If you’re shipping your car in the winter, you can expect the shipment time to take longer than in other seasons. This is because there is less daylight and ice and snow can cause delays.

In December, many transport drivers are taking time off for the holidays. So you want to book around one month in advance to make sure that your car gets a spot.

January is a very popular time for car shipments because everyone is going south for this winter. Rates can increase and a backlog might occur. February is a fairly slow month for car shipment bookings, however, and rates here may be at their cheapest.

Shipping a Car in Spring

Spring might be the best season to ship your car. Rates in March are still low until it gets to the end of the month. As the months get warmer, people start going back up north and prices start to increase.

In April and May, the bookings can pile up and rates will get even higher.

Shipping a Car in Summer

Summer is the peak season for car shipments. Demand is very high in the summer as people are going on vacations, employees are moving to new offices, and schools are letting out. You might expect rates to be very high during this time. Yet demand, as well as the competition, is so strong that prices may go down.

Throughout the summer months, the price to ship a car is more or less stable.

Shipping a Car in Fall

During the fall, the weather is pleasant and the number of people trying to ship their cars starts to go down. This causes some lowering of costs. Rates might increase in September as college students are shipping their cars to school.

However, things slow down in October and November and rates tend to go back down.

Winter
1

Shipping a Car in Winter

If you’re shipping your car in the winter, you can expect the shipment time to take longer than in other seasons. This is because there is less daylight and ice and snow can cause delays.

In December, many transport drivers are taking time off for the holidays. So you want to book around one month in advance to make sure that your car gets a spot.

January is a very popular time for car shipments because everyone is going south for this winter. Rates can increase and a backlog might occur. February is a fairly slow month for car shipment bookings, however, and rates here may be at their cheapest.

Shipping a Car in Spring

Spring might be the best season to ship your car. Rates in March are still low until it gets to the end of the month. As the months get warmer, people start going back up north and prices start to increase.

In April and May, the bookings can pile up and rates will get even higher.

Shipping a Car in Summer

Summer is the peak season for car shipments. Demand is very high in the summer as people are going on vacations, employees are moving to new offices, and schools are letting out. You might expect rates to be very high during this time. Yet demand, as well as the competition, is so strong that prices may go down.

Throughout the summer months, the price to ship a car is more or less stable.

Shipping a Car in Fall

During the fall, the weather is pleasant and the number of people trying to ship their cars starts to go down. This causes some lowering of costs. Rates might increase in September as college students are shipping their cars to school.

However, things slow down in October and November and rates tend to go back down.

Other Factors that Affect the Cost of Shipment

When you're looking to ship your car across the country, there are certain decisions that you can make that will affect your total auto shipping cost. Let's look at those factors below.

Distance and Delivery time

It might seem obvious, but the longer it takes to move your car from one location to another, the more it will end up costing you. Generally, it takes between 5-14 days to ship from the West Coast to the East Coast. It also takes 3-8 days to ship from the Midwest to either the West Coast or the East Coast.

And it takes about 3-8 days to ship your car from the North to the South.

If you need your car by a certain date, you will probably have to pay more. You’d end up paying more if you need faster shipping or if you need the shipping company to hold your car for you until you can come to pick it up. The more flexible you are, the more you’ll be able to find a better deal.

Type of car transport truck

An open car transport truck is usually cheaper and also more popular. Of course, this method exposes your car to possible damage from weather and debris but these risks are fairly low.

An enclosed transport truck is recommended for highly valuable cars. Because these car hauling trucks can't hold as many cars, they make up for the lost revenue by charging more for their services.

The Cheapest Way to Ship Your Car

Open auto transport that includes terminal-to-terminal delivery will be the cheapest way to transport your car. Typically, an open auto transporter can hold up to ten cars. This lets operators save on transportation, oil, and fuel costs.

If you want to save even more money, try to ship your car during the cheaper seasons listed above. Terminal-to-terminal service is usually more affordable than door-to-door service. It requires less driver labor and it's less inconvenient for them, as well.

However, if there are storage fees, then door-to-door service might be the cheaper choice.

Look out for discounts

It's fairly common for auto transport companies to offer a variety of discounts. Some common discounts that they may offer include:

student

Student discounts:

Many auto transport companies will give discounts in the summer and fall if you’re a student who is taking their car to college.

first-time

First-time shippers:

Some auto transport companies will give you a discount if this is your first time shipping a car with them.

military

Military discounts:

To recognize your service and help you with frequent moves, a lot of auto transport companies will give discounts to members of the military.

senior

Senior discounts:

Many seniors live on a fixed income and need to stick to a strict budget, so auto transport companies will sometimes give big discounts to seniors.

return

Return customers:

As opposed to the discount for first-time shippers, some auto transport companies will give you a discount if you’re shipping your vehicle with them for the second or third time.

first

First responders:

Similar to the military discount, first responders may also be eligible for special discounts.

vehicle

Vehicle fleets:

If you run a cab company or other business that wants to ship a fleet of cars, then you may be able to receive a discount from your auto shipping company for transporting in bulk.

early

Early bird:

Some auto transport companies will reward you with a discount if you book their service within 48 hours of getting your quote.

CHECK FOR PAYMENT METHOD FEES

Most auto transport companies accept all forms of payment. These include credit and debit cards, checks, and cash. However, some companies will charge you a fee if you pay with a card. Make sure you ask the company what payment methods they accept. Also, ask if they'll charge you extra for the way that you choose to pay.

Many auto transport companies will charge you a deposit fee before they pick up your car. That fee will be applied to your total when the car is delivered. Most carriers offer a 100% refundable deposit.

The Importance of Knowing How Much It Costs to Ship a Car

While shipping a car across the country may seem costly at first, it's not. It's actually preferable to driving your vehicle yourself! If you decide to drive your car cross-country, the hidden costs of gas, lodging, and future car repairs will eventually add up.

By learning how much it costs to ship a car across the country, you can make more informed and confident purchasing decisions. And in our industry (and any industry for that matter), consumers who do their homework are the ones who end up saving money in the long run.

Shipping a car across the country with a respected car transport company like Nexus Auto Transport isn't just smart. It's simply the best way to ship a vehicle across the United States. Our extensive network of experienced, licensed car haulers minimizes risks to your vehicle while maximizing the value you receive from our services. We don't cut corners. We don't mess around. We'll ship your car in a professional, caring manner every single time you work with us.

If you’re wondering how much it is to ship a vehicle across the U.S. with Nexus, head over to our instant car shipping cost calculator right away. Or, you can contact us directly at 224-218-2949to speak with one of our car shipping experts. We’ll put you first with transparency and comprehensive cross-country quotes that work with your scheduling needs.

That's our pledge. And that's who we are here at Nexus Auto Transport.