What’s the Cheapest Way to Ship A Car?

When looking for the cheapest way to ship a car, it’s essential that you also find a quality car shipping option.

83% of American adults drive at least a few times a week, which goes to show that we heavily rely on our vehicles to get around. Whether it’s to get to work, school, the gym, the grocery store, or a restaurant, most of us get into our car and drive straight to our destinations.

Because of this, it’s important that when you move, you bring your vehicle along. Otherwise, it will probably be highly inconvenient for you to get around.

In that case, you might be wondering: what’s the cheapest way to transport my car? To find out the answer, read on. In this article, we’ll discuss your options so you can make the best financial decision for auto shipping.

Open vs Enclosed Car Hauler (Which Is The Cheapest Way To Ship A Car?)

The first thing you have to consider is what type of car hauler you choose. Truckers will usually have 2 choices: open or enclosed car haulers. Below are some more details on each.


The most common type of hauler you’ll find is the open one. Because there are so many drivers available for open car hauling, this means it’s the cheaper option when compared to enclosed auto shipping. In addition, if you need to keep a strict schedule, you’ll have a better chance getting the time slots you want with open auto shipping.

With an open car hauler, the trucker loads your vehicle onto what’s essentially just a wire frame. This means while your car is being transported, it’ll be exposed to weathering, such as dust or hail. A reputable driver will have cargo insurance, so if anything happens, at least the repairs will be covered.

If you have a brand new and/or expensive vehicle, open auto shipping may not be the best choice. However, if you’re on a budget, then it’s definitely the cheaper option.


Fewer truckers drive enclosed auto haulers, so it’ll be harder to find someone who has a schedule that suits yours. But if you’re not on a limited timeline, then it may be worth exploring this option.

Because there are fewer enclose auto shippers, this means it’ll be more expensive to use this service. However, it might be worth paying more for since your car will be entirely protected on the whole trip. For instance, people who want to transport their classic cars will get more peace of mind using enclosed instead of open auto shipping, especially if the destination is across the country.

The Type of Service

Another factor that’ll heavily impact how much you pay for car transport services is the type you choose. Here at Nexus Auto Transport, we have 3 types available; economy, standard, and expedited. The type you select will depend on how urgently you need your vehicle at your desired destination.

Read on to find out more about each type of service so you can pick the one that’s best on your wallet.


This is the cheapest option out of the 3, so it should be no surprise that it’s the most popular with customers! If you have a tight budget and just want to pay as little as possible, then you should pick economy.

However, it’ll take up to 5 business days for your car to be picked up. Add to that the actual time it takes to transport your vehicle, and it may take quite some time to receive it. So if you’re in a rush and need your car ASAP, then economy may not be a wise choice, even if you’re trying to save some money.

For example, let’s say you’re moving soon and need to use your car for work. Then it may be worth paying a little extra on standard or expedited car chipping so you don’t have to take days off work and lose income.


Standard shipping is a step up from economy, so it costs a bit more. However, pickups only take up to 3 business days, so it can be a bit quicker than getting economy shipping.

If you have a flexible schedule but still have a window of time where you’ll need your vehicle, it may be worth it to get quotes for both economy and standard shipping. That way, you can weigh them up and see if it’ll worth paying a little extra to ensure you get your vehicle on time.


This is the most expensive option, so it may not fit within your budget. However, if you need your car fast, then it can be completely worth it to pay for this service.

With expedited shipping, your car will be picked up on the same day, or the next. This ensures that your vehicle is swiftly transported to your destination in the quickest way possible.

Of course, expedited shipping will be pretty expensive for some people. But if you’ve had another less reputable auto shipper suddenly cancel on you, this can help salvage your plans. For some, that may be worth spending extra money on.

The Condition of Your Car

For a non-working car, it’ll take the driver lots more effort and resources to ship it. They’ll probably need a forklift to get your vehicle on and off their hauler. As a result, you’ll have to pay more for their shipping services to cover the time and money for this.

For this reason, you want to make sure your car is in drivable condition for shipping. It might be worth spending a little money to fix up your vehicle so it’s operable. It’ll be more convenient for you as well, since you’ll be able to drive it immediately upon arrival.

The Time of the Year

If you’re flexible on when to ship your car, you might want to consider the off-peak seasons to get the best prices around.

For example, 80% of “snowbirds” reported that they were in Florida from January until March. This means that if you try to get your car shipped in early January or early April, and your route involved Florida, then you’ll be paying a premium. In addition, it may be hard to find a trucker, as they’ll all be booked up.

So if you’re not on a rigid timeline, consider off-peak auto shipping. Not only will there be more drivers available, but you’ll also pay just a fraction of what you would during busier times.

The Route

The time of year for auto shipping not only determines whether it’s on or off-peak, but also, what route the driver needs to take. For instance, if it’s in the middle of winter, snow may make road conditions unsafe and unsuitable for driving. As a result, your trucker might need to take an alternative route, which will take more time and gas.

In addition, if you live somewhere rural, that will add to costs as well. This is because there are more complicated routes that would take the driver longer to reach when compared to metropolitan areas. So if possible, have the trucker pick up and drop off your car in bigger cities.

While car shippers offer door-to-door services that are certainly very convenient, it’ll definitely cost more. If you want to save some money, have them pick up and drop off your car in a public parking lot. You may have to figure out how to get to those places on your own, but this can shave off some of the costs that come with auto shipping.

What’s the Cheapest Way to Transport My Car? It Depends

So what’s the cheapest way to transport my car? As you can see, it all depends on several factors. But in general, if you go with an open car hauler, economy service, and utilize services in off-peak times, you’ll enjoy the cheapest way to ship a car.

Of course, you might be considering driving your vehicle across the country yourself, but in the end, that’s not the cheapest way to transport a car. Not only will it be exhausting, but you’ll also have to factor costs in, like gas, food, and hotel rooms. Plus, it’ll put unnecessary mileage on your prized car.

Save yourself some time and money by having Nexus Auto Transport ship your car. We work with professional drivers who have up-to-date cargo insurance policies so your vehicle will be protected on the entire journey.

Are you looking for the least expensive way to ship a car? Then request a quote from us now. Our agents will help you figure out the most efficient and affordable way for you to transport your vehicle.