Did you know that the United States is one of the largest countries in the world, following shortly behind Russia, Canada, and China?

If the United States is known for anything, it is for our robust highway system to connect such a massive, sprawling country. It's thanks to this that we have some of the best routes to ship a car. But how do you find the best route?

There is no simple one-word answer to this question, given that every state highway system is different. Routes for auto transport will depend greatly upon accessibility for large, long-haul vehicles--such as bypassing low-clearance areas. It's for this reason that distance is not the only factor when using a car shipping calculator.

Keep reading as we discuss the best routes to ship a car when it comes to cross-country car shipping.

What Makes a Good Route for Long-Distance Car Transportation?

In ideal conditions, every different type of auto transport should be able to go and return with a full load. This can be tricky, since you have to factor in not only the route, but the time it takes to load and unload the vehicle, especially to ship a car from one state to another. Average gross revenue includes the cost of gas and any other delays along the way.

Popular destinations, such as San Francisco and Miami, will always have a high volume of people looking to ship a car from one state to another. However, there are lower-volume, shorter routes that do have some enticing rates.

This is also assuming that we have no vehicles that require special treatment. For example, classic cars in need of enclosed transport or protective transport options. The best driving route will also assume that there are no guaranteed dates and no special services.

The best driving route must also have fairly frequent traffic with other haulers. This also assumes a full day of driving, with some days set aside solely for loading and unloading vehicles. There will be some delay when dealing with intercity traffic and door-to-door auto transport in the suburbs.

Last but not least, we are assuming standard, compact vehicles. Larger vehicles, such as a truck, can add a huge bump in the rate. But for simplicity's sake, we'll stick with a simple load.

We also won't include car carrier insurance. All rates are for long-distance car transportation.

What Are the Best Routes to Ship a Car?

To keep this article simple and brief, we will focus on high-density population centers. As we said above, there are some cross-country car shipping that are lucrative, albeit between much more sparsely-populated areas. We will skip those for today.

Washington DC and Virginia to Silicon Valley and San Francisco (and Back)

This is one of the most challenging routes for auto transport since there is some difficult topology to get around. The East Coast in particular has older infrastructure, i.e. narrower streets that present a lot of obstacles unless you choose a different type of auto transport.

Further, this area is quite hilly thanks to the Appalachian mountain range, and features many governmental trucking restrictions. However, truckers who rise to the task can make a healthy $3600 for a complete round trip.

This is, of course, not factoring in delays from pre-purchase car inspections.

New York City and New Jersey to Silicon Valley and San Francisco (and Back)

Same as the route above, this is a challenge for only the most intrepid truckers in auto transport. But at $1160 per day, it is a hard one to turn down.

San Diego to Virginia and Washington DC (and Back)

Washington DC is known for being an expensive city with a high cost of living. This also means that it fetches a higher rate. San Diego is a bit out of the way, but still worth it at $1154 per day.

Seattle to Virginia and Washington DC (and Back)

This is the last of the best routes to ship a car. Seattle presents a bit less of a challenge than California, so it may be for those who want easier going. Rates can be as high as $1133 for a single day.

Worst Routes for Shipping a Car

Some routes simply may not be worth it for all but the most desperate truckers. These are the worst major routes due to heavy traffic, poor infrastructure, and relatively low yield as it concerns customers.

If you are looking to keep the price down when you sell the car to car selling websites, avoid these routes.

New York and New Jersey to Miami and West Palm Beach (and Back)

This one depends on the month that you are doing the shipping. Everyone knows that snowbirds (old folks that relocate for better weather) begin their migration as the temperature climbs in June and July. Expect a lot of traffic due to older, slower drivers.

That said, this route does begin to clear up in the Fall. Otherwise, expect to make about $747 per day. As such a low-paying option, there might not be much less for a car hauler inspection.

Los Angeles to Houston

These are two very large population centers with a lot of customer cars to pick up back-and-forth. However, Houston has some of the worst infrastructure in the United States which makes it difficult for deliveries. Only expect about $796 per day.

Orlando to New York and New Jersey

Here we have the double trouble of bad traffic and narrow streets. You have to contend with the snowbird migration and navigating an open hauler through tight New England villages. However, you get a slightly higher rate of $819 per day.

Orlando to Los Angeles

While both of these are crowded, traffic-heavy cities, you can expect a slightly better rate. Truckers average about $866 per day on this route.

Philadelphia to Dallas

Philadelphia has the same issue as New England with infrastructure that is not intended for modern, large trucks. That said, at $965 per day, this is only slightly below the better routes above.

Ship Your Vehicle with Nexus

When doing auto transport routes, car shipping companies are in search of the best routes to ship the car. These are routes that give truckers a good ratio of profit vs. their running costs and time spent loading and unloading. As the car shipping cost goes up, and traffic increases, some major routes become much less favorable.

Nexus is the leader in car shipping, whether an open car hauler or door-to-door expedited delivery. Check out our car shipping calculator and find the best rates for you.

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