Need Your Car Shipped?

Do you need your car shipped inside the U.S. or internationally? Read everything you need to know about having your car shipped today.

Do you need your car shipped inside the U.S. or internationally? Some consumers believe the best choice is to handle the transport of a personal vehicle themselves. This is not always the case and in fact, might cost more in the end if not handled correctly. This is especially true if you are shipping a car for commercial purposes. 

In fact, shipping a vehicle internationally is not even possible without the services of a professional automobile shipping company. Hiring a professional service saves you time and effort. This is highly beneficial when sudden professional, personal, or military-based changes create the need to ship one or more of your vehicles to a new location. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about having your car shipped today.

Automobile Shipping 101

An automobile shipping company is a professional transport service provider specializing in moving vehicles from one location to another. Distance between point-a and point-b might be local, regional, national, or international. All types of vehicles are shipped, including valuable antique and classic models. Vehicles are shipped via multi-tiered, flatbed, large box, cargo and tow trucks. They are also shipped via trains, boats and airplanes depending on the situation. Prices vary based on shipping distance, vehicle value, required delivery timeframe and any special delivery instructions. Prices (discussed in more detail below) also increase for international vehicle shipping.

Considering Shipping Your Vehicle- Here Are Some Questions to Ask

Because an automobile shipping company becomes responsible for one of your more valued and potentially expensive assets, you have certain expectations regarding its safety. Hiring an automobile transport service is generally safe, although certain risk factors do apply. Therefore, it is absolutely vital to research several vehicle shipping companies to determine which one is the best match for you and the needs of your vehicle(s).

Comparing Risks vs. Benefits

Risks must be assessed and compared to the benefits. This risk vs. benefit comparison must also include financial considerations. Is it more cost-effective to drive your vehicle to its new location than it is to have it shipped? What if you cannot drive the vehicle yourself? In such a scenario, what are the risks of your vehicle sustaining damage during the shipping process? The latter question leads to more important questions to ask pursuant to insurance, guarantees in writing and more. For example, Driving your vehicle a long distance on your own poses its own set of risks. If you hire a shipping service with closed-container transport options, the risks of damage to your vehicle during shipping are significantly minimized. You will pay more for closed-container shipping than you will for an open multi-tiered transport vehicle, but in exchange you get increased peace-of-mind and security.

Get It in Writing

All of the information directly above leads to the next important point to consider. Shipping companies provide service contracts. Read the one provided to you thoroughly. Feel free to take it to your attorney for him or her to examine if you choose. Look for protection and guarantee clauses in the contract and company policies. If a company does not offer guarantees in writing, move on to the next option. Taking advantage of online public resources such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Yelp gives you a sense of how other customers and clients fared when using a company you are considering for hire. When using the BBB simply type “vehicle transport” in to the first search window and the zip code from where your vehicle will be shipped in the second. An entire list of companies and their associated ratings will appear. Using Yelp functions the same way, only all ratings and reviews are provided by actual customers (the BBB posts customer statements and Bureau ratings as well). Please note: When typing in “USA” as your location, Yelp automatically defaults to San Francisco and Northern California for its first batch of reviews. Typing in a region, state or zip code defines your search parameters accordingly.

No Insurance? No Deal

A professional vehicle insurance company needs to provide transparent proof of insurance to its customers. If your preferred company refuses to provide this proof, move on to another company. Federal motor vehicle insurance laws mandate all vehicle shipping companies carry enough coverage to pay for any-and-all damages to your vehicle while it is in their possession. It is also advisable to expand your personal auto insurance policy to include comprehensive coverage or a different type of add-on coverage to further protect your vehicle (and wallet) in the rare case the shipping company defaults on payment after damage, or an accident occurs.


Some people must move suddenly due to a job change or life-altering emergency. Sometimes flying is the only option to get those people to their new destinations in time. Other people are not comfortable on long drives or have disabilities, which render them incapable of operating a motor vehicle at all. Perhaps you have sold your antique or classic automobile to an overseas or cross-country buyer who is unable to retrieve the vehicle his or herself. Having a vehicle shipped benefits people in all these scenarios by removing pressure, freeing up time and providing multiple options for safe and secure transport.

Types of Shipping and Transport Units Available

Different automobile shipping companies offer different types of transport units and options. For example, United Car Shipping (800-931-4311) offers enclosed carrier, open carrier and motorcycle shipping options. Some companies use car carrier trailers or semi-trailers only. Others provide a wide assortment of options, including shipping via train, ship and cargo planes. 

Average Costs for National and International Vehicle Shipping

Primary factors influencing the cost to ship your vehicle are distance and the value of your vehicle. Rates for international shipping are surprisingly almost as affordable as shipping long distances within the U.S., at least for base level packages. For example, shipping a 2020 Honda Accord from Orlando, FL to Las Vegas, NV (2307.7 miles) using Road Runner Auto Transport with a departure date of 10/30/21 costs only $1,075. Top-load and enclosed-carrier options cost an additional $99 and $591 respectively. Shipping internationally costs between 1,000 and $2,000+ per vehicle on average. Please note: Additional surcharges, closed-container services and customs duty taxes are likely to add between $500 and multiple thousands of dollars to the price, however. 

An important pricing factor to be aware of is this: Shipping the same model year Honda Accord from Reno, NV to Las Vegas, NV (448.5 miles) still costs $785. This price-point is approximately only $400 cheaper than shipping the automobile almost 1,800 miles further. The importance of comparing rates between multiple reliable car shipping companies simply cannot be overstated.

Decided to Ship Your Vehicle? Consider These Top Vehicle Shipping Services First

CarTalk is a reliable resource for quality information on most-things automobile related. CarTalk considers AmeriFreight, Montway Auto Transport and Sherpa Auto Transport as three of the best options available for professional vehicle shipping today. A few additional options for high-quality vehicle shipping services today include: