Home > Auto Guide

When you need to ship your car across the country

This type of service is a little bit different than if you need to deliver your car within a state or just to the next one. To ship a car across the country you as the owner need to consider a lot of additional details and issues. Here we will help you to understand the most important ones: 

Delivery period

When you are asking yourself “How much does it cost to ship a car across the USA?”, most probably you will take into consideration the particular route. The more the distance, the higher will be the quota you will get. And it caused not only by the higher level of the fuel consumption but also with additional working hours of the driver. Moreover, if your car’s delivery period is up to a few weeks, you need to take into account the necessity of lodging for the driver for a night. All these additional expenses will be included in your personal quota.

One more extra payment you can expect to have is for urgency. As soon as you are flexible enough to be waiting for the estimated period of time as well as can shift the pick-up dates, your quota will be the same. But if you will require your vehicle to be delivered sooner it will lead you to a higher “expedited” quota. Considering the specialty of the item (a car), this option can become extremely necessary as most of us are living in a suburb area and need to drive to the city on a daily basis.


Normally, when you are using an online calculator on the transportation company’s website, you need to insert the ZIP or the cities’ names to ship car cross country. For the purpose of anonymity on this step you don’t need to provide more details. But as soon as you decided to work with a particular carrier, you will need to choose if you would like to use a door-to-door delivery or a terminal-to-terminal one. And on this stage it is important to consider particular destinations.

Normally, if you need to deliver your vehicle from Los Angeles to New York City it makes sense to apply for direct transportation. You will not need to care about anything but to wait when your car will appear in front of your door. But if you need the carrier to pick your car up at one remote location and bring it to another countryside, you can be charged much more. Even if the distance between these spots is pretty the same as between Los Angeles and New York. In this case you can consider a terminal-to-terminal delivery as most big companies have the ports and terminals almost in every state. It can save not only a couple of hundreds of dollars but also a lot of time as you will not need to wait until the carrier will make a loop to deliver your car.


One of the most important things to consider when ship cars across the country is if you would like to arrange it through an open or enclosed transport. Basically, the difference between these two options can reach 50 percent of the quota. Let’s consider them in more details.

1.       Open transport is a cheap version for your car delivery. And the most popular one. When you google “How much does it cost to ship a car?”, in overwhelming majority of the results you will get a price of the open transporter. But you need to be ready to face the disadvantages of this decision. When being placed on an open platform, your car and its surfaces will not be protected from variable weather conditions, insects, dust and dirt as well as from random small rocks from under the wheels. And as we are talking particularly about the long-distance trips, these circumstances can have a significant influence on your car’s condition upon arrival.

2.       Enclosed transporter is a much safer and effective way to deliver your car from one coast to another one. Your vehicle will be placed among just a couple of others inside the trailer which will give it a full protection. Including a protection from vandalism which unfortunately sometimes takes place, especially in regards to the most expensive cars. The cost of the enclosed transporter is significantly higher but if your purpose is to deliver your car in the most secure way, it’s worth it.

3.       There is one type of enclosed transportation which can become a golden mean. It’s called soft-enclosed transportation. In this case your vehicle will not be placed directly inside the trailer but will be covered with a tent. It provides an appropriate protection from the rain, sunshine and snow but of course is not that efficient as a hard-enclosed delivery.


Regardless in most cases this additional feature is provided on a complimentary basis, we would like to underline its importance in case of interstate transportation. It’s always better to have the opportunity to check the current location of your car during the delivery as that is how you can be assured that the process is going smoothly and in a timely manner as well as to be able to check the car’s location in case of any natural disasters and other uncontrolled circumstances.

More to Read: