Your Guide to Finding the Most Budget-Friendly Car Shipping Services Across States

Alana Grace

‍Photo by Clker-Free-Vector-Images on Pixabay

When it comes to moving across states, one of the biggest challenges can be transporting your vehicle. Driving your car to your new destination might not always be feasible or convenient, especially if you have a long distance to cover. That’s where car shipping services come in. These services allow you to transport your vehicle from one state to another, saving you time and effort. In this guide, we will explore the different factors that affect car shipping costs and discuss the cheapest way to ship a car to another state.

Factors that affect car shipping costs

Before delving into the cheapest way to ship a car to another state, it’s important to understand the factors that influence car shipping costs. These factors can vary from one shipping company to another, but here are some common ones to consider:

  1. Distance: The distance between the pickup and delivery locations plays a significant role in determining the cost of car shipping. Longer distances usually result in higher shipping costs.
  2. Vehicle type: The type of vehicle you are shipping also affects the cost. Larger vehicles, such as SUVs or trucks, may require more space on the carrier and therefore cost more to ship.
  3. Time of year: Seasonal fluctuations can impact car shipping costs. During peak seasons, such as summer or holidays, demand for car shipping services increases, leading to higher prices.
  4. Carrier type: There are two main types of car carriers – open and enclosed. Open carriers are more common and less expensive, while enclosed carriers provide added protection but come at a higher cost.
  5. Additional services: Some car shipping companies offer additional services such as door-to-door delivery or expedited shipping. These services may come with an extra cost.

By considering these factors, you can better understand how car shipping costs are determined and make informed decisions when looking for budget-friendly options.

Different methods of car shipping

When it comes to shipping your car to another state, there are several methods to choose from. Each method has its own advantages and cost implications. Here are the most common methods of car shipping:

  1. Open transport: This is the most popular and cost-effective method of car shipping. Your vehicle will be loaded onto an open carrier, exposed to the elements. While this method is generally safe and reliable, your car may be exposed to road debris or weather conditions.
  2. Enclosed transport: If you want to provide extra protection to your vehicle during transit, enclosed transport is the way to go. Your car will be placed inside a covered trailer, shielding it from road debris, dust, and weather conditions. However, this method is usually more expensive than open transport.
  3. Terminal-to-terminal shipping: With this method, you drop off your vehicle at a designated terminal, and it will be picked up by the car shipping company and delivered to another terminal near your destination. This option is often more affordable, but it requires you to coordinate transportation to and from the terminals.
  4. Door-to-door shipping: If convenience is a priority, door-to-door shipping is the best choice. The car shipping company will pick up your vehicle from your current location and deliver it to your new address. This method is more convenient but may come at a higher cost.

By understanding the different methods of car shipping, you can choose the one that aligns with your budget and preferences.

The cheapest way to ship a car to another state

yellow BMW sedan parked near containers during daytime
Photo by Alexander Pütter on Unsplash

Now that we have explored the factors that affect car shipping costs and the different methods of car shipping, let’s discuss the cheapest way to ship a car to another state. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, there are a few strategies you can employ to find budget-friendly car shipping services:

  1. Plan ahead: Booking your car shipment in advance can help you secure better rates. Last-minute bookings often come with higher prices due to limited availability.
  2. Choose open transport: As mentioned earlier, open transport is generally more affordable than enclosed transport. Unless you have specific requirements for extra protection, opting for open transport can save you money.
  3. Be flexible with dates: If possible, try to be flexible with your pickup and delivery dates. Car shipping companies may offer discounted rates for flexible customers.
  4. Consider terminal-to-terminal shipping: If you don’t mind coordinating transportation to and from terminals, terminal-to-terminal shipping can be a cheaper option compared to door-to-door shipping.
  5. Shop around and compare quotes: Take the time to research and compare quotes from different car shipping companies. This will help you identify the most budget-friendly options available.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of finding the most cost-effective way to ship your car to another state.

Tips for finding budget-friendly car shipping services

Finding budget-friendly car shipping services requires some research and due diligence. Here are some tips to help you in your search:

Researching car shipping companies

Start by researching car shipping companies that operate in your area. Look for reputable companies with positive customer reviews and a track record of delivering vehicles safely and on time. Check if they have the necessary licenses and insurance to provide car shipping services. Narrow down your options to a few reliable companies that meet your criteria.

Comparing car shipping quotes

Reach out to the shortlisted car shipping companies and request quotes. Make sure to provide accurate information about your vehicle and the desired shipping method. Compare the quotes you receive, keeping in mind the factors we discussed earlier. Pay attention to any additional fees or services included in the quotes. Remember, the cheapest option may not always be the best, so consider the overall value offered by each company.

Understanding car shipping insurance

Insurance is an essential aspect of car shipping. Ensure that the car shipping company provides adequate insurance coverage for your vehicle during transit. Understand the terms and conditions of the insurance policy, including any deductibles or exclusions. If you have any valuable or high-end vehicles, you may want to consider additional insurance coverage.

Additional costs to consider when shipping a car

man in black jacket standing beside black car
Photo by Jonas Junk on Unsplash

In addition to the basic car shipping costs, there may be some additional expenses to consider. These can include taxes, tolls, fuel surcharges, or storage fees if your vehicle needs to be stored temporarily. Factor in these additional costs when budgeting for your car shipment to avoid any surprises.

By following these tips and doing thorough research, you can find budget-friendly car shipping services that meet your needs and ensure a smooth transition to your new state.


Shipping your car to another state doesn’t have to break the bank. By understanding the factors that affect car shipping costs, exploring different methods of car shipping, and implementing the tips provided, you can find the most budget-friendly car shipping services across states. Remember to plan ahead, be flexible, and compare quotes from reputable car shipping companies. With the right approach, you can transport your vehicle affordably and efficiently, making your move a hassle-free experience.

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