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Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page

How To Get An Auto Transport Quote?

What’s the status of your interstate move? Hope it’s on schedule. Even if it isn’t, don’t worry too much. It’ll be fine. Also, bravo on the smart decision of not driving all the way up to your new hometown which could be hundreds and thousands of miles away and could take a lot out of you. Already there’s a ton of things for you to look after. It’s only reasonable to release a bit of your burden by having either your hired moving company or a separate auto transportation company take care of your car’s shipment.

In this article, we’ll help you understand the whole process of shipping an automobile and how to get an automobile transport quote from professional shipping companies.


What Is An Auto Transport Quote?

An auto transport or vehicle shipping quote is the estimated price that a professional shipping company offers you to transport your vehicle to another location. It’s important to note that this price, in most cases, is not the final amount that you’ll be paying. This is just a rough estimate which depends on a number of factors like the make and model of your car, its manufacturing year, the distance between your current and target locations, the date you want to dispatch the car, etc. The quote is not fixed and varies from company to company.

How To Get An Auto Transport Quote?

Research Auto Transport Companies

Just as is the case with everything else, good research is going to help you leaps and bounds. On the basis of customer reviews or ratings, or whichever factor is important for you, identify a few auto transport companies and check out all the information on their respective websites.

Determine The Different Quote Options

Usually, there are three quote options that you get from the auto shipping companies:

  • Online Forms: Once you fill out the form with the basic information related to your car, you can relax for a while. The professionals from the shipping companies will analyze the information provided by you and get in touch with you after some time with your quote.
  • Telephone Quotes: If you’re not in a hurry, this is, by far, the best and the most satisfying option. An expert from the company will call you and you can have an in-depth conversation including every small detail. This is the best way to get closest to the final amount that you’ll pay for your car’s shipment.
  • Instant Online Quotes: This option allows you to enter the basic information that’s important for the shipping process and you’ll instantly get a rough estimate. It’s the most convenient option out of the three but you must know that the accuracy is not the highest.

Enter Vehicle Details

The most vital information for the auto transport companies to provide you with accurate quotes is what is the make and model of your vehicle, in which year was it manufactured, and whether it’s in a functioning condition or not. The reason why this is so important is that each one of these details is going to affect the final cost.

Mention The Locations

Let the shipping company know where you’re currently residing and what’s your next destination where you want your car to be sent. In most cases, you’ll be required to enter the exact ZIP codes of both locations as it will play a role in determining the price. The pickup and drop-off locations should be known to the transporter.

Choose The Type Of Transport Carrier

You’ll get two options to choose from as soon as you read ‘type of carrier’. The first one is the open auto carrier which is the preferred carrier because of its lower price. The second option is the enclosed carrier which cannot carry as many cars as the open carrier and costs significantly more. Choose as per your requirement and budget!

Select The Date Of Pickup

Telling the auto shipping company the date you want it to pick up your car is necessary. You could either give them a fixed day and date if you’re running on a strict schedule. Alternatively, you can give them a window of more than one day if there’s a chance of flexibility on your part.

That will be all. You can then go ahead and submit the request for a rough estimate. A company representative will soon get back to you with an answer. It’s advisable to get a minimum of three quotes from different companies so that you can compare and decide which one suits you best.

Also See: Best Classic Car Transport Companies in the U.S.

Factors That Affect The Shipping Cost Of The Vehicle

Type And Size Of Vehicle

In order to provide you with a quote as accurately as possible, every shipping company will ask for your car’s basic information. In the vehicle shipping quote form, you’ll be required to mention all the details related to your vehicle like the make and model of the car. Using this information, the experts from the company will determine your car’s size and approximate weight. Shipping bigger and heavier vehicles like trucks and SUVs will cost more than a sedan.

Another point for you to note is that it is extremely important for the company to know whether your vehicle is in working condition or not. Although broken-down vehicles can be shipped, they require more effort, time, and most importantly, different equipment from the functional ones.

Type Of Transport Carrier

The two options that you can pick from for the shipment of your vehicle are enclosed and open auto carriers. As the name suggests, your car will be protected from bad weather and other road elements if you opt for an enclosed carrier as opposed to the open carrier and that’s the reason the former will cost much more. Generally, people who are getting their luxury cars shipped tend to choose the enclosed carrier. But this does not mean that the vehicles in open carriers are not safe. In addition, open carriers are more widely available and easy to find. Even if you’re in a situation where you need to find a dependable shipping company at the last minute, there will be no problem.


The distance between your current and target locations is one of the most crucial factors in determining the cost of shipping your vehicle. It’s obvious that the more the distance, the higher the price will be. In other words, if you live in California, you better pray for your company to transfer you to Kentucky instead of Rhode Island!


By location, we mean the pickup and the drop-off points. You will need to check since all the auto shipping companies may or may not provide you with the two options, door-to-door and terminal-to-terminal delivery of your vehicle. Having your car delivered to your house will undoubtedly be the preference, but it will also cost more than picking it up yourself at the terminal.

Fuel Price

This may not be as important a factor as others but if the price of fuel increases between the day you confirm the booking and the day of dispatch, the company will most likely charge accordingly.


People tend to move during the summer months more than at any other time of the year. Since the demand is high, the prices are maximum during this period. Although in most cases, there’s little that you can do about your moving date, you can benefit a little from having flexible pickup and delivery dates in the peak moving season.


Do I Need A Car Shipping Insurance?

A car shipping insurance covers the cost of any damages your car might sustain at the time of loading it into a carrier, when it is in transit, and at the time of unloading. In all probability, your car is among your most loved possessions and you would want to avoid as much risk as possible to get it from one place to another.

The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) makes it mandatory for all the active auto shipping companies to have insurance for the vehicles that they transport. The companies offer the customers basic liability coverage which may not be acceptable to everyone as it covers a small part of the total cost. In this situation, you can purchase additional insurance coverage from your auto transport company. The cost of this additional insurance will vary from company to company. Before finalizing the vehicle shipping company for your car, it’s important to check its insurance policy and see whether it meets your expectations or not.


See Also: International Car Shipping Guide | How Do I Transport My Car Cross Country?


The cost of shipping your car will be a culmination of all the factors that we have just looked at. It’s advisable to take some time, do your research, and then make an informed decision. A rule of thumb is to get quotes from at least three auto transport companies. Remember, it is always better to be safe than sorry!

FAQs On How To Get An Auto Transport Quote

What Is The Cheapest Way To Ship My Car?

A few things that you have control over to an extent can save you quite a lot of money. Instead of an enclosed vehicle carrier, it would cost you significantly less if you use an open carrier. Terminal-to-terminal shipping will also be a cheaper option than door-to-door shipping. Apart from all this, you can try to avoid the busy summer season when the prices are the highest.

How Do I Find A Dependable Auto Transport Company?

If a shipping company has a USDOT number and is licensed and insured, half the battle is won. After this, you can check out what Better Business Bureau (BBB) has to say about a particular company and read the customer reviews on different websites.

How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Vehicle?

A number of factors determine the cost of getting your car shipped: the make and model of your car, its manufacturing year, the distance between your current and target cities, the date you want to dispatch the car, etc. The price can range from $1 for a mile for short distance shipments to less than $0.50 per mile for long distance shipments. You could also be paying up to $300 extra if you are shipping your car during the summer months which is when maximum people move around the country.