How Much Does it Cost to Transport a Car Interstate?

If you need to know how much it costs to transport a car interstate, you’ve come to the right place.

In simple terms, you can expect to find cheap interstate car transport from about $0.35 per kilometre and if transporting within the same metropolitan area, it will generally be around $120. Realistically though, a good, reliable service from a reputable car carrier will cost around $0.55 per kilometre.

This means that if you’re looking to transport a car from Melbourne to Brisbane (approximately 1,780km), a really cheap option would start at around $630 while the average cost of a safe and reliable carrier will most likely set you back around $980.

This article can help you understand how pricing is calculated and to how to find a trusted car transport company that will move your wheels with the best priced service.

Understanding how vehicle transport costs are calculated is important because, unlike many other products and services, the cost of shipping a car can change – even from one day to the next.

How the Cost to Transport a Car Interstate is Calculated

When you request car transport quotes, the prices quoted are not an arbitrary number picked at random. The reality is that the carriers are constantly evaluating many factors just to stay in business.

There are many factors that affect vehicle shipping costs and we’ve outlined some of the key ones here.

Car transport rates depend on several variables that are in a constant state of flux.

Here are 7 of the most common factors that transport companies will use to calculate car shipping costs.

How Vehicle Type Affects Shipping Cost

Bigger vehicles like trucks, SUVs, 4WDs and vans are more expensive to transport than sedans or compacts. Things like, modifications to suspension or vehicles with oversized tyres are also factors that affect the cost of car transport.

Different types of vehicles that can be transported

In the same way, if you’re transporting a prestige or luxury vehicle, you will want to consider an “enclosed” option because it will provide that extra protection during transport.

Simply put, the larger the vehicle, the higher the price to transport it.

How Distance Affects Transport Cost

As you might gather, distance plays a major role in determining the cost to ship your vehicle.

You don’t need a degree in astrophysics to know that transporting a vehicle from Perth to Sydney is likely to cost a lot more than shipping one from Adelaide to Melbourne.

Generally, the further the distance the car is to be transported, the higher the shipping cost.

The average cost to transport a car in Australia generally depends on what kind of trailer you prefer and how far it’s going.

As a guide, the cost for transporting within the same metropolitan area is around $120. For longer distances, the cost can come down to below 40 cents per kilometre.

How Pickup and Delivery Locations Affect Transport Cost

Are your pickup and delivery locations in a rural area that are out of the way or in a major capital city that are difficult to get to? Or are they in easily accessible urban town centres?

Or, are the pickup or destination locations on less-travelled routes and hard to reach areas off the main highways?

A good rule of thumb is…if it’s easy to get to, costs will likely be lower.

Why Door-to-Door Transport often more expensive than Depot-to-Depot

Depot-to-Depot prices are often cheaper than door-to-door options.

But not always.

If your car is shipped depot-to-depot, and you can’t get there to pick it up, you may find being hit with vehicle storage fees for each day the vehicle is kept in the depot yard.

On the flip side, if the nearest depot is several hundred kilometres away, you’ll probably want to factor in travel costs for you to get there and back.

How the Price of Fuel Affect Vehicle Transport Pricing

While the Carbon Tax no longer exists in Australia following Federal Parliament passing legislation to repeal it from 1 July 2014, the costs to transport a car are still subject to fluctuations in fuel prices.

Fuel costs and surcharges are possibly the biggest variable expense associated with auto transport. And, it seems that every time you look, they vary dramatically from one region to another.

Why Non-running/non-drivable vehicles cost more to transport

If your vehicle is inoperable or not drivable, it may increase the price of transport. This is because the transport company will need special equipment to get the vehicle on and off the trailer.

Many companies may simply tell you they won’t transport non-drivable vehicles but there are some exceptions.

It’s important that, when organising transport, you tell the company if your vehicle is non-drivable. Doing this will will help you avoid potentially embarrassing and complicated situations that could arise.

Imagine, if you were you to book your vehicle only to discover that the drivers can’t get your car onto the truck. That wouldn’t go down well.


January 25, 2024.
Very good response from a good number of possible providers, at least six.
Alanna Utting
Alanna Utting
January 22, 2024.
Received several quotes with plenty of options for drop off and pick up destinations. All received within 24hrs, great service.
Julian Jong
Julian Jong
January 22, 2024.
Easy, not too demanding and fast response
Mia Pearce
Mia Pearce
January 19, 2024.
Was in the early stages of planning a temporary move from WA to NSW. Instead of requesting quotes for different logistic companies, Car Transportation Services allowed me to send one email and receive numerous quotes in one go. Great service and time saver. Thank you CTS!
Ian Clark
Ian Clark
November 30, 2023.
Very fast turnaround. I received 4 quotes within a couple of hours. Saved a lot of chasing around
October 12, 2023.
Very easy to get multiple quotes.
mark dolan
mark dolan
October 9, 2023.
they were very good to deal with the information given to me as in cost etc was better than any other company i looked at.
High Tower
High Tower
September 27, 2023.
Gave details of what I needed and had quotes rolling in quickly
Carol Peterson
Carol Peterson
September 27, 2023.
I received 4 good quotes within hours. I am very happy with this service.

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Why Express Shipping Option Cost More than Standard Shipping

All companies offer standard rates on their quotes and some offer an express car delivery option.

Standard delivery times range between “same day delivery” and 15 (or more) days. This really depends things like distance, quarantine inspection checks and sometimes, weather conditions along the way.

If you can afford to be without your car for a little longer and have planned ahead, the cheaper standard delivery option is the way to go.

How Time of Year Affect Shipping Costs

As you might expect, interstate car transfer rates can vary throughout the year depending on demand.

Generally, you’ll find that prices will be cheaper during winter months because demand is generally lower and carriers don’t want to leave their trucks dormant and inactive.

Conversely, during summer months, you’ll find prices tend to rise because demand is higher. This is because vehicle transport companies have to balance this demand with their ability to fulfil the delivery in a timely manner.

The chart above, is the result of a four year study into the demand for vehicle transport by consumers between 2015 and 2019. This study was conducted by Semantia Pty. Ltd. and compares relative demand for transport for different types of vehicles.

What’s the Best Way to Save on Vehicle Transport?

If you want to be saving on vehicle shipping costs, it pays to get quotes from several car shipping companies.

Fortunately, requesting vehicle transport quotes online has become really easy.

Review the quotes and don’t necessarily go with the cheapest quote you find. There are numerous reasons why going with the cheapest quote can be a bad idea.

Your car is a valuable asset. It’s an integral part of your daily life. You’ll want to find a company you can trust to transport it safely, quickly and for a reasonable price.

The bottom line is: do research on vehicle transport companies, request quotes and see what other people say about the auto transport companies you are considering to transport your vehicle.

Certainly, if you’re just shopping around at this stage, request vehicle transport quotes here and see what car transport companies are able to offer.

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