How Much Does it Cost to Transport a Car?

cost to transport a car
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The first question almost everybody asks when it comes to car transport is “How much does it cost to transport a car?”.

It is probably the main concern many people have when they are looking for auto transport companies to ship their car.

When a person gets an auto transport quote from a car delivery service, it is not an arbitrary number picked at random. Unfortunately, unlike many other products and services, the cost of shipping a car can vary quite a bit – even from one day to the next.

Common Factors that Affect Car Transport Costs

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

1. What type of vehicle is being shipped?

Bigger vehicles like trucks, SUVs, 4WDs and vans are more expensive to transport than sedans or compacts. Also, modifications to suspension (like being lowered or lifted) or vehicles with oversized tires can also impact the cost of car transport.

Similarly, if you’re considering prestige or luxury vehicle transport, you will most likely want to consider an “enclosed” option which will provide that extra protection during transport.

Basically, the larger the vehicle, the higher the price to transport it.

2. What distance is the Vehicle being Transported?

As you can probably guess, distance plays a major role in the cost to ship your vehicle.

It shouldn’t take a degree in astrophysics to know that transporting a car from Perth to Sydney is likely to cost a lot more than transporting a car from Adelaide to Melbourne.

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

As a guide, the cost for transporting within the same metropolitan area is around $120. For longer distances (i.e. to regional areas or if transporting interstate), the cost can come down to below $0.40 per kilometre.

3. Where is the Vehicle being Shipped From and To?

Is it in a rural, out of the way area or in a major capital city or easily accessed urban town centre?

While not a major factor, if the pickup area or destination points are not on heavily traveled routes or they are in hard to reach areas off the main highways, it can impact the overall vehicle transport cost.

4. Is the Vehicle Transport Door-to-Door or Depot-to-Depot?

Depot-to-Depot is often less expensive than a door-to-door option. Although, if your car is shipped depot-to-depot, there may be vehicle storage fees that accumulate each day the vehicle is kept in the depot yard.

Also, a depot may be several hundred kilometres away from you, which can add travel costs for you to get to the closest depot.

5. What is the Price of Fuel?

Fuel prices seem to be on a roller-coaster lately and vary from region to region. Fortunately, the Carbon Tax has now been removed in Australia following Federal Parliament passing legislation to repeal it from 1 July 2014. However, fuel costs are possibly the biggest variable expense associated with auto transport.

6. Is the Vehicle Operable?

If the vehicle is inoperable or not drivable, it may increase the transport quote if the transport company needs special equipment or a tow truck to get the vehicle on and off the car carrier’s trailer.

Many car transport companies do not transport non-drivable vehicles. It’s important that we tell you this as it avoids that embarrassing situation that could arise were you to book your vehicle in only to discover that our drivers can’t get your car on the truck.

7. How Quickly do you Need to Ship your Car?

Some companies offer quotes for Standard Rates and some offer an express car delivery option.

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

Many car transport company’s standard delivery times range between “same day delivery” and 15 days depending on distance, quarantine inspection checks and sometimes, weather conditions along the way.

8. Tips to Help Save on the Cost of Car Transport

The best way to save money when you ship your car is to compare prices from several car shipping companies. Get multiple interstate auto transport quotes from multiple companies.

Don’t always go with the cheapest quote you find.

There are numerous reasons why going with the cheapest quote is often a bad idea.

Your car is a valuable asset and integral part of your daily life, and finding a reputable company you can trust to transport your vehicle safely and quickly for a reasonable price is an important decision.

Do some research on car transport options, get multiple quotes and see what other people say about the auto transport companies you are considering to transport your vehicle.