How to Use a Car Shipping Cost Calculator to Find the Best Rates

Moving to a new location can be an exciting but also expensive endeavor. If you’re considering shipping your car instead of driving it to your new destination, you may wonder about the cost and how to find the best motor freight rates. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the factors that affect motor freight prices and provide you with practical tips on how to use a motor freight cost calculator to find the best rates.


Understanding Motor Freight Costs

Before diving into the details of using a vehicle freight cost calculator, it’s essential to understand the factors that influence motor shipment prices. The following elements play a significant role in determining the cost of shipping your vehicle:


1.    Distance

The distance of your shipping is a crucial factor in determining the cost of car shipment. Generally, longer distances will increase freight costs, while shorter distances will be more affordable. Carriers often charge per mile, so the total distance traveled will impact the final price.


2.    Vehicle Size

The size of your vehicle is another important consideration. Larger vehicles, such as trucks or SUVs, take up more space on the carrier’s trailer, leading to higher freight costs. You can learn more about these vehicles by visiting Conversely, smaller cars, like sedans, are typically more affordable to transport.


3.    Delivery Location

The delivery location plays a role in determining the cost of motor shipment. Door-to-door shipping, where the carrier picks up and delivers your vehicle directly to your desired locations, is the most convenient and expensive option. Choosing terminal-to-terminal shipping, where you drop off and pick up your car at designated terminals, can help you save on costs.


4.    Car Condition

Your car’s condition can influence the cost of shipment. If your car is inoperable or requires special handling, such as winching onto the carrier, the shipment company may charge additional fees.


5.    Transport Type

There are two main types of auto transport carriers: enclosed and open carriers.

Enclosed carriers provide additional protection for luxury or specialty vehicles but come at a higher price. You can visit to learn more about specialty vehicles.

Alternately, open carriers are the most common and inexpensive option for transporting vehicles exposed to the elements.


6.    Time of Year

The time of year can impact motor shipment prices. High-demand seasons, such as summer or holidays, often increase prices due to higher demand for transportation services. If possible, consider scheduling your car shipment during off-peak seasons to save on costs.

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7.    Carrier Competition

Getting quotes from various motor shipment companies allows you to weigh price options and negotiate the best rate. Carriers may be willing to offer lower prices to earn your business, so it’s essential to shop around and take advantage of competition in the industry.


How to Use a Motor Freight Cost Calculator


A freight cost calculator is a valuable tool that can provide an estimated price for shipping your vehicle. Here’s how you can use a car freight cost calculator to find the best rates:


  • Research motor shipment Companies: Start by researching reputable motor shipment companies that offer cost calculators on their websites. Look for companies with positive customer reviews and high ratings from trusted sources like the Better Business Bureau (BBB).


  • Gather Vehicle Information: Before using the cost calculator, gather the necessary information about your vehicle. This includes the make, model, year, and additional details that may affect the shipment cost, such as modifications or special requirements.


  • Enter Pickup and Delivery Details: Provide the pickup and delivery locations for your vehicle. Depending on the car freight cost calculator, you may need to enter specific addresses or zip codes. If you’re open to terminal-to-terminal shipping, indicate your willingness to drop off and pick up your car at designated terminals.


  • Select Transport Type: Choose the transport type that best suits your needs. If you’re looking for a more cost-effective option, opt for open transport. If you have a high-value or delicate vehicle, consider selecting enclosed transport for added protection.


  • Input Additional Details: Some vehicle freight cost calculators may require additional information, such as preferred pickup dates, delivery dates, or any specific requests or concerns you have regarding your shipment. Providing these details helps the calculator give a more accurate estimate.


  • Receive and Compare Quotes: After submitting all the necessary information, the vehicle freight cost calculator will provide an estimated price for shipping your vehicle. Please take note of the quotes you receive and compare them to find the best rates.


  • Consider Other Factors: While the quotes from the vehicle freight cost calculator are helpful, it’s important to consider other factors when choosing a motor shipment company. Look into the company’s reputation, customer reviews, insurance coverage, and any additional services they offer.


  • Contact Companies for Final Quotes: Once you’ve identified a few car shipment companies that offer competitive rates, contact them directly to obtain final quotes. Discuss your specific needs, ask any questions, and ensure that the quoted price includes all relevant fees and insurance coverage.
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  • Make an Informed Decision: Review all the information you’ve gathered, including the quotes, company reputation, and customer reviews. Consider all the important factors to you, such as price, customer service, and insurance coverage, before deciding which motor shipment company to choose.


By following these steps and using a car freight cost calculator, you can find the best rates for shipping your vehicle while ensuring a reliable and reputable service.


Additional Tips for Finding the Best Motor Shipment Rates

While using a car freight cost calculator is an excellent starting point, there are additional tips you can follow to secure the best rates:


1. Plan Proactively: Advance car shipment bookings allow you to take advantage of lower prices and better availability. Last-minute bookings may result in higher costs and limited carrier options.


2. Be Flexible: If possible, be flexible with your pickup and delivery dates. Carriers may offer rate discounts for more flexible scheduling, especially during off-peak seasons.


3. Consider Terminal-to-Terminal Shipping: Choosing terminal-to-terminal shipping instead of door-to-door can help you save on costs. Click here to learn more about their differences. Dropping off and picking up your vehicle at designated terminals eliminates the need for carriers to navigate residential areas and can result in lower prices.


4. Research Discounts and Special Offers: Some car freight companies offer discounts for specific groups, such as military personnel, students, or seniors. Additionally, shipping multiple vehicles or being a return customer may qualify you for special rates. Research these options and inquire with the companies directly to take advantage of any available discounts.


5. Read Customer Reviews: Before finalizing your decision, read customer reviews and testimonials about the motor shipping companies you’re considering. Websites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and online review platforms can provide valuable insights into the company’s reputation and the experiences of past customers.


Remember, the goal is to balance cost and quality when shipping your vehicle. While affordability is essential, it’s equally important to choose a reliable and reputable motor shipping company that prioritizes the safety and security of your vehicle.



Shipping your car to a new location can be convenient and cost-effective. By utilizing a car shipping cost calculator and following the tips provided in this guide, you can find the best rates for shipping your vehicle. Consider factors such as distance, vehicle size, delivery location, transport type, and time of year when estimating the cost of motor shipping.


Additionally, take the time to research motor shipping companies, read customer reviews, and gather multiple quotes to make an informed decision. With careful planning and consideration, you can ensure a smooth and affordable car shipping experience.