What does it Really Cost to Ship a Car?

Cost to Ship a Car

So you found a car or truck you want to buy on Craigslist or Ebay Motors. Maybe you’re moving to another city or state. For whatever reason, you start Googling “car shipping” and discover that there are loads of options for companies that will provide this service. All good, right?

In less than ten minutes, however, you’re downright confused. Quotes for the cost to ship are varying by hundreds of dollars…how is that possible? What are you even paying for? Are these companies even legitimate? Let’s check out what it really costs to ship a car – and which companies you should rely on – by diving into those quotes.

Why did I submit my information and immediately get 10 phone calls?

Ahh, be careful of submitting your information to an “immediate online quote” portal. If you can’t research a company’s credentials, be very wary. A landing page that only asks for your information is one sign of a lead generator. They’ll take your information and offer it to hundreds of companies on the back end, all of which will start calling/emailing you nonstop. If you want to get a lot of options to research you can go this route but be sure to vet the companies before you decide. We never resell or share your information at Crestline. You’ll get one quote from one company!

What’s included in a “quote”?

This is a tough one. Be sure to read the fine print and know that you can’t always rely 100% on an immediate online quote. Look for words like “customized” or “personalized” when you’re gathering rates. These words are indicators that the transport company has taken time to review your request and has submitted a realistic quote rather than an immediate auto-generated quote from a computer. A customized quote that is generated depends on these things: the distance of your route, type, size and condition of your vehicle, and the requested shipping and delivery dates. The cost to ship a heavy duty pickup tuck from Dallas TX to Houston TX during the winter holiday season will be different from the cost to ship a Honda Accord the same route during the middle of March.

What does it Really Cost to Ship a Car?

How do you know if you’re getting a good deal?

If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Ask the company to explain how they expect to complete the transport at such a low cost. Chances are, they can’t explain it and they won’t want your business. Also, be careful of car shipping companies that ask for a deposit fee up front. In fact, never pay a deposit! Is not an industry-standard practice. Sad to say, we’ve heard too many customer testimonials about how these companies disappear once they’ve taken your money, or, if they do stick around, they add charges and then explain that it will cost more than they expected to ship your vehicle.

Local Company vs. Out of State

Many customers like to deal with “local” companies for their auto transport. It’s a sense of reassurance that (1) the company exists and is accessible to them and (2) they should have more accurate rates because of where they are located. Many Texas-based customers choose Crestline Auto Transport to move their vehicles for these reasons, and these moves either originate or end in the Texas market. And, if a customer chooses an out of state company, it’s because they did their research on them and verified their credibility (BBB, reviews, website, etc.) One isn’t necessarily better than the other and the caution is the same: do your research!

What’s the difference between using an Auto Transport broker and going directly to a carrier?

Car Shipping brokers, like Crestline Auto Transport, are successful in providing a good service experience for two reasons. They have access to many carrier partners and they provide best-in-class customer service. With carriers, you’ll get a quote that may be more of an estimate with surcharges to be added later, and a longer shipping estimate since your vehicle will probably be delivered to a terminal instead of your driveway. Auto Transport brokers will usually quote the price you actually pay, for the door-to-door service most customers require.


With Crestline, you won’t have to worry about any hidden fees in your car shipping quote. Get reliable service from an experienced auto transport broker today!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.