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How much does car transport cost?

Car transport cost can sometimes be less expensive than driving a car for the long-haul.

A truck transporting cars across the country. [© Shutterstock, 2010.]
© Shutterstock, 2010.
A truck transporting cars across the country.

Car transport costs can be high, and it's difficult to know which company provides the best car transport service. But soaring gas prices and other expenses associated with cross-country driving, as well as the convenience of dependable shipping, may make auto transport the right option for you. Keep reading to learn how much car transport costs.

Car transport costs vary according to the size and condition of your car, the shipping season and your shipping preferences. For a cross-country transport, expect to pay a minimum of around $1,000, all fees included. This cost will rise quickly if you have time restrictions, prefer a closed carrying container or wish to ship a high-end car. Transit time depends on many factors, including pickup and drop off location, distance, and how many cars are on the carrier, but you can expect a regular cross-country move to take anywhere from one to two weeks. Most car transport Web sites provide free price quotes tailored to your needs, but beware of hidden costs, as these can take a hefty, unexpected toll on your wallet.

Car Transport Insurance

Though car transport costs can seem expensive, they are a small price to pay to have your car arrive safely. To this end, make sure that your car is properly insured for its cross-country jaunt. As mandated by law, reputable auto transport companies include basic insurance in the price of car shipment. This insurance should cover your car for the Blue Book value and protect you in the event of damage or theft. Be sure to verify that your auto transport company has an up-to-date insurance certificate, and make sure you receive written confirmation of your coverage. Your own insurance policy may also cover auto transport, or your insurance company may be able to offer you a short-term policy, so check those options as well.

Exotic Car Transport Costs

If you have an exotic or classic car, you'll want to choose a company that specializes in transporting those types of cars for your car transport needs. Alternatively, you can also choose premium services offered by general auto transport companies to ship your exotic, high-end or classic car. These companies will use closed containers and employ experienced drivers to transport your exotic car. You can expect to pay significantly more than the average transport costs for these services, however. CostHelper.com , for example, estimates that the average cost is anywhere between $800 and $3,000 extra for exotic auto transport. So you can expect to pay a minimum of $1,800 to transport this type of car cross-country.

Choosing a Car Transport Company

To ensure that the car transport company is legitimate and reliable, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recommends that consumers consult the Better Business Bureau, which accredits reputable businesses and provides information about previous complaints and lawsuits. A basic Internet search will also yield many hits, but should you choose to find a car transporter using this method, be sure to check their licensing with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You can confirm the licensing of a car transporter by entering their docket number into the appropriate page of the FMCSA's Web site

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