Content on Jalopnik Advisor is commercial in nature and independent of Jalopnik Editorial and Advertising. Jalopnik Advisor content is free to consumers and always will be, however we and our partners may be compensated if you purchase a product or service through the links on this website.

Cars carrier truck at the highway asphalt road. Truck transporter

Car Shipping Calculator: Free Instant Quotes

Car shipping calculators can provide you with a free instant auto transport estimate online and are offered through many reputable car carrier websites.

From our #1 rated provider,


02/07/2024 11:46 PM

When you’re looking to ship your car long-distance, free car shipping calculators are great tools for gathering quotes from various auto transport companies. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what a car shipping calculator is and which factors affect your car shipping costs. We’ll also show you some of the best car shipping companies offering free online estimates with car shipping calculators.

The Gist:

  • Car shipping calculators are invaluable tools that can take the hassle out of gathering multiple quotes from reputable auto shipping companies.
  • Your final car shipping price may differ from your instant quote due to a variety of factors such as gas prices or the time of year. 
  • We recommend starting online with free car shipping calculators from Montway Auto Transport, Sherpa Auto Transport, and SGT Auto Transport. 

What Is A Car Shipping Calculator?

A car shipping calculator is a free online tool that generates an estimate of how much it’ll cost to ship your vehicle. Most reputable car hauling companies offer some form of an online car shipping calculator. However, some services are quicker than others.

Some car shipping calculators will provide you with an instant quote. Others require your contact information so that a customer service representative can follow up with you and provide a car shipping quote.

How To Calculate Car Shipping Costs

To calculate how much it’ll likely cost to ship your car, you’ll enter some basic information about your vehicle and shipping needs before getting a free quote through a car shipping calculator. Some companies ask for more information than others. The details you may need include:

  • Preferred vehicle transport type
  • Pickup and dropoff locations
  • Your name, email address, and phone number
  • Your vehicle’s make, model, age, and operability
  • Preferred vehicle shipment dates

Keep in mind an estimate from a car shipping calculator may not be your locked-in price. You could pay more or less than the car transport quote–unless the company specifies it’s a firm price. The final costs of car shipping services often depend on a variety of factors, which we’ll cover later in this article.

Car Shipping Estimates

Our expert team spent countless hours researching vehicle shipping costs to better understand what consumers pay to ship their cars. We requested auto transport quotes for door-to-door services from the top three car carriers identified in our industry-wide review. 

Below, see the estimates we gathered from our secret shopping endeavors. These quotes applied to 2018 Hyundai Elantra in good working condition. Keep in mind that your quotes will be different.

Open Car Transport Estimates

We found that the average cost to ship your car approximately 1,500 miles using open car transport services is $1,608.50 total. Open car carrier transport typically costs less than shipping your vehicle in an enclosed trailer. See the table below for open transport quotes gathered from three of our top-ranking providers.

Transport CompanyCar Shipping Estimate
Montway Auto Transport$1,359.00
Sherpa Auto TransportN/A
SGT Auto Transport$1,858.00

Enclosed Auto Transport Estimates

If you own a classic car or luxury vehicle, you may want it shipped in an enclosed carrier for added protection. This type of transport costs more. 

Using the estimate option for enclosed trailer transport services, we found that the average cost to ship your car approximately 1,500 miles is $2,183.50. See the table below for quotes generated with three of our top-ranking enclosed auto transport providers.

Transport CompanyCar Shipping Estimate
Montway Auto Transport$1,699.00
Sherpa Auto TransportN/A
SGT Auto Transport$2,668.00

How Do Car Shipping Cost Calculators Work?

Car shipping calculators provide a quote based on the information you provide and the transport company’s equation for pricing routes and shipments. While these online tools are handy, shipping calculators may not take into account all factors that influence your cost.

Contacting customer service can help you get a quote that’s closer to your final price, as the representative can consider cost factors that the calculator may not. With this in mind, car shipping calculators are a great way to initially price out the cost of shipping from multiple providers. 

Factors That Influence Car Shipping Costs

Many factors influence car transport rates. Carriers and car shipping calculators take into account these details and more: 

  • Type of vehicle: Shipping a large vehicle, such as an SUV or truck, costs more.
  • Transport type: The cheapest way to ship your car is via an open carrier. Enclosed shipping trailers cost more because the method offers more protection for your car. 
  • Time of year: Auto transport services are in higher demand during the summer and in January, which drives up your cost. 
  • Cost of fuel: Haulers facing higher fuel costs will likely mean you face a higher car shipping rate.
  • Shipping distance: The farther you ship your car, the cheaper the price per mile will be. However, the total bill is, naturally, more for longer distances or cross-country car shipping.
  • Delivery locations: Car shipments to or from a rural location will cost you more than drop-off and pickup in an urban location. Additionally, using a main shipping terminal is cheaper than door-to-door car shipping services.
  • Vehicle condition: A fully operable vehicle is cheaper to ship. If your vehicle can’t be driven, it will need to be forklifted or winched onto the transport carrier trailer. This brings extra fees that increase your car shipping cost.

Car Shipping Calculator: Our Take

Car shipping calculators will save you time while gathering quotes from various auto shipping companies. However, the upfront quote is usually only an estimate of your final car shipping price.

Best Auto Shipping Companies With Car Shipping Calculators

If you’re looking for the best car shipping companies that offer free quotes, we suggest Montway Auto Transport, Sherpa Auto Transport, and SGT Auto Transport. All three scored highly in our comprehensive review that considers the reputation, price, services, and customer experience of each vehicle shipping company. 

Montway Auto Transport: Best Reputation

Our review found Montway Auto Transport as the Best Reputation car shipper. It works with over 30,000 carriers across the U.S. and ships in all 50 states. While all of its shippers are fully insured, Montway provides an additional $250,000 of insurance coverage in the event your trucker’s policy doesn’t fully cover a claim.

You’ll find door-to-door delivery services, expedited shipping, and more with Montway. In addition, the company allows you to ship your car with up to 100 pounds of personal belongings inside, which is rare in the auto transport industry. You can use the Montway Auto Transport website calculator any time to get a car shipping quote online

Read more in our Montway Auto Transport review.

Montway Auto Transport Best Reputation
BBB Rating : A+ Phone : 844-601-0286 Coverage : 50 states
Pros & Cons
Pros Strong reputation, customer satisfaction, and industry ratings Carrier vetting Large network of 30,000+ carriers Offers expedited delivery Competitive pricing Cons No real-time tracking or mobile-app; must contact company for tracking info No guaranteed pricing $249 cancellation fee No specialty shipping services for recreational vehicles (RVs), boats, trailers, or other watercraft Intrusive Pop-up Ads

Montway Auto Transport is a reputable auto transport broker offering several car shipping services and cheap car shipping rates. We named it the Best Reputation car shipping company for 2024.

Sherpa Auto Transport

Sherpa Auto Transport offers a Price Lock Promise, which means the initial rate you’re quoted won’t go up mid-shipment and you won’t see any hidden fees tacked on to your car transport costs. It offers open and enclosed shipping services throughout the 49 contiguous U.S. states and provides customers with 24/7 real-time tracking during transport.

Sherpa’s online car shipping calculator provides you with a cost estimate in under two minutes. All you’ll need to provide is your transport route, earliest pickup date, vehicle information, type of transport you’d like, and a few personal details. You can book entirely online if you choose.

Read more in our Sherpa Auto Transport review.

Sherpa Auto Transport
BBB Rating : A+ Phone : 888-202-7706 Coverage : 49 states
Pros & Cons
Pros Locked-in shipping rates through the Price Lock Promise Vetted network of reliable and friendly carriers Strong customer service ratings on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Offers a Clean Car Guarantee Cons Slightly higher prices than competitors Does not provide terminal-to-terminal shipping

Sherpa Auto Transport has many strengths, from excellent customer service to the added security of the Price Lock Promise.

SGT Auto Transport: Best Price-Match Guarantee

SGT Auto Transport earned the superlative of Best Price-Match Guarantee. This means that if you get a lower written quote from one of SGT’s competitors, it will match that price. In addition, we appreciate how this provider allows free cancellation if your vehicle isn’t picked up on the agreed-upon date.

You can receive a car shipping price for both open and enclosed auto transport via SGT’s car shipping calculator quote tool. Shipping is available in every U.S. state except Alaska.

Learn more in our SGT Auto Transport review.

SGT Auto Transport Best Price-Match Guarantee
BBB Rating : B Phone : 864-635-4879 Coverage : 49 states
Pros & Cons
Pros Available in 49 states Offers price matching Has an option for a guaranteed pickup date Cons Doesn’t offer real-time tracking No terminal-to-terminal shipping option

We give SGT Auto Transport an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. This shipping broker has an outstanding reputation and offers affordable options for car transport services. Price matching, express shipping, and guaranteed pickups are other great features of SGT Auto Transport.

Car Shipping Calculator: FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions about shipping a car:

What is the cost of car shipping?

The cost of car shipping depends on factors such as your type of vehicle, transport type, shipping distance, delivery locations, and more. The best way to find out how much it’ll cost you to ship your car is to gather free quotes from reputable providers.

How is car shipping calculated?

Car shipping calculators typically use an equation that uses the information you provide to calculate a quote. However, these calculators may not take into account all of the factors that can affect car shipping, so the price you’re quoted may not be your final cost.

Is auto shipping expensive?

The cost of auto shipping depends on your vehicle and unique shipping needs. For instance, shipping cross-country from New York to Los Angeles is pricier than shipping a few states over. Or, if you choose enclosed shipping vs. open shipping, you’ll end up paying more in total costs.

How We Rate Auto Shippers

Our review process aims to deliver consistent and unbiased assessments of car shipping companies. While multiple qualities make an auto transport provider successful, our review team focuses on those we believe are the most important for consumers:

  • Cost: Cost can be difficult to compare between providers because so many factors impact auto shipping rates. To determine our cost score, we perform a secret shopper analysis for a variety of vehicles and routes.
  • Services: Our team of experts looks at the types of services available, as well as insurance coverage and the ability to guarantee pickup and drop-off dates. Ratings also take into account whether the transport company is a broker or a carrier.
  • Reputation: A car shipping provider must be able to deliver your vehicle in a safe and timely manner. Companies with a strong rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) score well in this category. Established providers with a long history of reliable service also receive positive marks.
  • Customer Experience: We comb through consumer reviews on sites like the BBB to learn about customer experiences. Car transport companies with a low volume of complaints score well in this area.

*Data accurate at time of publication.