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Motorcycle Shipping Cost: Pricing Breakdown (2024)

Motorcycle shipping is often cheaper than car shipping. However, most companies use enclosed transport, which is pricier than open trailer shipping.

From our #1 rated provider,


03/23/2024 06:51 PM

Whether you’re shipping from California to Florida or somewhere in between, motorcycle shipping costs are typically less than you’d pay to ship a car. However, these rates can still fluctuate. In this article, we’ll provide you with motorcycle shipping cost estimates, tips on how to lower the price, and a breakdown of how motorcycle shipping works. 

In addition, we’ll offer recommendations on the best vehicle shipping companies in the industry, offering peace of mind as you ship your bike.

The Gist:

  • Motorcycle shipping costs vary based on factors such as distance, type of transport, fuel costs, and more.
  • You can save money on motorcycle shipping by being flexible, booking your transport in advance, opting for open trailer shipping, and gathering quotes from multiple companies.
  • The best motorcycle shipping companies are Montway Auto Transport, SGT Auto Transport, AmeriFreight, and uShip.

How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Motorcycle?

Motorcycle shipping costs will typically be less than rates you’ll find to ship a car. We found general cost estimates from Montway Auto Transport, one of the top-ranking motorcycle shipping companies in our industry-wide review. The data will help you better understand the potential cost of shipping your bike. 

Motorcycle Shipping Cost By Distance

These Montway Auto Transport estimates use popular shipping routes. See the table below for cost estimates:

Shipping RouteDoor-to-Door Service
Distribution Center
Los Angeles to New York$859$799
New York to Chicago$679$579
Chicago to Miami$779$629
Miami to Dallas$779$629
Dallas to Boston$859$655
Boston to Seattle$959$705
Seattle to Los Angeles$779$629

How To Lower Motorcycle Shipping Costs

If you’re worried about overpaying for motorcycle shipping services, there are ways to ensure you get the best possible price. Here are our top tips for locking in the best deal on your motorcycle shipment.

Be Flexible With Your Shipping Dates

Being flexible with your pickup and delivery dates means working within a timeframe that may be best for the shipping company. If you’re willing to be without your motorcycle for a few more days than initially expected, this could save you money. 

Book Your Transport In Advance

Plan as far in advance as possible. This gives the motorcycle transport carrier plenty of time to line up your shipping job and will give you the best shot at a low shipping rate. Rushing your shipment may incur an expediting fee, which increases costs.

Choose Open Auto Transport

Enclosed auto transport is usually the go-to for motorcycle shipping companies, as it provides the highest level of protection for your bike between locations. While it may be harder to find, there are reputable shipping companies that offer open carrier transport services for motorbikes. However, make sure you’re comfortable with trading a high level of protection for a lower rate before committing to open transport services.

Gather Multiple Quotes

No two motorcycle transport companies are the same–that’s why it’s imperative to gather quotes from multiple providers. This will help ensure you’re getting the services you need at a price you’re comfortable with.

What Factors Affect The Average Cost Of Motorcycle Shipping?

Motorcycle shipping providers typically take into account the following factors when calculating vehicle shipping costs for your bike:

  • Time of year: Demand for vehicle shipping is highest in the summer and in January. If you need to ship your motorcycle during this time, you’ll likely pay more.
  • Transport type: Enclosed shipping in a transport trailer is the safest way to ship your motorcycle. However, if you want to cut costs, open trailer transport is your best bet.
  • Motorcycle condition: If your motorcycle is inoperable, it may need to be forklifted or winched onto the transport trailer. This will likely increase your total shipping costs.
  • Pickup and drop-off locations: If you prefer saving money over the convenience of delivery to your address, terminal-to-terminal shipments will cost you less than door-to-door services.
  • Fuel prices: If fuel prices are high, expect your motorcycle shipping quote to reflect this.
  • Type of motorcycle: Shipping a vintage Harley-Davidson, for example, will likely mean paying higher transport costs than for an average bike.
  • Shipping distance: If you need long-distance or cross-country motorcycle shipping, you’ll pay more overall despite the price per mile being lower than short-distance transport.
A visual list of items that affect car shipping prices.

How To Ship A Motorcycle

Shipping your motorcycle might seem like a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve outlined the shipping process steps below to help you get started: 

1. Choose A Type Of Transport

Depending on your carrier, you can pick between open trailer transport or enclosed transport. Shipping your bike in an enclosed trailer offers more protection. If you’re looking to save money, shipping via an open trailer will cost less. But keep in mind your motorcycle is at a higher risk of damage from road debris or other hazards with open trailer shipment.

2. Gather Quotes From Motorcycle Shippers

After choosing your preferred transport method, it’s time to gather free quotes from motorcycle shippers. We suggest comparing quotes from multiple sources so that you’re better equipped to choose the best provider at the best shipping cost.

Research any shipping company before you pay. Vehicle haulers, movers, and brokers must be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In addition, auto transport carriers hauling vehicles across state lines are required to be licensed under the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The federal government maintains a public database where you can search reputable vehicle carriers by license.  

If you find a car shipper without a federal ID number and license, you might want to think twice. Reading customer reviews from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot will also help you gauge a company’s reputation.

3. Prepare Your Motorcycle And Drop It Off

Once you’ve chosen a shipping company and booked your transport, it’s time to prepare your bike for the journey ahead. Some tips to prep your motorcycle include:

  • Remove all personal belongings
  • Wash your motorcycle
  • Charge the battery
  • Leave the gas tank less than three-fourths full
  • Unlock your steering column

When you meet your carrier at drop-off, take pictures of your motorcycle’s condition before it’s loaded for transport. These photos are needed if your bike is damaged during shipping and you file an insurance claim. You’ll then sign the bill of lading–a shipping receipt–and your motorcycle will be loaded into an enclosed trailer or open carrier.

4. Pick Up Your Bike 

If your transport company offers GPS tracking, you can keep an eye on your bike as it makes its way to its destination. Unexpected delays due to severe weather, heavy traffic, or other circumstances might delay arrival. Before delivery, your carrier will contact you with a time window for pickup.

Meet your carrier for pickup at the predetermined location and inspect your motorcycle for damage. You’ll then sign the bill of lading again to confirm delivery.

Motorcycle Shipping Cost: Our Take

Motorcycle shipping is typically cheaper than shipping a car. However, factors such as your motorcycle size and condition, the type of transport you choose, shipping distance, and more influence your total cost. The best way to determine what shipping your motorcycle will cost you is to get free instant quotes from more than one reputable broker or carrier. 

Best Motorcycle Shipping Companies

We’ve spent countless hours researching dozens of providers in the motorcycle and car shipping industry. We’ve ranked each based on reputation, price, services, and customer experiences. If you’re not sure which company to start gathering quotes from, we recommend Montway Auto Transport, SGT Auto Transport, AmeriFreight, and uShip. 

Montway Auto Transport: Best Reputation

Montway Auto Transport earned the award of Best Reputation from our review team. This shipping broker holds an A+ rating and accreditation from the BBB in addition to a high customer satisfaction rating across various online platforms.

Montway offers door-to-door shipping or delivery to distribution centers. In addition, you may ship a sidecar with your motorcycle for an additional surcharge. Montway only offers enclosed motorcycle transport services for maximum protection of your motorcycle or motorbike.

Read more: 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.

SGT Auto Transport: Best Price-Match Guarantee

We appreciate that SGT Auto Transport provides a price-matching guarantee for motorcycle shipping services. This means that if you get a lower written quote from one of SGT’s direct competitors, it will match that price. The company currently holds a B rating and accreditation with the BBB.

Shipping your motorcycle with SGT isn’t much different from shipping a car or SUV. You can even ship your sidecar with your motorcycle if you’re willing to pay an additional charge. Like Montway Auto Transport, this provider only offers enclosed transport for motorcycles.

Read more: 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.

AmeriFreight: Best Shipping Service Options

AmeriFreight has been in the auto transport business for nearly 20 years and offers motorcycle shipping services in all 50 states. We appreciate AmeriFreight’s Total Assurance plan, which offers optional gap coverage for potential damages that your carrier’s insurance policy may not cover. AmeriFreight holds an A+ rating with the BBB and was first accredited in 2008.

The broker arranges open transport as well as enclosed carrier shipping for motorcycles, which is great for those looking to lower costs. Keep in mind that AmeriFreight only provides door-to-door shipping.

Read more: AmeriFreight Review

AmeriFreight Best for Discounts
BBB Rating : A+ Phone : 855-460-6609 Coverage : 50 states
Pros & Cons
Pros Affordable rates and several discount opportunities available Thorough carrier vetting process Excellent reviews on BBB; A+ rating and accreditation Offers a guaranteed price option Delivers coast to coast Cons No real-time GPS tracking or mobile app Charges extra for insurance No locked-in rates No international shipping

AmeriFreight is a leading car shipping broker that partners with over 10,000 car carriers to deliver a wide range of auto transport services. The company also works with government agencies, vehicle manufacturers, and retailers to deliver outsourced logistics services and shipping on a large scale.

uShip: Best Shipping Marketplace

If you’re gathering competitive quotes for motorcycle shipments, it’s worth considering uShip. It has an A+ rating and is BBB-accredited as an online shipping marketplace, which makes it easy for you to compare quotes from multiple carriers. With uShip, you’ll have more choices when shipping your motorcycle.

However, if you book from a shipping marketplace, you’ll need to vet transport carriers yourself, as you don’t have a broker taking care of that for you. If this step sounds like a hassle, then uShip may not be the best choice for you.

Read more: uShip Review

uShip Best Shipping Marketplace
BBB Rating : A+ Coverage : 50 states
Pros & Cons
Pros Offers complimentary vehicle tracking Affordable rates and pricing control Available in 50 states Provides a “Ship with Confidence” guarantee Extra insurance Cons No carrier or broker vetting process Customer service review below average Instant quotes may be more pricy than final rate (no guaranteed quotes). Not a direct shipping provider

Because of this marketplace structure, uShip is less accountable than brokers because its contracts aren’t standardized across carriers and the company doesn’t vet drivers’ backgrounds or insurance status. For marketplace listings, we recommend reviewing all shipment details, and vetting carriers for customer ratings and insurance status.

Cost To Ship A Motorcycle: FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions concerning the cost of shipping a motorcycle:

What is the cheapest way to ship a motorcycle?

The cheapest way to ship a motorcycle is by an open-air auto trailer. However, this type of motorcycle shipping isn’t offered by many carriers, as most only ship motorbikes using an enclosed trailer.

How much would it cost to ship a motorcycle 1,500 miles?

Shipping a motorcycle in the U.S. in the range of 1,500 to 2,399 miles costs an average of $859 for door-to-door transport and $655 for terminal-to-terminal shipments, according to data from Montway AutoTransport. 

What are the cheapest motorcycle shipping companies?

Montway Auto Transport, SGT Auto Transport, AmeriFreight, and uShip all scored highly in our industry-wide review, which includes cost as a rating factor. We recommend getting quotes from all of these providers to find the cheapest price for your motorcycle shipment.

How We Rate Motorcycle Shippers

Our review process aims to deliver consistent and unbiased assessments of motorcycle shipping companies. While multiple qualities make a vehicle 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 motorcycle 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 motorcycle 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. Motorcycle transport companies with a low volume of complaints score well in this area.

*Data accurate at time of publication.