There are many ways to ship your car domestically and internationally. The question is, what’s the most effective and efficient way to do it? Understandably, most people will pick the most affordable car shipping companies, but are they the best choice? Is there an affordable car shipping company that can deliver high-quality service, too?

The answer is yes, many car carrier services companies can offer shipping services at a reasonable price. The reason for this is the high competition in the industry. With so many companies offering the same high-quality service, traditional auto transport businesses cannot help but offer their services at a lower cost than before. The competition in the industry levelled the playing field and forced all auto transport companies to be more considerate and fairer in their pricing.

Transporting Vehicles by Yourself

There is no better method to transport vehicles than drive the car yourself. You can turn this into an adventure by planning a road trip, where you can make multiple stops to visit family and friends and see new sights. In fact, you can choose off-road sights to see more of the country. Travelling via interior roads will treat you to different cultures, traditions, and ways of living.

Inviting your family and friends to join the trip sounds fun, but if you want to maximize the fuel cost of transporting your vehicle to your new home, you might as well pack the car with your belongings. This way, you’re not only moving the car itself but also some personal items that you cannot let professional movers handle.

Is this method cost-effective? Yes, definitely. It will also give you a slideshow of your country’s landscapes. However, it is not time efficient. Depending on how many miles you need to drive, you might spend three or more days travelling. If you’re making stops along the way, your travel time can stretch up to a week.

Car Carrier

Car Carrier

The most popular and effective way of transporting your vehicle is via car carrier. These are trucks with an open or closed trailer at the back. Sometimes, they put another carrier on top of the first one to transport more cars. One open carrier can store five vehicles or less. Enclosed carriers will probably have less.

An open car carrier is the most affordable option for car owners who need to transport their vehicles from one state to another. The average heavy hauling rate on a per-mile basis depends on the length of the journey, the type of vehicle, and the time of year. It is the same method used by dealerships worldwide to bring cars to cities and provinces. You don’t have to wait long because car carriers get filled up quickly, so they stick with the schedule.

It takes days before the car will reach you, as the carrier will make several stops along the way. It will need to drop off some of the vehicles, which will take time. However, the cost of transporting via car carrier is way below than shipping it by other means, particularly by air.

Roll-on/Roll-off Shipping (RoRo)

car shipping

RoRo shipping is when cars are driven onto a boat and transported from place to place. The cars get transferred by rolling them on one boat and rolling off from another. This is where the term RoRo came from. It is the most affordable and convenient technique for those trying out international car shipping for the first time. Those who need to transport their cars domestically use this method, too.

However, RoRo is not the safest choice, especially for high-end luxury cars. Since it has to be rolled on and off the boats, someone else will drive it. That’s usually a risk that car owners don’t want to take.

Shipping Containers

You can even buy or rent private shipping containers.

shipping container

While shipping containers are more expensive than driving the car yourself or paying for RoRo shipping, it is, without a doubt, the most practical choice. It is not as expensive as air freight, but it is as effective in transporting vehicles. It is not as fast as sending the vehicles by air, but it is relatively fast considering the conditions. Shipping containers are safe, too. You share the expenses with other people, making it more affordable than other auto transport methods.

Owners of classic and luxury cars use this method because it provides safety that RoRo cannot. The vehicles are stored inside an enclosed container. They are hooked to the flooring, so they won’t move and bump against each other during the journey. Car owners usually have positive reviews about their experiences with shipping containers because they receive their cars in the same states they left them in.

What Affects Car Shipping Costs?

The cost of shipping your car depends on many factors, such as:

  • Distance between ports
  • Route popularity
  • Vehicle type
  • Transport company
  • Shipping method
  • Additional charges, fees, and taxes

Shipping your car from popular ports like New York, Los Angeles, or Miami will save you on transportation costs. Since ships and containers pass by these routes, the cost of shipping the car will be divided among different clients.


Moving is often an overwhelming process. Couple that with the need to find a good car shipping company, and it’s a disaster waiting to happen. But remember that there’s no need to stress over transporting your car because many companies now offer high-quality service at a fair price. All you need to do is find time to research and get to know the company before availing of its services.