Shipping Multiple Cars Across Country: A Guide

It’s one thing to ship a single car across the country. It’s another thing to send multiple vehicles thousands of miles to the other side of the country. However, with the proper planning and the right car transport service, shipping multiple cars across the country can be a breeze.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car Across the Country?

The most important factor used in determining the cost of car shipping is the shipping distance. This means that you can expect to pay a lot more to ship a car across the country than to ship a car to a neighboring state.

On average, it costs about $1,590 for a cross-country trip. However, many auto transport companies charge based on the mile. The per-mile charge tends to go down as the distance goes up.

This means that for distances greater than 2,500 miles, you might only have to pay $0.50 per mile instead of $1 per mile for distances less than 500 miles. So what does this mean if you want to ship your car from New York to Los Angeles or vice versa?

The distance between New York and Los Angeles is approximately 2,789 miles. With a rate of $0.50 per mile, you can reasonably expect to pay around $1,400 for this shipment.

However, it’s essential to keep in mind that your exact cost will vary based on many different factors.

Can I Ship Multiple Cars at Once?

Shipping one car at a time may be possible, but what if you want to ship multiple vehicles? For example, say that you’re moving across the country for work and need to transport both you and your spouse’s car.

Or say that you’re purchasing multiple new cars from a dealership that’s located in another state. With the right car shipping service, it’s definitely possible for you to ship multiple cars at once.

Is It More Expensive to Ship Multiple Cars?

It will be more expensive to ship multiple cars since several cars take up more room on a trailer than a single-vehicle. However, you should be able to get a discounted rate if you ship multiple cars with the same auto transport service.

So, instead of doubling the $1,400 it would take to ship one car from New York to Los Angeles for a total of $2,800, you may be able to pay as little as $2,500 based on a 10% discount.

How Much Does Multi-Car Shipping Cost?

The discount offered for multi-car shipping will vary from company to company. Additionally, the overall cost to ship your cars will also vary based on the size of your vehicles, the shipping option you choose, the time of year, and the distance traveled.

How Is Cost Calculated?

When calculating the cost of shipping your vehicles, auto shipping companies take into account these four factors:

  • The size of the vehicles: Smaller vehicles that take up less room on the trailer will cost less to ship. As a result, you can expect to pay less to ship smaller sedans than you would to ship larger vans, trucks, and SUVs. On average, the cost to ship a car is about $1,150, whereas shipping an SUV and a truck is between $1,280 and $1,450. So each time you jump up to the next car size, you can expect to add about $150 to the shipping price.
  • The shipping option: Enclosed car shipping will cost more than open car shipping since enclosed trailers don’t fit as many vehicles. The average cost for open transport is about $1,080, whereas the average price for enclosed transport is $1,500. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay about 30% to 40% more for enclosed transport over open transport.
  • The time of year: The demand for car shipping peaks during the summer, the most popular time to move. And an increase in demand translates into an increase in prices. As a result, you can expect to pay $200 to $300 more for shipping cars during the summer than you would during off-peak times in the spring, fall, and winter.
  • The distance traveled: As you now know, most car shipping companies charge you based on the distance traveled — with shorter distances costing more per mile than longer distances. On average, here’s what you can expect to pay for car shipping based on distance:
    • $780 for trips less than 500 miles
    • $960 for trips between 500 and 1,000 miles
    • $1,290 for trips between 1,000 and 1,500 miles
    • $1,530 for trips between 1,500 and 2,000 miles
    • $1,600 for trips between 2,000 and 2,500 miles
    • $1,590 for trips over 2,500 miles

How Does the Shipping Process Work?

So you’ve decided to ship multiple cars. What do you do now? Here are the five steps to follow to arrange for the shipment of your vehicles:

1. Make Sure to Do Your Research

For starters, you need to research potential car shipping services to ensure they’re qualified and trustworthy. It’s always a good idea to check their registration and insurance information with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) using their online database.

2. Read Company Reviews

Next, you need to read company reviews. Although many companies will post reviews right on their website, it’s also essential to check third-party review sites as well. So check out other sites like Google and Yelp in addition to checking the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for any complaints.

While a couple of negative reviews shouldn’t be too concerning, multiple negative reviews or multiple reviews that all mention the same issue should be a red flag.

Also, be on the lookout for any company responses to these reviews, as this indicates that the company is actively monitoring these reviews and cares about rectifying any customer complaints.

3. Find a Reliable Shipper

Based on the information gathered in steps one and two, you can feel confident about the car shipper you’ve chosen. From there, you can reach out to them for a quote or to find out more information about the shipping services they offer.

4. Read About Insurance Policies

Before you make your final decision, you also need to check the company’s insurance policies to ensure adequate coverage for your vehicles. Companies are required to maintain a certain amount of coverage, but it’s up to you to ensure that this coverage meets your needs.

5. Schedule Your Shipment

Once you’re totally confident about your choice of shipping service and your quote, you can go ahead and schedule your shipment. When doing so, make sure to be as detailed as possible in terms of pickup and drop-off locations, dates, and times. Providing this information now will help guarantee a smooth and timely shipping process for your vehicles.

Will All of My Vehicles Arrive at the Same Time?

In most cases, when you’re shipping multiple vehicles, all of your cars will arrive simultaneously. However, there are instances in which this may not be possible. For example, you’re shipping more vehicles than can fit on a single trailer. Or you added another vehicle to your shipment at the last minute.

Speak to your auto transport service if you’re concerned about getting all of your vehicles simultaneously. Depending on your situation, they may guarantee this delivery option.

Is Multi-Car Transport Better Than Single-Car?

If you’re looking to ship multiple cars, it almost always makes sense to do it all at once rather than shipping one car at a time. For starters, this option will save you money since many car shipping services will offer you a multi-car discount.

This option will also save you time since you won’t have to worry about scheduling multiple pickup and drop-off times. Finally, this option is more efficient since, in most cases, all of your cars will arrive simultaneously so long as they’re put on the same trailer.

Is Multi-Car Transport Safe?

Multi-car transport is a safe and secure transport option. Most car carriers are specially designed to transport multiple cards at once, and all drivers are trained on how to load and secure numerous cars to the same trailer properly.

What If My Cars Get Damaged?

That being said, there’s always a small risk of damage during any method of car transport. The road can be an unpredictable and dangerous place, and although drivers are highly trained, they cannot possibly predict road conditions, weather, and the actions of other drivers.

At the same time, you should know that if your cars do get damaged during transport, they are fully insured and protected by the shipping company. That way, you can quickly get them repaired and back in good working order.

What Do I Need to Do Once My Cars Arrive?

Once your cars arrive, it’s important to follow these three steps to make sure that your cars are in good condition:

Step 1: Inspect Your Cars for Damage

First, you need to inspect your cars for any damage that may have occurred during transport. Damage can occur from things like road debris and harsh weather. Start by checking the exterior of your cars and look for any scratches or dents. Then, check the inside of the cars and look for any rips, tears, stains, or punctures.

Step 2: Document the Condition of Your Cars

Next, you need to document the condition of your cars using photographs and videos. This step is essential even if you didn’t find any issues during your inspection. If you did discover any issues, be sure to thoroughly document these areas with images and video from multiple angles.

Step 3: Work With Your Transportation Company on Any Issues

Finally, you can work with your transportation company on any issues during transport. They will ask you to get a repair estimate from a mechanic in most cases. From there, they will either reimburse you for the cost of the repair or pay for it directly.

How Long Does Multi-Car Shipping Usually Take?

Multi-car shipping is usually quite efficient. However, the delivery time is largely based on the distance traveled. Generally speaking, your carrier should be able to cover about 500 miles a day. Here’s what that translates into for different distances:

  • 1 to 2 days for distances of 100 to 500 miles
  • 2 to 3 days for distances of 500 to 1,000 miles
  • 3 to 4 days for distances of 1,000 to 1,500 miles
  • 4 to 5 days for distances of 1,500 to 2,000 miles
  • 5 to 6 days for distances of 2,000 to 2,500 miles
  • 6 to 7 days for distances of 2,500 to 3,000 miles

Just keep in mind that your car transport service may be more conservative with their estimated shipping time frame. For example, you may be given an expected shipping time frame of 10 days for a cross-country trip.

Does It Take Longer Than Shipping a Single Car?

Multi-car shipping usually shouldn’t take longer than shipping a single car. Shipping multiple cars may actually take less time since drivers have to make fewer stops to pick up additional cars. Drivers also won’t have to wait as long to achieve a full load.

Can Multiple Cars Be Shipped Door-To-Door?

Door-to-door car shipping is an easy and convenient shipping option, especially when you’re shipping multiple vehicles. It would be very challenging for you to arrange transport for multiple vehicles to an auto transport terminal. The good news is that you can avoid this challenge with door-to-door shipping.

With this shipping option, the driver will come to you to pick up your vehicles based on a convenient location. You can choose a location like your work or your home. From there, the driver will load your vehicles onto the trailer all at once before hitting the road.

Can I Still Choose Enclosed Transport for Multiple Cars?

Even though open transport is the most popular method of transport for both single-car and multi-car shipments, it’s still possible for you to choose enclosed transport.

Why Choose Enclosed Transport Over Open Transport?

You may want to consider enclosed transport for your vehicles if they’re particularly valuable. For example, say you’re shipping luxury vehicles from brands like Ferrari, Porsche, Jaguar, Maserati, or Lamborghini or antique cars, enclosed transport is going to offer you more protection for your vehicles compared to open transport.

If you’re shipping “normal” vehicles from common brands like Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Chevrolet, and Ford, on the other hand, you should still consider open transport as a way to save money on your shipping costs.

How Can I Find the Best Deals?

Even though shipping multiple cars may cost more, there are things you can do to get a good deal on your shipping costs. Here are three tips to help you minimize your shipping costs and get a fantastic deal:

Tip 1: Shop Around

It’s always a good idea to shop around with multiple different transportation companies to find the best deal. As a general rule of thumb, you should contact three to five companies for a shipping quote to see who offers you the best rate.

Tip 2: Ask for a Multi-Car Discount

When you’re getting quotes for your multi-car shipment, you should also ask each company about a multi-car discount. Most companies offer this discount. However, some offer a larger discount than others.

So before you make your final decision based on the initial quote, make sure that you’re not leaving any money on the table by asking about potential discounts.

Tip 3: Choose the Right Shipping Options

Another way to minimize your shipping costs is to choose the right shipping options. For example, enclosed transport will cost a lot more than open transport. And door-to-door service might cost a bit more than terminal-to-terminal service.

The Bottom Line

With Carvaygo, you can easily and affordably ship multiple cars from one side of the country to the other. All you need to do is visit our website for a quick quote in just three simple steps.

From there, you can go ahead and book your shipment, at which point we will match you with an experienced driver from our network.

On pickup day, your driver will come to collect your vehicles before eventually dropping them off at your chosen drop-off location. It’s that easy.

Sources:
How Much Does It Cost to Ship A Car? | Move.org
How to Inspect a Used Car | Consumer Reports
Open vs. Enclosed Car Shipping | Retirement Living

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