The Cheapest Way To Ship A Car

So, you are moving, ready or not. The day is fast approaching. You have saved up for the closing costs or first and last month’s rent. You have been diligent in researching start-up costs for all utilities. A moving truck has been secured and deposit paid. Boxes and tape are purchased, although you keep seeming to need more! The pets are taken care of and a budget for the trip is set aside.

But your wallet is growing thin and you have two cars to get to the new home.

Moving can be a great burden on your financial plan and there are hidden costs at every turn. Auto shipping should be one of the fairly straight forward expenses… but is it, really?

Now, you have the added task of researching auto transport companies. Car shipping has many options, you will discover. Beyond that, you need the cheapest way…

Let the friendly and knowledgeable representatives at Tiger Auto Transport break down the costs and process of shipping your vehicle in this “choice by choice” guide. It will help you choose whether to ship by Terminal, Door-to-Door, Rail, or DIY.

Then, once you have thought about those choices and made a few additional decisions, click on our Free Quote Calculator button for your instant quote. This way you’ll know exactly what to budget for this crucial portion of your move.


Simply stated, the cheapest way to ship your vehicle is via Terminal to Terminal Transport. If your number one concern is cutting the budget, then it is the way to go. But, it is not quite that easy. Take a look at the cost comparison below…

 $ Most major cities have a terminal your car can easily be picked up from and dropped off at.

-$ Smaller cities may not offer a terminal, which leads to you having to locate a larger city near you, and possibly add a drive to your list of tasks to complete. This may end up costing you more in the end.

 $ The flexibility in the schedule provided to the driver leads to cost savings to you.

-$ Terminal car transport often leads to longer and uncertain pickup times.

 $ It is less expensive than Door-to-Door because the car carriers stick to major interstates. Fewer urban route deviations lower your cost.

-$ Your vehicle will be left at the terminal, meaning you will need to drive to pick it up. This will cost you gas and time which should be figured into your overall cost.

Terminal-to-Terminal is a hassle-free way to ship if you would benefit from choosing the exact date for your drop off and pick up whatever day you choose after the drop-off. The Terminal will have a storage fee of $15-$35 per day the vehicle is on the lot.

Keep in mind, the car will be sitting in a secure outside lot before pickup awaiting the truck to be a full load. And it will again be in the lot after the drop-off, exposed to the elements until the day you are available to retrieve it. So, if that is a concern, it may not be an option for you to consider.

Interested in Terminal-to-Terminal shipping? Here is an average cost comparison. Remember, there are always caveats altering the estimates. Your best bet is to access our easy and free Quote Calculator.

Door-to-Door Open Transport

Door-to-door open transport is a great option for anyone wanting shipping service right to their home. The service you receive is the most personal of the transport types. Other benefits include no long drives, no stress or worry, leaving you with more time. Everyone can use more time! Door-to-door shipping accomplishes just that.

Other benefits include:

  • Your car arrives when you need it on the scheduled date
  • Simply walk out the door to meet the shipper, eliminating travel and wait times.
  • Meeting the shipper face to face, you will know just who oversees your delivery.
  • The inspection is completed on both ends of the trip right in your driveway.
  • At delivery and after inspection, sign the Bill of Lading on the spot, and you are done.

Open transport is the cheapest truck option for shipping your car. Open auto transport carriers have up to 10 cars on each truck with one professional driver. There are plenty of carriers available,making shipping quicker and more affordable. It is also the most commonly chosen option.

 That said, if you need to ship a collectible, brand new, or exotic car, you may want to invest in an enclosed transport. True, it costs a bit more, but your valuable car will be protected from the elements. If that is a concern for you personally, opt for enclosed transport.

 Here an extremely basic and average cost comparison taking into consideration type of car and all the factors deciding car shipping costs…

For a 4-door sedan, plan to find prices between $400 and $2,000.

For a minivan, pickup, or SUV, plan to spend between $475 and $2,250.

Affordability is on the front of everyone’s mind these days, however, be sure to research the shipping companies out there. Check these major points before choosing a company solely on price…

1.     Are they Licensed?

2.     Are they open 7 days a week?

3.     Do they have a reputation for being good communicators along the trip?

4.     Do they offer varied quotes with all the types in consideration?

5. What kind of insurance policy do they carry?

Tiger Auto Transport has all those qualifications and more!

No other auto transport service offers the level of personal care found in the TouchPoint Team. A member of the team will be appointed to you and your vehicle. Providing a friendly, peaceful, and efficient transport is their entire goal. That is why when you choose Tiger Auto Transport, you are sure to receive the Ultimate Travel Experience

Auto Transport by Rail

Have you thought about shipping by rail? It is becoming a more and more popular way to move vehicles. If you are willing to drive to a station, drop off your car, and pick it up at the delivery station, this may be a cost-effective way for you. By rail, you can even fill your car with boxes and other items, which may save you even more money in the end.

The good news is that it is cheap and most major cities still have a train station. The bad news is many rail services will not serve you if you are shipping only one or two cars. They do most of their business by filling up the trains with large automotive companies.

Open versus enclosed transport is a factor for trains as well as trucks. The considerations are the same. Open is cheaper but exposes your vehicle to the elements. Enclosed keeps your car safe from bugs, dirt, and debris but will cost you more.

Also consider, if you are in a hurry, auto transport by truck is generally quicker. By rail, transport can take two weeks or more. It all depends on the distance between pickup and delivery and how soon they can load the rail car. 

The price range is maxed at around $1,000 for a standard car and just over that around $1,100 for an SUV. Keep in mind, the overall cost will depend on the rail line you choose, whether you decide on open or enclosed transport, the distance your car will be traveling and the location of the terminal.

Drive it Yourself/Hire a Driver

Lastly, have you thought about driving it yourself or hiring a driver? Is a road trip just what you were needing right about now? Well, there is a lot to cover if this is your choice. To begin with…

  1. Do you have a truck and hitch to pull a rental dolly or trailer? If not, you may also need research the best price on a rent a truck. 
  2. Perhaps you are not moving but have finally found a great deal on that car you’ve always wanted. Maybe you get a plane ticket to fly to the pickup point and drive it home if you are purchasing a car in another state or perhaps bringing home a military personnel’s vehicle.
  3. Food and lodging along the way will be necessary if the drive is overnight.
  4. And don’t forget to factor in the gas costs!
  5. Are you missing work to drive the distance? Be sure to factor your time in for an accurate comparison. 
  6. Be sure to factor in the wear and tear on your car as well.

Now, one more option here is to hire a professional driver. If a personal valet is what your vehicle requires, this may be the type of transport you were looking for. There are marketplaces that will connect you with drivers. 

Hiring a driver does end up a bit more expensive. After all, you must pay for his return, gas, and his food and lodging along the trip. And you still encounter the wear and tear on your car.

Be sure to check the following when hiring a driver:

  • Is the driver’s background checked?
  • Get a picture of the driver to verify the contact when they arrive.
  • Look for positive customer reviews of the driver’s performance.
  • What insurance does the driver, or his company carry?

If all that matches up with your budget and desires, it may be the way to go, but it will not end up being the cheapest.

The Bigger Picture

Phew, that was a lot of information to take in! You can sit down with a steaming cup of coffee and ponder through the many options presented here, or you can trust your shipping needs to Tiger Auto Transport. You still get the coffee either way!

The Bigger Picture here is the cheapest method may not be the best for you or your vehicle. All factors have to be weighed in… 

  • Do you have the time or want to drop off your vehicle and leave it somewhere for pickup? Tiger can do that.
  • Is the time to research the options worth it to you? Tiger can help with that.
  • Do you need to know the exact drop-off and pick up times? The TouchPoint Team can handle that.
  • Is this car your daily driver or can you do without it for a few extra days? Tiger will get it there A.S.A.P.
  • Is the low cost and security of open-air transport perfect for your budget and your car or does it need the complete protection of enclosed shipping? Tiger specializes in door-to-door open-air transport.
  • Would you like a TouchPoint Team Member caring for your vehicle every step of the way? They have a point person ready for you!

Once you have the answers to those questions, you can make an informed decision. 

You are intelligent; you will make the right one for you and your car. 

However, if you are as busy as Tiger knows you are…

Hand over the keys to the most professional and caring team of auto transporters out there. Get your free quote, sip your coffee one more time, and book that reservation. They will handle all the details and bring your car right to your door!

Book NOW, or call one of our remarkable customer service representatives to assist you in your booking. Click here to contact us.