How Much to Ship a Truck Across Country? A Quick Guide

A car in motion

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

If you ever need to relocate across state lines or across the country, driving your pickup might not be the best option. You could be moving because of a new job. You might be moving closer to relatives. On the other hand, you might be spending the winter somewhere warmer and want to have the luxury of driving your own truck. 

Flying to your new location is possibly easiest for you and using a mover for all your possessions is generally the safest option. However, what about your truck? You might think that hiring a transport company is going to be expensive, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

The first question people tend to ask is “how much does it cost to transport a truck?”. There are a number of things that can affect the price of such a service and how much it will typically cost.

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The type of pickup truck

The size and dimension of your truck will make a big difference to the shipping truck cost. Shipping a smaller pickup will cost less than a much larger pickup truck. Whether the truck has been modified in any way (for example, oversized tires or being lowered or lifted), can also affect the average cost to ship a truck. 

How your truck will be delivered

There are two options when it comes to delivery: terminal-to-terminal or door-to-door. Terminal-to-terminal means you’re responsible for dropping your truck at the company’s terminal or storage location. Your chosen carrier will then take it from there to the terminal or service location closest to your preferred final destination. You then have to go and pick it up from there and drive it home. 

Door-to-door is the other option. Your chosen carrier is responsible for picking your truck up from either your office or home and transporting it to your preferred final destination. The cost of this type of service tends to be higher, but it does save you the stress and time involved in dropping off and picking up your truck from a terminal or storage location. 

If the pick up or drop location is difficult to access, you may be required to make alternative arrangements.

Type of truck transport

Your auto transport carrier will give you the choice between open car and enclosed car transport. Open car transport is a very popular option because it tends to be cheaper. You might also find the options for shipping dates far more flexible, due to the volume of shipments. Your truck will be exposed to the elements and road debris, however, the risk of damage is low and any chips or dings may be covered by the carrier's cargo insurance. 

Top loading a vehicle can reduce the chance of most types of damage that can occur, but it will cost a little extra. 

If the pickup you want transported is high class or high-end, enclosed auto transport is the best option as your vehicle will be protected against the weather, and traffic detritus. It is more expensive than open transport, but worth the expense if your pickup is very precious to you. 

There is one more option you might need to consider and that’s a flatbed trailer if your truck is larger than a standard pickup. The cost to ship a truck across country using a flatbed trailer is more expensive. 

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Distance traveled

It goes without saying that the distance your vehicle needs to travel is going to affect the price, but it’s worth reminding you of the fact.  

Time of year

In the car shipping industry there are high and low times of the year. Summer months are considered to be peak times, with the fall being the best time to ship your vehicle. 

This is because temperatures are low and the number of vehicles being shipped is lower. 

Holiday times, such as the 4th of July, Christmas and Thanksgiving can also be very busy times of the year and might be worth avoiding unless necessary.

Delivery time

You can expect to pay more if you need your vehicle delivered within a couple of days. Generally, companies such as SGT Auto Transport require 1-5 business days to pick up your truck, and 7-10 calendar days to ship it across the country. 

There is, however, an express service that can get your pickup delivered between 24 and 48 hours.   

Is the vehicle operable?

A pickup that can be driven onto the truck directly and unloaded without any special equipment is going to cost less. If your vehicle cannot be driven directly onto the truck, the carrier will need to use specialist equipment to load and unload it. This means there will be an additional cost.

Cost of fuel

The price of fuel is something that is always going up and down and it can vary from area to area. One of the biggest variable costs in the auto transport industry is the fuel. Any changes in the price of fuel is generally something that is passed onto the customer.  

Insurance

Choose a reputable shipping company and your vehicle will be covered under the carrier’s cargo insurance. Always request a copy of the insurance so you can check what’s covered. You’ll probably find that any personal possessions are not covered by the insurance, so make sure these are removed.

Requesting a quote

Now you know some of the factors that can affect how much to ship a truck across country, you can start requesting quotes. SGT Auto Transport, for example, provides a free online calculator. Input various details, such as pick up and drop-off location, vehicle details, condition of vehicle and type of service and a quote is made available instantly. Prices quoted include all taxes, insurance and all shipping costs. There are no hidden fees. 

Get a quote for shipping your vehicle across country here.

If you’d prefer to speak with a representative simply call (864) 546-5038 or use our Live Chat option .

If you like the price you’re given, click to make your booking or confirm the details with the SGT Auto Transport representative. 

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