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How Much Does it Cost to Move Across the Country?


If you are planning to move across the country, the factor that’s often at the top of the list is how much it will cost. Of course, staying within budget must be a top priority, but the actual cost of moving across country varies depending on numerous factors. Every move is unique, and there is no common price that we can quote. 

The cost to move across country varies depending on the size of your household, as well as the start and endpoints of your journey. If you’ve got a large house, prepare yourself to pay more. You can also expect the cost to move across country to be higher if you’ve got a lot of antiques or heavy items. 

This post will try to answer the question “How much does it cost to move across country?” as accurately as possible. We’ll also share some tips on how you can save money and share some advice on what to do about shipping your car. You might be thinking you can drive your car all the way to your new home, but there is an affordable and more convenient option.

How much does it cost to move across the country, on average?

The average cost of moving across country can be anything between $1,500 and $6,000. It depends on the type of moving company and the services they provide. On the other hand, a coast-to-coast move can be even more expensive, ranging from $4,000 up to $10,000 or more.

If you’re wondering how much does it cost to move across the country, there are several factors to consider. You’ll need to take the number of estimated hours it’ll take to complete the move and multiply that by the hourly rate the moving company charges. You might also need to add charges for things like travel time and packing materials. 

Don’t get too stressed about working it all out because there are many moving calculators you can use as a starting point. Here are some of the major cost factors for moving interstate. 

  • Move size: a larger move will be more expensive.
  • Distance: The longer the distance, the more the move will cost.
  • Do-it-yourself vs. professional mover: DIY moving services tend to be cheaper but involve way more stress and work.
  • Time of year: Summer Pricing is higher because it’s peak season and movers are busy.
  • Moving date: Moving prices tend to be more affordable in the middle of the week and the middle of the month.

Additional moving costs and fees to consider

There are many additional fees you may have to pay, depending on the details of your move. Here’s a list of the most significant costs to consider:

  • Specialty items: Pool tables, pianos, safes, hot tubs, and other bulky items are expensive to move and will add to your overall cost.
  • Packing supplies: If a mover must use mattress covers, TV boxes, bubble wrap, and packing paper, they will charge you for the supplies.
  • Long carry fees: You may be charged a long carry fee if the mover can’t park their truck within 100-150 feet of your front door.
  • Stair carry fees: You may have to pay this fee if there are several long staircases to get your items.
  • Unpacking service: You can pay a moving company to unpack all your boxes and put everything away for you.
  • Storage: Many moving companies offer the option to store your items, but you’ll have to pay a few for the privilege.
  • Expedited delivery: Movers will often agree to expedite your delivery for an additional cost.

How to save money during a move

There are many things you can do to lower the cost of moving across country. Here are some suggestions:

  • Sell-donate, or trash: Downsizing is one of the easiest and impactful ways to reduce the cost of moving across country. You might also be able to save a few bucks by packing some of your possessions in the trunk of your car and having them transported, but we’ll explore this option later. 
  • Adjust your move date: It costs more to move during popular times. Try to avoid moving around the holidays or near the end of the month. The summer months can also be more expensive.
  • Get multiple quotes: If you want the cheapest way to move across country, it pays to get at least three estimates to ensure you’re getting a fair price for your move.
  • Flexible pick-up and delivery: If your move dates are flexible, it allows the moving company to build some cushion into the schedule, which often means a better price for you. 
  • Book early: Moving companies tend to increase prices for moves booked last minute. Try to book your mover 30-60 days in advance.
  • Consider moving yourself: Moving companies take a lot of work out of moving, but they can be expensive. Moving containers or rental trucks can be significantly more affordable, but you’ll be responsible for packing, loading, unloading, unpacking, and carrying all those heavy items.    
  • Ask for price matching: The moving industry is competitive, and most companies will have some kind of price matching policy. If you’ve found a cheaper quote elsewhere, don’t be embarrassed to ask for a price match.
  • Get free packing supplies: People frequently overlook the cost of packing supplies when budgeting for a move. Packing paper, tape, and boxes can add up to hundreds of dollars in added expense. However, you can find free packing material, for example, from people who have just finished moving.
  • Insurance coverage: Check to see if moving is covered under your current homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. 
  • Weight equals money: If you’ve got some heavy items such as a book collection or fitness equipment, it might be a suitable time to get rid of them. 

So, you’ve thought about the cost of moving across the country, but have you thought about your vehicle or vehicles? Taking a road trip might seem very appealing but have you thought about the logistics and cost of driving several thousand miles? 

A more convenient, safer, and affordable way to get your vehicle from one side of the country to the other is with the help of an auto transport provider like SGT Auto Transport. 

Let’s look at the cost of shipping your car across the country.

What is the average cost to ship a car per mile?

The average cost to ship a car across country per mile by auto transport truck depends on the distance traveled. If the trip is up to five hundred miles, the per-mile average is $1. This figure decreases as distances increase. A journey of up to 1,000 miles, for example, is $0.75 per mile. 

Let’s give you a table for reference if you want to get a general idea of the average vehicle shipping cost per mile.

Distance Average cost to ship a car per mileExample shipping distanceExample total shipping cost
1-500 miles$1400 miles$400
500+ miles$0.75900 miles$675
1,000+ miles$0.601,200 miles$720
2,000+ miles$0.502,000+ miles$1,200
2,500+ miles$0.403,600 miles$1,440

The average price per mile rates shown above reflects current market conditions as of January 2020. The rates are subject to change due to seasonal fluctuations, pick-up/delivery locations, price of gas, etc. 


Get an instant quote today if you want to know how much it will cost to ship your car across the country.  

Why you might want to move your vehicle

Relocating is the most common reason for wanting to move your car, but it’s not the only one. Here are some more reasons why people choose to ship their car:

  • If you’ve bought a car online from another state.
  • Because you want to keep the mileage down on your classic, custom, luxury, or vintage car.
  • Because you kids are heading off to college.
  • You’re heading south for the winter or north for the summer.
  • You need to take your collection of cars to a top car show.
  • Your vehicle isn’t running, and you need to take it to a specialist garage.

Factors that impact the cost of moving your car across the country

The figures given in the table above are just a rough estimate. Several factors can affect the actual price you pay. Let’s look at what is considered when working out the cost of shipping a car.


This is the most obvious factor. The more miles you want to ship your car, the higher the cost.

The type, size, and year of your vehicle

The type of car you want to ship is another leading factor. Carriers must follow regulations regarding how much they haul using their trucks and trailers. So, naturally, they want to maximize their load. The larger and heavier the vehicle you want to transport, the higher the cost of transportation. 

The route

If you ship a car on a popular route, it will cost less. The same applies if you’re shipping from city to city. However, when a carrier must drive out of their way to pick-up or deliver a vehicle, it can cost more. 

Whether your car is running

If your car isn’t running, the car shipping company will need special equipment to load and unload your car.  Non-running cars also take more time and effort for pick-up and delivery. These all impact the overall cost of a car shipping service.

The time of year

Supply and demand can affect how much it costs to move your car across the country. High demand at certain times of the year can lead to higher prices. Holidays are a prime example. 

The weather at certain times of the year can also affect the availability of auto transport services. For example, hurricane season or occasional floods in Texas, the Carolinas, and Florida.

The direction you want to ship your car can make a difference too. For example, the snowbird season means that demand for car shipments from New York and other northern states, down to Florida and other southern states, peaks between October and December Similarly, demand for routes in the other direction peaks from March to May because this is when the snowbirds are heading home again.

Type of auto transport service

There is a range of auto transport services to choose from. Generally, there is a choice between open and enclosed shipping services.

Open auto transport is the standard option. Cars are loaded onto an open-air trailer with a top and a bottom deck. This means the car shipping company can fit as many cars as possible onto the trailer.

Your vehicle may be exposed to weather conditions and road debris, and the cost tends to be lower.

On the other hand, enclosed transport involves cars being transported in an enclosed trailer. This is a popular car shipping option for luxury, classic, custom, antique, and modified vehicles. The vehicles being transported are completely protected from the weather and road debris. The cost of this type of auto transport service is usually 30% to 40% more than the standard option.  

Shipping personal items in your car

It is possible to save a few bucks on the cost of your moving service by taking advantage of the space inside your vehicle for loading personal items. 

There are, however, a few things to bear in mind. First, it will increase the car’s overall weight, affecting the car shipping cost. Any items you want to transport must be contained in a single box or suitcase and must not exceed one hundred pounds. You must also secure the items in the trunk or cargo area of the vehicle.

If you want to ship a car from the mainland to Hawaii, no personal items are allowed inside the vehicle.

If you’re ever in need of auto transport, get in touch with us here at SGT Auto Transport. You can speak directly with our shipping advisors to ask for an instant quote. Telephone (864) 546-5038 or use our Live Chat option.

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