What’s the Cheapest Way to Transport a Car Interstate?

When you’re are looking into getting a car shipped from one state to another within Australia, there are often a number of factors you need to take into account before making a decision on how to do it and, more importantly, which carrier who to trust with the process.

There are many companies out there providing car transport services and several options of transporting a vehicle from one place to another.

Generally speaking, cost is one of the biggest factors to take into account, however, with so much variation in cost between companies and car models, it’s often difficult to know what the fair pricing of this service may be.

If you need to know how much it costs to transport a car interstate, we can help.

Aussie Car Transport is an online service that connects you to leading Australian carriers and brokers and helps you to find trusted vehicle transportation at the best rate.

The cost to transport a car within the same metropolitan area is generally around $120. If shipping a car interstate, the cost can come down to less than 40 cents per kilometre.

Understanding how vehicle transport costs are calculated is important to put things into perspective because, unlike many other products and services, the cost of shipping a car can change – even from one day to the next.

7 Factors Affecting Car Transport Cost

When you request car transport quotes, the prices quoted are not an arbitrary number picked at random. The reality is that the carriers are constantly evaluating many factors just to stay in business.

There are many factors that affect vehicle shipping costs and we’ve outlined some of the key ones here.

Car transport rates depend on several variables that are in a constant state of flux.

Here are 7 of the most common factors that transport companies will use to calculate car shipping costs.

How Does Vehicle Type Affects Shipping Cost?

Bigger vehicles like trucks, SUVs, CUVs and 4WDs and vans are more expensive to transport than sedans or compacts. Things like, modifications to suspension or vehicles with oversized tyres can also affect the cost of car transport.

In the same way, if you’re transporting a prestige or luxury vehicle, you will want to consider an enclosed transport option because it will provide that extra protection during transport.

Simply put, the larger the vehicle, the higher the price to transport it.

How Does Distance Affect Transport Cost?

As you might gather, distance plays a major role in determining the cost to ship your vehicle.

It goes without saying that if you want to transport a vehicle from Perth to Sydney, it is likely to cost a lot more than moving a car from Adelaide to Melbourne.

The number of kilometres your car will need to be transported will likely be one of the largest considerations in your car transport quote and the further the distance the car is to be transported, the higher the cost.

Generally speaking, the further you travel the more it costs; when moving between capital cities the average cost can come down below 40 cents per kilometre. To give you an idea on pricing, when moving a vehicle between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane you will pay between $450 and $850.

The cost of moving a car within the same metropolitan area is around $120.

How do Pickup and Delivery Locations Affect Transport Cost?

Car transport costs will vary across states and where a vehicle is going, so this needs to be taken into account when a car is moved across the country. 

If you are moving a car from Melbourne to Sydney, or transporting a vehicle from Brisbane to Darwin, costs will be adjusted to take into account any extra charges from taxes, to fuel.

Are your pickup and delivery locations in a rural area that are out of the way or in a major capital city that are difficult to get to? Or are they in easily accessible urban town centres?

Or, are the pickup or destination locations on less-travelled routes and hard to reach areas off the main highways?

Here’s a good rule of thumb is…

The easier it is to get to, the cheaper it will likely cost.

Why is Door-to-Door Transport often more expensive than Depot-to-Depot?

Depot-to-Depot prices are often cheaper than door-to-door options.

But not always.

If your car is shipped depot-to-depot, and you can’t get there to pick it up, you may find being hit with vehicle storage fees for each day the vehicle is kept in the depot yard.

On the flip side, if the nearest depot is several hundred kilometres away, you’ll probably want to factor in travel costs for you to get there and back.

How Does the Price of Fuel Affect Vehicle Transport Pricing?

While the Carbon Tax no longer exists in Australia following Federal Parliament passing legislation to repeal it from 1 July 2014, the costs to transport a car are still subject to fluctuations in fuel prices.

Fuel costs and surcharges are possibly the biggest variable expense associated with auto transport. And, it seems that every time you look, they vary dramatically from one region to another.

Why do Non-running/non-drivable vehicles cost more to transport?

If your vehicle is inoperable or not drivable, it may increase the price of transport. This is because the transport company will need special equipment to get the vehicle on and off the trailer.

Many companies may simply tell you they won’t transport non-drivable vehicles but there are some exceptions.

It’s important that, when organising transport, you tell the company if your vehicle is non-drivable. Doing this will will help you avoid potentially embarrassing and complicated situations that could arise.

Imagine, if you were you to book your vehicle only to discover that the drivers can’t get your car onto the truck. That wouldn’t go down well.

Does Express Shipping Option Cost More than Standard Shipping?

All companies offer standard quotes and some offer an express car delivery option.

Standard delivery times range between “same day delivery” and 15 (or more) days. This really depends things like distance, quarantine inspection checks and sometimes, weather conditions along the way.

If you can afford to be without your car for a little longer and have planned ahead, the cheaper standard delivery option is the way to go.

How Does Time of Year Affect Shipping Costs?

As you might expect, interstate car transport rates can vary throughout the year depending on demand.

Generally, you’ll find that prices will be cheaper during winter months because demand is generally lower and carriers don’t want to leave their trucks dormant and inactive.

Conversely, during summer months, you’ll find prices tend to rise because demand is higher. This is because vehicle transport companies have to balance this demand with their ability to fulfil the delivery in a timely manner.

The chart below, is the result of a four year study into the demand for vehicle transport by consumers between 2015 and 2019. This study was conducted by Semantia Pty. Ltd. and compares relative demand for transport for different types of vehicles.

What’s the Best Way to Save on Vehicle Transport?

If you want to be saving on vehicle shipping costs, it pays to get quotes from several car shipping companies.

Luckily, getting vehicle transport quotes online has become really easy.

Review the quotes and don’t necessarily go with the cheapest quote you find. There are numerous reasons why going with the cheapest quote can be a bad idea.

Your car is a valuable asset. It’s an integral part of your daily life. You’ll want to find a company you can trust to transport it safely, quickly and for a reasonable price.

The bottom line is: do research on vehicle transport companies, request quotes and see what other people say about the auto transport companies you are considering to transport your vehicle.

Certainly, if you’re just shopping around at this stage, request vehicle transport quotes here and see what car transport companies are able to offer.

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