How Much Does It Cost To Transport A Car?

Whether you need to transport a supercar or a barn find, the cost to transport a car can vary up and down the country. Within this article, we walk you through what goes into safely transporting a car as well as how much you can expect to pay.

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how much to transport a car
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Transporting cars across the country and throughout Europe is something that we have plenty of experience with. This includes selling our beloved Audi R8 (as pictured above), which needed to be transported 200 miles up north to an old Mercedes SL that was transported to Germany. We’ve used various car transportation services over the years, and with regards to the cost of transporting a car, many factors need to be considered, as we discuss below.

Factors That Determine The Cost Of Transporting A Car

  • Distance the car needs to be transported
  • Type of car that needs to be loaded
  • Transportation method (as discussed further below)
  • Weekend deliveries (additional costs may occur)
  • Part loads (i.e. it may be cheaper if the driver has another load to pick up on the way there or back)
  • Specific time slots for collection and delivery
  • Transport insurance (i.e. to a value of £250,000)
  • Fuel prices (as you can imagine, they vary)
  • Clean Air Zones/ULEZ/Congestion charges
  • Toll roads or bridges that need to be driven on
  • Potential difficulties (i.e. jump-starting the car or using a winch to drag the car onto the trailer or truck)
transporting a car cost

How Much To Transport A Car?

To ensure that you are getting a fair price to transport your car, we would advise that you pay between £2 to £3 per mile. However, as the distance increases, the cost per mile rate should also be reduced. This is because longer distances often include more motorway miles, which are “easy miles” for car transport.

From past experiences of having cars transported various miles, the below costs to transport a car may apply:

  • 100 miles at £2 to £3 would cost between £200 to £200
  • 200 miles at £1.50 to £2.50 would cost between £300 to £500
  • 400 miles at £1.25 to £2 would cost between £500 to £800

It’s important to note that the cheapest option isn’t always the best and you’ll want to consider the mode of transport. For example, if your car is of high value, you may want to transport it in an enclosed trailer, which will cost more.

Below are the various modes of car transportation that vary in price and have their own benefits and drawbacks.

Types of Car Transport


1. Dedicated Trailer

One of the most popular ways to transport a car is via a dedicated car trailer. This is the best method for low, sports or supercars because most have a low entry. Many premium trailers also have a tilt function and ramp extensions that are ideal for low vehicles, such as our Audi R8, which is being transported in the photo below.

Using this method of car transportation doesn’t come with many drawbacks, but it’ll require a confident transport driver due to the size and length of the load. When it comes to transporting our cars, it’s our preferred method and the recommended method if you have low cars that’ll struggle to get onto a recovery truck.

car transport cost

2. Recovery Truck

Just as popular as using a trailer to transport a car is a dedicated recovery truck as shown in the image below. As with a trailer, they come with very few drawbacks, and they usually cost the same to transport a car.

However, one drawback we’ve found is that they struggle with low cars due to the incline needed to get onto them. Therefore, if you have a low car and decide to use a recovery truck, you may want to ask if the driver has a set of car ramps onboard to assist with getting the car onto and off the truck without damaging it.

cost of transporting car

3. Multi-Car Lorry

A multi-car lorry is a method of transporting a car that’s mostly used when travelling long distances, such as abroad. As shown in the image below, we had a Mercedes SL delivered from our office in Cardiff to Munster in Germany on a very large lorry. However, this is also how most new cars are transported from the factory to dealerships.

With regards to using this method of transport for your own car, usually, the costs are similar to those of a trailer or truck because it’s part of multiple vehicles travelling the same way. However, the flexibility of the dates for collection and delivery is very limited. On top of this, if the collection or delivery address involves many narrow roads, the lorry won’t be able to make it in the first place. Therefore, we would only recommend this method for long-distance car transportation.

cost to transport car

4. Enclosed Trailer

By far, the most expensive way to transport your car is within an enclosed trailer, and this method is often used for valuable cars. Whether it’s a vintage classic car or a supercar, an enclosed trailer ensures your car is secure and suitable for all-weather travel. The only drawback of this method is that most drivers/companies will charge more.

5. Second Driver

A mode of transporting a car that’s often overlooked is to simply have a second driver. Although this is only suitable for cars that are road-legal, it can be a cheaper way of transporting a car to where it needs to be, and there are no issues with the car struggling to get onto the trailer or recovery truck’s ramp.

car delivery cost

The Car’s Value

Whenever you have your car transported, you’ll want to ensure that the driver is insured to the value of your car. For example, the common insurance value of most drivers is up to £250,000, which covers most cars. This is important to consider because if any damage occurs to your car during loading or on the road, your car will be covered.

How To Prepare Your Car For Transport

If you haven’t transported a car before, below are things you should do to prepare your car:

1. Remove All Personal Belongings

Before you sell your car and transport it, it’s good practice to remove any personal belongings that are inside. This can include receipts stuck between the armrest and seat to USB car chargers that are still plugged in.

2. Wash Your Car

Regardless of whether the car you’ve sold is worth £500 or £100,000, we always recommend that you give your car a good wash before it’s transported. Not only will it look better when it’s delivered to the buyer’s house, but it also makes getting photos of your car before it’s transported much easier (as discussed below).

3. Take Pictures

For peace of mind, we always recommend that you take photos of your car just before the delivery driver arrives. The reason for this is that you want to have proof of your car’s condition before it is transported to the buyer. This way, if it’s damaged in transit or the buyer queries any damage, you’ll have proof that it wasn’t caused before it left to be delivered.

4. Ensure The Battery Has Charge

Unless you’ve purchased a new battery for your car, you’ll want to ensure that the battery has enough charge so that it can be loaded and unloaded with ease. Therefore, before it’s collected for delivery, use a car battery charger to get it to full charge. Alternatively, if the car has a battery drain or the battery is faulty, you can ask the driver to disconnect the battery after it has been loaded. This way, the battery won’t go flat during its delivery and require the time-consuming task of jump-starting it.

It’s worth pointing out that most transport drivers will have a car jump starter onboard. Therefore, as long as you are happy for them to do so, you can just state that it may need a jump start to get it running.

5. Pack All The Documents

Unless you have discussed otherwise, you’ll want to leave all the documents, such as the service history, manuals and other documents, in the car or with the delivery driver. With regards to the V5C logbook, you should tear off the green slip (new keepers’ section) and leave it in the car. You can then opt to transfer ownership of the car online or by post. We recommend that you transfer ownership of your car online because it’s instant and takes just 5 working days for the buyer to receive the new logbook in their name.

6. Leave Enough Fuel

There is nothing more frustrating than running out of fuel, and if you have just sold your car and it’s being delivered to the buyer, you’ll want to leave them with enough fuel. At least a quarter of a tank (i.e. the fuel light not being on) is more than ideal, as it’ll be enough for the buyer to take it for a drive as soon as it arrives.

Want To Transport A Car Yourself?

If you’re looking to cut down on car transportation costs and have both a trailer and a tow bar fitted to your car, it’s definitely worth exploring this option. Regarding what your car can tow, the rules changed in December 2021 and you can now tow trailers up to 3,500kg MAM (Maximum Authorised Mass).

However, we must stress that towing a large trailer for the first time isn’t exactly straightforward, and attempting to manoeuvre a car trailer (i.e. reverse around a corner) requires some skill. I personally carried out my trailer training at Heads of The Valleys because it was local, but there are companies nationwide that offer training.

Conclusion

Whether you’ve bought or sold a car, transporting it can be achieved in a number of different ways, but you want to ensure that you don’t overpay for the transport. The cost of £2 to £3 per mile is the standard rate that most companies/drivers charge in the UK, but if you need a car transported quite a distance, you should expect a lower rate.

If you require further information with regards to car transportation or the costs involved, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.

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