Cost of Shipping a Car

Why is the cost of shipping an SUV more than a car?

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Typically the cost of shipping an SUV is more than it would be to ship a small or mid-sized car on the same route.

This is pretty easy to explain when the SUV is obviously larger, as an example, a Chevrolet Suburban is clearly larger than a Honda Civic in every way. But what if we compare a Ford Escape to a Toyota Camry? Well depending on the year of each vehicle the Ford Escape may actually be 10-12 inches shorter than the Toyota Camry. Many customers assume that means the cost to ship the Ford Escape would be less than that of the Toyota Camry. However, the cost to ship the Ford Escape is more than the cost to ship the Toyota Camry, as it is not as simple as just measuring the length.

Vehicles are three dimensional and so are the car carriers that will be used to ship your car across the country. That means that all of the dimensions and even weight will be considered when determining the total cost to ship. In the example of the Ford Escape vs. Toyota Camry shipment, the shape of both vehicles is really the determining factor. Even though the Ford Escape’s overall length is shorter than the Toyota Camry, the roof line extends all the way to the rear of the vehicle.

A ten car carrier loaded with cars.

Cars on the carrier are tipped and overlapping, in order to load 10 vehicles per load.

As you can see when a carrier loads all cars on a load, they are not on the carrier end to end. Many of the cars are tipped and overlap each other. Because of the shape of an SUV, they are not able to tip the vehicles to overlap like a car. So typically SUVs are loaded in a more end to end fashion. Because they are loaded this way, the carrier is not able to load as many total vehicles per load. So if the carrier loads nine vehicles rather then 10, the vehicles must pay more per vehicle to add up to the same amount per load.

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