Three heavy front end red vintage cars lined up  in a row.

One of the hurdles people face when buying a car online, is how to get it to where they live.  To determine the best option for getting your car, it is best to weigh all the options.

First, where is the car located?  Is it within a few hundred miles or is it several states away?  If it’s within reasonable driving distance, it could be cost effective to drive with a friend to go pick it up.  Flying out to get it and then driving it back is also an option. Cost out all your options to determine the best fit for your money.

If the vehicle is very far away or it is a classic car you don’t want to put miles on, then shipping is the best bet.

How to Get Car Shipping Quotes with eBay

Usually when you buy a car from eBay, it is the buyer’s responsibility for picking up or shipping the vehicle. Before you make the purchase or enter the auction, factor in the cost to ship a car purchased from eBay.  Make sure it is added into your purchasing budget.

If the car being purchased is through a dealership listing on eBay, shipping may be included.  Some dealerships offer deals or free delivery of your vehicle.  Some sellers will offer shipping within a few hundred-mile radius.  If it is several hundred or thousands of miles away, plan on being responsible for paying the shipping.

When you are considering a car on eBay,  read through the description on the listing.  Make sure you are clear on what the seller is offering for delivery or if it is your responsibility to pick it up.

On almost all car listings, shipping information is available.  You are directed to the description for shipping details, or to click a link for shipping quotes.  You can also scroll down to the vehicle listing and click the Shipping and payments tab.

If the seller is willing to be responsible for delivery, the shipping quotes link might not be active.

How Does Shipping a Car on eBay Work?

eBay is now partnered with uShip, a network of affiliated carriers and brokers.  The list of service providers shown detail service type, pick up timeframe and price.  If you see a price you like, click book shipment and a new page will open on the uShip website.  Most of time, the vehicle information is imported to uShip. 

In some instances, you might have to go to uShip and create a listing. When buying a classic car, you will probably have to do this.  The service providers affiliated with you ship will check your listing.  If they are willing to move your car or have room on a transport, you will be contacted.  Keep in mind, you need to be patient.  A carrier must be full before it goes on its way.  Also, if you prefer a closed transport, not as many carriers offer that as an option.

Keep in mind, uShip takes a fee from from each transaction which adds a considerable mark up to your shipping cost.

When to Consider eBay Car Shipping

When you use eBay car shipping, you have the option of picking from a list of service providers.  There is some convenience because you don’t have to go looking for companies and quotes.  Plus, the listing information is already imported to uShip most of the time.

The thought of looking for a transport provider can seem daunting.  The service provided through eBay motors can take some the research time out of the equation. It is important to note, that you should always research the company through uShip and do your “due diligence”. Remember, the company with the lowest quote might not be the best option for you.

Options When Shipping a Car Purchased on eBay – You DON’T have to use the eBay Shipping Service

The trailer transports cars on highway with big city background
The trailer transports cars on highway with big city background

Since you purchased a car on eBay, you are already used to shopping for the best deal.  So, it might make sense to shop around for car transport providers yourself. Any car transport company can ship a car purchased from eBay.

Compare Companies

When looking for transport companies, understand what service they are providing.  Are they a carrier, a broker, or both?  A car carrier company owns trucks and transports cars for a broker.  For the carrier to operate legally, they must be licensed with the FMCSA and insured.

A broker company must also be licensed and insured with the FMCSA.   The broker offers car shipping services by hiring carriers and arranging transportation. It is the broker’s job to check a carrier’s license and insurance.

Visit the FMCSA on the Department of Transportation website for more information. 

Which is the best one to choose?  That depends on your needs.  Both brokers and carriers can provide you with a good experience.

However, carriers tend to not offer much in the way of customer service. They spend their time managing the drivers and planning the routes. A broker company will always have some form of customer service available. 

Either way, use a company that offers vehicle tracking.  You can keep track of where your vehicle is during the shipping process.

It’s also a good idea to check a company’s testimonials or look for online forums specializing in car transport.

Get Several Shipping Quotes

Most car transportation companies have instant car shipping calculators on their websites.  The price quoted to you depends on several factors. Season, fuel price, location, vehicle’s size and condition all go into the price per mile.  Be sure the information entered in the quote calculator is correct.      

To use a quote calculator, put in the zip code of the pick-up as well as the drop off locations.  This determines the number of miles to calculate distance.  Next, describe the vehicle by giving the make, model and year.  Choose the  transportation type, the condition of the vehicle and desired shipping date. 

Shop around with both carriers and brokers and see which gives you the best rate.  Remember, price isn’t the only factor to use.

What Influences Cost When You Ship a Car?

Transport Service

Open trailers are more budget friendly than enclosed trailers.  They cost much less and offer more flexibility in shipping dates. This is due to the higher volume of shipments using this method. When transporting a luxury or classic vehicle, an enclosed trailer is a good option.  Enclosed trailers are limited in size and the number of cars they can carry which raises the cost considerably.  Fewer carriers offer this service which also increases the price quoted.

Size of the Vehicle

The size of the vehicle you are transporting effects the cost of shipping.   It costs less to ship a small sedan or motorcycle the same distance to ship a large SUV.


The farther your vehicle needs to go the higher the transport cost.  Shorter distances have a higher cost per mile than longer distances.


Keep in mind the seasonal influences on shipping costs.  Summer and early fall are the busiest months and will cost more to transport.  Although, you could possibly get your vehicle quicker as the carriers fill up faster.  Shipping your vehicle between late fall and early spring can save you some money.  If you are shipping between the North and South, watch when the “Snowbirds” are travelling. Snowbirds move North in the Summer and South in the Winter and a lot of them ship their cars.  Traveling opposite of them, will cost you less.

Route and Location

Shipping a car purchased on eBay from big city to big city will cost less than transporting to and from small towns.  If you live in a more rural area, consider having the vehicle shipped to the closest big city. The larger and more populated the city of origin and destination of the vehicle, the cheaper the transportation rate. Why? Big cities have a larger supply of cars requiring transportation. Carriers are more likely to service areas with more supply.

The trailer transports cars
blur motion of trailer transports cars on highway with big city background

Fuel Cost

The cost of fuel per gallon effects the price of shipping.  The higher fuel costs per gallon, the higher the shipping quote.

Shipping Speed

Your shipping quote includes prices for both standard and rush shipping.  Faster shipping costs several hundred dollars more.  If you can be patient, the standard shipping will save you a lot of money.

Now What? 

Use this information when looking at shipping quotes. Pick the provider that offers the shipping service you need as well as a reasonable quote.  Look online for forums for companies that offer good service. Make sure you get the best deal when you are shipping the car you purchased online.

Transport companies that operate as both a carrier and a broker are good providers to look at.  They offer both services in one – great car shipping rates and customer service.  ShipCar24 is such a company.  Check out our quote calculator to get rates for both standard and rush shipping.  Let us be your personal eBay shipping company and we will deliver your dream car to you.

Happy in your dream car
Retired Senior Man Sitting In Restored Classic Car