Take The Right Road: The Cost Of Moving A Car Interstate

Moving long distances with large and valuable cargo is one thing, but if you want to get a car from A to B across state lines, it’s a whole different ballgame.

Moving a car interstate can be a complicated and expensive process with many factors affecting the bottom line – but if you play your cards right, you can make some good savings along the way.

Things like distance, type of vehicle, time of year can all have an effect, so it’s a good idea to really get into the details to make things easier and more affordable for you.

Hop in and join us for the ride as we take a closer look at moving vehicles interstate, things to watch out for, and how you can make your move a successful one.

Factors That Affect The Cost Of Moving A Car Interstate

Assuming that you’re using the service of an interstate car moving company, moving a car would broadly cost around $0.40-$0.60 per kilometre.

But, like everything else when moving, the specifics of your needs will have an impact on the bottom line.  For instance:

  1. Distance – As you might expect, the further you need to transport your vehicle, the higher the cost. However, some moving companies will reduce the price per kilometre if the journey is very long.
  2. Type of vehicle – If you’re moving an SUV, campervan or other large vehicle, it stands to reason that you’ll need to pay more for the storage and handling costs. On the flip side, smaller cars will have lower costs because of the reduced space they take up on the transport.
  3. Seasonality – Just like a regular move, the time of year will affect the price of your interstate car transportation cost. For instance, during off-seasons (such as the spring and winter), costs will typically be less. Try to avoid weekends, holidays, and school breaks to make your move, as this is when prices will likely be at their highest.
  4. Pickup and drop off – Interstate car moving companies will give you the option of moving your vehicle from door to door, or depot to depot. If you want them to pick it up and drop it off for you at both properties, you’ll pay more, but if you’re happy to meet them at their facilities you can make a saving.
  5. Condition and usability – Does your car run? If so, great – but if not, your moving company will need to use special equipment to handle, load and unload it, which will naturally increase the cost.
  6. Type of service – Are you ok with your car being exposed to the elements, or do you prefer to keep it super safe and covered when on the road? Your answer to this question will determine whether or not you go for an open or enclosed carrier, the latter of which will cost more.
  7. Insurance – Many moving companies will offer some kind of basic insurance, but if you want to opt for extra protection in case of an accident or damage, you’ll have to pay more. This is usually a good idea if your vehicle is of high monetary or sentimental value.


Different Ways To Move Your Car Interstate

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The above factors typically affect whether or not you choose to go with a moving company to handle things on your behalf:

Driving the car yourself

This is usually the first thing that someone might think of when they have to move a vehicle interstate.

After all, it makes sense and can even be a fun road trip! But, while this might seem the like the cheapest option at first glance, there are a bunch of hidden costs and challenges to think about.

Tolls, fuel, wear and tear on your vehicle, hotel stays, paying for the way back, and the sheer effort of driving long distance make this option less worth it, and can really add to your interstate car transportation cost.

Moving truck or trailer rental

If you really don’t want to take up the services of a moving company and don’t want to drive the vehicle itself, you can rent a trailer or moving truck to take care of the job.

The benefits of this is that you’ll have the control and flexibility of doing things in your own time and might save on your budget.

However, you’ll still have to pay for tolls, fuel and have the responsibility of handling the equipment needed to move an entire vehicle. As for rental costs, you are looking anywhere from $24 to $250 per day, depending on the distance and size of the vehicle.

Professional car moving companies

Once people look deeper into making the move themselves, it dawns on them that using a company to handle it on their behalf is usually for the best.

Not only is does working with an interstate car moving company save you a bunch of time and stress, it also reduces the risk of damage and wear that moving interstate can have on a car.

Then of course, there’s the interstate car transportation cost, which as we saw above can rise and fall depending on a range of factors. Bearing in mind that it costs around 40-60 cents per kilometre to transport your car interstate, your costs can get pretty high.

This means that you can expect to pay somewhere between $350 – $600 between Sydney and Melbourne, and $1442 – $2163 for the long journey between Brisbane and Perth.

The Hidden Costs When Moving Your Car Interstate

Like any other moving job, it’s the hidden costs that bring up the bottom line in unexpected ways. To help you keep your budget under control, here’s what you need to keep in mind:

Prepping your car

If you’re driving your car interstate, you’re going to want to make sure it is roadworthy and up for the trip, which will take mechanic checks and even some servicing or repairs. You don’t want to take any risks when it comes to driving long distances.

Taxes, fees and permits

These will vary from place to place, so do your research before undertaking the interstate move with your car to make sure that you won’t be caught off guard. Various admin obligations can consist of stamp duty, registration transfer fees, roadworthy certificates, inspection fees, or even quarantine fees.

Storage fees

If the delivery is delayed due to unforeseen circumstances such as accidents, traffic, bad weather and so on, you may have to pay for overnight storage fees on your vehicle. You might also have to pay fees if you’re not able to pick up your vehicle at the destination when it arrives.

High insurance costs

If your vehicle is especially valuable, you might have to bump up your insurance to make sure that you have peace of mind. Basic insurance coverage may not be enough to cover your car’s full value.

Fuel surcharges

Some moving companies may put an extra cost on top of their fuel use during your move, so please clarify this with them as part of your initial conversations and quoting.

How To Keep Interstate Car Moving Costs Down

Start early

It’s essential that you start looking into moving companies and other practicalities well in advance. This will give you the time to find the right approach for your needs, and that they will be able to book you in. Leaving your interstate car relocation to the last minute limits your options and will likely cost more.

Be flexible

If the vehicle relocation isn’t urgent, you can find good deals and schedule the job during the off-peak season to save on costs. This time is typically around the winter and New Year. Also, avoid weekends if you can. This also applies to times, so talk to your moving company about discounts they can offer with flexible times and dates.

Shop around

There are plenty of companies out there who can help with moving your car interstate. Take your time to talk to a few to find out which ones offer the highest levels of services for your budget. Read reviews, and gather quotes to get the best perspective and prices.

Go depot to depot

It might be tempting to go for door-to-door delivery for the convenience, but this will come at a premium. Instead, go for depot to depot, where you’ll drop off and pick up your car, which will reduce the overall cost.


Don’t be shy to challenge the prices (politely) and see to your moving company can shave off some dollars. Really get into the details of your quote and find savings by shaving off that you might not necessarily need. You can also show the moving company other quotes and see if they would be willing to match.

Time To Hit The Road

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So, as you can see, there’s quite a bit to think about when moving a car interstate.

With the above tips and some planning, you’ll be able to make the whole thing easier and more affordable. Remember to think about distance, time of year and the condition of your car when you start out, research the rules of your destination, and have a good think about how you want to get your car from A to B.

If you think you’re up to the task, move your car yourself, but if you prefer to leave it to the experts, find yourself a reputable and affordable moving partner. If you need assistance with your interstate removals then choose ZOOM!

All of your choices will affect the cost of transporting your car interstate, so good luck, and don’t forget the keys!

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