How much does it cost to transport a car by train

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How much does it cost to transport a cars by train

Your vehicle can be delivered across the USA in many different ways, starting from your personal driving and ending ordering a professional car’s delivery service. One of the cheapest possibilities is a train. How much does it cost to transport a car by train? Here we will consider not only an average price but also various features and additional effects to the final price you can expect.

Getting a basic quote

To start, it can be not so easy to arrange transportation of your car by train, at least up to now. Most rail companies are dealing with governmental vehicles and it can become quite challenging to find the one which will be ready to transport your privately owned car.

The main example we are going to use for discussing the cost to transport car by train is Amtrak rail company. It has quite a long history and is a reliable carrier with one remark – its railway routes are located exclusively on the East Coast and cover the district between Washington and Oregon states. Therefore, only those who are living in these areas or can deliver the car there can apply for this train transportation.

If you consider the cost of transporting car by train and by truck, most probably the first one will turn up more attractive. Even if we will take into account the best offers from the transport carriers, we still can see a significant difference in prices.

For this example, we will consider a particular route between Sanford in Florida and Lorton in Washington. Using uShip as a resource of the average quotes (it’s a modern marketplace gathering thousands of offers from different carriers and transporters of all the sizes), we are getting 825 dollars as an average cost of the delivery.

Now, looking at the Amtrak quotation, for the same route the price is 208 dollars. On this stage the difference is enormous, but before making a final decision we need to pay attention to some additional costs which cannot be avoided in case of train transportation.

car transport by train

Additional expenses

The cost of car transport by train consists of two parts, and the car’s delivery is only one of them. At least in regards to the Amtrak company. When ordering a car or any other vehicle transportation you are obliged to purchase at least one passenger’s ticket to accompany the car. There is a range of the options you can choose from and we briefly consider them.

The cheapest ticket costs 89 dollars and provides you with a simple coach seat. Total price for the car (and your) transportation will be just 297 dollars. In comparison with 825 dollars, we can see a significant difference. If you are wondering if this cheap seat will be applicable for you during the whole, pretty long trip (by train the distance between Sanford and Lorton will be covered in 17,5 hours), you should compare it with the flight trip of the same duration. If you can imagine sitting at the coach for more than 17 hours, it will be possible.

More convenient option is a business class which is just 26 dollars more expensive but will provide you with pretty essential benefits. You will also be provided with such choices as First Class, Superliner roomette and bedroom. For families travelling together the best option will be a Family bedroom, but its price is already 424 dollars. Therefore, if we will take into account the most expensive option for the passenger’s ticket, we have 761 dollars which is still 64 dollars less than the price of the auto transport delivery.

The cost of transporting a car by train is a great and much more profitable option, but only if you are indeed interested in travelling together with your car from point A to point B. In this case you can easily drive it to the original railway station, load your car into the wagon, take a seat at your convenience and at the final station continue your trip.

Other benefits

But the price is not the only benefit of the train transportation. A transport car by train cost goes alongside with a much quicker delivery process. Using the same example, it can take up to 8 days for the traditional auto transportation company to pick up and deliver your vehicle from Sanford to Lorton, while with a train, as we mentioned before, it will take less than one day.

Of course, it’s not always like this as the train during the way can make some unavoidable stops and huge loops. Moreover, the schedule of the trains is less flexible than of the trucks and you may need to wait for a long time unless your car can start its trip.

Another important advantage of the delivery of your car by train is protection, especially in comparison with an open transport with a truck (which is definitely the cheapest option within transportation companies). You can also arrange your car to be covered on the way so there are no negative effects from the weather side.

Some disadvantages to consider

First of all, you always need to count the final cost to transport a car by train. Obviously, somehow you will need to arrange your car’s delivery to and from the station if you are not planning to drive it by yourself. Sometimes it can be even cheaper to arrange an auto transport company’s service from point A to point B than to make a combination of the train and truck transporting.  And the question in regards to the passenger’s seat is still very essential. Probably, in the near future there will be some other options.

The limitation of the stations is also one significant issue. Even if you are located near one of the train’s stops on the way it can be impossible to lead your car during a shortstop and you will have to drive it half a way to the particular railway station. In this regard, auto transport is much more convenient as in many cases (door-to-door delivery) you don’t even need to leave your house.

In comparison with recent decades, train transportation for the cars is becoming less and less popular. Even though it's still pretty cheap and affordable, most of the cars’ owners prefer comfort and flexibility to the cheap price. Before making a choice, you need to carefully consider all the pros and cons in our particular case to make the best possible deal.

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