Air freight is a logistical process of transporting cargo such as automobiles using aircraft cost to air freight a car. While it is an expensive option compared to shipping by sea, air freight offers the advantage of time efficiency and reliability.

This article discusses the various factors that determine the cost of air freighting a car and provides an estimated cost range. It also offers insights on choosing an air freight carrier and tips to reduce expenses.

Factors affecting the cost

Type of vehicle

The size and weight of the vehicle are important determining factors for the air freight cost. Larger and heavier vehicles tend to be more expensive to transport via air compared to compact and lighter cars. Sports cars, SUVs and trucks usually have higher shipping rates than sedans and hatchbacks.

Origin and destination

The cost is influenced by the locations the vehicle is shipped from and to. Long-haul international routes are more expensive than domestic trips within a country. Transporting a car between continents involves higher fees than intra-continental shipments.

Time factor

Rush or expedited deliveries command premium rates. Standard transit times are usually 5-10 business days for international routes while domestic delivery may take 2-5 days. Opting for faster transit slashes this duration but increases the costs substantially.

Volume of shipment

Shipping multiple vehicles together as part of a consolidated cargo brings down the per-unit cost. However, this requires synchronizing the transport schedule of all vehicles being shipped together.

cost to air freight a car – Seasonal demand

Air freight prices see an uptick during the winter holiday season from November to January when cargo capacity is limited due to higher commercial and passenger traffic. It is cheaper to ship during the rest of the year.

Special requirements

Extra services like private flights, car escort during transit, expedited customs clearance or pre-delivery inspections are sometimes necessary but increase the expenses significantly.

Estimated cost range

Shipment type Estimated cost per vehicle
Domestic (within a country) $1,000 – $3,000
Intra-continental $2,000 – $5,000
Inter-continental $3,000 – $8,000

The above table provides an estimated range for average air freight costs to transport a sedans sized vehicle. Actual rates may exceed these estimates based on route, vehicle attributes and additional shipping requirements. For example, transporting a large luxury vehicle from the US to Asia could easily cross $10,000.

Choosing a freight forwarder

It is recommended to receive quotes from multiple licensed and reputed freight forwarders since rates and quality of service can vary substantially between companies.

Larger international operators tend to offer more predictable and consistent worldwide shipping whereas smaller businesses may provide personalized attention but limited network coverage.

Evaluating service parameters like pricing transparency, tracking technology, claims handling process, insurance policies offered and customer reviews can facilitate selecting a suitable air cargo carrier for vehicle relocation needs.

Tips to save on air freight costs

cost to air freight a car – Schedule shipment during off-peak periods

Avoid shipping around major holidays when tariffs are highest.

Consolidate multiple vehicles

Joining shipment of many cars lowers the individual price significantly.

cost to air freight a car – Limit special requirements

Additional amenities increase the budget, so prioritize core transport only.

cost to air freight a car – Check freight discounts

Carriers occasionally offer promotions, so examine for any special offers.

Negotiate directly with airlines

Working straight with carriers removes freight forwarder markup on prices.

cost to air freight a car – Parting Words:

While air transport is a premium option for vehicle relocation, understanding the key cost drivers and planning shipments strategically can help mitigate expenses to a certain extent.

Choosing a reputed freight forwarder and exploring all available discounted and consolidated options are also advisable to optimize the air freight budget.