Amtrak Car Transport: The Benefits of Train Transportation

Amtrak Car Transport: The Benefits of Train Transportation

A Train Beside Green Trees

Do you need to transport your car? You might be wondering about the most cost-effective and convenient options available. For example, Amtrak’s Auto Train offers low-cost transportation to a specific group of drivers. 

The Auto Train may be worth considering if you need cheap car shipping between the Northeast and Florida. Aside from the cost, there are a few significant benefits to transporting a vehicle by train. In this article, we’ll discuss why it might be worth thinking about for your future move!


  • Amtrak Auto Train is affordable and fast, but it only runs from Washington, D.C., to Orlando, Florida.
  • Amtrak auto transportation is a good option for shipping vehicles along the East Coast.
  • Shipping a vehicle by train is often less expensive than using a car shipping company.

Table of Contents

Can I Ship a Car By Train?

Transporting a vehicle by train is possible, but there are significant restrictions on when and where this can be done, making it an impractical choice for most individuals. Currently, the only realistic option is to use Amtrak’s Auto Train Line, which runs on a single route between Washington, D.C. and Florida. There will be no stops between here and Orlando, Florida. 

This implies that if you need to transfer your car to North Carolina, South Carolina, or Georgia, you won’t be able to use this service. Despite these limitations, transporting a vehicle by train is a cost-effective choice, mainly if you travel from Washington, D.C. region to a location in the southern United States. Yet, you may still want the assistance of a secondary car-moving service.

How Car Shipping By Train Works

If the geographical limits are not an issue, transporting your car by train is a simple process. First, go to Amtrak’s website and book an Auto Train and passenger ticket. Then, drive your vehicle to the assigned departure station when packed. For example, if you depart from Washington, D.C., you must first visit the Auto Train station in Lorton, Virginia. 

If you are leaving Orlando, you should drive to the Auto Train station in Sanford, Florida. There is a rigorous deadline for loading cars, so be on time. Next, board the train and prepare for a 17-hour journey, so bring food, water, and toiletries with you. When the train arrives at its destination, pick up your vehicle and proceed to your final destination.

Benefits Of Shipping Car By Train

Amtrak car shipping is a good option for people shipping between the Northeast and Florida because of its low prices and convenient shipping method. Among the benefits are the following:


The Amtrak auto train is substantially faster than truck shipping. For example, the nonstop rail route from Lorton, Virginia, to Sanford, Florida, takes 17 hours and 29 minutes, roughly a week and a half faster than a standard vehicle shipping company timeline.


Amtrak’s Auto Train service costs $95 for a passenger ticket, plus the cost of transporting your vehicle. According to Amtrak’s website, it would cost around $466-516 to transport a conventional car, $536-594 to transfer an extended vehicle, and $292 to travel a motorcycle. In addition, it will cost an extra $158 to use priority vehicle offloading. This choice ensures that your car is one of the first 30 to be unloaded from the train.


Although the Amtrak Auto Train service is generally dependable, there may be occasional delays due to unforeseen conditions such as weather or technical faults. As a result, Amtrak has implemented initiatives to increase reliability, like maintenance programs and new equipment.


Heading up and down the East Coast by rail eliminates the trouble of driving. Instead of crawling through hours of traffic on Interstate 95, Auto Train passengers can sleep, gaze out the window, or catch up on work.

Cost To Ship Your Car By Train

Travelers can save money by using Amtrak’s car shipping service. Train shipping is often the least expensive alternative for delivering vehicles between Washington, D.C. and other cities. as well as Orlando. Amtrak’s Auto Train service has the following one-way fares:

  • Standard Vehicle: $208 per vehicle
  • Extended vehicle: $239 per vehicle
  • Motorcycle: $146 per vehicle

What To Do Before Shipping Your Car By Train

You should take numerous critical procedures to prepare your vehicle for transportation if you wish to ship it. These are some essential steps to take:

Cleaning Your Car

Thoroughly clean your car before dropping it off for transfer. This will make it easier to notice any existing damage and any harm that may arise during shipping.

Disable Car Alarms

If your vehicle has an alarm system, make sure to turn it off before dropping it off for transport. Otherwise, the alarm may sound during transportation, causing an unneeded interruption.

Removing Personal Belongings

Remove all personal belongings from your vehicle before dropping them off for transportation. This will help to safeguard your belongings and ensure that nothing is damaged or lost during transport.

Making a Record Of The Car’s Condition

Before shipment, please take photos of your car from various angles to document its condition. This will assist you in detecting any damage that may occur during transportation.

Preparing For Inspection

When you drop off your vehicle for shipping, it will be inspected for any prior damage. Make sure you have all the appropriate paperwork and documents, such as your registration and insurance. This will contribute to a more efficient and seamless inspection procedure.

Alternatives To Transport a Car By Train

Consider alternatives to train transportation, such as auto transport, truck transport, driveaway services, rental cars, or personal driving. Car transport companies and truck transport provide the convenience of pickup at your home or office, whereas driveaway services involve a professional driver delivering your vehicle.

Are you seeking a dependable and cost-effective solution to transfer your vehicle? Then, Mercury Auto Transport is the only name you need to know! Our skilled team of professionals is committed to offering car transport services that are safe, fast, and affordable. 

When you go with Mercury for your auto transportation, you can rest easy knowing that the carrier assigned to move your car is fully insured and licensed with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration). Click here to get your free quote!

FAQs About Amtrak Car Transport

Is shipping a car by train less expensive than by an auto shipping company?

Train shipping is often less expensive than using a car shipping company. However, this is dependent on the specific circumstances and services. For example, Amtrak’s car shipping has low fares on one route, but a car shipping company may have more flexibility regarding pick-up and drop-off locations. Therefore, it is essential to compare prices and services.

How many major cities does Amtrak Auto Train serve?

Amtrak’s Auto Train serves two major cities: Washington, D.C., and Orlando, F.L.

Does my car have to be in working condition to be shipped by train?

Yes, your car must be functioning to be transported by train. This means it must be able to start and stop, steer, and brake. It must also be able to roll because it will be driven onto and off the train. If your car is not in functioning order, you may need to use another method of transportation, such as a car shipping company that specializes in non-functional vehicles.




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What Our Customrs Are Saying


We feel it’s important for you to know how we determined your quote. Quotes are based on what the market demands for cars to be moved at a given time. Each quote is compared with the current rates on the National Load Board before being sent to our customers and will be reviewed periodically through the process.

Other companies might offer you a lower price to obtain your business. This method is ineffective because if the car does not pay the correct amount of money, it will run the probability of not getting loaded or transported on time. You will not get this information from our competitors. Truck drivers always take the loads that pay the most first, leaving the loads that are mispriced to be moved last or not at all. We try very hard to avoid this with our customers by quoting a fair but realistic quote up front. Visit our How we determine your quote page for more information.

Understanding auto transport insurance is important and we think it’s valuable to explain how it works. As part of providing a great car transport service, it is our job to guarantee that the carrier we assign to pickup your vehicle is licensed and insured. Click here to check out our license.

When you go with Mercury to ship your vehicle, you can rest assured that the carrier assigned to move your car is fully insured and licensed with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier and Saftey Administration).

Your vehicle is covered by the carrier’s insurance policy that is doing the shipping. Depending on the type and size of the truck/trailer that is shipping your car, the insurance policy can cover from $100,000 to $1,000,000 of damage.

We have also provided a checklist to explain what you need to do at both pickup and delivery in case there are any issues so, you can file a claim and know that everything will be taken care of.

It is rare but, time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit and it is good to know that your carrier’s insurance will protect your auto shipment in that event.

To view a sample BOL (Bill of Lading) and learn what to do in case of accidental damage, please check out our Condition Report and Procedure checklist.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible.  

We feel it’s important for you to know how we determine your quote.

When you’re looking for a car shipping rate, you want to understand how auto transport works. Prices are based on seasonal market demands for cars to be moved at any given time. Each quote is prepared based on the season and the current national rates.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible. Not all brokers are created equal in this talent.

Mercury does a thorough background check with each carrier for every shipment. We verify their ratings, references, and in addition, we obtain a certified copy of their insurance certificate, directly from the government agency that it is on file with.

You can have peace of mind knowing that the carrier shipping your vehicle is the very best and that there are no surprises guaranteed.

Mercury Auto Transport is licensed, Bonded and Insured. Our FMSCA Motor Carrier Number is MC647319.

While we do our best match your auto shipping needs with the most responsible carriers with the best track records, from time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit, it is good to know that the insurance of the carrier we locate for you will protect your auto shipment in that event.

Shipping a vehicle can be stressful if you don’t know what to do.  This is why we believe it is paramount to have our highly trained agents be your main point of contact from start to finish.

They will go over everything you need to know so you can relax.  In the meanwhile, we prepared this checklist.  This includes everything from pickup to delivery and how to make sure your car is ready for pickup.

When it comes to car moving, we want you to be ahead of the game!  For any questions and further assistance our agents are standing by, (800) 553-1828.  Please read our checklist to prepare your vehicle to learn more.

There are several ways you can ship a car.  The options include enclosed trailer, open carrier transport, flatbed truck, door-to-door shipping services, and to or from a terminal as well.  The most popular of the options is a 7 to 10 car open carrier.  These large trucks can accommodate almost any size vehicle including carsSUVstrucksjeeps, and vans.

Open car transport, door to door is also the best way to get the cheapest auto transport rate possible.  To learn more and see what transport method is best for you, please fill out our free quote form and one of our representatives will respond to you within minutes.  You can also call us at (800) 553-1828.

We present offers from FMCSA Licensed and Insured Carriers. When you accept an offer, we send your service agreement that guarantees the price, door-to-door service, and 100% bumper-to-bumper insurance. There are never any hidden fees or charges, guaranteed.