Amtrak Car Transport: The Benefits of Train Transportation

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.

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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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