Destination charges on a new car are one of life’s pain points. Like mowing the lawn, vacuuming, or pulling hair out of the drain, the costs associated with shipping a car from the factory are unavoidable—the bill comes due whether you like it or not.
But some automakers charge more than others. Why?
The added cost for destination and freight is figured by each automaker, averaged among the fleet of cars. It’s the same cost if you live across the street from Acura’s factory in Marysville, Ohio, as it is if you live in Mendocino, California. Automakers and dealers both declined to discuss destination charges for this story.
According to automakers, the cost of delivery rises with fuel and shipping costs, and destination fees do not build in profit.
Using that logic, an automaker that sells few cars that are shipped great distances would be higher. That checks out: the destination charges for Lamborghini ($3,495), Aston Martin ($2,895), and Bentley ($2,725) are the richest out there. So are their cars, and we presume respective buyers at those brands shrug off those charges without much of a second thought.
Supercars aren’t cheap to ship from anywhere if you’re wondering: Acura asks $1,995 to ship an NSX from Ohio. The Audi R8 costs $1,250 from Germany, and Porsche’s postage on a 911 is $1,350.
From those lofty perches, the rest of the brands fall mostly between $900 and $1,300—with one exception.
Truckmakers charge more for shipping than they do for cars: Ford, Chevy, and GMC charge $1,595 to ship a full-size pickup—Ram charges $1,695. Toyota and Nissan charge less: $1,495 and $1,395, respectively. Heavy trucks gulp fuel from the factory when they sit on semis, and don’t stop once they hit the streets.
High shipping costs aren’t the province of big trucks, either. Alfa Romeo’s specialties from Italy cost $1,295, but the 4C commands $1,595.
Luxury brands sound expensive, don’t they? Good news: BMW and Mercedes-Benz give buyers a break—each brand charges $995 for destination, regardless of the model.
That leaves us with just one brand that charges more than the bunch for everyday cars or crossovers that you’re likely to encounter in just about every neighborhood in America.
Dodge, Jeep, Fiat, and Chrysler charge more than any other mainstream automaker for its cars, crossovers, SUVs. Most of their makes ask $1,495 for destination, regardless of what corner of the planet they come from, including the mega-selling Jeep Wrangler.
The least expensive? A Chevy car—for as long as those are around. Chevy asks just $875 to ship a car. Subaru’s not far behind with their small cars: $885.