Pros And Cons
If you’re looking to ship a car, you may have come across American Auto Transport in your search. The provider has been around for nearly 20 years, but how does it compare to other auto transport companies?
Our review team has researched the best car shipping companies in the country. In this article, we take an in-depth look at American Auto Transport’s costs, services, reputation, and reviews to help you determine whether it’s a good choice to ship your vehicle.
American Auto Transport Overview
Headquarters: Downers Grove, Illinois
Service area: United States
BBB rating: A+
Located in Downers Grove, Illinois, near Chicago, American Auto Transport Inc. is approaching two decades in the car shipping industry. The company offers a variety of car shipping services for both individuals and car dealers.
How Much Does American Auto Transport Cost?
Our team reached out to American Auto Transport for quotes to ship a 2018 Toyota RAV4 from Los Angeles to Houston using open and enclosed transport services. We submitted requests through the site’s quote tool and called the company’s service phone number. In both cases, we didn’t get quotes or a response.
Average Car Shipping Costs
While we didn’t receive a quote from American Auto Transport, it might be helpful to know what other providers charge for car shipping services. The table below shows car shipping quotes we’ve received for an open container shipment for the same vehicle from Los Angeles to Houston.
|Company||Distance||Car Shipping Quote|
|Montway Auto Transport||1,556 miles||$979|
|Sherpa Auto Transport||1,556 miles||$1,000|
|Easy Auto Ship||1,556 miles||$1,198|
Our team conducted an auto shipping consumer survey that polled 1,000 people who had experience shipping cars or shopping for auto transport services. When asked how much they paid for their vehicle shipments, just over 41 percent of respondents said they paid between $1,000 and $1,999.
Factors That Affect Car Shipping Costs
Car shipping quotes can only give a general idea of how much you might pay for vehicle transport services. That’s because many factors go into calculating your car shipping costs, including:
- Shipping distance: The vast majority of car shippers charge by the mile. The per-mile rate tends to go down as the distance increases. That means that while cross-country shipments cost more overall, the per-mile rate is less than for short shipments.
- Shipping time: Many auto shippers can expedite your shipment, but doing so will cost extra. Customers who can be flexible and book further in advance typically find better rates.
- Transport type: You can save money by shipping your car via open carrier, but doing so leaves your car at higher risk of being damaged. Enclosed carrier shipping offers greater protection for an additional fee.
- Delivery method: Some shippers give you an opportunity to save money by allowing terminal-to-terminal shipping, which is between two points chosen by the company. Door-to-door shipping is more convenient but usually more expensive.
- Vehicle type: Larger vehicles, such as trucks and SUVs, cost more to ship than smaller cars, like sedans and coupes.
- Time of year: Car shipping is a seasonal industry. Rates tend to be at their highest in January and during summer months.
- Insurance: Many car carriers have their own insurance policies to cover damages during transit. However, you may want to purchase additional coverage for peace of mind.
American Auto Transport Services
The American Auto Transport website doesn’t share many details about the car shipping services the company offers. However, the company offers at least the following service options:
- Door-to-door transport: American Auto Transport offers door-to-door shipping services, meaning you can get your vehicle picked up and delivered close to locations you choose.
- Tracking on all shipments: A full-time transit clerk tracks each shipment, allowing you to check your car’s status during transit.
- Auto auction shipping: American Auto Transport can help arrange shipping for cars bought at auction.
- Multi-vehicle shipping: The company provides shipping options for car dealerships and other businesses that need to move whole fleets of vehicles.
- Oversize shipping: American Auto Transport offers shipping services for oversize loads, something not all providers offer.
- Expedited shipping: The company’s website mentions that the company can ship vehicles sold at auction within one or two days.
- Alternative vehicle shipping: The company allows customers to ship alternative vehicles like 4x4s and motorcycles.
Because we were unable to reach anyone at American Auto Transport, we couldn’t confirm whether the provider offers other shipping options. If you don’t see a service for your transport needs listed above, it’s possible that the company offers it, so it may be worth calling to find out.
American Auto Transport Shipping Process
American Auto Transport’s website doesn’t list specific steps for how to ship a car. However, using an auto transport company to move a car is a relatively straightforward process.
- Get a quote: You can request a free quote from American Auto Transport through its quote tool or by calling the company directly. We were unable to get a quote using either method, however.
- Book a shipment: Once you receive an auto transport quote that works for you, you can book your shipment with a representative from your shipping provider. This typically requires a deposit.
- Prepare your vehicle: To get your vehicle ready for shipping, remove all your belongings. Some shippers allow you to pack personal items in the vehicle as cargo but may have weight restrictions. Take photos of your vehicle’s exterior for your records in case it’s damaged during transit.
- Meet your driver for pickup: On the day of your shipment, you or a representative who’s authorized to sign paperwork need to meet your driver at the time of pickup. The two of you will go over details, note any existing damage to your vehicle, and sign the bill of lading.
- Meet your driver for delivery: You or a representative will meet the truck driver at the point of delivery. Once again, you’ll inspect your vehicle and note any new damage. You’ll also need to sign the bill of lading upon delivery and pay the remainder of your shipping fee. Some car movers accept credit cards or online payments like PayPal, but many only accept cash upon delivery. Confirm what payment methods are available before meeting with your driver.
American Auto Transport Reviews
American Auto Transport doesn’t have many reviews online. The company has an A+ rating from the BBB but has only two reviews from customers on the website. Both of those reviews are negative, resulting in an average rating of 1.0 out of 5.0 stars. One review mentions that not being able to contact their driver was their main source of frustration. Another cites constant sales calls after submitting their contact information as their main issue.
It’s worth noting that American Auto Transport has zero complaints filed through the BBB over the last three years.
Our Take On American Auto Transport: 3.2 Out of 5.0 Stars
American Auto Transport is somewhat difficult to pin down as a shipping provider. The company’s website is short on details, making it hard to know exactly what it offers. The car transport company’s lack of response when we requested quotes is also concerning.
We have a hard time recommending American Auto Transport to individuals. However, the company may be a good source of shipping solutions for businesses that deal with fleets or large inventories of vehicles.
Other Recommendations For Car Shipping
While we don’t give an enthusiastic recommendation for American Auto Transport, there are plenty of great options for auto transport providers. AmeriFreight and Montway Auto Transport are two of the companies that made our list of the best car shipping companies in our industry-wide review. We recommend getting car shipping quotes online from providers so you can compare and find the best rates.
AmeriFreight: 4.5 stars
AmeriFreight is one of the biggest car shipping providers in the country. While the company’s competitive rates, excellent customer service reputation, and wide range of shipping options are selling points, our team loved AmeriFreight’s numerous discount opportunities. You can find saving opportunities for students, first responders, active-duty military, and more.
You can learn more in our AmeriFreight review.
Montway Auto Transport: 4.6 stars
Montway Auto Transport topped our rankings of the best car shipping companies, mainly due to its low shipping rates and celebrated customer service. Combined with a number of useful shipping options, these factors were enough to earn Montway the title of Best Overall in our industry-wide review.
Read more about the company in our Montway Auto Transport review.
FAQ: American Auto Transport
In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of car shipping companies to formulate rankings of the best transporters. Providers receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
- Reputation: Shippers with a history of strong business practices and endorsements from experts receive the highest scores in this category.
- Cost: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of shipping routes, distances, and vehicles. Companies with lower prices and many discount opportunities receive the best scores.
- Services: This rating is based on types of auto transport services available, insurance coverage, and the ability to guarantee pickup and drop-off dates.
- Customer Experience: We comb through customer reviews and perform our own shopper analysis to get a sense of the responsiveness and helpfulness of each car transporter.