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Best Car Shipping Companies
Based on our research, the best car shipping companies in 2023 are Montway, Sherpa, SGT, American Auto Shipping, AmeriFreight, uShip, and Easy Auto Ship.
At Motor1.com, we’re dedicated to supplying car owners with the well-researched information they need to make sound decisions about auto shipping. Our editorial team consists of experienced automotive researchers, writers, and editors that follow strict guidelines to ensure that our articles are unbiased and fact checked.
To compile our product reviews and rankings, our team continuously evaluates over 25 car shipping companies to compare costs, services, customer experience and reliability. We verify each provider’s quality and experience through our hands-on research process. Hundreds of hours has gone into analyzing past customer reviews and mystery shopping top providers to gather 400 pricing quotes for various shipping routes. We’ve also surveyed 3,000 shipping customers to learn what matters most to consumers when moving a car. Lastly, to obtain first-hand product knowledge our team shipped three cars across the country to gather insights into the overall process.
Shipping your car can be intimidating. Car shipping companies aren’t always transparent on how much services cost, and some offer perks like specific pickup windows, price matching, and insurance upgrades options while others do not. We’ll explain our top picks, the types of transport options available, and how the car shipping process works in this article.
Top-Rated Car Shipping Companies
Each year, our expert review team collects data from a wide selection of the top car shipping companies in order to generate rankings of the best transporters. Our team shopped providers to compare pricing on hundreds of custom quotes, surveyed past customers, and evaluated the unique services offered by each business.
What Are The Best Car Shipping Companies?
After 300 hours of research, we found the best car shipping companies in 2023 are Montway Auto Transport, Sherpa Auto Transport, SGT Auto Transport, American Auto Shipping, AmeriFreight, uShip, and Easy Auto Ship:
Montway Auto Transport
Sherpa Auto Transport
SGT Auto Transport
American Auto Shipping
Best Service Selection
Easy Auto Ship
Best Customer Service
Car Shipping Company Ratings: Our Process
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 the categories of reputation, cost, services, and customer experience, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
However, our ratings are not static. Throughout the year, we periodically review company data and quotes and make adjustments accordingly.
You can learn more about how ratings are determined in each category below:
Car transport companies with a history of strong business practices and endorsements from experts receive the highest scores in this category. Our team evaluates Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings for providers, the nature of customer complaints, the number of years in business, and overall shipping availability within the U.S. and beyond.
Our goal is to provide an overall reputation score that can indicate the trustworthiness of a business. We review over 25 providers but only recommend the most reliable companies.
To compare car shipping costs between companies, we review over 400 sample quotes for a variety of shipping routes, distances, and vehicles. Companies with lower shipping prices and many discount opportunities receive the best scores.
All of the quotes in this article apply to shipping an operable 2018 Toyota RAV4. You may find different quotes depending on the size of your vehicle and whether or not it drives. If a vehicle is inoperable, the truck driver will need to winch it onto the truck, and this adds to the cost.
It’s good to have choices. Our rating for this category is based on the types of auto transport services available (open, enclosed, door-to-door, etc.), insurance coverage, average transit time, and the ability to guarantee pickup dates. We award extra points to providers if they offer insurance with no deductible or additional insurance upgrades.
Customer Experience Ratings
We use a variety of techniques to determine how companies serve customers:
Secret shopping: We shop for quotes from all the companies we review, and make notes on our experiences with service agents.
Customer surveys: To date, we’ve surveyed 3,000 people who have shipped their cars through many different companies. Survey questions focus on customer experiences and the process of shipping a car from start to finish.
Customer reviews: We comb through hundreds of online customer reviews from sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Trustpilot, and Google, and include customer ratings in our overall customer experience score.
Car Shipping Company Reviews
After performing an in-depth industry review, our research team named Montway Auto Transport as the best car shipping company in 2023. While the provider tops this year’s list for the best provider overall, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best auto transport company for everyone.
Because rates with any provider can vary depending on your location, service preferences, and discount eligibility, we recommend researching a few leading providers and comparing quotes. To that end, the sections below contain in-depth reviews of the top auto transport companies on our list.
Topping our list in 2023, Montway Auto Transport works with over 15,000 carriers across the nation and can ship a car to anywhere in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. According to our consumer vehicle shipping survey, Montway Auto Transport had the highest satisfaction rating of any major provider.
ProsOver 15,000 verified carriersCompetitive pricesMilitary and return-customer discountsStrong customer reputation
Here are a few details about shipping with Montway:
Insurance: Provided through all Montway shippers, and contingent cargo insurance up to $250,000 is provided by Montway
Door-to-door delivery: Available
GPS tracking: Not available, but Montway has an extended live chat service that can provide updates and delivery status
Extras: Expedited pickup options (guaranteed within two days from the time of booking), and you can include 100 pounds of personal items inside the vehicle at no additional charge
How Montway Insurance Works
Montway requires all carriers to provide inland marine cargo insurance up to $100,000. This covers damage to your vehicle or theft while it is in transit. Specifically, inland marine insurance covers cargo on land, while marine insurance covers products transported over water.
If for some reason the carrier won’t cover your claim, Montway also provides contingent cargo insurance up to $250,000. This only applies if a carrier doesn’t fully cover a valid claim.
Montway Auto Transport Cost
Average cost per mile: $1.01 Cost to ship a car from LA to Houston*: $1,369
Montway offers competitive rates for a variety of shipping services, including open and enclosed auto transport. There are no listing fees, but there is a $199 cancellation fee.
The Montway quotes we received ranged from $719 for a 500-mile shipment to $1,809 for a cross-country move with open car transport, with details in the chart below. Comparing open and enclosed, using enclosed shipping costs $370 more than using open car shipping for a 1,500-mile shipment. Here are some more quotes we received from Montway:
Chicago to Kansas City, MO (503 miles)
Los Angeles to Houston (1,556 miles)
Los Angeles to Houston (1,556 miles)
New York City to San Francisco (3,036 miles)
*Sample shipping costs are to ship an operable 2018 Toyota RAV4 (SUV) on an open-carrier transport unless otherwise stated. Costs are estimates and may be subject to change by the time the final shipping is booked.
Founded: 2017 BBB rating: A+ BBBcustomer review score: 4.9/5.0 Trustpilot rating: Not available Google review score: 4.7/5.0
The mission of Sherpa Auto Transport is to provide a simple and reliable consumer shipping experience, enhanced by its Price Lock Promise. This means that Sherpa makes a special effort to work only with the most reliable shippers and provides full-service support to customers. Sherpa removes most hidden fees and price increases with its Price Lock Promise.
What does the Price Lock Promise do? When you accept a quote from Sherpa, the company will try to secure a carrier within that price range. If demand for carriers is high, the price may not be good enough to bring in a carrier. In that case, Sherpa will contribute up to $300 of its own funds to get a carrier without raising your quote.
Our survey data shows customers are most concerned about cost when looking for a carrier. With Sherpa’s Price Lock Promise, you know the rate won’t increase after you get a quote.
ProsA+ rating from the BBB and very few customer complaintsEasy-to-use booking process and quick shipper matchingPrice Lock Promise on every quote
ConsCan be slightly more expensiveDoes not ship to Alaska or Hawaii
Car Shipping Services From Sherpa
Here are a few details about shipping with Sherpa Auto Transport:
Insurance: All Sherpa carriers have a minimum liability insurance policy of $1 million and $100,000 of cargo insurance coverage
Door-to-door delivery: Available
GPS tracking: Not available, but customers can contact Sherpa for a real-time update and estimated arrival time
Extras:Expedited pickup available (within two days from time of booking based on carrier availability), $20 car wash reimbursement included with all shipping, Price Lock Promise
Sherpa Auto Transport Cost
Average cost per mile: $1.10 Cost to ship a car from LA to Houston*: $1,575
While initial car shipping quotes may be a bit higher with Sherpa than with other providers, these are locked-in rates due to the Price Lock Promise. Other car shipping companies may provide estimated rates that are much lower than the actual cost after fees and surcharges are added on at the end.
The open vehicle transport quotes we received from Sherpa ranged from $700 for a 500-mile trip to $2,650 for a 3,000-mile move. We also found adding the enclosed shipping option to a 1,500-mile shipment increased the cost by $175. Here are a few more quotes we received from Sherpa:
SGT Auto Transport has many strengths as a car transporter, but one of the main reasons it made our list of the best car shipping companies is its price-match guarantee. Under this guarantee, SGT Auto Transport will match a written quote from a direct competitor if you find a better rate elsewhere.
SGT Auto Transport offers and fulfills everything from shipping for online car purchases to transporting entire inventories for car dealerships. This, along with high ratings from customers, helps to demonstrate their level of credibility across the industry. However, one downside to SGT Auto Transport is that it doesn’t offer car shipping to Alaska.
ProsPrice matchGuaranteed pickup datesAvailable in 49 states24/7 customer support
ConsNo terminal-to-terminal shippingNo real-time tracking or mobile app
Car Shipping Services From SGT Auto Transport
Here are a few of the services SGT Auto Transport offers:
Insurance: Carriers have cargo insurance policies of $100,000 or more
Door-to-door delivery: Available
GPS tracking: No GPS tracking but you can track via phone, email, or 24/7 live chat
Extras:Expedited pickup is available on a business day of your choice (within one to three days from the time of booking), and customers can ship up to 100 pounds of personal items in the car
SGT Auto Transport Cost
Average cost per mile: $1.00 Cost to ship a car from LA to Houston*: $1,499
Compared to other providers, SGT Auto Transport offers average quotes. But since it will price-match its competitors, you may be able to find a cheaper rate than your initial quote.
According to quotes we received, rates with SGT Auto Transport come in at $200 more to ship a car from LA to Houston with enclosed shipping as compared to open shipping. Quotes range from $610 for a shorter shipment to over $2,000 for a cross-country shipment. Below are quotes we received from SGT Auto Transport.
#4: American Auto Shipping: Best Service Selection
Founded: 1999 BBB rating: A+ BBBcustomer review score: 4.6/5.0 Trustpilot rating: 3.8/5.0 (From two reviews) Google review score: 4.6/5.0
American Auto Shipping is another great choice if you’re looking for a wide range of service options. The company offers a diverse set of shipping services, such as car shipments to Hawaii, auto auction transport, and even heavy equipment shipping. You’re likely to find the service you need through American Auto Shipping.
In our experience, American Auto Shipping offers timely customer service with helpful agents. Our secret shoppers were able to get help with a quote quickly and have their questions answered. This is reflected in many American Auto Shippingcustomer reviews as well. Reviewers mention timely vehicle pickup, great communication, and professional drivers.
ProsSeveral shipping service optionsEasy online quotes processGreat customer service
ConsNo shipping to AlaskaNo GPS tracking
Car Shipping Services From American Auto Shipping
Here are a few of the services American Auto Shipping provides:
Insurance: Carriers have $750,000 of public liability insurance and meet federal minimum cargo insurance requirements
Door-to-door delivery: Available
GPS tracking: No, but 24/7 chat support can give you the location of your car
Extras:Expedited pickup available (within one day from the time of booking), locked-in pricing, and a damage-free guarantee
Under American Auto Shipping’s damage-free guarantee, the company will pay up to $500 of your insurance deductible if your car was damaged and the carrier’s insurance won’t cover it.
American Auto Shipping Cost
Average cost per mile: $0.99 Cost to ship a car from LA to Houston*: $1,319
American Auto Shipping isn’t the cheapest company on our list, but it isn’t the most expensive, either. The company quoted us $669 to ship our vehicle in an open container 503 miles.
We also received a quote for $1,819 for enclosed shipping from Los Angeles to Houston, which was a little cheaper than some other transport companies’ quotes for the same route. However, the enclosed shipping quote was $500 more expensive than the open shipping quote.
AmeriFreight partners with over 10,000 auto shipping companies to transport customer vehicles anywhere in the U.S. With an A+ rating with the BBB, this nationwide auto transporter stands out by dedicating extra attention to its carrier vetting process. Only fully insured truckers with consistently high customer ratings are used, and any shipper with a poor client history is dropped as a partner.
ProsA+ rating from the BBB and accreditationMany discount opportunitiesStrict car shipper vetting processTop-rated customer service
ConsSlower online quote process
What sets AmeriFreight apart from many of its competitors is its list of discounts. AmeriFreight discounts are available to military members, first responders, students, and more. Here’s the full list:
Military: $35 off
First responders: $35 off
Medical personnel: $35 off
Students: $25 off
Senior citizens: $25 off
Return customers: $50 off
Multiple vehicles: $50 off every additional vehicle
Early Bird: $35 off if you sign up within 48 hours of getting a quote
Only one discount offer can be applied per order, except for the Early Bird discount.
Car Shipping Services From AmeriFreight
Here are a few details about using AmeriFreight:
Insurance: All auto carriers insured, with additional guaranteed asset protection insurance, or gap coverage, available for a fee
Door-to-door delivery: Available
GPS Tracking: Not available, but you can track by calling the company for updated location information or via online chat
Extras:Expedited pickup is available (within two days from the time of booking)
AmeriFreight is the only car shipping company on our list that offers gap coverage. This is not the same as gap insurance for an auto loan. AmeriFreight’s plan is called the Allied Fidelity Total Assurance Plan, or AFta for short. The plan can cover up to $2,000 of your insurance deductible if you file a claim with your own company. It can also cover a range of situations with different plan levels. Here are the basics:
Standard Coverage: This option covers major damage should the carrier’s insurance fail to cover it, minor damage if it’s detected within 48 hours of delivery, rental car coverage after extreme delays in the shipping process, and lost or stolen keys.
Basic Coverage: This option only covers minor damage detected within 48 hours of delivery.
Payment Cancellation Coverage: With this option, you can get your deposit back after dispatch but prior to vehicle pickup. Normally, brokers won’t refund your deposit once they’ve dispatched a driver.
Comprehensive Coverage: This option includes all of the above.
Pricing depends on the vehicle value and coverage.
Average cost per mile: $1.15 Cost to ship a car from LA to Houston*: $1,199
One downside to AmeriFreight is that it can cost much more to ship enclosed than open. In a quote we received for shipping a car from LA to Houston, enclosed car shipping was $839 more than open car shipping. Looked at another way, it was 70 percent more expensive to ship enclosed than open in this instance. Below are a few quotes from AmeriFreight.
uShip is a different kind of car shipping company. It’s a marketplace that connects customers to car carriers. The advantage is that you can find affordable rates directly from car carriers. But the downside is that uShip doesn’t guarantee the service or insurance that carriers offer. So, it’s up to you to do due diligence on any carrier you come across.
ProsEstablished industry reputationMakes it easy to compare offers from a wide range of shippers and brokersHassle-free shippingCompetitive prices
ConsDoes not verify insurance coverage of shippersDoes not have the best process for resolving issues with driversNo price guarantee, so quoted prices may fluctuate
Car Shipping Services From uShip
Insurance:Carrier insurance not verified, uShip offers cargo insurance for a fee
Door-to-door delivery: Available
GPS tracking: Yes, if the carrier has location sharing enabled on their mobile device
Extras: Get competing quotes from carriers with a marketplace listing
Many car shipping companies can ship across the country but not necessarily overseas. uShip can coordinate your shipment from a port in the U.S. to an international port city, which makes it somewhat unique on our list of car shipping providers. Additionally, uShip can transport vehicles that other shippers may not, such as ATVs, boats, and heavy equipment.
How Insurance Works On uShip
Since uShip doesn’t verify insurance from participating carriers, it offers cargo insurance to its customers. You can add uShipcargo insurance for a small fee depending on the value of your car. uShip insurance covers direct physical loss or damage to your vehicle.
uShip also offers a $500 Ship with Confidence Guarantee. uShip will compensate you $500 if you made a payment to a carrier who didn’t complete the service. The guarantee also applies if you are unable to collect on an insurance claim filed through the carrier’s insurance or uShipcargo insurance.
Average cost per mile: $0.97 Cost to ship a car from LA to Houston*: $1,249
It’s free to create an account on uShip. After that, you can get a quote either by using the instant quote form or by making a marketplace listing. The instant quote form will show you quotes from top car shipping companies.
If you make a marketplace listing, you can watch as different companies bid lower and lower to get your job. You can get prices from more companies in this way, and you may get the lowest prices out there, too.
Our team received instant quotes from uShip that ranged from $689 for a short shipment to $2,177 for a cross-country shipment. Shipping a car enclosed was $280 more than shipping it open from LA to Houston. Below are the instant quotes our team received.
Easy Auto Ship is a low-cost auto shipping broker that also offers moving and relocation services. The company will transport many types of vehicles, including classic cars, motorcycles, recreational vehicles (RVs), and heavy equipment. With 10 years of experience, Easy Auto Ship offers service to all 50 states plus international shipping.
Having compared quotes from Easy Auto Ship, we noted it offered a standard pickup window of one to five days, which was the best among all companies we researched. It also offers expedited service, and can even pick your car up in as little as a few hours depending on carrier availability.
ProsA+ rating from the BBB with accreditationRelatively low shipping pricesInstant online quotes
ConsMore complaints than other top providers
Car Shipping Services From Easy Auto Ship
Here are a few details about transporting a vehicle with Easy Auto Ship:
Insurance: All carriers are insured, and Easy Auto Ship provides an additional $100,000 of coverage with all contracts at no charge
Door-to-door delivery: Available
GPS tracking: Not available, but agents will provide updates and can be contacted regarding car shipment status at any time
Extras: Upgraded, expedited pickup available (can pick up same-day based on carrier availability)
If your shipment takes longer than two weeks after pickup, Easy Auto Ship will provide a free rental car for you to use. The company will also pay for a wash if your car arrives dirty.
Easy Auto Ship Cost
Average cost per mile: $1.23 Cost to ship a car from LA to Houston*: $1,589
In our research, we found Easy Auto Ship’s rates to be comparable to the average cost in the car shipping industry. Open transport quotes ranged from $824 for a 500-mile shipment to $1,959 for a cross-country move.
Unfortunately, enclosed shipping tends to be expensive through Easy Auto Ship. Sending a car from LA to Houston with an enclosed carrier was almost $900 more expensive than sending it on an open carrier.
You can get a rough idea of how much your shipment will cost with Easy Auto Ship by using the company’s domestic and international car shipping cost calculator on its website. The provider offers discounts for active-duty military members and veterans.
If this is your first time shipping a car, take a few minutes to get the lay of the land. Shipping a car isn’t like sending a box through the mail.
Car Shipping Companies: Brokers Vs. Carriers
Shipping a car involves three components: the customer, a car shipping broker, and a carrier. In a nutshell, a customer gets a quote from a broker to ship their car. The broker then posts the job to their network of carriers. Once a carrier is dispatched to pick up the car, the broker has rendered their services.
Most of the time, a carrier picks up the job for the agreed price. In some cases, the quote is not high enough to secure a carrier. This may happen if there is high demand for car shipping at the time the customer requests a quote. The broker may go back to the customer and ask to raise the quote to secure a carrier.
You might wonder, why not just book directly with a carrier? Well, carriers rarely advertise to customers. Most prefer to work with brokers to keep their schedules full and to avoid worrying about marketing costs.
Car Shipping Services
If you are considering shipping a car, it’s important to understand the services that are available to you. With respect to auto transport, three crucial components to consider are shipping method, whether or not your vehicle is protected by a sufficient level of insurance coverage, and common issues that customers face when shipping a car.
In the sections below we’ll cover each of these components.
Open Vs. Enclosed Car Shipping Services
There are two kinds of auto shipping, open and enclosed. With open shipping, the carrier loads your car onto an open-air trailer that can accommodate 10 vehicles or more depending on their sizes. Since more cars fit on an open trailer, transportation costs are lower.
However, open shipping leaves your car vulnerable to debris from the road and damage from the elements. Not to mention, cars on the upper deck can leak oil and other fluids onto the lower cars.
If these potential risks set off a lot of alarm bells for you, you’ll want to use enclosed shipping. SGT Auto Transport CEO Tsvetelin (Jack) Savov shared some expert tips for those who are deciding between the two shipping methods. “Enclosed shipping is worth the extra cost in certain situations. If the vehicle is expensive, classic, or a sports car, enclosed shipping is highly recommended to ensure that it is protected from any climate impacts during transport.”
Depending on the distance and company, enclosed shipping can cost anywhere from $200 to $900 more than open shipping. But the cost may be worth it to keep a new or valuable car safe from the elements. “Customers should weigh the benefits of enclosed transport against their budget and shipping needs to determine if it is the best option for their specific situation,” said Savov. “Overall, while enclosed shipping is not always necessary, it can provide added peace of mind and security for certain types of vehicles during transport.”
Car Transport Insurance
The car shipping companies on our list all require the carriers in their networks to have minimum levels of cargo insurance, which usually start at $100,000. This insurance covers both theft and damage to your vehicle while it is in transit. However, some situations may be excluded. For example, Easy Auto Ship and its carriers aren’t liable for damage from objects flying from the road or sky during transport. And AmeriFreight can cover these damages through its Allied Fidelity Total Assurance Plan (AFta) for a price.
“Most companies provide bumper-to-bumper insurance, which covers external damage to the vehicle, but it’s always advisable to check the coverage of the insurance to make sure it includes the cost of the vehicle,” explained Savov. “If the insurance coverage provided by the shipping company meets the customer’s needs, it may not be necessary to purchase additional insurance. Customers should take time to review the terms and conditions of any additional insurance policy, including any exclusions, limitations, and deductibles.”
Damage to your vehicle during the loading and unloading process may be excluded from cargo insurance. If something happens to your car and the carrier denies the claim, you can file a claim with your insurance company – but only if you already have comprehensive coverage.
Some companies provide extra insurance coverage for a fee, and others offer compensation if certain claims are denied by the carrier’s insurance. This is why it’s important to read the fine print as you shop around for car shipping quotes.
Our team surveyed 1,000 people in 2021 who shipped a car in the past. Overall, 69 percent of respondents were satisfied with their experience. However, 21 percent were somewhat or very dissatisfied with their experience with the auto moving company. Some common problems include:
The vehicle had damage upon delivery
The truck driver’s insurance wouldn’t cover the damage
The final price was more than the auto transport quote
We asked shipping customers the same question in a 2023 survey, and the responses were even more positive. A total of 59 percent of respondents said they were “very satisfied,” and 34 percent were “somewhat satisfied.” Taken together, 93 percent of those who took our survey were satisfied with their shipping experience.
About 56 percent of respondents to our 2021 survey would recommend the auto transport company they used to a friend. On the other hand, 15 percent would ship a car again but use a different provider.
We also found that open car transport is the most popular way to ship a car, which makes sense since it’s usually the most economical shipping option. About 43 percent used open transport, while 20 percent used enclosed transport in our 2021 survey. Compare that to our 2023 survey, in which 65 percent of respondents selected open transport and 29 percent of people chose enclosed carrier transport. Some customers also used single-car transport services such as a flatbed truck.
Our Team’s Shipping Experience
To test out the auto transport industry for ourselves, three members of our product review team shipped their own vehicles with some of the industry’s leading providers. Product Analyst Sonia Chrostowski selected a cross-country route from Carlsbad, CA to Raleigh, NC. Overall, she was very satisfied with her experience and found that there was some flexibility among what is permitted with shipping carriers. She was able to pack her entire vehicle with belongings for an additional fee, which is not common in the shipping industry. The carrier assigned to her by her shipping broker was Skyline Auto Relocation Inc.
“I was given the phone number of the dispatcher and the actual driver himself, so I could call the driver whenever I wanted an update on the status of my car shipment,” said Chrostowski. “Being able to speak with the driver was a great plus since I was very anxious about shipping my car. My car arrived with no damage and all of my things still packed in my car.”
How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Car?
Shipping a car can cost up to $1.98 per mile for short trips of about 500 miles but as low as $0.53 per mile for distances over 2,000 miles.
Our team received quotes from over 15 companies in 2021, 2022, and 2023. We saw an increase in costs across the board in 2022. Notably, we received our 2022 quotes while inflation and gas prices were on the rise, and both of those factors will reliably increase car shipping costs.
The average 1,500-mile open-car shipment cost was $1,056 in 2021 and $1,425 in 2022. That’s an increase of about 35 percent. Our company rankings in this article take the updated cost data into account.
In general, car shipping costs are most affected by the following factors:
Time of year: Prices peak in the summer and in January, when auto shippers are at their busiest.
Shipping distance: The farther your move, the more vehicle shipping will cost. Shorter trips will cost less overall, but do tend to cost more per mile.
Type of vehicle: Your car’s length, height, clearance, and weight can all impact shipping costs. Inoperable vehicles cost more to ship as well.
Transport type: Enclosed car transport costs more than open auto transport.
Pickup location:Door-to-door delivery is more expensive than terminal-to-terminal delivery. Shipping to and from rural areas is also more expensive than shipping to and from urban areas.
Car Shipping Quotes
It’s important to note that the price that you are quoted may not be the same as the price you’ll pay. Unless you work with a company that explicitly offers a locked-in rate or price guarantee, assume that quoted rates can change. Car carriers are independent businesses, and they can choose whether a particular job offers enough compensation or not.
However, once a carrier is dispatched or assigned to pick up your car, your price should not change. If the driver asks for more money when they drop off the vehicle, that’s not OK, and you should report them to the shipping company.
In our 2021 shipping survey, some respondents did say the driver asked for more money or a larger tip upon delivery. It’s a good idea to print out your original shipping agreement and have it with you when you meet the driver.
Auto Transport Payments
After you get a quote, there are four main steps in the car shipping process: quote acceptance (booking), dispatch, pickup, and delivery. When a company assigns your car shipment to a specific carrier, the car has been dispatched.
Depending on the broker, you will get charged for the shipping service either at the time of booking or dispatch. In both cases, you pay online by credit card and the broker then pays the carrier its share later on.
Many brokers also give the option for a cash-on-delivery (COD) payment, which can be cheaper than prepaying in full online. Car shipping companies like COD payments because it saves them an administrative task, while drivers like them because they get their money faster. The upside for you is that you can pay a small deposit at the time of booking or dispatch and then pay the rest when you receive the car.
Be aware that cash-on-delivery means no debit cards, credit cards, or checks. Drivers will accept cash-equivalent payments like money orders or cashier’s checks, though. Some may accept payments through Venmo or Cash App, but don’t count on this being the case.
Car Shipping Tips
When shipping a car, there are a few things you should know to avoid unnecessary headaches and hassle during your move. Below are a few helpful tips for those who are considering or are in the process of transporting a vehicle.
1. Do Your Research
Savov recommends the following for first-shippers:
“For a first-time car shipper, I recommend investing sufficient time into the research phase to determine the type of service needed. Whether it’s for relocating or for a guaranteed pick-up service, comparing prices and evaluating the pros and cons of at least two to three companies is highly recommended.”
– Tsvetelin (Jack) Savov, CEO of SGT Auto Transport
2. Be Flexible
It’s important to be flexible when shipping a car, especially for long-distance moving. If you don’t plan ahead, you’ll pay more upfront for expedited car delivery. Shipping timelines can change depending on weather and traffic, too. Keep in mind that delivery dates are very rarely guaranteed.
Auto movers may not be able to meet you at your exact delivery location. Remember, an open or enclosed trailer needs to make it to the drop-off spot. This isn’t always possible on smaller neighborhood streets.
3. Prepare Your Vehicle Correctly
Here’s how to prepare for shipping your car:
Make sure your vehicle has no more than a quarter tank of gas.
Remove all your personal items.
Make sure your car isn’t leaking any fluids.
Clean your car inside and out.
Note your car’s exact condition and take photos before signing the bill of lading.
Best Auto Transport Companies: Conclusion
We rated Montway Auto Transport as the best overall car shipping company, but each of the other providers on this list is worthy of your attention. Sherpa Auto Transport, AmeriFreight, Easy Auto Ship, SGT Auto Transport, and American Auto Shipping all scored almost as high in our study and offer both reliable service and competitive pricing.
You can and should get free quotes from several providers to compare before making a decision. The car shipper that offers the best rates for your neighbor may not be the one with the cheapest rates for you.
Car Shipping Companies: FAQ
Below are some frequently asked questions about car shipping companies:
You’ll likely save money by driving your car rather than shipping it. However, shipping your vehicle comes with extra security and is much more convenient. You need to consider how far you’re moving your car and how fast you need it to be relocated before making your decision.
Most car shipping companies require you to remove all items from your vehicle before shipment. Montway Auto Transport will allow you to ship up to 100 pounds of additional cargo in your trunk at no extra cost. If you aren’t sure, check with your auto-shipping provider.
After researching every major auto shipping provider, our team found Montway Auto Transport, Sherpa Auto Transport, and AmeriFreight to be among the best and most reliable car shipping companies in the industry. These car transporters have competitive rates and excellent customer service reputations.
We found that AmeriFreight and SGT Auto Transport offered the cheapest shipping quotes between Los Angeles and Houston at $884 and $945, respectively. Be aware that quotes are variable and can change at any time until car shipping companies actually dispatch a carrier.
The cost to transport a car can range from $500 to $2,000 and higher. Average costs for auto shipping are dependent on factors such as vehicle size and condition, shipment distance, open transport or enclosed transport, and season.
The most cost-effective way to ship a car is to use open car transport. This way, the cost is divided among up to 10 vehicles. If you are moving between Florida and Washington, D.C., you can also use Amtrak’s car transport service for cheap rates.
You can pay to have someone else drive your car across the country. This could end up costing more than it would be to have your car shipped with an auto shipping service, as you’ll incur the extra miles on your vehicle.
You can get a car shipping estimate from a top broker such as Montway Auto Transport. Once you provide your shipment details and preferred method of transport, you’ll receive a free shipping estimate and be connected with a carrier.
An auto transport broker is a company that connects car owners with shipping carriers. A broker that works with a variety of reputable carriers should be able to find you a competitive rate, and the carrier is the company that takes over the actual transportation of your vehicle.
Yes, there are discounts for auto transport. We recognized AmeriFreight for having the best auto shipping discounts. You can get lower rates with the provider if you are a military service member, first responder, medical personnel, student, senior citizen, or returning customer. Those who sign up early and those with multiple vehicles can also find savings.
You can ship a car to another state or, with some providers, even another country. The best car shipping companies provide a number of options to ship your car within the U.S. and internationally.
To ship a car, you first need to get a quote – we recommend getting several – either over the phone or online from an auto shipping company. Then, you’ll need to arrange details such as pickup and drop-off time and location when you book your shipment. You’ll meet your driver at the pickup and drop-off locations when your vehicle is picked up and delivered.
To choose an auto transport company, compare customer reviews to see how different companies handle problems that come up. Look for an auto transport company that is honest about how rates may change or how shipment windows aren’t set in stone. Then, compare quotes to find one in your budget.