Speed Reads:

  • Based on the quotes our team received for a wide variety of shipping routes, the average cost of car shipping is about $1,400 to $1,700. Costs vary significantly depending on the distance you need to ship your vehicle and the type of transport carrier you choose. 
  • You should always research and compare quotes from multiple providers before making your decision on a car shipping service.
  • Montway Auto Transport, Easy Auto Ship, and SGT Auto Transport are great companies to start with when looking for car shipping quotes.

Looking for cheap car shipping quotes online? Our team has compared over 400 quotes from 25 car shipping companies to determine average car shipping costs and the cheapest companies to use. The best way to get cheap car shipping quotes online is to compare offers from multiple providers. You can then easily find the best shipping company for your budget and needs.

In this article, we’ll explain how to get car shipping quotes and cover the factors that influence costs. To recommend the best car shipping companies, we’ve also interacted with companies through secret shopping, surveyed car shipping customers, analyzed services, and collected industry ratings from top online review platforms.


What Is A Car Shipping Quote?

A car shipping quote is essentially an estimate of how much it will cost in total to ship your vehicle. When you get a quote, the shipping company gives you a price estimate. Then, it posts the shipment to its network of carriers. Carriers can take the job or pass it up for other opportunities depending on the market at that time.

Getting a quote to ship your car is slightly different from, say, getting a rate from the United States Postal Service to ship a large package. That’s because most car shipping companies are brokers that work with independent carriers, meaning they don’t have full control over the price.

Best Car Shipping Quotes

The table below highlights the cost ratings for each of our top-rated car shipping companies. With these companies, you can expect to receive cheap car shipping quotes, no matter how far you need to ship your vehicle or whether you choose an open or enclosed carrier.

To calculate the average cost per mile, our team mystery-shopped and got quotes for an operable 2018 Toyota RAV4 along the following routes from multiple companies:

  • Chicago to Kansas City, Missouri with open shipping (503 miles)
  • Los Angeles to Houston with open shipping (1,556 miles)
  • Los Angeles to Houston with enclosed shipping (1,556 miles)
  • New York to San Francisco with open shipping (3,036 miles)

Compare the average cost per mile and our cost ratings for our top-rated car shipping companies below:

Car Shipping CompanyAverage Cost Per MileOur Cost Rating
SGT Auto Transport$1.004.4
Montway Auto Transport$1.014.5
Sherpa Auto Transport$1.104.5
Easy Auto Ship$1.234.0

*All ratings are out of 5.0 points each.

Methodology: How We Rate Car Shipping Companies

Each year, our team scores car shipping companies in the following categories: reputation, cost, services, and customer experience. We surveyed over 2,000 shipping customers to see what matters most to them and factored our collected data into the overall weighted average rating. Aside from the quotes we received, we’ve collected over 500 data points to further formulate our industry ratings and methodology.


You might be looking for affordable shipping companies, but it’s valuable to know a company has a good reputation as well. This category takes into account industry ratings from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) as well as complaints on the site and the general nature of complaints. Company longevity and shipping availability by state also factor into this score.


Our team compared over 400 quotes from many popular car shipping companies. Our quotes include short-, medium-, and long-distance transport prices as well as open and enclosed shipping. We gave the best cost scores to companies with lower average prices and available discounts.

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 it drives. If a vehicle is inoperable, the truck driver will need to winch it onto the truck, which adds to the overall cost.


It’s good to have choices, and we award higher scores to companies with plenty to offer. Most companies offer open car shipping and enclosed car shipping with door-to-door services. However, if a company offers add-on insurance coverage, fast average transit times, and guaranteed pickup dates, it’ll receive higher marks from our team

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 to get the best sense of a customer’s experience. We also record our experiences with agents and see how they compare to experiences from other customers.
  • Customer surveys: To date, we’ve surveyed over 2,000 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. We also ask about common issues people encounter when shipping cars.
  • Customer reviews: We comb through hundreds of online customer reviews from sites like the BBB, Trustpilot, and Google, and we include customer ratings in our overall customer experience score.

Customer Experience Survey

Our team polled customers on their overall satisfaction with the shipping process. About 93 percent of respondents in our 2023 car shipping survey were very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their experience. Only 2 percent of respondents were dissatisfied, and 5 percent were neither satisfied or dissatisfied. 



Compare Car Shipping Quotes

When looking to get the best quote, we recommend reaching out to Montway Auto Transport, uShip, AmeriFreight, SGT Auto Transport, Sherpa Auto Transport, and Easy Auto Ship. In the following sections, we’ll compare each company’s best quotes for short-, medium-, and long-distance shipping using either open or enclosed carriers.

Car Shipping Company Quotes

Car shipping quotes can vary widely depending on the company you choose. Comparing the average quotes from car shipping companies gives you a good indication of which provider offers the best car shipping prices.

Shipping CompanyAverage Quote
Montway Auto Transport$1,409
SGT Auto Transport$1,524
Sherpa Auto Transport$1,669
Easy Auto Ship$1,716

Compare Car Shipping Quotes By Distance

Typically, short-distance quotes are lower overall compared to long-distance quotes. However, on a per-mile basis, longer shipments cost substantially less. 

Short-Distance Car Transport Quotes

We received the best short-distance quote to ship a 2018 Toyota RAV4 from SGT Auto Transport, at only $610. You can compare our top-rated car shippers in the table below.

Shipping CompanyShort-Distance Quote
SGT Auto Transport$610
Sherpa Auto Transport$700
Montway Auto Transport$719
Easy Auto Ship$824

Medium-Distance Car Transport Quotes

According to our research, AmeriFreight offers the lowest medium-distance quotes by far. The company quoted us $1,199 to ship the same vehicle as above roughly 1,500 miles. The table below contains the best quotes we received from the most reputable car shipping companies.

Shipping CompanyMedium-Distance Quote
Montway Auto Transport$1,369
SGT Auto Transport$1,499
Sherpa Auto Transport$1,575
Easy Auto Ship$1,589

Long-Distance Car Transport Quotes

AmeriFreight also quoted our review team the best rate to ship a vehicle 3,000 miles or more, coming in at just $1,598.

Shipping CompanyLong-Distance Quote
Montway Auto Transport$1,809
Easy Auto Ship$1,959
SGT Auto Transport$2,289
Sherpa Auto Transport$2,650

Compare Car Shipping Quotes By Carrier Type

After shipping distance, the type of carrier you choose has the second biggest impact on shipping quotes. Open carrier shipping quotes are almost always lower than enclosed quotes. This is because open-air carriers can transport several vehicles at a time and this type of shipping is more commonly available. Enclosed shipping is also more expensive because it protects the vehicle from the outside elements.

When asked about the advantages of choosing enclosed shipping, Jack Savov, SEO of SGT Auto Transport, said:

“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. Overall, while enclosed shipping is not always necessary, it can provide added peace of mind and security for certain types of vehicles during transport.”

In the following sections, we will highlight how the type of auto carrier you choose affects your car shipping quotes.

Open Transport Quotes

According to our research, you can get an open carrier quote from AmeriFreight for as low as $1,199 when shipping your vehicle roughly 1,556 miles. Compare the best quotes we received for open car transport services in the table below.

Shipping CompanyOpen Carrier Quote
Montway Auto Transport$1,369
SGT Auto Transport$1,499
Sherpa Auto Transport$1,575
Easy Auto Ship$1,589

Enclosed Car Shipping Quotes

If you want the added protection of enclosed shipping, we recommend uShip. The company has a good industry reputation and quoted us the best rate to ship a 2018 Toyota RAV4 1,556 miles with enclosed shipping, at only $1,529.

The table below contains the best enclosed trailer shipping quotes from the most reputable car shipping companies included in our industry-wide study.

Shipping CompanyEnclosed Carrier Quote
SGT Auto Transport$1,699
Montway Auto Transport$1,739
Sherpa Auto Transport$1,750
Easy Auto Ship$2,491

Venn diagram marking the major differences and similarities between open and enclosed auto shipping options



Getting Car Shipping Quotes

With over 300 hours of research backing our team, we’ll provide an overview of the entire shipping process so you can best understand which services you need while you’re shopping around for quotes. Learn more about getting personalized auto shipping quotes below.

What Is The Best Way To Get A Car Shipping Quote?

The easiest way to get the best auto transport quotes is to find companies that offer car shipping calculators. We’ve confirmed that Montway Auto Transport, Sherpa Auto Transport, Easy Auto Ship, and uShip all provide instant car shipping quotes on their websites.

Car shipping quote calculators estimate shipping costs based on route information and carrier availability. Some companies may offer a car shipping quote calculator for domestic moves but not international ones. If this is the case and you’re looking to ship internationally, you’ll need to call the auto transport provider for a price.

Car Shipping Bidding Sites

Another way to get a car shipping quote online is through a marketplace such as uShip. Instead of acting as a liaison between carriers and customers, uShip offers a platform for customers to post jobs and carriers to directly accept them.

uShip is a bit like eBay. If you use the uShip quote system, you’ll post your shipment details to the marketplace. Then, you’ll wait for offers as car carriers bid on your shipment. uShip will notify you of each bid, and you can pick the one that works for you.

To recap, you can request an instant quote or you can post your shipping request to a marketplace for bidding. Instant quotes can be higher, so if time allows, we recommend posting your job to a marketplace to find cheap car shipping rates. Since uShip is a marketplace, it doesn’t verify the insurance of carriers on the platform – it’s important that you research this  yourself to ensure your shipment is adequately protected. However, it does offer an insurance add-on for extra coverage.

In addition to shipping costs, uShip charges a service fee that ranges from $25 to $150. Some shippers carry insurance, but if your carrier doesn’t have insurance, you can purchase it separately.

What You Need For A Car Shipping Quote

While many auto shippers allow you to use an instant car shipping cost calculator online, other providers need to manually check market conditions before giving you a free quote. In any case, you’ll need to provide some basic information to get accurate car shipping quotes. 

For a hassle-free experience, you should have the following information on hand, whether or not you plan to use a car shipping calculator:

  • Your vehicle’s make, model, and year
  • Vehicle operability status
  • Drop-off and delivery locations
  • Drop-off and delivery dates
  • Shipping preferences, such as enclosed or open transport
  • Your contact information including email and phone number

What Affects Car Shipping Quotes?

When giving an estimate, car shipping brokers rely on several factors to determine how much to determine your transport cost. Below we highlight the most important factors that affect car shipping quotes.
Display of icons that represent the factors that determine overall auto shipping costs

Cost FactorDetails
Time of yearAuto transport rates are highest in January, when people are moving south to get out of the cold, and in the summer, when many people choose to move.
Type of transportOpting for an open carrier is the cheapest way to go, while enclosed carrier transportation is pricier but safer for luxury or classic cars. Choosing door-to-door shipping over terminal-to-terminal will also increase your total costs.
Type of vehicleFull-size SUVs and pickups often cost more to ship because of their size and weight.
Dropoff and pickup locationsShipping to rural towns is more expensive than shipping between larger urban areas or cities, because rural towns are farther from main routes.
Payment typeCar shipping companies generally offer electronic payments or cash on delivery options. Generally, paying by cash costs slightly less than paying entirely online.
Shipping distanceA cross-country shipment will cost more overall than hauling your car a short distance, but it will cost less per mile.
Vehicle conditionInoperable vehicles cost more to ship since drivers spend extra time and resources winching them onto the trailer.
Fuel costsThe price of your transport will typically fluctuate as gas prices go up and down.

Our team gathered car shipping quotes in the fall of 2021 and 2022 to see how prices have changed over time. We found the average price for a 1,500-mile vehicle transport increased by about 35 percent in 2022. Many factors contributed to this increase, including higher gas prices and increased inflation.



How To Get The Best Car Shipping Quotes

When you’re shopping for car shipping quotes online, you can be sure you’re getting the best price by following these tips to lower your car shipping costs:

  1. Choose terminal-to-terminal shipping: Although less convenient than door-to-door shipping, this option is often much less expensive.
  2. Book in advance: The earlier you book your car shipment, the better. You’ll avoid paying for expedited car shipping prices.
  3. Choose a large delivery window: Your final vehicle shipping cost depends largely on carrier availability. If you have wiggle room with your drop-off and pickup dates, car transport companies can often find you better rates.
  4. Choose a reputable car shipping company: The best car shipping companies partner with thousands of truckers, so getting quotes from an auto transport broker is usually the most cost-effective way to book a shipment.
  5. Look for discounts: The top-rated car shipping companies offer multiple discounts that can lower the overall quote you receive. These generally include discounts for military, students, paying in cash, shipping multiple vehicles, and returning customers. Some companies don’t list discounts on their website, so you’ll need to call a representative and ask if they offer any deals.



How Car Shipping Quotes Work

If this is your first time shipping a car, it’s helpful to learn how things work. We will highlight everything you need to know about the car shipping industry to get the best quotes when shopping around.

Getting A Car Shipping Quote From A Broker

Most car shipping companies are brokers that coordinate with thousands of carriers across the country to move vehicles. When you get a quote, the broker attempts to secure a carrier to move your car for that price. In some cases, the price may increase if the broker can’t find a carrier. This could happen if the demand for shipping a car increases on your route or during a specific season.

Some companies, like Sherpa Auto Transport, guarantee your quote won’t rise even if demand is rising in the market. If a locked-in price is most important to you, you’ll need to get quotes from brokers that offer guaranteed pricing.

Booking A Car Shipping Quote

After you find a quote that you like, you’ll continue with booking the shipment. This is when you’re committed to shipping your car with the company. However, the car shipping company hasn’t secured a carrier just yet. Once a carrier is found, the shipping company will dispatch your car to the carrier, which means the carrier is now committed to picking up your vehicle.

Auto Transport Insurance Protection

Auto transport carriers are required to have both liability insurance and cargo insurance. Liability insurance covers other people on the road and their property if the truck driver causes an accident. Cargo insurance covers theft and different types of damage to your vehicle while it’s in transit. 

Not everything is covered by cargo insurance, though. Most policies exclude environmental events or “acts of God.” Your car also isn’t covered during the loading and unloading process. Some brokers offer supplemental coverage that can provide additional protection in different situations.

When asked about car shipping insurance coverage, here’s what Savov had to say:

“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. 

“Overall, it is important to carefully review the insurance coverage provided by the car shipping company and to make an informed decision about whether to purchase additional insurance based on individual needs and circumstances.”

It’s always a good idea to have comprehensive insurance on a vehicle you’re shipping. This would cover damage during the shipping process that cargo insurance doesn’t.

Car Shipping Payments

Car shipping companies usually offer two ways to pay: 

  • Electronically: You can pay online using a debit or credit card. You may pay a deposit at booking and the rest upon dispatch, or you may pay the whole amount at booking.
  • Cash on delivery: If you choose this payment method, you’ll make an electronic deposit at booking. You’ll then pay the balance in cash or a cash equivalent, like a cashier’s check or money order, to the truck driver when they deliver your car.



Car Shipping Quotes: Conclusion

In this review, we covered everything you need to know about car shipping quotes, from factors that affect your quoted price to how to save money and get a cheap quote

Savov left us with some final advice:

“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 pickup service, comparing prices and evaluating the pros and cons of at least two to three companies is highly recommended.”

Below are some companies that we recommend starting with when searching for a quote.

Best Car Shipping Quotes

If you’re ready to look for car shipping quotes online, we recommend you start by reaching out to two of our top-rated providers: Montway Auto Transport and AmeriFreight. Both auto shipping companies scored highly in our comprehensive review of the auto transport industry.

Montway Auto Transport: Best Overall

Our team found Montway to be affordable for many different shipping distances and for both open and enclosed transport. Montway quotes came in at $1.01 per mile on average, but this varies depending on the distance and service.

See the quotes we received from Montway Auto Transport below.

Carrier typeShipping routeQuote
OpenChicago to Kansas City, MO (503 miles)$719
OpenLos Angeles to Houston (1,556 miles)$1,369
EnclosedLos Angeles to Houston (1,556 miles)$1,739
OpenNew York City to San Francisco (3,036 miles)$1,809

For more on this provider, check out our full Montway Auto Transport review.

AmeriFreight: Best Discounts

AmeriFreight quoted us $1,598 for a cross-country shipment, which was one of the cheapest prices for this distance of any company. AmeriFreight offers a streamlined shipping process and a simple pathway for car shipping quotes online. It also offers the most discounts of the top providers in our review.

The following discount opportunities are available when you choose to ship your car with AmeriFreight:

  • Active-duty military: $35 off
  • First responders: $35 off
  • Medical personnel: $35 off
  • Early bird: $35 off if you sign up no more than 48 hours after getting a quote
  • Students: $25 off
  • Senior citizens: $25 off
  • Return customers: $50 off
  • Multiple vehicles: $50 off each additional vehicle

Looking at quotes from AmeriFreight, we found it to cost slightly more than Montway on average, at $1.15 per mile. Find quotes we received from AmeriFreight in the table below.

Carrier typeShipping routeQuote
OpenChicago to Kansas City, MO (503 miles)$996
OpenLos Angeles to Houston (1,556 miles)$1,199
EnclosedLos Angeles to Houston (1,556 miles)$2,038
OpenNew York City to San Francisco (3,036 miles)$1,598

To learn more about auto transport services from this provider, see our AmeriFreight review.



Car Shipping Quotes: FAQ

Below are some frequently asked questions about car shipping quotes: