Sonic Auto Transportation is a vehicle transport broker that has shipped over 8,000 vehicles for customers across the United States. While the company has a few years of experience, we’ll consider Sonic Auto Transportation’s reputation, costs, shipping services, and customer reviews so you can determine whether it meets your needs.
We’ve researched the best car shipping companies and found that, in comparison, Sonic has a respectable number of positive customer reviews. Still, it’s best to compare quotes from vehicle shippers to determine which ones offer the best prices.
Our Sonic Auto Transportation Review And Methodology
We consider reputation, cost, services, and customer experience when reviewing car shipping companies. The following sections provide additional information about these categories and how Sonic Auto Transportation measured up in each of them.
State availability as well as years in the business are a couple of the main factors that make up our reputation ratings. Sonic has only been shipping cars since 2020, but is available in all 50 states. This combined with the company’s B- rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) contributed to our rating of 3.8 out of 5.0 stars for Sonic in the reputation category.
We give Sonic a 3.5-star rating for cost. Sonic Auto Transportation is a broker so it negotiates with a network of carriers to find cheap car shipping prices for customers.
Our team collected quotes from the company based on shipping a 2018 Toyota RAV4 different distances using both open and enclosed transportation. Open shipping involves your car being transported on an open-air carrier where it is exposed to the elements. Enclosed shipping means your vehicle is shipped in an enclosed carrier where it receives more protection, although it’s more expensive.
Sonic offers a wide variety of shipping services. The company offers open and enclosed shipping as well as expedited shipping. Expedited shipping is great if you’re in a time crunch, but will cost more than a normal delivery.
Three service tiers are another highlight of this provider’s selection. Although the difference in tiers lies in the amount of time it takes to complete a delivery, each tier features open transport shipping as well as a vehicle insurance policy. We give the company a 4.3-star rating for its array of services.
When rating a provider for customer experience, we analyze online reviews and use our own experiences collecting quotes. Sonic has strong customer review scores on the BBB website as well as Trustpilot. The company offers instant online quotes through its website making the process as simple as possible. We give Sonic Auto Transportation a 4.4-star rating for customer experience.
Sonic Auto Transportation Overview
Headquarters: Costa Mesa, California
Service area: United States, including Alaska and Hawaii
Sonic Auto Transportation is a vehicle shipping broker based in Costa Mesa, California. According to its website, Sonic Auto works with 24,000 service providers and has moved vehicles for more than 7,500 customers.
Because the company is a broker rather than a direct provider, it connects customers with carriers suited to their car shipping needs. Sonic Auto Transportation serves as a liaison in the process by providing the customer with the carrier’s full details to ensure clear communication.
Sonic Auto Transportation Customer Reviews
While Sonic Auto Transportation has a B- rating from the BBB, customers on the site give the company an average of 4.4 out of 5.0 stars. Across more than 4,400 reviews on Trustpilot, customers give it an average rating of 4.8 out of 5.0 stars.
Sonic Auto Transportation also takes time to respond to negative reviews, which indicates that the company takes its reputation seriously. We analyzed 975 reviews across 25 companies and found that not many providers respond to critiques.
Positive Sonic Auto Transportation Reviews
Customers regularly praise the accessibility of Sonic Auto Transportation agents and the company’s timely shipping services.
“Very positive experience from start to finish. I do not believe the transport process could have been any better. Sonic Transport fulfilled their responsibilities 100 percent. My contact was excellent and was always available during the entire event.”
– BG via Trustpilot
“Absolutely amazing. My agent was great with communication and kept me informed every step of the way.”
– Shay via Trustpilot
Sonic Auto Transportation Complaints
Though there are many positive reviews for Sonic Auto Transportation, some reviews are far less upbeat. A few customers call Sonic a scam, and some say their total cost ended up higher than the original quote.
“Was quoted $1,100 to transport a car from Chicago to Seattle. Got a text message on the day of pickup that the truck got into an accident and the new price was $2,000.”
– Avinash via Trustpilot
Sonic Auto Transportation Shipping Services
Though Sonic Auto Transportation doesn’t offer international shipping, it does provide an array of other shipping services. The auto transport broker provides shipping for cars and less common vehicle types such as these:
- Recreational vehicles (RVs)
- All-terrain vehicles (ATVs)
Below are some of the services Sonic Auto Transportation offers.
- Open carrier shipping: Though open transport is less expensive than enclosed shipping, it leaves your vehicle more susceptible to damage from road debris and adverse weather conditions.
- Enclosed trailer shipping: If you want to make sure your car is safe from the elements, enclosed shipping may be your best option. Keep in mind that it comes at a much higher price point than open carrier shipping.
- Expedited shipping: If your car needs to be moved as soon as possible, Sonic Auto Transportation will work with your schedule for vehicle shipping. Bear in mind that last-minute shipping costs quite a bit more than delivery on a flexible schedule.
Sonic Auto Transportation Extras And Add-Ons
Sonic offers three service tiers to help you choose what’s best for your budget and needs. These offerings reveal how certain factors affect the cost of vehicle shipping and help first-time customers narrow their options down.
Here are the three tiers of service offered by Sonic Auto Transportation:
|Service Tier||Pickup Window||Delivery Timeline|
|Economy||10 days||Up to 20 days|
|Standard||5 days||Up to 10 days|
|Premium||Same or next day||Rush delivery|
All three of these options feature open transport shipping and a $100,000 cargo insurance policy.
Sonic Auto Transportation Cost
Since Sonic Auto Transportation is a broker rather than direct transporter, the company negotiates with independent carriers to find cheap car shipping prices. Your rates will vary significantly based on the time of year, your car’s model, and the distance of your shipment.
Sonic Auto Transportation Quotes
Our research team received over 70 quotes from the industry’s top providers to get an idea of the average rates to ship a vehicle. To give you a sense of how much auto transport tends to cost, we’ll provide some average rates for shipping an operable 2018 Toyota RAV4.
|Shipping Distance||Transport Type||National Average Rate|
We collected quotes from a variety of distances, but a survey our team conducted in 2021 showed 47% of respondents shipped between 500 and 1,500 miles. That same survey also found that most respondents paid $1,500 to $1,999 to ship their vehicle.
What Affects Car Shipping Costs
While the numbers above are estimates from across the industry, various factors impact car shipping costs with Sonic Auto Transportation. These factors include:
- Distance: Car movers typically calculate their rates by distance. Cross-country and long-distance transports cost more overall but less per mile than shorter routes.
- Route popularity: Expect to pay lower prices for popular shipping routes, such as New York to Florida.
- Vehicle type and size: Larger vehicles, such as SUVs, are generally more expensive to ship.
- Type of transport: Enclosed transport costs more than open transport, and door-to-door transport is pricier than terminal-to-terminal transport.
- Vehicle condition: Inoperable vehicles require more labor to load and unload than operable vehicles, so moving them costs more.
- Time of year: January and the summer tend to have the highest demand for auto shipping, so prices peak during these periods.
- Shipping time frame: The sooner you need your car shipped, the more expensive its delivery will likely be.
- Price of fuel: Shipping costs fluctuate in response to the cost of gasoline and diesel.
How To Ship A Car With Sonic Auto Transportation
If you’re curious about how to ship a car, Sonic Auto Transportation recommends the following five-step process:
- Request a car shipping quote online: Fill in your vehicle’s make, model, year, and operability status. Select your pickup and delivery locations, the pickup date for your service, and your chosen service tier. Provide an email address and phone number where Sonic Auto Transportation can reach you.
- Receive an estimate: The Sonic Auto Transportation team will provide an estimate for the cost of delivering your vehicle after they receive your quote request.
- Sign a contract: If you accept an offer after reviewing the estimates, Sonic will request confirmation of details such as appointment timing, drop-off location for your vehicle, and your car’s condition. Once a contract has been drawn up and signed, Sonic will schedule a date for the service.
- Vehicle pickup: The truck driver handling your order will arrive on the selected day to pick your vehicle up. You’ll need to inspect the vehicle, making note of any damage before your car is shipped.
- Vehicle delivery: The transporter will meet you at the delivery location ready to unload the vehicle. You’ll need to inspect the car again to make sure it remains in its previous condition before signing the bill of lading and taking it.
What To Know For A Successful Auto Shipment
The bill of lading is important to keep track of during the shipping process. A bill of lading is an agreement between the carrier and customer on the vehicle being transported. It also serves to keep note of any pre-existing damage to the vehicle so that the customer does not have to pay for additional damages suffered during the journey.
To track your vehicle during its journey, you’ll receive an email from Sonic that includes your driver’s phone number and email address. If you don’t want to contact the driver directly, you can also contact your shipping representative.
Sonic Auto Transportation: Conclusion
Sonic Auto Transportation is new to the auto shipping industry, but still provides a solid experience for customers. A variety of shipping services and high customer review scores give this company potential to transform into one of the top providers in the nation. Its ability to pair customers with the cheapest car shipping companies is decent, but could become great as its network grows.
Sonic Auto Transportation: Competitors
While Sonic Auto Transportation offers exceptional car shipping services, you’ll find similarly solid service from AmeriFreight and Montway Auto Transport.
AmeriFreight: 4.5 Stars
AmeriFreight works with more than 10,000 carriers across the U.S., making it one of the largest car shipping companies. AmeriFreight reviews speak of the company’s relatively strong customer service and shipping options. AmeriFreight provides discounts for military members and students, along with potential savings for first responders, health care workers, and senior citizens.
Montway Auto Transport: 4.7 Stars
Montway Auto Transport reviews praise the company for its low prices and high-quality service, calling the shipping broker extremely trustworthy. You can ship a car to Hawaii or Alaska or internationally with Montway. Montway Auto Transport doesn’t guarantee pricing, but most customers say the company offers affordable rates.