Sonic Auto Transportation

Pros Ships to Alaska and Hawaii High percentage of positive reviews online Ships a variety of vehicle types
Cons C rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Not a direct provider

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 plenty of experience, we’ll consider Sonic Auto Transportation’s 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.

Sonic Auto Transportation Review: 4.0 Stars

We give Sonic Auto Transportation 4.0 stars out of 5.0 for its generally positive customer reviews and its efficient and reliable service. We believe Sonic is an excellent option for those who are looking to ship their vehicles throughout the United States.

It’s smart to get car shipping quotes online before choosing a provider, though. That way, you’ll be able to compare shipping estimates to determine where you’ll find the best service and lowest prices.

Our Rating4
Reputation3.8
Cost3.5
Services4.3
Customer Experience4.4

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.

How Much Does Sonic Auto Transportation Cost?

Though Sonic Auto Transportation doesn’t actually ship vehicles, 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.

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 DistanceTransport TypeNational Average Rate
503 milesOpen$704
1,556 milesOpen$1,056
1,556 milesEnclosed$1,645
3,036 milesOpen$1,541

What Factors Affect Vehicle 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.

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:

  • Motorcycles
  • Tractors
  • Trucks
  • Recreational vehicles (RVs)
  • Boats
  • 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 Service Tiers

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 TierPickup WindowDelivery Timeline
Economy10 daysUp to 20 days
Standard5 daysUp to 10 days
PremiumSame or next dayRush delivery

All three of these options feature open transport shipping and a $100,000 cargo insurance policy.

Sonic Auto Transportation Shipping Process

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.

Sonic Auto Transportation Reviews

While Sonic Auto Transportation has a C rating from the BBB, customers on the site give the company an average of 4.4 out of 5.0 stars. Across more than 3,400 reviews on Trustpilot, customers give it an average rating of 4.9 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.

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

Negative Sonic Auto Transportation Reviews

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

Other Recommendations For Car Shipping

While Sonic Auto Transportation offers exceptional car shipping services, you’ll find similarly solid service from AmeriFreight and Montway Auto Transport.

AmeriFreight: Best Discounts

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.

The BBB gives AmeriFreight an A+ rating, and the company earns an average of 4.9 stars from over 1,000 customer reviews on the organization’s site. AmeriFreight provides discounts for military members and students, along with potential savings for first responders, health care workers, and senior citizens.

Montway Auto Transport: Best Overall

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.

The auto shipper holds an A+ rating from the BBB and an average customer review score of 4.6 stars on the site, along with a 4.6-star average rating on Trustpilot. Montway Auto Transport doesn’t guarantee pricing, but most customers say the company offers affordable rates.

Sonic Auto Transportation: FAQ

Methodology

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 pick-up and dropoff 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.