Whether you’re moving across state lines or across the country, the process of shipping a car can be a bit overwhelming. However, knowing what factors you should consider before choosing a car shipping service can make your decision much easier.
Our team has researched what matters most to consumers when shipping a car, as well as the best car shipping companies to consider for your vehicle shipment. Before you make a decision on how to ship your car, we recommend getting price estimates from top-rated providers to ensure you’re getting the best shipping deal for your vehicle.
Overview: What Matters To Consumers When Shipping A Car?
There are many factors to consider when shipping a car, but which are the most important? It can be difficult to determine what should matter most, especially if you’re a first-time car shipper. While everyone’s shipping needs are different, it’s helpful to understand what car owners value most when shipping a vehicle to help guide your decision.
Our team conducted a study to learn what matters most to consumers when shipping a car. This study polled 1,000 respondents and found that these are the top six factors drivers consider when choosing the best car shipping service for their needs:
- #1 Cost: Cost is the biggest factor when choosing a car shipping service. Shipping costs can vary due to a number of factors, such as the type of vehicle you own, the auto transporter, the time of year, the shipping distance, and the shipping method you choose.
- #2 Company Reputation: Car owners want to book their vehicle transport with a company that has a great reputation among customers and the industry as a whole. The most reputable auto shipping companies have an A rating and 4.0-star rating or above from the BBB.
- #3 Guaranteed Pickup Date and Drop-Off Date: Car shippers usually provide pickup and drop-off windows of 1 to 4 days, but some auto shipping companies offer guaranteed car transport services. This means the company will prioritize finding a carrier in your area to pick up and drop off your vehicle on specific dates.
- #4 Insurance: If you’re moving a car cross country, we recommend choosing a car shipping company that offers full coverage insurance protection during transport. Accidents do happen, so consumers should be aware of a car shipping company’s insurance policies before making a decision.
- #5 Customer Service: Exceptional customer service is important for a successful shipping process. Most car shipping companies with great customer service have high customer ratings from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), TrustPilot, ConsumerAffairs, Google Reviews, and more. Look for companies with customer service ratings of 4.0 stars and above.
- #6 Option for Door-to-Door Transport: With door-to-door transport, your car is picked up and dropped off as close to your destination as possible. This option is preferred among consumers as it is the most convenient method of car shipping.
Our Research On Car Shipping
Through our survey, our team learned that what matters most to consumers when shipping a car is cost. From 1,000 respondents, 806 want to know the average cost of vehicle shipping up front, as well as any additional fees or charges they might have to pay.
Customer service is the second biggest factor that matters to consumers in our study, as good service brings the best possible shipping experience. It’s recommended for first-time auto shippers to consider car shipping companies that offer the following so they don’t have to worry about any potential problems during transport:
- 24/7 customer service
- Constant and consistent communication during the shipping process
- Real-time shipment tracking updates during transport
According to our survey, 66 percent of respondents stated that one of their biggest concerns is the possibility of their car being damaged during shipment. Car shipping companies that offer cargo insurance for every transport help eliminate that fear, as 51 percent of consumers consider insurance an important factor when shipping a car.
The data in the chart below shows the percentage and number of respondents from our study that believe cost, customer service, guaranteed pickup and drop-off dates, insurance, company reputation, and door-to-door transport matter most when shipping a car.
|Factor||Respondents (%)||Count (# of respondents)|
|Guaranteed Pickup and Drop-Off Dates||58%||577|
|Option for Door-to-Door Transport||39%||389|
How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Car?
The cost of shipping a car varies based on a number of factors, but the average cost ranges between $500 and $1,500. One of the factors that highly impacts cost is shipping distance. According to uShip, a top-rated car shipper, the average per-mile cost to ship a car is $2.92 per mile for shipments under 200 miles and $0.78 per mile for shipments of over 1,000 miles.
Your shipping preferences also play a role in determining your car shipping cost. Enclosed transport and door-to-door delivery tend to be much more expensive than using an open carrier or selecting terminal-to-terminal shipping.
It’s important to note that there are a several key factors that affect car shipping prices, such as:
- Vehicle type, size, operability, and value
- Pickup and drop-off location
- Shipping method (enclosed or open transport)
- Type of shipping service (such as door-to-door transport)
- Time of year (peak season is during summer months and January)
- Distance between locations
What Should I Look For When Shipping A Car?
In our survey about what matters most to consumers when shipping a car, respondents highlighted factors to consider that align with the categories our team uses to evaluate the best car shipping companies. When deciding which auto transport company best fits your needs, we recommend that you consider how much it will cost, what services and shipping methods are available, and the provider’s overall reputation and customer experience:
- Cost: You want to be sure that the shipping company you choose offers the best value for your shipment. We recommend getting quotes from several providers to compare costs.
- Services: Look for a company that offers the specific shipping services you need, such as guaranteed pickup and drop-off dates.
- Reputation: Knowing that your car is in the hands of a reputable car shipper can offer peace of mind during transport. Seek out car shipping companies that are respected by automotive experts and have high ratings from organizations like the BBB.
- Customer Experience: Take a close look at a provider’s reviews to get a sense of what you can expect in terms of customer service.
How Do I Get A Car Shipping Quote?
The best way to get a car shipping quote online is by using a car shipping calculator from a top-rated company. All you need to do is provide information about your vehicle – such as it’s year, make, model, and vehicle information number (VIN) – as well as some personal details and your shipping preferences. You can also use the quote tool at the top of this page to get quotes from several top-rated providers.
Many car shipping companies provide instant online quotes, which is an easy way to see how much you’ll pay for car shipping services. Be aware, however, that some auto transport companies don’t offer guaranteed pricing, so the price you’re quoted may not be the final price you pay.
Best Car Shipping Companies
There are many auto shipping companies to choose from, but the best choice for you comes down to your specific needs.
For example, if you’re looking for quality car shipping at a low cost, choosing an auto transport broker like Easy Auto Ship may make the most sense for you. However, if company reputation or customer service is the factor that matters most to you, a car shipper like Sherpa Auto Transport might be the best choice.
Taking the time to research car shipping companies is your safest bet to having the best car transport experience.
5 Best Companies For Shipping A Car
We have reviewed the best car shipping companies and ranked them based on cost, services, reputation, and overall customer experience. We chose Montway Auto Transport, AmeriFreight, Sherpa Auto Transport, Easy Auto Ship, and uShip as the top five companies you should consider when shipping a car.
Get free, no-obligation quotes from a few of these top-rated companies to see which ones would be a great fit for you.
|Company||Overall Star Rating||Cost||Services||Reputation||Customer Experience|
|#1 Montway Auto Transport||4.6||4.3||4.8||4.9||4.6|
|#3 Sherpa Auto Transport||4.5||4.6||4.5||4.3||4.6|
|#4 Easy Auto Ship||4.5||3.8||4.9||4.8||4.6|
Montway Auto Transport: Best Overall
Montway Auto Transport is a reputable car shipping company that specializes in negotiating shipping deals between customers and its vast network of car carriers nationwide. The company offers door-to-door delivery, expedited shipping, international transport, and more.
Montway holds an A+ rating and accreditation from the BBB and an average 4.5-star rating from customers on Trustpilot. Since it’s regarded as one of the best car shipping companies in the industry, we rated Montway Auto Transport 4.6 out of 5.0 stars and recommend it as the Best Overall company for shipping a car.
Montway Auto Transport Pros & Cons
|Montway Auto Transport Pros||Montway Auto Transport Cons|
|Has access to over 15,000 car carriers||High cancellation fee|
|Established customer reputation||Pricing isn’t guaranteed|
|Great, affordable pricing|
Think Montway Auto Transport may be the best option to ship your car? Read more about the provider in our Montway Auto Transport review.
AmeriFreight: Best Discounts
AmerFreight provides a wide range of benefits that includes great cargo insurance coverage, transport for specialty vehicles such as RVs and ATVs, and access to student, medical worker, and military discounts. The company works with nearly 10,000 transport carriers nationwide for open and enclosed shipping.
AmeriFreight has an accredited A+ rating from the BBB and is considered one of the best choices for car shipping. We rated the company 4.5 out of 5.0 stars based on its great service options and excellent customer service and recommend it as the best company for discounts.
Amerifreight Pros & Cons
|AmeriFreight Pros||AmeriFreight Cons|
|A+ rating and accreditation from the BBB||No instant quotes; the online process is slow and inconvenient for many consumers|
|Works with vetted car shippers that are licensed with the Department of Transportation (DOT)|
|Customers have access to many discount opportunities|
Read our AmeriFreight review to learn more about car shipping services with the provider.
Sherpa Auto Transport: Best For Locked-In Prices
Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Sherpa Auto Transport provides door-to-door shipping, open and enclosed shipping, and expedited shipping in certain locations. The company also has a “Price Lock Guarantee,” which means that your quoted rate won’t increase or change.
We rated the company 4.5 out of 5.0 stars for its locked-in prices. Even though it has a great cost rating, quotes tend to be more expensive in comparison to other shipping companies, though you get the benefit of knowing exactly what you’ll pay up front.
Sherpa Auto Transport Pros & Cons
|Sherpa Auto Transport Pros||Sherpa Auto Transport Cons|
|A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB)||Quotes are slightly more expensive than most of competitor pricing|
|Easy booking process and quick matching with a vetted network of insured carriers||Doesn’t offer terminal-to-terminal vehicle shipping|
|Offers Price-Lock Promise|
If you believe Sherpa Auto Transport might be a good fit for you, learn more in our complete Sherpa Auto Transport review.
Easy Auto Ship: Best For A Quick Pickup
Easy Auto Ship was founded in 2013 and has expanded to provide car shipping services across the entire U.S., including Hawaii and Alaska. The company offers cheap shipping rates and options for enclosed transport, door-to-door delivery, expedited shipping, single-car shipping, and more.
Like most top-rated car transport companies, Easy Auto Ship has an A + rating from the BBB and is well respected in the industry for its guaranteed pricing and discounts. We rated the company 4.5 out of 5.0 stars and recommend it for customers who want great discounts in addition to cheap rates.
Easy Auto Ship Pros & Cons
|Easy Auto Ship Pros||Easy Auto Ship Cons|
|Low car shipping rates compared to competitors||Doesn’t offer 24/7 customer service or shipment tracking|
|Easy booking and shipping process|
Read our full Easy Auto Ship review to learn more about the services the provider offers.
uShip: Best Car Shipping Marketplace
uShip is based in Austin, Texas, and is the best online platform for receiving shipping quotes for open and enclosed transport. Its worry-free shipping process and competitive marketplace pricing make shipping a car long-distance much easier.
The company has great low-cost shipping options and reliable service, so we rated uShip 4.4 out of 5.0-stars for its easy-to-navigate shipping platform, affordable shipping rates, and wide network of auto transporters.
uShip Pros & Cons
|uShip Pros||uShip Cons|
|Strong industry reputation||Does not verify insurance coverages of shippers|
|Competitive pricing||Customers often complain of issues with drivers|
|Hassle-free shipping||Quoted prices tend to fluctuate|
|Provides access to a wide range of shippers and brokers|
For more information about the provider, read our complete uShip review.
FAQ: What Matters Most To Consumers When Shipping A Car?
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.