Advertiser Disclosure

 

When you ship a car, you have a lot of car shipping companies to choose from. It’s important to consider pricing when looking for auto transport services, but the best car shipping companies are also trustworthy, quick, and endorsed by many happy customers. Taking the time to research your options can ensure a smooth delivery.

In this article, we’ll explain how auto shipping works and recommend several reliable and low-cost car shipping services. If you’re ready to start comparing rates right away, get free quotes from our top recommended car moving companies.

 

In this article:

Compare Top Car Shipping Companies

After performing an in-depth industry review, our research team named Montway Auto Transport the best car shipping company in 2021. Because rates with any provider can vary depending on your location, service preferences, and discount eligibility, we recommend comparing quotes from a few leading providers.

Best Car Shipping Companies Motor1 Award Overall Rating
1. Montway Auto Transport Best Overall 4.5
2. AmeriFreight Best Discounts 4.5
3. Sherpa Auto Transport Locked-In Prices 4.5
4. Easy Auto Ship Best for a Quick Pickup 4.5

5. uShip

Best Car Shipping Marketplace 4.0
6. Direct Express Auto Transport Runner-Up 4.0
7. eShip Runner-Up 4.0
 

 

 


 

Montway Auto Transport logo

#1 Montway Auto Transport: Best Overall

Founded: 2006
Headquarters: Schaumburg, Illinois

Montway Auto Transport works with over 15,000 carriers across the nation that bid on customers’ shipments. The car shipping company services every state in the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii. 

Services

Here are a few details about shipping with Montway: 

  • Insurance: Provided through all Montway shippers, and contingent cargo insurance up to $250,000 provided through Montway
  • Door-to-door delivery: Available
  • GPS tracking: Not available, but Montway has a 24/7 live chat service that can provide updates and delivery status
  • Extras: Expedited shipping available, plus you can include 100 pounds of personal items inside the vehicle at no additional charge

How Much Does Montway Auto Transport Shipping Cost?

Los Angeles to Houston Shipping Cost*: $929

Montway offers competitive rates for a variety of shipping services, including open and enclosed transportation. There are no listing fees, but there is a $200 cancellation fee.

According to Montway, shipping prices for distances under 500 miles average $1.96 per mile, distances between 500 and 1,500 miles average $0.93 per mile, and distances over 1,500 miles average $0.58 cents per mile.

Our review team has reached out for multiple quotes from top car shipping companies, and Montway offers were consistently lower than most competitors.

Montway Auto Transport Reviews

  • Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating: A+
  • BBB customer review score: 4.5 out of 5.0 stars based on over 1,850 reviews
  • Trustpilot rating: 4.4 out of 5.0 stars based on over 950 reviews

Positive Montway reviews mention timely delivery and excellent communication. Dissatisfied customers have discussed price hikes after a price was quoted and difficulty canceling requests.

Montway Auto Transport Pros Montway Auto Transport Cons
Compare over 15,000 carriers No guaranteed pricing
Competitive prices $199 cancellation fee
Military, return customer, and pay-in-cash discounts available  
Strong customer reputation  
 

For more information about this provider, read our full Montway Auto Transport review.

 

 


 

AmeriFreight logo

#2 AmeriFreight: Best Discounts

Founded: 2004
Headquarters: Peachtree City, Georgia

AmeriFreight partners with over 10,000 auto shipping companies to transport customer vehicles anywhere in the U.S. This broker stands out by taking extra care to vet its partner shippers. Only fully insured truckers with consistently high customer ratings are used, and any shipper with a poor client history is dropped as a partner.

Services

Here are a few details about shipping with AmeriFreight: 

  • Insurance: All auto carriers insured, with additional guaranteed asset protection (GAP) coverage available for a fee
  • Door-to-door delivery: Available
  • Extras: Expedited delivery

How Much Does AmeriFreight Shipping Cost?

Los Angeles to Houston Shipping Cost*: $800

According to AmeriFreight, the cost to ship a vehicle can range from $450 to $2,500 within the contiguous U.S. Shipping to Alaska and Hawaii can cost considerably more. While your final rate depends on a number of factors, AmeriFreight offers the following discounts:

  • 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: $25 off if you sign up 48 hours after getting a quote

However, only one discount offer can be applied per order, except the Early Bird discount. This can be added to another discount offer.

Like Montway, AmeriFreight rates were among the lowest we found during our quote process. AmeriFreight offers what it calls an “economy” rate, which is an exceptionally low rate but is not guaranteed unless you opt for the company's First Class Rate (FCR) option. If you are flexible with shipping times, you may be able to secure an economy rate.

AmeriFreight Reviews

  • BBB rating: A+
  • BBB customer review score: 4.9 out of 5.0 stars based on over 1,100 reviews
  • Google rating: 4.7 out of 5.0 stars based on over 3,000 reviews

The majority of AmeriFreight reviews online are positive. According to customers, the car shipping company's service agents are friendly and professional, as are the drivers. Most mention how quick and easy the shipping process is with AmeriFreight. Drivers facilitate smooth pickup and delivery processes, and major issues are rare.

AmeriFreight Pros AmeriFreight Cons
A+ BBB rating and accreditation Slower online quote process
Many discount opportunities  
Strict car shipper vetting process  
Top-rated customer service  
 

Reading our full AmeriFreight review to learn more about the car shipping company.

 

 


 

Sherpa Auto Transport logo

#3 Sherpa Auto Transport: Locked-In Prices

Founded: 2017
Headquarters: Charlotte, North Carolina

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.

Services

Here are a few details about shipping with Sherpa Auto Transport: 

  • Insurance: All Sherpa carriers have a minimum liability insurance policy of $1,000,000 and a $100,000 cargo insurance policy.
  • 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 delivery, $20 car wash reimbursement included with all shipping, Price Lock Promise

How Much Does Sherpa Auto Transport Cost?

Los Angeles to Houston Shipping Cost*: $1,300

There is no Sherpa Auto Transport online instant quote form, but after you speak with a booking agent and are quoted a price, Sherpa guarantees that the cost will not rise.

While your initial quotes may be a bit higher with Sherpa, these are locked-in rates. 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. Based on our cost research, Sherpa auto shipping rates are reasonable, although not the lowest in the industry. Sherpa customers will find that slightly larger transport prices come with heightened service and reliability.

The quotes we received from Sherpa were a little higher than average (around $100 to $150 higher for similar services). However, Sherpa offers the advantage of guaranteed rates.

Sherpa Auto Transport Reviews

  • BBB rating: A+
  • BBB customer review score: 4.9 out of 5.0 stars based on over 200 reviews
  • Google rating: 4.7 out of 5.0 stars based on over 450 reviews

There are very few negative Sherpa Auto Transport reviews. While a small number of customers report shipping delays or issues, the majority praise Sherpa for its helpful and responsive customer service, smooth delivery process, and quick service.

Sherpa Auto Transport Pros Sherpa Auto Transport Cons
A+ BBB rating and very few customer complaints Can be slightly more expensive
Easy-to-use booking process and quick shipper matching No easy online quotes
Price Lock Promise on every quote  
 

You can read more in our in-depth Sherpa Auto Transport review.

 

 


 


Easy Auto Ship logo

#4 Easy Auto Ship: Best For A Quick Pickup

Founded: 2013
Headquarters: Youngstown, Ohio

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, and heavy equipment. Shipping is available anywhere in the U.S. and internationally.

Services

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 dedicated agents will provide updates and can be contacted regarding car shipment status at any time.
  • Extras: Expedited delivery

How Much Does Easy Auto Ship Cost?

Los Angeles to Houston Shipping Cost*: $1,117

While auto shipping rates fluctuate based on a number of factors, Easy Auto Ship can find customers some of the lowest prices among the car shipping companies we’ve surveyed. Expect to pay around $1.20 per mile with Easy Auto Ship, though prices can vary.

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.

In our cost research, Easy Auto Ship rates were about average for the car shipping industry. If you secure the military discount, your rates will be lower.

Easy Auto Ship Reviews

  • BBB rating: A+
  • BBB customer review score: 4.6 out of 5.0 stars based on more than 700 reviews 
  • Google rating: 4.6 out of 5.0 stars based on over 2,600 reviews

Positive Easy Auto Ship reviews praise the broker for its top-notch customer service, fast delivery, and low prices. Negative reviews report delays and communication breakdowns when there is an issue. Such complaints are a small fraction of Easy Auto Ship reviews, but we did notice that Easy Auto Ship had a slightly higher volume of complaints than the other car shipping companies on this list.

Easy Auto Ship Pros Easy Auto Ship Cons
A+ rating and accreditation from the BBB More complaints than other top car shipping companies
Relatively low prices  
 

Read our Easy Auto Ship review for a more in-depth overview of the motor carrier. 

 

 


 

uShip logo

#5 uShip: Best Car Shipping Marketplace

Founded: 2003
Headquarters: Austin, Texas

Rather than being a traditional transport broker, uShip is a marketplace for auto shipping and other shipping services. It is one of the largest online shipping marketplaces and is a good place to look if you want to compare many options.

Services

Here are a few details about shipping with uShip: 

  • Insurance: Not guaranteed, but can be purchased from uShip at an additional cost
  • Door-to-door delivery: Available
  • GPS tracking: May be available depending on the shipper, but not guaranteed by uShip
  • Extras: Expedited delivery and other extras may be available from the shipper.

How Much Does uShip Shipping Cost?

Los Angeles to Houston Shipping Cost*: $1,410

Because uShip is a competitive bidding marketplace, rates can be extremely low, depending on your patience. If you are flexible with delivery and pickup dates, having carriers compete for your shipment will drive your costs down. In addition to posting your listing on the marketplace, uShip offers instant-rate booking, which pairs you with a shipper more quickly but is more expensive.

Along with your shipping cost, uShip charges a fee between $25 and $150, which is relatively low compared to the total price of long-distance or cross-country auto shipping from New York to California.

Instant rates from uShip are a bit pricier than quotes you will receive from other shipping brokers. However, compared to other priority shipping rates, they are competitive. One of the benefits of uShip is the large and competitive marketplace, so posting a job for bidding is likely to yield much lower rates.

uShip Reviews

  • BBB rating: A+
  • BBB customer review score: 4.6 out of 5.0 stars based on over 350 reviews
  • Trustpilot rating: 4.4 out of 5.0 stars based on nearly 11,000 reviews

According to uShip customer reviews, the company excels at offering a simple auto transport process and low prices after bidding. In general, most reviewers are happy with their truckers, but some customers complain about price fluctuations. The few customers who have had issues with their truckers complain that uShip does a poor job mediating disputes.

uShip Pros uShip Cons
Established industry reputation Does not verify carriers’ insurance coverage
Compare offers from a wide range of shippers and brokers

Customers complain that uShip doesn't do enough

to resolve issues with drivers

Easy process

No price guarantee, and some customers complain

about price fluctuations

Competitive prices  
 

For more information about this car shipping company, read our full uShip review.

 

 


 

#6 Direct Express Auto Transport: Runner-Up

Founded: 2004
Headquarters: San Anselmo, California

Direct Express Auto Transport offers car shipping services across the continental United States. The company offers low-cost shipping rates for those who aren't in a rush and expedited options for customers who are. Like other vehicle movers on our list, Direct Express is a broker that works with several auto transporters to match customers with their best shipping option.

Services

Here are a few details about shipping with Direct Express Auto Transport:

  • Insurance: All road carriers are fully insured, individual vehicles are insured for up to $150,000 in physical damages
  • Door-to-door delivery: Available
  • GPS tracking: May be available depending on the shipper, but not guaranteed by Direct Express
  • Extras: Expedited delivery and classic car shipping

How Much Does Direct Express Auto Transport Shipping Cost?

Los Angeles to Houston Shipping Cost*: $1,074

Direct Express offers three levels of shipping urgency: standard, expedited, and rush. Depending on the level you choose, the prices may be different. Other factors that impact Direct Express costs are the type of shipping (open or enclosed), time of year, and your specific vehicle.

Based on our cost research, Direct Express offers lower rates, provided the shipment date isn't urgent.

Direct Express Reviews

Direct Express Auto Transport has a positive customer review profile. Though it has not received as much customer feedback as some of the higher-rated car shipping companies on our list, most customers have only good things to say about the company.

  • BBB rating: A+
  • BBB customer review score: 5.0 out of 5.0 stars based on about 60 reviews
  • Trustpilot rating: 4.5 out of 5.0 stars based on more than 500 reviews

Positive reviews mention competitive rates, courteous service, and prompt delivery.

Direct Express Pros Direct Express Cons
Many positive customer reviews No shipping to Alaska or Hawaii
Expedited shipping available Not a direct provider
Competitive rates  
Easy-to-use quote calculator  
 

 


 

eShip auto transport logo

#7 eShip: Runner-Up

Founded: 2010
Headquarters: Key Largo, Florida

Family-owned and -operated eShip is a full-service auto transport broker. The broker makes an effort to partner with carriers that have been extensively vetted. Only shippers with a record of on-time deliveries are considered.

Services

Here are a few details about shipping with eShip: 

  • Insurance: All carriers are fully bonded and insured.
  • Door-to-door delivery: Available
  • GPS tracking: Not available, but you can request updated tracking information at any time through the eShip website
  • Extras: Expedited shipping

How Much Does eShip Shipping Cost?

According to eShip, average auto shipping rates are $1.75 per mile for distances under 500 miles, $0.75 per mile for distances between 500 and 1,500 miles, and $0.50 per mile for distances over 1,500 miles. These are average estimates, and your rates may vary depending on a number of factors.

Based on our comparative pricing analysis, eShip rates are around average for the industry.

eShip Reviews

  • BBB rating: A
  • BBB customer review score: 4.8 out of 5.0 stars based on over 150 reviews
  • Yelp rating: 3.5 out of 5.0 stars based on over 50 reviews

The company is another shipping broker that receives high praise for its professional service and easy process. The vast majority of eShip's BBB customer reviews give the broker a full five stars. However, eShip doesn't have as many customer reviews as our other top auto transporters. It may be lesser-known, but eShip is a quality shipper according to customers.

eShip Pros eShip Cons
A rating from the BBB with accreditation Less established reputation than other top car shipping companies
Low rates  
 

*Above sample shipping costs are to ship an operable 2018 Toyota RAV4 (SUV) on an open-carrier transport. Costs are estimates and may be subject to change by the time the final shipping is booked.

 


 

Tips For A Successful Auto Shipment

If you're new to the auto transport industry, there are a few things you should know to avoid unnecessary headaches and hassle.

Know That Prices Change

Car shipping quotes are not set in stone. When you present your trip information to get a quote, the auto transport broker will give you a ballpark price to ship your vehicle. Next, the broker will try to secure a carrier to ship it for around that price.

Make sure you don't only look for the lowest price possible. If you hold out for the cheapest rate available, the carrier you end up with could be newer to the business or less reliable.

Be Flexible

It's important to be flexible with your shipment. If you don't plan ahead, you'll pay more upfront for expedited shipping. Shipping timelines can change depending on weather and traffic anywhere along the route, too.

You can always have a family member or friend meet the carrier for pickup or dropoff. If you absolutely need to have your vehicle picked up by a certain day, explain that when you talk to the broker.

Prepare Your Vehicle Correctly

  • Leave your vehicle with a quarter tank of gas. This is enough gas for the carrier to move your car when needed but not so much as to burden the trailer with extra weight. 
  • Remove all your personal items (some carriers let you transport luggage in the trunk, but not all). You don't want loose items to bump around and damage anything inside your car.
  • Make a copy of your keys to give to the transporter. Don't, under any circumstances, hand over your only set.
  • Perform any regular maintenance that needs to be done, and then clean your car inside and out.
  • Thoroughly inspect your car and send it off. Note your car's exact condition, and take photos before signing your original bill of lading.

 


 

What To Look For In A Car Shipping Company


There are tens of thousands of independent shippers and car transport companies operating in different parts of the U.S. If you’re trying to find cheap car shipping, you should compare several options.

If you’re flexible on shipping dates, you will have more choices, but most people need their cars shipped at a certain time and can’t afford to wait. Whether you need your vehicle shipped quickly or want to hold out for a lower offer, the best way to find a car shipper is through an auto shipping broker. Consider the following in your decision:

  • Insurance: Are shipping partners insured? Many shippers carry cargo insurance that will cover your vehicle should it be damaged during transport. Some broker sites provide insurance for free, and others offer it at an additional fee. For peace of mind, choose a car carrier that has insurance.
  • Reputation: Look at customer reviews and read the experiences of those who have used a shipper before. Some vehicle transport brokers carefully vet all of their partner shippers or provide a space for public customer feedback.
  • Price: Once you’re sure a shipper is reliable, you want to know you’re getting the best price. It is generally worth paying a little more for a reliable shipping service.

 


 

How Car Shipping Works

Shipping a single car at the lowest cost can require a lot of planning and coordination. This is why most individual car shipping jobs are booked through an auto shipping broker. A broker works with many carriers, which allows customers to browse and compare offers based on their vehicle types, requested shipping dates, and any other specifications.

Because of this bidding process, the cost to ship a car can vary from day to day. In general, car shipping costs are most affected by the following factors:

  • Season: Prices peak in the summer and in January, when auto shippers are at their busiest.
  • Distance: The farther you need to ship your car, the more it will cost.
  • Type of vehicle: Your car’s length, height, clearance, and weight can all impact shipping cost. Vehicles that are inoperable cost more to ship as well.
  • Transport type: Vehicle shipping in enclosed 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.

To see how much you would pay for auto shipping, start comparing free car shipping quotes from leading providers.

 

 


 

FAQ: Car Shipping Companies

What is the best car shipping company?

After researching every major auto shipping provider, our team of experts found Montway Auto Transport, AmeriFreight, and Sherpa Auto Transport to be among the best car shipping companies in the industry. These car transporters have competitive rates and excellent customer service reputations.

How much does it cost to transport a car?

The cost to transport a car can range from $500 to $1,500 and higher. Average costs for auto shipping are dependent on factors such as size, vehicle condition, distance, open transport or enclosed transport, and season.

What’s the cheapest way to ship my car?

The cheapest way to ship a car is to use open car transport. This way, the cost is divided among 10 vehicles. If you are moving between Orlando and Washington, D.C., you can also use Amtrak's car transport service for cheap rates.

Can I put stuff in my car when I ship it?

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.

Can I pay someone to drive my car across the country?

You can pay to have someone else drive your car across the country. This will likely cost more than it would cost to have your car shipped with an auto shipping service, as you’ll incur the extra miles on your vehicle.

Is it cheaper to ship by train or truck?

It is generally cheaper to ship by train. However, shipping by train is less secure, delivery times are less flexible, and it will likely take longer than shipping by truck. Depending on where you live, you may also need to drive your vehicle a considerable distance to get it loaded or unloaded on the train.

Does AAA offer car shipping?

There is a vehicle shipping company called AAA Transporters, but it is not associated with roadside assistance provider AAA.

How do I get a car shipping estimate?

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.

What is an auto transport broker?

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.

Are there discounts for auto transport?

Yes, there are discounts for auto transport. We recognized AmeriFreight for having the best car 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.

What is the cheapest company to ship your car?

We found AmeriFreight and Montway offered the cheapest shipping quotes between Los Angeles and Houston at $800 and $929, respectively. Be aware that quotes are variable and can change at any time until car shipping companies actually dispatch a carrier. 

Can you ship a car to another state?

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.

How do you ship a car?

To ship a car you first need to generate 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 dropoff time and location. Depending on the details of your shipping package, you may need to meet your driver at the pickup and dropoff locations when your vehicle is picked up and delivered. 

 


 

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 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.