Top Car Shipping Companies of 2020
Although there is a lot of fun with road trips, spending almost a whole day with bored family members is not what most people want. So if you have experienced a cross country move, the best way around this seems to be paying someone else to deliver your vehicle straight to your new address while you avoid the interstate highway adventure.
This is where car shipping or car transport comes in. Getting the right and reputable auto transport service is never an easy task. You just have to submit your request for auto transport while car shipping quotes begin to fly in from various licensed and insured auto transport companies.
We researched and reviewed highly-rated auto transport companies to help you decide on the most affordable and quality option. We will discuss the cost of your car transport as well as how to land a good deal. There are many car shipping companies and carriers in the United States. Also, there are various shipping types, options and varieties of pricing terms associated with car shipping.
However, we will make things easy for you here so you can just pick the best option for you. We will also provide an answer to some of the popular car shipping questions.
What is Car Shipping?
Car shipping, otherwise known as auto transport or car transport is the service that involves moving a car from one place to another. You can transport your car via open transport, which is very cost-effective or the enclosed transport which ensures added protection. Usually, enclosed car transport will be about 30 to 40% expensive than open transport.
9 Best Car Shipping Companies
We pick the best eight auto transport companies after ranking many car transporters by insurance protection, customer service, cost, shipping experience, transparency, and quote process. Five of our eight top shipping companies are shipping brokers who know more about shipping cars, offering coverage, and other guarantees.
Brokers have what it takes to find the best car carrier for customers. Make sure any auto shipping company you find elsewhere is registered with the Federal Motor Safety Administration and have a Motor Carrier Number. This ascertains its legitimacy as a certified car shipping company.
Best Car Shipping Companies at a Glance
Below are the top recommended car transport companies by our experts:
- Zoom Auto Transport
- US Auto Shipping
- Sherpa Auto Transport
- Ship a Car Direct
- Montway Auto Transport
- Bargain Auto Transport
We considered these companies based on their size, reputations, and history, in assisting clients transport cars across the country. The majority of these companies are brokers that partner with various car shippers and will get you all their various prices.
These brokers will take their time to research each carrier and mostly show you how each of them is rated by consumers as well as their individual price quotes, so you know for sure who will be moving your car. They also provide standard insurance plans that cover their work across their network of carriers. We have given more information about these eight top car transport companies below:
1. Zoom Auto Transport
Overall rating 4.9 / 5
Zoom Auto Transport tops our list of the best car shipping companies. The company prides itself to solve all related auto car shipping needs of the consumers. It deals with leading carriers who are known to offer the best services in the industry.
Zoom Auto Transport is equipped with experienced teams of experts that guarantee top-notch excellent services at competitive and cost-effective quotes in the market. The company takes care of all the shipping processes involved in the transportation and delivery of your car; hence, you can focus on other things that matter in your move. If you want to take the worries away from you, Zoom Auto Transport is a good deal for you.
The company is experienced in offering the best car shipping services in the United States’ auto transport industry. Zoom guarantees hassle-free auto shipping and delivery.
You are sure of getting a service that ships your vehicle with extra care and real-time tracking and updates on its process from one point to another.
- Hassle-free car shipping services
- Competitive and affordable quotes
- Excellent customer service
- It is a broker
- Can’t think of others.
2. US Auto Shipping
Overall rating 4.9 / 5
USAuto Shipping is one of the best car shipping companies that offer top-notch auto transport in the United States. It has come a long way in serving the car shipping needs of the country and has continued to improve on the delivery of its services.
USAuto Shipping is a full-service car shipping service that tailors its expertise to your needs. Regardless of the brand, size, and how exotic your cars are, the company offers the best car transport services without limit to what it can handle.
When it comes to affordable vehicle transport rates, USAuto Shipping is the second to none. It can ship cars to any distance across the United States and overseas. Its door-to-door services give you all you need in every car shipping options and come at the best rate in the industry.
USAuto Shipping offers 100% customer satisfaction with timely delivery. Shipping cars with USAuto Shipping means safe and fast transport. The company’s website is responsive and equipped with car shipping tips and other related resources to make vehicle transport easier.
- Interstate and international car shipping service
- 100% customers’ satisfaction
- Vast company network
- Personal info needed for online quote option
3. uShip Auto Transport
Overall rating 4.9 / 5
Although uShip is not a transporter, it is a platform for car shipping quotes. Consider this as a Priceline or Kayak for car transport quotes. There are pros and cons to that. Fortunately, the website presents a friendly and functional interface for both car shipping consumers and transporters. You will be required to enter your name, email address, and phone number during log in before you can gain access to car shipping prices.
Once that is done, you will see varieties of quotes from different shippers and also an instance average car transport quotes, so you can determine immediately if the deal presented to you is good or not. Rating from each shipping company is also added to the quotes.
Cars, motorcycles, classic cars, ATVs, boats, and trailers are shipped by uShip. The company also transports TVs, which is not common among auto shippers. They also provide online shipment tracking using push notifications from the company’s mobile app.
- Allows you to compare carriers so you can choose the best price
- Ships beyond only cars
- Not so easy like using a broker but you are sure of getting reliable services
4. Montway Auto Shipping
Overall rating 4.9 / 5
Not all car shipping company can handle car transport that stretches beyond the United States. However, with Montway Auto shipping, you can get specialized transportation services not only to the United States but also to Hawaii.
Receiving instant shipping quotes from Montway is made easy when shipping to Hawaii, even as the company provides general auto transport services in open and enclosed trailers. The company’s services are not as expensive as you might think.
Although rates based on the type of car and season, it would cost about $1,500 to ship a Honda Accord to Honolulu on a port-to-port deliver. However, you have to get the car to Long Beach or have it picked up in your local area around Long Beach and delivered to Honolulu’s port for about $1,700.
You will be required to schedule for land transport of your car to California if you already reside on the West Coast through Montway or any other car transport service.
- Door-to-door pick-up and delivery
- Instant online quotes
- Multi-car transport
- No additional damage protection options
5. Ship a Car Direct
Overall rating 4.9 / 5
Shopping for car services is best handled by a broker. However, you may find it difficult to prove whether the broker is working for you or their pocket since their reward is a certain percentage of the overall shipping cost. If you need a competitive rate on your auto transport service and can manage any given dates for pick-up and delivery for shipping, then we recommend you use a broker.
Ship a Car Direct is a broker company that is well known and trusted by its customers. Its satisfaction rating with the USDOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is stellar, which gives support to its reputation and reliability.
This company is committed to vetting car companies rigorously because of its damage-free guarantee offer on car delivery. Ship a Car Direct requires that all of its carriers provide insurance for the protection of your car in the event of any damage.
Also, with the Damage-free Guarantee program from Ship a Car Direct, you will receive payment on any damage that the carrier refuses to pay. However, you must understand that you need to carefully check your car for any damage and note it down during delivery.
- Ultra-transparent website
- Door-to-door pick-up and delivery
- Damage-Free Guarantee
- A custom online quote which needs a lot of personal information
6. Sherpa Auto Transport
Overall rating 4.9 / 5
This company started out in 2017 and it’s known for transporting any auto device to any town or state in the country. Sherpa has experience in shipping any type of vehicle, whether Sedans or large-sized SUVs, to online purchased cars and rare collectibles.
Sherpa offers high-level customer service, transparent pricing supported by their Price Lock Promise, and a rigorous carrier research process for all types of shipping, whether across the city or cross country moves.
The Price lock Promise from the company guarantees that you will pay the exact amount on the quote you are given when your car is delivered. There are insurance and door-to-door delivery in every shipping from Sherpa, and it also gives you the chance to customize your shipment by choosing any of the open or enclosed carrier options.
Sherpa is bonded, licensed, and insured. The company’s Clean Car Guarantee allows clients to spend about $20 for a car wash after delivery of their car. Sherpa ships vans, cars, SUVs, trucks, exotic cars, and faulty cars. Multiple discounts are available with Sherpa such as for military, snowbirds, students, seniors, repeated customers, and multi-car transport.
- Locked-in pricing
- Great customer service reviews
- Free car wash
- Limited service and insurance plans.
7. Bargain Auto Transport
Overall rating 4.9 / 5
This is a service for those who want to ship their car on budget. The “name-your-price” option available with Bargain Auto Transport is what you need to check if you are searching for an affordable way to ship your car. Instead of getting a quote that contains carrier rates to ship your vehicle, you will partner with a broker to get one that can offer services at your price.
Start the process with a form that will give you an initial shipping estimate from the broker. You will then work with the broker to make changes to the price you would like to shop your car based on your time window, shipping methods, and more.
If there is no carrier bidding for your job, then the broker will further adjust the quote to attract more carriers, but they will never accept a bid that is greater than your agreed budget. Getting a good deal for your budgeted car shipping services can only get better when you work with a company like Bargain Auto Transport.
Note that this company is a broker, and you will be paying a fee, but you will find the extra amount worthy if you get a fair deal as you save more on your shipping costs.
- Most affordable car shipping price
- Flexibility in operation
- It is a broker
Overall rating 4.9 / 5
eShip relocates many vehicles annually and offers services every day of the week. eShip will shop for carriers that can offer you the best rates for the period of your shipping need and can transport any of your exotic cars, motorcycle, and trucks.
In an uncommon move, the company doesn’t require upfront before commencing the shipping process, but they do not provide terminal-to-terminal shipping, which may turn off many people.
eShip has one of the nicest insurance packages of any transporter, and no additional coverage fee is expected of you. Just like Sherpa, this company will refund your service fees if you cancel the job before you are assigned a carrier.
- Available 24/7
- Various car shipping services
- Best insurance policies
- No terminal-to-terminal shipping
Overall rating 4.9 / 5
This company was established in 2004, and its headquarters is located in Peachtree City, Georgia. It is a broker and carrier that is permitted to transport cars using their relevant equipment or another company’s when required. The company is undoubtedly an excellent option to follow with an A+ rating from the BBB and 96% positive reviews on the Better Business Bureau website.
Other review websites also contain positive reviews on AmeriFreight, and it only makes use of licensed and approved carriers by the Better Business Bureau.
This company ships cars in fifty states of the US and Canada, including international countries. Alongside car shipping, the company also ships trailers, RVs, Motorcycles, and boats, and it partners with corporate customers and individual consumers.
Door-to-door delivery is available at AmeriFreight. Members of emergency and protection services, students, return customers, senior citizens, and those shipping more than one car are entitled to the company’s discounts.
With the AFta gap insurance plan for car damage reported within 48 hours of delivery provided by AmeriFreight, you can have peace by choosing the company. You can use the company’s online calculator to get an accurate transport estimate of its charges.
- 48-hour timeframe to check your vehicle for damage on delivery
- Clearly advertised discounts
- Online quote calculator available
- Personal info required for online quote option
You will begin to get different phone calls every day immediately you release your phone number to a mover. We advise that you don’t just release your phone number to any moving company unless you are focused on comparing services. Or just create a Google Voice number for this task.
Get Car Shipping Quote
How much does it cost to ship a Car?
According to CostHelper, shipping a 4-door sedan from one state to another can range from $600 to $1,000. Transporting an SUV to another coast can cost between $800 and $1,070. The company considers where you are relocating to, the model, make, year, and condition of your car(s) as well as your preferred moving date to come up with your free shipping estimate. Auto-shipping costs and other information about the shipping company’s standards are all included in every car shipping.
Factors that affect Car Shipping Quotes
Certainly, your car shipping cost will be dependent on different factors which include:
- Car’s size and weight: There are restrictions on the number of cars and the weight of vehicle auto carriers that can transport. Generally, the heavier the car, the costly the move.
- The time of year: Auto shipping is likely to cost more during summer due to an increase in demand, as well as between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
- The distance: Long-distance auto shipping becomes expensive when you calculate labor costs, toll, and gas charges. This is why moving cars on short distances is cheaper than moving the car across the state lines. Generally, an increase in your car transport distance leads to an increase in your car shipping cost.
- Your car’s make and model: In most situations, exotic vehicles, luxury cars, or classic cars are expensive to move. This is because of the special care and services requirements of specialty cars.
- Insurance needs: Insurance must be provided by your auto shipping company. You will need to get supplemental coverage if you need additional insurance. Not all auto shipping insurance provides full coverage for the vehicles they are moving by an auto shipper. Make sure you ask your shipping provider for your insurance policy before you get additional coverage.
- Method used: Do you prefer the enclosed carrier or an open-air carrier to ship your car? The entire price of the shipping will be affected by your shipping method.
Sadly, there are no rates fixed for certain miles involved in the car shipping. According to AmeriFreight, the cost of shipping a car from Los Angeles to Miami starts from $900, but other shippers provide averages based on mileage. Montway states that short distance move costs about $1.96 per mile (less than 500 miles), while long-distance shipping (above 1,500 miles) costs $.58 per mile.
How to choose the Right Car Transporter?
Everyone will determine their best shipping company. The companies we listed above perform excellently when scored based on insurance coverage, customer ratings, and for providing varieties of shipping options. Of all the best companies listed, you might find just one that offers the pricing and arrangement that suit your needs, but the following are tips to look for other companies:
1. Shop the transporter, not the price
Figure out who you can trust to handle your car. There is no amount of savings from your car shipping that can comfort you if your car arrives damaged or a couple of months after the scheduled delivery date.
2. Check the coverage
Is there a clearly stated insurance policy from your shipper? Do they provide a guarantee that your car will get to its destination in the shape you left it with them? These are facts and not marketing strategies. They can constitute a major difference between a good move and a bad one.
3. Don’t rush
There is no way to be ready for all emergencies life throws at us, but you should endeavor to schedule as much as possible to prevent unreasonable charges and have enough time to research many shippers. If you are on a deadline to ship your car already, you may not have many options left than to pay a premium. Advance planning and booking will help you the more.
FAQs about Car Shipping
What affects car shipping pricing?
Location, type of car, distance, fuel price, open or enclosed option, and the time of year are the 6 major things that affect the cost of car shipping.
Will I be given a certain delivery date?
It is very hard for shipping companies to provide you with specific dates for pick-up or delivery. Still, the majority of shipping companies will give you an estimate that contains a 3-day window.
During high-demand season, the delivery timeframe might exceed the 3-days. Make sure any company that guarantees a certain date does so in writing as well as the consequences of not keeping to the date, which may be a reimbursement of your rental car or shipping discount.
How long does shipping a car takes?
Many shipping companies provide a pick-up time on their quotes, which can start from 2 days up to or more than a week. Once your car is on the moving truck, it can spend from 2 days to 4 weeks. Shipping companies often look away from giving certain deadlines for pickup, but they provide estimates using a normal driving time.
Do I need to get insurance?
The carrier provides insurance that covers damage to the car while shipping. However, our research shows that 1 of 20 cars get damaged during the transporting process outside of the shipping. This gap will be filled by AFta insurance. Some companies require fees for AFta insurance, so make sure you find your transport company’s stand on this insurance option.
Can the pick-up or delivery of my car be done anywhere?
Using the door-to-door option, customers can choose a pick-up or delivery location. However, you must have someone designated to sign the necessary documents and carefully inspect your car before it is loaded on the transport truck.
Is car shipping by train possible?
Yes. Many shipping company are now entering the rail system. You may need to make a trip to and from the pick-up and drop off points, and shipping by rail is not as fast as shipping by truck.
Does Amtrak offer car shipping?
Shipping of cars from one place to another by train is available with AmTrak but not in all of its locations. Your location will determine availability, pricing, and policies, so try and check the company’s website for further info.
Can I ship a car today?
This can only be possible if your home is closer to an auto shipper’s location, and they have an available carrier on site. Even if it is possible, you will be made to pay a fortune as well as end up with your car getting damaged. So we advise you to take your time.
If my car gets damaged, what happens next?
Generally, the shipper is responsible for the car once it is in their custody. Some auto shipping companies charge an extra fee for insurance, but Montway, for instance, add it in is the price.
How much do you ship a car?
The shipping cost of a car differs based on the size of your car and the distance shipped. Shipping a car during Memorial Day to Labor Day (peak moving season) is very costly due to a general increase in demand during the summer. As stated by CostHelper, car shipping costs $200 to $300 more during summer than in winter months. You can be ready to pay about $1,000 if your shipping involves two or more state lines. The shorter distance will not be as costly as this.
When do I pay for the car shipper?
In most cases, you, as a customer, are not expected to pay for the car transport service until you get the car’s delivery. However, an advance deposit may be required from you by most auto shippers before shipping the vehicle. Nevertheless, avoid making full payment until you receive your car at the destination address.
Does my car have to be operational?
No, but an additional fee may be incurred. The shipping price for a non-operable 2003 Jeep Wrangler from a quote we received from Montway was $260 higher.
What method can I take to ship my car?
You have to be certain of your need for car shipping before your car makes it to the point of no return. In most cases, it is more costly and takes time effective to drive or have someone drive the car for you all the way to your destination, but most people are too busy with their jobs and couldn’t take time off to complete their car shipping.
There are also instances where you may find it impossible to drive the car, like when shipping old vehicle models or project vehicles. You have to figure out the best shipping method to get your vehicle across to your destination immediately you decide on shipping it instead of driving. You have to discover the company that offers the specific shipping methods listed below:
- Open Car Transport: This is the most popular vehicle shipping for most people. It involves an open-air transport trailer, which is very cost-effective when shipping a car to a destination home. However, you have to know there are risks of damage due to the car’s exposure to the elements.
- Enclosed car Transport: This transport option is best used for vehicles that need extra and special care. The trailer or truck bed is covered just as the name implies, and it protects the loaded car from damage as well as sighting by other people.
- Air/Rail/Ship: International shipping or mainland transport will need sea or air transport; however, you can use rail freight to move your vehicle on long-distance continental shipping. You will have to be on time and do a lot of trips yourself, but the savings might be worthwhile longer.
Can I store bags or moving boxes in my car?
Although it might seem very simple for you to load your bags and moving boxes in your vehicle for shipping, it is prohibited by law to keep personal things in your car. Also, if you manage to sneak in personal stuff in the car during shipping, you will be liable for any repair or replacement as insurance only covers the car itself.
Can I ship my car with household things in it?
This depends on your transport company as most of them do not allow such, especially when using the open-air shipping method for security purposes, and restrictions on weight. However, some car shippers enable their clients to pack their personal items in the car. Make sure you ask specifically from your auto shipper about their stand on this before you ship your vehicle.
Do I need to get insurance when using an auto shipper?
You have to ask about the insurance policy of an auto shipper before you hire them. The law requires them to carry insurance. However, your job is to find out from them what is covered by their policy.
For example, some insurance policies may provide coverage for your car while in transit, while others may just cover some parts. Based on your policy, your auto shipping insurance provider may offer coverage on your car while in transit. Make sure you ask if this is the case or not before you get supplemental insurance.
Do auto shippers offer door-to-door delivery?
Most auto shipping companies offer door-to-door delivery for their clients. However, this service is very expensive. You need to ask your shipper if this service is included in your open-air carrier quote. Get pick-up times as well as location address from your shippers if they only deliver vehicles to a central location.
If your move is taking you on a long-distance and driving is not an option you are considering, then it is essential that you hire a car shipper to move your car from your current location to your destination home. Although it might be expensive than doing the driving yourself, with a car shipping company, you can save yourself a lot of stress, and get your car delivered to your front door safely.
In summary, below are our picks:
- The best overall is Montway Auto Transport: The company has excellent customer service. It provides online and phone assistance to get your car shipping reservation and receive updates while your car makes the journey.
- The best customer service is AmeriFreight: This company gets many great customer reviews. It gives you a window of 48 hours to inspect your car for any damage immediately after it is delivered. This timeframe is way longer than any other.
- The best for comparing shippers is uShip: This company allows you to post your shipping needs in its online platform, which makes it easy to make price comparisons and choose the best deal.
- The best for locked-in pricing is Sherpa: This company offers basic auto shipping services together with few nice features such as free car wash. However, what we enjoy most about Sherpa is the Price Lock Guarantee it offers, which makes sure your payment doesn’t go beyond the original quote.
- The best damage protection is Ship a Car Direct: This company gives you a certainty of peace of mind if you need additional defence against any potential damage to your car while in transit. Also, Ship a Car Direct run a transparent and friendly website.
- The best full-service mover is Allied Van Lines: This company is capable of taking care of all your household relocation and also transport your vehicle even boats if needed.
- The best Budget is Bargain Auto Transport: You can just work with a broker to get you a carrier that will work at your budget point instead of spending time obtaining multiple quotes with carrier rates to ship your car.