What to Know About Car Shipping and Auto Transport
Did you just sell your home and are being relocated across the country? Do you need to find a top car shipping company? When you move from one home to another, you might need to ship cars to your new address.
When searching for shipping car services, you might be surprised by the number of options available to you. Shipping cars isn’t something to take lightly as it is probably your second-most valuable asset behind your home.
Like general moving companies, there will be many choices, but some of them won’t be the best options if you want an exceptional experience. It will be well worth the time and effort to choose one of the highly-rated car shipping companies for a long-distance move.
Car transportation isn’t exactly cheap, particularly if you are moving a great distance. It will make a lot of sense to get a few car shipping quotes from a few reputable companies. Let’s review the best choices when you are shipping cars across the United States.
When it comes to car transportation services, these are the folks you’ll want to talk to.
By the time your done reading, you’ll have everything you need to know about shipping a car.
Whether you are shipping an exotic car, classic car, or just the family vehicle, you’ll want a solid handle on what’s important. You are about to have a complete understanding of how car shipping works.
How to Find the Right Car Shipping Company?
What car shipping company is best? You need to know what your priorities are when choosing a shipping car company.
The cost will be significant to many people, so if you are in that situation, make sure you get quotes from a few companies and ensure that they are guaranteed. Guaranteed quotes will mean that your shipping car costs won’t change later on.
Speed of delivery could be an important factor in your decision. If you need a faster service, you can expect to pay more, though some companies will offer quicker car pick up than others.
Some companies will schedule the collection within a day or two of your requested date. Others might not be so quick. In fact, you could wait more than a month.
If your car is precious, you’ll want to have enough insurance coverage if something goes wrong. When professionals ship cars, accidents are rare but can still happen. You will want to have enough protection through the insurance so that you don’t have to worry.
Car transportation companies should all have a basic level of insurance coverage. They might offer you an additional insurance cover for an extra fee, this might be good enough, or you might need more and will be better arranging your own coverage.
Once you are clear on your requirements, you can start to narrow down your search. See what you need to know about auto transport insurance.
Car Shipping Near Me
One of the easiest ways to find a car shipping company nearby is to do an online search. You can use Google and search for Car shipping near me, car transport near me, or shipping cars near me. When doing this search, you will probably see some local companies mixed in with some of the larger well-known car shipping firms. It is essential not just to pick the closest auto transportation company.
You will want to have a company with a solid foundation under them. Doing your due diligence will be key. Next to your home, your car is probably one of your most valuable assets. Some people also search for cheap car shipping, which can be a mistake. As the adage goes, you get what you pay for!
Let’s now have an in-depth look at the best car transportation companies so you can make an excellent choice. You will get an understanding of which car shipping company is best with these reviews.
A great all-around option for shipping cars, Easy Auto Ship has competitive prices and quick delivery. If you want to ship a car, their customers also seem very happy with the support from customer service.
Despite the business not being as well established as many of the other companies on this list, they seem well-liked by their customers. Their car transport services definitely warrant being on our list.
Competitive Prices For Car Shipping
Shipping prices are lower on average than other companies, particularly when looking at enclosed transportation. Savings of $400 could be realized for an average journey using their enclosed shipping.
More Insurance Provided
On top of the standard insurance carriers will have, Easy Auto Ship provides more coverage. Extra insurance is provided to customers for free, giving $100,000 of additional coverage for your vehicle. So if the worst were to happen, there would be plenty of insurance to make sure you don’t lose out.
When you need to ship a valuable car, Easy Auto-Ship is worth having on your list for consideration. Without a doubt, they are one of the best car shipping companies.
Montway Auto Transport
Choosing a car transportation company with a lot of experience would seem like a good idea, and Montway Auto Transport certainly has a lot of it. They have more availability than many other providers here and will even ship cars to more difficult locations like Hawaii and Alaska.
This is perhaps part of the reason why transporting cars happens more through this company than their competitors. With 5 times more experience than many of their competitors, you would expect them to have the experience to provide a professional service. However, despite this, their customer feedback isn’t the most outstanding on our list.
Some of the reasons for their lower customer feedback could be the lack of GPS tracking on their vehicles. GPS tracking allows customers to follow the vehicle as it moves across the country, and without it, there can be some customer dissatisfaction. Another reason for less happy customers can be the slightly slower delivery times offered by this car transport company.
There are some significant advantages of using Montway Auto Transport, though.
Competitive Prices to Ship Cars
Part of why Montway Auto Transport ships as many cars, as they do will be due to their competitive pricing strategy. Their prices for an average journey using enclosed trailers show that they are quite a lot cheaper than most of their competitors. With an average requirement, you could see a saving of well over $100 for enclosed transportation.
Greater Experience in The Business
With this business transporting more vehicles than anyone else, it should ensure that they know what they’re doing. However, it can’t have downsides as well as with any high-volume business. This could be a factor in their slightly lower than stellar customer feedback. Montway Auto Transport is still worth having on the list for transporting cars.
Sherpa Auto Transport
Sherpa Auto Transport began after its founder experienced terrible customer support and service when shipping his car. This showed him a gap in the market to create a shipping company that better served its customers. He was able to found a car transportation business that focuses on great customer support, and it has succeeded in achieving that very well.
Guaranteed Car Shipping Prices
One of the benefits of using Sherpa Auto Transport is that they guarantee the price they quote to you. You don’t have to worry about additional charges finding their way onto your bill or unmentioned fees being due when you use them to ship your car.
Other companies might offer attractive pricing to ship cars across the country, but with Sherpa, the price you are quoted is the final amount you will pay. When trying to choose car transportation services this is a nice perk.
As you might imagine, with their guaranteed prices, they aren’t the lowest available. You can expect to pay somewhere between $100 and $150 more to ship your car through this service based on an average customer requirement.
Free Car Wash
Included in the service provided by this shipping company is a free carwash. As we have already shown, the prices from this company are higher than average, so the free car wash offer isn’t entirely free.
Since you can normally expect your vehicle to get dirty during transit, even if protected within an enclosed trailer, the carwash is something you will likely need anyway. This service is worth $20 and will also save you some hassle when getting your car back.
When it comes to car transport, a car wash is probably not worth sealing the deal, but it is a nice perk.
Bargain Auto Transport
As a newer entrant into the car shipping market, Bargain Auto Transport has certainly gained a following quickly. Part of this may well be due to them living up to their business name, offering customers lower car transportation prices.
Bargain Auto Transport operates a preferred network of car carriers from which it chooses how to move your vehicle. There is a listing fee that could be $100, though this will vary depending on your exact requirements. But despite this upfront cost, customers seem very happy with the service provided.
Bargain Prices to Transport Cars
Comparing Bargain Auto Transport’s prices against the competition for an average journey shows that there could be a saving to be made. You could see a saving of nearly $100 for your vehicle when being transported on an open trailer, and $150 can be saved on enclosed transport.
Bargain says that they understand the shipping car process inside and out, allowing them to ensure you get the best prices. The company’s representatives will work with you to help you set the lowest price that a driver will accept through their bidding process. This seems to work out, with their customers paying less and consequently being very happy with the car transporting service provided.
They have some impressive-looking customer feedback, though since they haven’t been in business for that long, there isn’t much of it. It does, however, provide some indication that this business is keeping their customers very happy so far.
Bargain Auto Transport is certainly worth having on your checklist of auto transportation companies to interview. If you are from my home state of Massachusetts, they are located right in Boston. When it comes to transporting cars they are considered top-notch.
Another option that seems to be well-liked by most of their customers is AmeriFreight. This could be thanks to there many discounts they offer customers and the extra insurance they provide when shipping cars. They are also available all across the country, including Alaska and Hawaii.
However, not quite as good as other companies are their lack of GPS tracking and no instant online quotes. These facets are lacking from their car transport services.
Discounted Pricing For Car Transport
While many shipping car businesses don’t offer any discounts, there are plenty to be had with AmeriFreight. Military personnel, students, and senior citizens will have discounts available to them, as is common across many service industries. They also offer discounts to first responders.
Returning customers to the business can also expect a discount, and if you book your car shipping within 48 hours of getting a quote, there is also a discount available to you. If you have more than one car to ship, you could also be in for a discount on additional vehicles.
When you choose AmeriFreight, you can be safe knowing that the vehicle carrier will be insured. This should protect you if anything goes wrong during transit. However, how can you be sure that they have sufficient coverage to fully pay for your vehicle’s replacement in the worst-case scenario.
To ensure their customers don’t suffer a financial loss if the carrier’s insurance comes up short, they provide gap coverage. This is given to their customers for no additional charge and ensures that any losses are fully covered.
High Customer Ratings
It’s never a bad idea to check what previous customers of a business think of the service provided to them, and with this business, the feedback is good. Most seem particularly happy with the customer representatives they spoke with and their vehicle’s delivery that didn’t give them any problems. When there are complaints, they seem focused on higher than expected total costs.
American Auto Shipping
If you rely on your car being delivered at a certain time, it can be very inconvenient if the car delivery is late. Aside from that frustration, a later than promised delivery is likely to cost you some money in additional transportation expenses.
If this is a problem you are concerned about, American Auto Shipping has thought of an answer. They have an offer of a free rental car if your vehicle is delivered late.
American Auto Shipping expects your vehicle to be delivered to you without any damage. And while you will no doubt hope for the same thing, sometimes things can go wrong. If something happens to your vehicle and there is some damage, this company will help pay for the repair cost.
Binding Car Transportation Quotes
Getting a car shipping quote on their website is very straightforward, and the price you see is guaranteed to be the price you pay. They also don’t require you to pay a deposit upfront.
The prices offered by the shipping company seem very competitive compared to the others on this list. They even include a free car wash and interior clean.
Golden Key Express
Golden Key Express is a car shipment company located out of California. The company has been doing car transportation services since 1998 and is a family-owned business. Their prices for shipping cars are considered the middle of the road but they have a sterling reputation.
Their Trucks Are Family Owned
One of the perks of using Golden Key Express is that their trucks to transport cars are family-owned so they do not broker shipments. Insurance is included with all rentals and no deposits are required.
The one downside that limits this company is the fact that they do not service the North West. So if you are moving to this area they will not be an option. They also do not offer closed vehicle transport.
Diesel Auto Express
If you are looking for a reassuring customer experience, Diesel Auto Express could be the answer. You will be assigned a customer support representative that will be your point of contact anytime you need assistance. This means you don’t have to continually explain your situation every time you call the company.
Expedited Car Shipping
If you need your car moved quickly, this company does offer expedited service. You can expect this to cost more since the driver will likely need to change their schedule to meet your requirements.
If you would like GPS tracking to monitor your car, they provide it as an extra. They also operate in all 50 states, with their trucks operating around the clock to provide faster service to customers.
Customer feedback is certainly great with Diesel Auto Express, though the prices aren’t necessarily the cheapest.
If you are a member of the military, United Routes could be a good choice. They offer a $50 discount for active-duty personnel and operate in all 50 states.
No Hidden Fees
United promise not to surprise their customers with unexpected costs. This includes no deposit required or a cancellation fee should you change your mind. As far as auto shippers go that is a helpful policy.
Quality Customer Service
They promise to be available to their customers to make any last-minute changes that are needed or make arrangements for special requirements.
United Routes claims to respond quickly to any calls, emails, or live chat messages from their customers. They will also give you the direct phone number of the driver who will be collecting your vehicle.
When it comes to car carriers, United Routes gets good marks.
AutoStar Transport Express
AutoStar Transport Express offers fast car transportation, and they have good customer feedback. However, they don’t have the lowest prices, with average costs being around a quarter more than their rivals.
The majority of their customers have their vehicles picked up within 1 or 2 days of the date they want the collection. In fact, 90% of customers have this experience, with another 9% having their car picked up within 3 days. For car delivery services that’s not a bad track record.
If your car isn’t collected within 5 days of your ideal date, they offer you a cancelation with a refund of your deposit. You do have the option to continue to wait for the trailer if you wish.
You can be kept up to date with the progress of your car shipment with their tracking service. You can request information about where your car is at any time during the journey by contacting the company.
All American Auto Transport
With over 56 years in business and having transported more than 400,000 cars, All American Auto Transport is certainly a well-established choice. Any company that has stuck around for such a long time must be doing something right.
Prices to Ship a Car
They aren’t as competitively priced as other shipping services, and you are expected to pay a $200 deposit. The balance of your shipping costs will be due on delivery, and this will need to be paid in cash or a cashier’s check. However, you can pay the full amount of shipping costs in advance if that is easier.
Delivery Times For Car Shipping
They expect a coast-to-coast delivery to take between 7 and 10 days, whereas coastal up-and-down moves can be expected to take between 3 and 6 days to complete. Many factors will affect the delivery time when shipping cars, one of which is the pick-up time which could be within four days on either side of your desired date.
Ship a Car Direct
Another good option for insurance cover is Ship a Car Direct. If some damage happens to your car during the transportation process, this company will pay up to $500 off any deductible should the carrier’s insurance not cover you.
America’s #1 Car Shipping Company
Ship a Car Direct claims to be America’s top car shipping company. And a claim like that is rather difficult to prove, though they do have a lot of great customer feedback to suggest they are doing most things right. They are BBB accredited with an A+ rating and have over 25,000 customer reviews.
Part of the reason for customer satisfaction could be their high standards for the carriers they use. They review all of the carriers, removing 80% of those who want to work for the company. This should make sure that customers’ cars are well cared for.
Prices For Car Transport Services
The prices offered by this car carrier company are also competitive. This will be another reason why they have had so much customer feedback for the service they provide.When you want to ship a car across the country, the car shipping company you choose can have a significant impact on your experience!Click To Tweet
Guardian Auto Transport
If the speed of delivery is all-important, Guardian Auto Transport could be the best option. They have an average delivery time of 3 days, though you can expect higher costs as a result.
They don’t require you to pay a deposit, and they don’t have hidden fees. Guardian will pay any deposit required by the carrier, making sure your car keeps its place on the trailer. They also don’t expect you to pay the full amount when booking.
To make sure your carrier is reliable, Guardian carries out many checks on drivers and companies in their 27,000 strong networks. This should ensure your car is in good hands when it is collected until it is returned to you.
uShip transports many different things, not only cars. They are actually a shipping marketplace that connects customers with carriers. You can see what other customers have rated carriers so that you can avoid a bad experience. They also provide you with GPS tracking of your car for additional peace of mind. Besides cars, they end up shipping a lot of furniture for those moving across the country.
Costs of Car Moving
While you aren’t going through a broker, the prices are still higher than average. You could find you end up spending as much as 40% more on shipping.
On top of that, since they aren’t checking the carriers as a broker would, there are risks. The star ratings should help ensure you don’t run into problems, however, and you will avoid having to deal with someone between you and the carrier.
Video: How to Ship a Car
Watch this helpful video to learn more about what you need to know about car shipping.
Shipping Cars FAQ
See ten of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to shipping a car. When it comes to educating yourself about car transportation service, it will be helpful to under these answers.
You will have a much better understanding of what to know about shipping cars.
1. Can I ship a car without a title or registration?
Yes. When working with a top car auto transport company documentation is essential. It is worth noting, however, that car shipping companies typically do not ask for your title or registration when delivering a vehicle.
2. Is a car shipping companies safety record important?
Yes of course it is. Before you pick an auto transport company you should check up on their safety record. You can do so by visiting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website. They will have a safety record of the car shipping company.
3. Should I choose an enclosed carrier?
Most of the time, this will be unnecessary. Unless you have a very expensive car or one that can’t easily be replaced, it is probably an unnecessary extra cost.
4. What is a shipping broker?
Many of the providers on the list are brokers that act as intermediaries between customers and carriers. They connect you to an available carrier and willing to take your car for the agreed price.
5. Do I need to put a deposit down when shipping a car?
Most reputable auto transportation companies do not require a deposit. Payment should be given when a car is picked up or dropped off.
6. Do I need to get a shipping estimate?
You should get at least three estimates before you decide on which company to use. This will ensure you understand more about the costs and avoid paying over the odds for your car shipping.
Once you have the estimates, you need to compare what the companies are offering. Are all the charges included, or have some things been hidden to make the costs look better? Do they have enough insurance for your car?
7. What affects the costs of shipping a car?
There are a handful of factors that will influence the price of shipping a car. These include the time of the year, the delivery and pick-up dates, the car’s size, the trip distance, and whether it is an open or closed delivery.
8. How much does car shipping cost on average?
Your exact cost will depend on a few factors, including where the car will be collected from and the final destination. The time of year and whether you need an enclosed carrier are also considerations but expect the average cost to be between $900 and $1,000. The average cost for moving a car is around 60 cents per mile for distances over 1000 miles.
9. What is the cheapest way to move a car?
The cheapest way to ship a vehicle is to use open transportation. An open car carrier is typically hundreds of dollars cheaper than having it enclosed. When it comes to shipping cars, enclosed will be better if you’re worried about the vehicle’s condition.
10. Is it cheaper to ship a car by train?
Generally, it is a bit cheaper to ship a vehicle by train. Shipping a car by train tends to take longer, though, because it won’t ship until it is full of cars.
11. How much does it cost to ship a car overseas?
The cost of shipping a car out of the country has quite a range in price. You can expect to pay anywhere from over $1000 up to $5000 for traditional ocean transport. To ship your car by plane you can expect to pay anywhere from $5000 to $40,000.
12. Can I hire an individual to drive my car to another state?
13. Can I put things in my car when I ship it?
Yes. The department of transportation has never said that you cannot put personal items in a car that is being shipping across the US. It is legal to put your things in the car or truck during transport. Most car shipping companies, however, do not allow it. If you find one that does, you’ll be lucky.
14. What is Military car shipping?
Military car shipping is a service specifically for those who are either in the military or have served in the past. The car carrier will pick up and deliver the vehicle as close to where you’re located as possible. The Government will cover the cost of one POV shipment when it’s a PCS order.
15. How much do auto driveaway drivers make?
First, you are probably wondering what a driveaway driver is. Some people drive your car from point A to point B. They charge for this service. You can reach Auto Driveaway by visiting their website. A drive Away drive makes on average around $43,000 per year or $21 per hour. The top-end individuals make just under $60,000, and the bottom makes around $32,000.
Shipping cars isn’t going to make you rich but you’ll get to travel across the country.
Final Thoughts on Shipping Cars
With so many car shipping companies to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Once you have worked out the most important factors for you, things start to become clearer.
When you have narrowed down your search, get quotes from them to find your best deal. Make sure you fairly compare the differences on offer as price shouldn’t be your only concern. Once you have your decision, book the pick-up, and your car will be on its way before you know it.
Once your car arrives, you’ll be able to settle down in your new home.
Hopefully, you have enjoyed this guide on how to ship a car.
Other Helpful Moving Resources
Get more exceptional moving tips here.
- Best Moving and storage boxes – when you are moving, the boxes you choose can really make a difference. See a guide to all of the different types of moving boxes to choose from.
- Home Depot truck rentals – if you are making a DIY local move, Home Depot could be a great choice for renting a truck. See everything you need to know about Home Depot truck rentals.
- Best portable moving container companies – if you will be renting portable moving and storage containers, see who some of the best companies are.
- Best moving truck rental companies – when making your own move, it will be essential to pick one of the top truck rental companies. See a list of the best, along with their reviews.
- Guide to U-Haul Truck Pricing – one of the best companies to rent a truck for a move is U-Haul. Take a look at the guide that will explain all you need to know about their pricing structure.
Use all of the above moving guides to make the best decisions possible with your next move.
About the author: The above Real Estate information about the best car shipping and auto transportation companies was provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at [email protected] or by phone at 508-625-0191. Bill has helped people move in and out of many Metrowest towns for the last 34+ years.
Are you thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise!
I service Real Estate Sales in the following Metrowest MA towns: Ashland, Bellingham, Douglas, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Natick, Northborough, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sutton, Wayland, Westborough, Whitinsville, Worcester, Upton, and Uxbridge MA.