Here Are the Best Shipping Companies to Get Your Car Across the Country
You have better things to do than drive your vehicle across the country.
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An epic road trip across the country sounds awesome! But let's face it—you're an adult and you don't have time for that. You have a job, family, and responsibilities. Instead of spending your few precious vacation days driving across the country, you need a car shipping company. Don't make the rookie mistake of hiring the first guy with a truck that you come across or your friend's sketchy uncle.
Throughout my years working for a national third party logistics company, I saw more damaged cars than I'd care to admit. We would tell people that the cheapest bid isn't always the best, but that didn't stop them. The money you save on the shipment is nothing compared to the frustration and money you'll spend on repairs should your car get lost, stolen, or damaged. The right car shipping company for you will offer the services you need for the type of vehicle you own and have a strong, safe performance track record.
I've saved you hours of research by curating a list of car shipping companies that have consistently delivered.
Montway Auto Transport
As one of the most trusted in the industry, this carrier's 15,000 strong network of carriers offer a wide range of auto shipping services.
- Instant quoting
- Guaranteed pickup dates
- Wide range of services
- No GPS tracking
- No guaranteed quotes
Ship a Car Direct
You don't have to spend a fortune when working with this carrier that boasts a high safety rating.
- Lower than industry quotes
- Damage-free guarantee
- Optional additional insurance
- No instant quotes
- No quote guarantee
Ship your vehicle anywhere in the U.S. with this national auto transport company that offers great discounts, customer service, and safety ratings.
- Additional gap insurance
- 24/7 customer service
- Coast-to-coast delivery
- Must call for an accurate quote
- Any insurance coverage an additional charge
I take my commitment to you, the reader, seriously and adhere to a strict methodology set out by The Drive. So when it came to choosing car shippers, it was important to find the best companies providing high quality and reliable services. After all, as car people, it's our pride and joy going on that truck, and it needs to arrive safe and sound. The shipping industry is complicated, and it's hard to determine the reputable shippers from the questionable ones. On a basic level, every car shipping company I considered needed to be licensed, insured, and meet the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). Never trust your vehicle with someone who isn't licensed or insured.
When comparing car shipping services, the first step was to consider the services offered. This included the regions serviced, insurance offerings, type of trucks, number of trucks, and customer service hours. Then I looked at the actual shipping experience. Do they offer instant online quotes, or must you call and speak to someone? Then, what kind of shipping times, rates for common routes, and delivery guarantees do they offer? Any unique features, such as damage-free delivery, quote guarantee, extra insurance, and clean car guarantee, were accounted for. Finally, I considered actual customer reviews, satisfaction ratings, and my personal experience with these companies to determine the final choices.
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Best Car Shipping Companies Reviews & Recommendations
Montway is one of the most well-known names in auto shipping. They aren't the cheapest, but they aren't the most expensive either. You can check out their reasonable pricing with the instant quote feature on the website. Their service region is extensive, including all 50 states and even international options. They have specialized services gear for relocations, online car buyers, college students, snowbirds, resellers, and the military. Insurance is automatically included on all door-to-door, open, enclosed, and expedited shipments. A unique feature is the ability to pay for your shipment online, which many carriers don't offer. They also have guaranteed pickup dates, which makes planning your shipment easier.
Unfortunately, the quote you get online isn't guaranteed, making this online feature seem misleading. This is partially due to inexperienced people entering the wrong information to get an inaccurate quote. Additionally, despite the company boasting extended customer service hours, they aren't 24/7. The company also doesn't own its own trucks. Instead, they work with a network of 15,000 carriers. While they claim to have carefully vetted them, there's no way to guarantee service consistency.
While you should never base your carrier choice solely on price, not everyone has the budget for a high-end car shipping service. Ship a Car Direct offers rates that are consistently lower than industry averages. They also provide intra and inter-state shipping. The insurance coverage is optional, and there's no deposit required upfront. A unique feature is a Damage-Free Guarantee, where the company pays $500 towards your insurance deductible should your vehicle get damaged during shipment.
While the discounted rates are nice, you'll have to make some concessions. For example, there's no GPS tracking, no instant quotes, no 24/7 customer service, and no quote guarantees. The website is also seriously lacking when compared to its competitors.
When you need a car shipping company to get your vehicle across the country, consider the coast-to-coast services offered by AmeriFreight. While they work with anyone needing to ship a car, they specialize in serving seniors and military personnel. Not all of their routes have competitive pricing, but their core shipping lanes can offer great discounts. In addition, they offer 24/7 customer service, and they have three additional damage gap coverage plans to supplement your insurance coverage for extra protection.
The drawback of AmeriFreight is that insurance coverage is an additional charge. This is a situation where you want the insurance, so paying extra for it is frustrating. Especially when other carriers offer the insurance as an included service for shipment. There is also no GPS tracking option, so you won't know where your car is until it reaches the destination, which can be nerve-wracking. Additionally, while the website offers instant quoting, don't trust it. For an accurate quote, you need to call, which makes the online quoting essentially useless.
If you need international car shipping, then work with a company that can deliver to destinations throughout the world. Autoshippers has a unique advantage with headquarters located in Europe's largest car terminal in Bristol. It's also one of the UK's biggest international vehicle shipping companies, giving them plenty of experience, knowledge, and resources. They offer a range of services, including RoRo, container, R-Rak, and air freight services. The website is impressive, with extensive information about the international shipping process and the customs requirements for each country.
One frustrating thing about Autoshippers is that they don't provide instant quotes. This makes getting a quote tedious as you'll have to get on the phone. I filled out their online form, and it took about 24 hours to receive my quote by email. The cost for shipment is also high, but that's because the distance shipped is significantly longer than domestic shipping. It's frustrating that you won't have a single point of contact with the company. The more people involved, the greater the risk for miscommunication and problems. The company also contracts with third party carriers for delivery and final mile services, who may not provide the same level of service as Autoshippers.
If service is more important than price, consider one of the highest-rated car shippers. Easy Auto Ship maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. You can secure a guaranteed quote when you call instead of going online. There are no upfront fees, which means you can shop around before committing to your shipment.
What makes Easy Auto stand out is the gold star customer service. Booking transport for your vehicle can be stressful and confusing, so having quality customer service can make the process much smoother. In addition, the friendly agents will walk you through comprehensive services like additional optional insurance or the free rental vehicle if your shipment takes too long to arrive.
Unlike the other auto carriers on this list, Easy Auto Ship is a relatively new company. While this in itself isn't a bad thing, it can mean greater risk for you. New transport companies don't have a long safety record that you can look up through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. They also tend to lack experience when it comes to choosing high quality drivers. They may also only carry the minimum required insurance, not have as large of territory coverage, fewer trucks, and fewer features.
If you own a luxury vehicle, high-end sports car, antique, exotic, or vintage vehicle, then you'll want to protect your baby by opting for enclosed transport. Sherpa Auto Transport not only provides safe and reliable shipping, but they provide a customer service experience to match. You'll notice the difference in service from the start with transparent pricing and guaranteed quotes. Throughout the shipping process, you'll appreciate the 24/7 customer service availability. This makes tracking your shipment significantly easier and getting your questions answered. This can instill a greater level of confidence and security in the process.
A unique feature offered by Sherpa is the Clean Car Guarantee. Once delivered, you can get your car washed for $20 or less. Then submit the invoice with your BOL, and Sherpa will reimburse you.
The biggest drawback of this car transport service is that they don't offer instant quotes, making your shipment more time-consuming. They also have higher than average pricing, but this should be expected with the high-end service you're receiving. In addition, the website could be better, as it's a bit simplified and lacks informative guidance on the process. If you're a first-time shipper, this can make booking confusing and intimidating. Finally, you'll have to pay a cancellation fee even if you cancel far in advance, which is not industry standard.
For the best car shipping service, Montway Auto Transport won’t let you down with its extensive network of carriers and competitive rates.
If you’re working with a limited budget, Ship a Car Direct has safety and customer service ratings and doesn’t require an upfront deposit.
FAQs on Car Shipping Companies
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers!
Q: What is the cheapest way to ship a car?
A: The cheapest way to ship a car is by open transport. These are open trailers that are pulled by semi-cabs. Some can hold as many as 10 vehicles. These larger trailers reduce the cost of shipping by spreading it among each of the vehicles on the trailer.
Q. Can I put stuff in my car when I ship it?
A: It depends. Some carriers do not allow any personal items in your vehicle. Some carriers will let you put personal items secured in boxes in the trunk with a weight limit of 50 pounds. There are a small number of carriers that will let you put personal items in the trunk and passenger area of the vehicle but only up to the bottom of the windows. You may have to pay extra for this option.
Q. How do I prepare my car for shipping?
A: Start by gathering all of the necessary documents for shipment. Then wash and clean your car inside and out. This lets you clearly document the condition of your car pre-shipment. Remove your personal items and empty the fuel tank to the carrier's required level. Take pictures of your vehicle. Remove any exterior accessories that could get damaged during transport.
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