Our top pick: It‘s a close call, but we give the nod to Montway Auto Transport. The car shipping company has low prices, responds to every negative review, and invented pricing software used by many of its competitors.
The 5 Best Car Shipping Companies of 2021
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What should you look for in a car shipping company?
There are lots of things that you should look for in a car shipping company:
- Low prices. Price matters. You can often save hundreds of dollars by taking an extra 10 minutes to compare quotes.
- Binding quotes. Car shipping prices often go up about 25% between your initial estimate and your final price. Keep your eye out for rare companies that guarantee a portion of your shipping quote.
- Years of experience. Longevity is a huge trust signal in the auto transport industry. Look for a car transport company that’s been around for more than a few years.
- Extra insurance. Accidents are rare, but they can happen. The best car shipping companies offer you more than a bare-bones insurance policy.
- Customer reviews. We carefully consider customer reviews and understand the varying degrees of subjectivity. However, we generally feel safe using a shipping service that has above average customer reviews of at least 4.6 out of 5 stars.
Montway Auto Transport—Best overall
Montway Auto Transport is our favorite car shipping company. In addition to low prices, the auto transport broker also offers guaranteed pickup dates. Montway even tries to find GPS-enabled drivers so you can check on the whereabouts of your vehicle. The shipping company’s stellar online reviews might have something to do with its attention to detail. Montway puts each potential carrier through an exhaustive background check to ensure you get the best drivers. All told, Montway sets the standard for the rest of the industry.
What sets Montway Auto Transport apart?
Montway invented a pricing calculator that spits out competitive quotes in minutes. The most immediate benefit is your cost: Montway’s prices are about 5% below the auto transport industry average. But this is also where you see the extent of Montway’s influence on the entire industry. Car shipping pricing is so complicated that many of Montway’s competitors use the company’s pricing calculator.
It shows too. We often pose as customers with other companies to get car shipping quotes. And we’ve heard more than one or two of Montway’s competitors say something like, “We’ll match Montway’s price”—before they even know what it is. When you give customers low prices and invent something used by the competition, you’re basically the Carfather of the industry.
There’s only one thing we don’t like about Montway’s pricing: it doesn’t have guaranteed quotes. True, most companies don’t. But some offer partially guaranteed quotes. We’re impressed that Montway’s prices are below average, but surprised that it doesn’t have some form of guarantee. Of course, when other companies use the pricing calculator you invented, maybe you don’t need to.
Attention to detail
Montway’s attention to detail is a big reason behind its car shipping success. And we’re not talking about how the company organizes its paper clips. Montway uses its x-ray vision to find the best truck drivers in the nation.
Check this out.
Every car shipping company finds drivers in the same place: an online marketplace called Central Dispatch. With more than 13,000 carriers to choose from, finding a top-notch truck driver can feel like discovering a needle in a haystack. It takes a lot of work to find both low prices and reputable drivers. But just like you want the most skilled surgeon (rather than the cheapest one) to perform your brain surgery, you also want the safest driver behind the wheel for your car shipment.
That’s where Montway comes in. The company has a staff of more than 10 people who do nothing but look into the background of potential drivers. You can almost see them running around wearing “Montway Compliance Division'' superhero capes as they examine crash reports, insurance info, and driver histories. Montway doesn’t make a dime off of these folks. Their entire salaries go towards giving customers the best possible experience.
Speaking of which . . .
Montway prides itself on exceptional customer service. It has four times as many reviews (nearly 50,000) as any other company we’ve seen. Montway reliably pulls in an average score of 4.7 out of 5 stars. The company has the best online chat feature around (hands down), is open 24 hours a day, and has a fully-staffed customer service department. About the only flaw we’ve found is an annoying website pop-up ad, which is like complaining that your million-dollar sports car vibrates a little when you break 150 miles per hour.
But Montway doesn’t stop there. When a company ships more than 100,000 vehicles each year, it’s bound to drop a few balls. Rather than coast on the heels of its success, Montway responds to every negative review. In other words, it invests money to turn your bad experience into a good one. You just don’t find car shipping companies with this strong of an online presence.
Like what you see?
There’s a lot to like about AmeriFreight. Customers give the car shipping company an average review rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. Plus, it's available in all 50 states. AmeriFreight even has military discounts. Oh yeah, and it has the lowest prices of any company on this list.
AmeriFreight carefully vets all of its drivers and maintains a “do not use” list for low-quality drivers. It also has a gap coverage plan that lets you take two days to look for damage and pays up to $2,000 toward your deductible if you need to file a claim. The company has given customers a safe shipping experience for more than 15 years and looks poised to do the same for many more.
What sets AmeriFreight apart?
Low prices (and lots of options)
AmeriFreight has three car shipping pricing options that help you fine-tune your shipment. The lone downside is that it can be confusing to know which one you need. Thankfully, we’re about to clear that up for you:
- Economy Saver Rate. This is the best option if you’re determined to get the lowest price (even if it takes a month). AmeriFreight lets thousands of carriers bid on your shipment for several weeks. It starts with a super low rate and gradually increases the amount until an affordable driver comes along.
- First Class Rate. This is the best option if you need your car shipped fast. AmeriFreight can guarantee your quote if you need the job done within 24 hours. Since car shipping costs notoriously rise upwards of 25% by the time your final bill arrives, this guaranteed option can save you hundreds of dollars on the average shipment. However, it’s also likely to be your most expensive option (rush jobs don’t come cheap).
- Priority Preferred Rate. This is the best option if you don’t need to ship your car immediately but also can’t wait several weeks for the lowest possible price. It’s the way most car shipping companies estimate your costs. You give AmeriFreight the details of your shipment, and it lets the carriers bid against each other to drive down the price. When a few days have passed, AmeriFreight picks the lowest-priced shipping option.
AmeriFreight puts each of its carriers through a rigorous vetting process. The company’s five-pronged approach weeds out the bad drivers so you end up with a car carrier that will keep your car safe on the road:
- License and registration. AmeriFreight does a background check on every carrier to ensure your drivers are appropriately licensed and registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation.
- Interstate authority. Since many drivers can only transport cars within a single state, AmeriFreight verifies that carriers crossing state lines have the appropriate interstate authority.
- Insurance. AmeriFreight won’t use a carrier unless it meets minimum liability insurance requirements. While the federal government requires carriers to have at least $750,000 in coverage, AmeriFreight says that most of its drivers are in the neighborhood of $1 million–$2 million.
- Driver rating. AmeriFreight uses only those carriers with a rating of at least 95 percent on Central Dispatch.
- “Do not use” list. A bad apple occasionally sneaks through even though AmeriFreight carefully vets its carriers. When that happens, AmeriFreight tosses it faster than you can say, “Annie ate eight Arctic apples.” The company keeps an internal “do not use” list for rotten carriers to make sure you work with only the best drivers.
AmeriFreight has a gap insurance coverage plan that is next level. For $50–$100, you get up to $2,000 towards your insurance deductible (if the carrier’s insurance won’t pay)—and a 48-hour window to look for damage to your vehicle. Since most companies require you to document damage at the time of delivery or forever hold your peace, the two extra days afforded by the gap coverage is incredible.
For example, if you don’t find damage until the next day because your car gets delivered at night, you can still file a claim. The gap coverage can even be applied toward a rental vehicle if there’s a significant delay in your delivery timeline.
AmeriFreight’s gap coverage lets you take 48 hours to document any damage to your car. It’s a lifesaver if you can’t identify any problems because your car arrives at night or in bad weather.
Looking for low prices?
American Auto Shipping—Guaranteed rates
American Auto Shipping is impressive. The auto transporter has the best guaranteed quotes in the business: your final price is the same as your initial quote (many companies charge around an extra 25%). You also don’t have to pay a deposit. And while accidents rarely happen, American Auto Shipping chips in $500 toward your deductible if you need to file an insurance claim. This is one of the best car shipping companies we’ve seen.
What sets American Auto Shipping apart?
American Auto Shipping has one of the rarest features in the car shipping industry: guaranteed pricing. While your initial quote often balloons about 25% with many other transport companies, it doesn’t budge a penny with American Auto Shipping. Your estimate on day one is the same number that shows up on your final bill.
There are two exceptions:
- 24-hour limit. You have 24 hours to accept American Auto Shipping’s price. Any longer than that, and you’ll need to start over.
- Details matter. If you give America Auto Shipping the wrong information, it’s not responsible for changes in the price. This rarely comes into play, but you want to make sure you provide the transport broker with the accurate year, make, and model of your vehicle. If the truck driver shows up and your car is bigger or heavier than what you initially said, it’s going to cost more.
American Auto Shipping’s prices seem high because it gives your final price upfront. Many other companies suck you in with a low quote—and then raise your rates.
American Auto Shipping has some of the best insurance coverage in the biz. While accidents are rare, sometimes things can go wrong. Maybe the driver gets in an accident or road debris dents your car. If you end up needing to file an insurance claim, American Auto Shipping will pay up to $500 towards your deductible.
Positive customer reviews
American Auto Shipping has an average customer service rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. That’s saying something for a company that’s been around for more than 20 years. Here are just a few of the reasons behind American Auto Shipping’s top-notch reviews:
- Instant online quotes. You can do all your shopping with American Auto Shipping online. In just three minutes, you can get a guaranteed price without ever having to check your email or call a customer service rep.
- Expedited pickup. You get the best car shipping prices if you place your reservation about two weeks in advance. But you don’t always have that much time to wait.
If you must start a new job or move into your new place by a specific date, American Auto Shipping can speed up your service. It picks up most vehicles within five days, but you can pay an extra $200 to have the driver load your car within two days. If time is tight, you can pay $500 to take care of it in 24 hours. You could easily pay twice as much if you called another company out of the blue and asked for next-day pickup.
- No deposit. Remember how we said that some companies give you a low starter rate but then saddle you with a more expensive bill? They also often make you pay a deposit and then keep the money if you cancel because you’re upset about the price changes.
But American Auto Shipping doesn’t ask for a deposit. Even if the company asked for a deposit, the guaranteed pricing means you wouldn’t have any big surprises. But American Auto Shipping knows it’s a pain to pay upfront, so the broker waives your deposit. It’s another example of a little thing that really matters.
We like American Auto Shipping, but we’re surprised that we could find only about 2,000 customer reviews. For a company that’s been around 20-plus years, we’d expect at least 10 times that many.
Looking for guaranteed rates that don’t go up?
Sherpa Auto Transport—Customer satisfaction
Sherpa Auto Transport impresses us. To start with, it has something almost no one does: guaranteed quotes. If the cost goes up after your initial estimate, Sherpa will cover the difference up to $300. The transport company also performs intense background checks of potential carriers so that you get the best drivers. Throw in a free car wash and some near-perfect transport reviews, and you can see how a company that is only four years old landed a top spot on our rankings.
What sets Sherpa Auto Transport apart?
Price Lock Promise
Sherpa’s Price Lock Promise is a solution to the auto transport industry’s bait-and-switch pricing. Initial car shipping estimates are just that—estimates. By the time your final bill arrives, it’s often about 25% higher. For the average car shipment, that shakes out to around $270. Rather than make you pay the extra cost, Sherpa guarantees your price up to $300.
Very few companies offer any kind of guaranteed pricing. To find one that contributes $300 to cover your costs is nearly unheard of. It’s hard to emphasize how much Sherpa’s transparent pricing separates it from other auto shipping companies. The Price Lock Promise is a big deal.
Sherpa Auto Transport has some of the most impressive carrier vetting we’ve seen. By carrier vetting, we mean that Sherpa scrutinizes potential truck drivers to make sure your vehicle is in safe hands. The auto shipper also lists itself as a certificate holder on your insurance policy so that it can help with the claims process if a driver’s negligence leads to damage.
Check out a few of the things Sherpa does before picking out a carrier:
- Public records search. Sherpa can choose from more than 13,000 drivers for your shipment. The car shipping company does an exhaustive search of government records to locate carriers with insurance and safe driving records. It also ensures the carrier has all of the necessary paperwork to transport your vehicle legally.
- Data analysis. Government records are a start, but anyone can do that (like us). What separates Sherpa from other companies is that it keeps in-house statistics of every shipment and then runs the numbers to find the best of the best.
- Internal naughty list. If a carrier starts to slip in Sherpa’s internal ratings, it gets booted from the auto carrier pool. That means if your driver is unprofessional or treats you poorly, you can tell Sherpa, and it’ll take action.
Excellent customer service
Sherpa Auto Transport reviews are impressive. The car shipping broker has an average transport review score of 4.8 out of 5 stars. In part, it’s due to things like Sherpa’s Price Lock Promise and carrier vetting. But the auto broker also focuses on tiny details that make a big difference. For example, the auto shipper has a Clean Car Guarantee that reimburses everyone up to $20 for a free car wash.
The company also has stellar customer service reps. They explain confusing aspects of the auto transport industry as clearly as anyone we’ve talked with. We can nitpick a little if we must (you can’t get online quotes, and the “start chat” feature connects you with an annoying bot instead of a rep), but there’s not much we can come up with that would offset Sherpa’s strengths.
We agree with customers: this is an excellent car shipping company.
Want a Price Lock Promise?
uShip isn’t a transport broker as much as it is an online marketplace where you can find truck drivers. That makes it different from any other company on this list. uShip gives you control over your pricing and lets you see each carrier’s driving history. It also reimburses you up to $500 if there’s an accident and is available in all 50 states. While uShip’s prices aren’t guaranteed, the company’s rates are lower than they’ve ever been. It takes a minute to learn how to use uShip’s website, but it’s worth the effort more often than not.
What sets uShip apart?
Control over pricing
uShip takes the mystery out of car shipping pricing by letting you see all of the truck drivers that bid on your shipment. All you have to do is enter your shipment details (vehicle type, destination address, and so on) and then watch as drivers bid on your job. Once you see a price you like, you connect with the shipper and make arrangements to transport your vehicle.
Rather than pay a broker to sort through the drivers, uShip gives you the ability to do it yourself.
Access to driver profiles
uShip lets you see the entire driving history of its carriers. The company gets rid of the guesswork and lets you research the best drivers on your own. For example, once you enter your shipment details, you’ll see a list of everyone who wants to accept the job. You’ll instantly see the average star rating awarded to each company by past uShip customers. In addition, uShip shows you how many jobs a carrier has done, how satisfied customers are (on a 0–100% scale), and what year the driver started transporting vehicles for uShip customers.
A screenshot of uShip carriers bidding on your shipment lets you see things like each driver’s name, star rating, total reviews, and percent satisfaction rating.
If you want to see more information, you can click on the company name or logo and scroll through individual reviews. This is essentially what a broker does before assigning a carrier to your vehicle. Some invest quite a bit of time into it, while others are less thorough. Either way, you have to trust what they tell you.
uShip eliminates the need to rely on someone else. You get to see a driver’s entire history and decide if you like what you see. Nobody else puts that information at your fingertips. If you just need the job done and don't want to bother with details, go with a traditional broker. But if you want control over all the details, uShip is the right option for you.
Yes, it’s generally safe to use a uShip driver. However, our analysis of more than 40,000 uShip reviews shows that customers reward the company’s drivers with an average 4.2-star rating—about one-half point lower than the 4.6-star industry average.
uShip’s Ship with Confidence Guarantee shows just how much the company cares about your vehicle’s safety. We recommend looking for a car shipping company that has extra insurance of one kind or another. In uShip’s case, it has some of the best coverage perks we’ve seen. uShip reimburses you up to $500 if things go wrong (vehicle damage or stolen items).
Looking for control over your price?
Ship a Car Direct—Damage-free guarantee
Ship a Car Direct is fantastic. Not only does the company have low prices, but it also doesn’t require an upfront deposit. Ship a Car Direct carefully vets its truck drivers and gives you extra insurance just in case of a problem. You can’t get guaranteed quotes or online estimates, and the website could use some work. Still, the company’s weaknesses aren’t enough to detract customers: Ship a Car Direct has an average review score of 4.8 out of 5 stars. The company lives up to its unofficial motto, “We make the process of shipping your car suck less.”
Anxious to keep your car safe on the road?
Easy Auto Ship—Free rental car
Easy Auto Ship gives customers a free rental car if their vehicles don’t arrive within two weeks. The company fully guarantees its phone quotes (prices may change if you reserve online), kicks in an extra $100,000 insurance coverage, and gets excellent customer reviews. Easy Auto Ship doesn’t even charge you until it assigns a carrier.
The only real downside is that it’s been in business under the Easy Auto Ship name for only a few years (and its website still uses an old DIY Transport name). That means the company isn't as proven as some of the more established players. But Easy Auto Ship is worth considering if you value low prices, extra insurance, and excellent service.
Want a free rental car if your vehicle arrives late?
Top 5 car shipping companies
Other car shipping companies we recommend
Montway is our number one car shipping company, but each of these transport brokers brings something special to the table:
- Montway Auto Transport. Our best all-around company. Montway deserves its spot at the top of the mountain.
- AmeriFreight. Low prices. You can often expect to save around 15% (roughly $180) on open transport compared to the industry average.
- American Auto Shipping. Guaranteed rates. Need we say more?
- Sherpa Auto Transport. It does all of the little things right. Partially guaranteed prices, careful driver vetting, and a free car wash add up to happy customers.
- uShip. An online marketplace. uShip gives you control over your price and driver.
Car shipping FAQ
Does Bargain Auto Transport have cheap car shipping?
Yes, Bargain Auto Transport has cheap car shipping. The shipping service has some of the lowest rates in the business because it gives truck drivers several weeks to bid on your job. Just be aware that Bargain Auto Transport charges a $100 listing fee to access its low car transport rates.
Is enclosed transport the cheapest way to transport my motorcycle?
No, enclosed transport isn’t the cheapest way to transport your motorcycle. It costs more to use an enclosed carrier, but enclosed shipping also protects your bike from bad weather and road debris. Open transport is much cheaper, but it leaves your motorcycle exposed to the elements.
What is the best auto transport company?
The best auto transport company is Montway, according to Move.org. The car shipping service offers competitive rates for open and enclosed auto transport, has excellent customer reviews, and is available in all 50 states. Move.org gives the transport company a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.
Does uShip have vehicle shipping?
Yes, uShip has vehicle shipping. In addition to transporting items like furniture, uShip can help you find an affordable and highly rated auto shipping company to meet your local and long-distance vehicle transportation needs. uShip’s open carrier rates are about 25% cheaper than its enclosed transport prices.
What’s the cheapest auto transport company?
The cheapest auto transport company is AmeriFreight, according to Move.org. The car transport company’s average price of $900 to ship a car on an open car carrier is about 20% cheaper than the vehicle shipping industry average.
What should I look for in an auto transporter?
You should look for several things in an auto transporter, including low prices, good customer service, and supplemental insurance. Keep your eye on any car transport company that has been around for 10 years or longer (staying power is a big deal in the transportation service industry).
Does it cost extra for a car shipper to transport an inoperable vehicle?
Yes, it typically costs extra for a car shipping to transport an inoperable vehicle. Fee amounts can vary, but it’s not uncommon to pay an additional $100–$150 if your car doesn’t start.
What should I look for in a car delivery service?
You should look for several things in a car delivery service, including low prices, guaranteed quotes, and insurance coverage options.
What is the difference between car shipping and auto transport?
Car shipping and auto transport are synonyms that refer to shipping a vehicle from one location to another.
Can I ship my car overseas?
Yes, you can ship your car overseas. You'll typically need to provide a photo ID, proof of ownership, and vehicle registration before an auto transport company will send your car to another country.
Where are the best tips for preparing to ship your car?
The best tips for preparing to ship your car include emptying it of personal belongings and making sure the gas tank isn't more than one-quarter full. The size and weight of your vehicle affect the price to ship a car, so the less it weighs, the less you pay.
What car transport service has the best international car shipping?
uShip is the car transport service with the best international car shipping. Most auto transport services don’t ship outside of the United States. However, uShip’s online marketplace connects you with car shippers willing to transport your vehicle overseas.