Top 5 car shipping companies comparison
|Company||Montway Auto Transport||Sherpa Auto Transport||AmeriFreight||uShip||Ship a Car Direct|
|Best for||A guaranteed pickup date||Locked-in prices||Discounts||Comparing quotes||A damage-free guarantee|
|Website||Get a Quote||Get a Quote||Get a Quote||Get a Quote||Get a Quote|
Current as of 2/5/20
CAR SHIPPING DURING COVID-19
CAR SHIPPING DURING COVID-19
All of our top car shipping companies are currently open for business. For status updates and to find out what each company is doing in response to the coronavirus, visit Can I Move During the COVID-19 Outbreak?
Car shipping can be a daunting task. Whether you’re moving across the country or transporting a newly purchased vehicle to your home, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to auto transport.
Move.org has researched the most reputable car transport companies. We can help you choose the best car shipping company to take care of your vehicle.
Check out our recommendations for the best car shipping companies to see which is the best fit for you.
Need help deciding on a long-distance mover for the rest of your valuables? Learn more about our expert picks in our Best Long-Distance Movers list.
Montway Auto Transport—Best for a guaranteed pickup date
Montway Auto Transport is one of the largest auto shippers around. It provides options for everyone from college students to classic car aficionados.
If you’re in the market for auto transport and want to ship your car with a reputable, nationwide company, Montway is worth considering.
- Offers guaranteed pickup
- Offers a price-matching policy
- Provides multiple payment options
- Ships classic, vintage, and exotic cars
- Advertises inaccurate, outdated information
Why we recommend Montway Auto Transport
Reason #1: It offers guaranteed pickup
Most car shipping companies don’t allow you to select an exact pickup date. Instead, they give you a pickup window and ask you to list the first day your car will be available.
But Montway is not like other car shipping companies—it’s a cool car shipping company.
If you need more control over your car shipment schedule than a five-day pickup window, Montway has you covered. Simply call and request a guaranteed pickup date and your car will be picked up on the exact day you request.
Certain guaranteed pickup dates may cost extra, but knowing exactly when Montway will pick up your car allows you to move on with your life rather than putting everything on hold while you wait.
Montway also offers expedited pickup. If you want your car gone in a hurry, Montway can pick it up within twenty-four to forty-eight hours of placing your order.
To get more insight into Montway’s guaranteed pickup policy, we asked a Montway customer about his experience working with the company.
He told us that the first carrier Montway brokered his service to didn’t show up on the scheduled delivery day and didn’t return his calls. With most companies, this type of breakdown might delay the delivery process, but when the customer contacted Montway directly, the company selected a second carrier that expedited the shipping process—free of charge—and delivered the car on schedule.
Reason #2: It has multiple payment options
Instead of having you pay your car carrier directly in cash (like, ahem, almost every other car shipping company), Montway gives you a couple of different options.
Option 1: Pay in full online
Once your order is assigned to a carrier, Montway charges you a one-time payment by credit or debit card. This is a great option if you’re uncomfortable carrying that much dough at one time and feel safer using a card.
Option 2: Pay some up front, some on delivery
This is the traditional method most auto transport companies use. Although it involves carrying a huge wad of bills, Montway sometimes offers a discount if you pay in cash.
It’s a fairly straightforward process. Once Montway assigns you a carrier, you pay Montway a partial payment online —then you pay your driver in cash when they deliver your car.
If you don’t mind paying in Benjamins, this option could save you a bit of money on your order.
To learn more, read our full Montway review.
Sherpa Auto Transport—Best for locked-in prices
Sherpa Auto Transport checks all the right boxes when it comes to putting the customer first. Between quote transparency and a free car wash included in every move, the people at Sherpa do customer service right.
The biggest example of this? Its generous pricing policy.
- Includes a car wash in every move
- Transports inoperable cars
- Has a clear, informative website
- No advertised insurance options
Why we recommend Sherpa Auto Transport
Reason #1: It offers a Price Lock Promise
Sherpa commits to its price estimates, which means whatever Sherpa quotes you is what you’ll pay.
So how does this work? Basically, every auto transport broker contracts from the same pool of car carriers.
Sherpa will quote you a price that it thinks is fair to carriers, who in turn will bid on your shipment. If Sherpa can’t find a carrier to do the job at the estimated rate, it will still match you with a high-quality company—regardless of your budget—and pull up to $300 from its own pocket to subsidize the difference.
Instead of having you pay a higher price than you expected or sending you a company with poor service, Sherpa will bend over backward to find you the best match—even if that means paying for part of your move.
If this isn’t customer service done right, well, we don’t know what is.
Reason #2: It offers a Clean Car Guarantee
One thing that’s pretty much inevitable is that your car will get dirty during the move—and Sherpa gets that.
Sherpa will hook you up with a complimentary car wash (up to $20) as long as you do it within a week of your move and provide a receipt. Between dirt, mud, rain, and highway debris hitting your car during transport, you’ll want to take advantage of this perk.
No other car shipping company offers complimentary washes, so this is another feather in Sherpa’s customer service cap.
Curious about other Sherpa perks? Check out our full Sherpa review.
AmeriFreight—Best for discounts
Although AmeriFreight’s website isn’t the most polished of the bunch, the company offers all of the services and guarantees you’d expect from a top-tier auto transport provider. Plus, it has the most impressive lineup of discounts compared to others on our list.
- Offers discounts for service members and other individuals
- Offers a price-matching policy
- Offers insurance plan that gives you 48 hours after delivery to inspect your car for damage
- Doesn’t advertise its gap protection plan
Why we recommend AmeriFreight
Reason #1: It offers discounts for military members, first responders, and others
AmeriFreight advertises the most discounts of any car shipping company on our list.
Here’s a look at each of its discounts* and how much they’ll shave off your bill:
- Military discount: $35
- First responder discount: $35
- Student discount: $25
- Senior citizen discount: $25
- Early bird discount (book within twenty-four hours of receiving your quote): $35
- Return customer discount: $50
- Multiple vehicle discount: $50 off every additional vehicle in your shipment
Shipping your car isn’t a cheap endeavor, so we appreciate AmeriFreight’s efforts to trim your costs where it can.
*Discounts valid as of 12/3/19
Reason #2: It offers a great gap plan
AmeriFreight’s AFta (Allied Fidelity Total Assurance) gap plan is very similar to Ship a Car Direct’s damage-free guarantee—it basically compensates for damage the car carrier refuses to cover.
However, AmeriFreight’s plan mentions something that Ship a Car Direct’s guarantee doesn’t: time.
If you notice any damage on your car within forty-eight hours of delivery, AmeriFreight’s AFta plan compensates you up to $800 for repairs if the car carrier refuses to cover the damage.
We like how this gives you the option to take your time inspecting your car for damage rather than needing to spot and report any dents or scrapes before the carrier leaves.
Learn more about AmeriFreight’s offerings in our full AmeriFreight review.
KEEP IN MIND
KEEP IN MIND
Your level of gap coverage will vary based on the pricing tier of the AFta plan you select. Be sure to discuss the different options with your AmeriFreight representative to find out which plan is best for you.
uShip—Best for comparing quotes
uShip is no ordinary auto transport company—it’s a shipping marketplace that lets you ship everything from your car to your cat. That saves you the headache of coordinating with several companies just to accomplish a single move, as uShip can help you move Fluffy (and anything else, for that matter) to your new home too.
- Provides quotes from multiple car carriers
- Ships more than just cars
- Helps you create a listing and lets carriers bid on your shipment
- Offers open and enclosed transport
- Doesn’t list many carriers for enclosed transport
Why we recommend uShip
Reason #1: It immediately shows you estimates from several carriers
Most auto transporters work with a lot of different car carriers to find you the best deal possible. That’s all well and good, but not many of them tell how those carriers stack up against each other.
This is where uShip shines.
uShip is the only car shipping company on our list that shows you quotes from multiple carriers, putting you back in the driver’s seat to choose the best option for you.
Along with each car carrier’s price, uShip provides you with other points of comparison:
- Vehicle pickup date
- Transport type (open vs. enclosed)
- Customer reviews
- Company background information
We think this is great if you want to do a bit more research on a particular carrier before booking your auto shipment. After all, the company with the best price doesn’t always have the best service.
Reason #2: It can ship a lot more than just your car
One of the biggest things that sets uShip apart from any other car shipping company is the fact that it doesn’t ship just cars.
What else does it ship? A lot.
Since you came to see the best car shipping companies, let’s start with the vehicles uShip can transport:
- Cars and light trucks
- Motorcycles and mopeds
- Personal watercraft like Jet Skis
- ATVs and four-wheelers
- Commercial trucks
- Farm equipment
- Construction equipment
- Vehicle and boat parts
uShip also connects you with carriers to ship almost anything else you need—which can help if you’re moving your car as part of a larger household move.
Here’s a look at some of the other items uShip can ship for you:
- Home electronics
- Outdoor equipment
- Pool tables
- Heavy farm and construction equipment
- Dogs, cats, horses, and livestock animals
To learn more, read our full uShip review.
Ship a Car Direct—Best for damage coverage
Ship a Car Direct opened its doors in 2008 and has since grown to be one of the highest-rated auto shippers in the business. If the other companies on our list don’t fit your needs, Ship a Car Direct is another great option for both open and enclosed shipments.
- Doesn’t require personal info for a rough estimate
- Offers door-to-door delivery
- Provides a damage-free guarantee
- Includes extensive informational resources on its website
- Requires an email address for a more thorough quote
Why we recommend Ship a Car Direct
Reason #1: It offers a damage-free guarantee
When you’re shipping your car across the country, the last thing you want to discover is a new scratch or ding on delivery day. Sure, choosing enclosed transport can greatly reduce the risk of damage, but accidents still happen.
That’s where Ship a Car Direct’s damage-free guarantee comes in.
All of the carriers Ship a Car Direct chooses are licensed and insured, so if your car gets damaged during the journey, the carrier should take care of it.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
If a carrier refuses to cover your car’s damage, Ship a Car Direct steps in. We think this really helps alleviate some of the stress of shipping your car.
Ship a Car Direct provides up to $500 towards your deductible to cover damage if the carrier doesn’t pay.*
*Individuals should review their rental contract—including addendums—for a complete description of the policy’s terms, conditions, and exclusions.
Reason #2: It doesn’t require personal information to provide a rough estimate
Unlike many other auto transport companies, Ship a Car Direct lets you see a rough price range of your car shipment without requiring an email address.
We really like that Ship a Car Direct gives you this transparent look into its pricing without immediately collecting your personal info.
Although its price listings aren’t as detailed as what uShip offers, we still like how Ship a Car Direct gives you a safe place to do your research without the risk of being sent a bunch of marketing emails.
Other companies we recommend
Let us know which auto transport company you choose!
Whichever car shipping company you decide is right for your ride, let us know in the comments below! And if you’re shipping your car as a part of a bigger move, be sure to check out our Find-a-Mover tool to find the mover that’s right for you.
Car shipping FAQs
How do I get a car shipping quote?
To get a quote from a car transport service, here’s what you need to know: your car’s make and model, the year it was made, whether your car currently runs, and your shipping route (where it needs to be picked up and where it needs to be delivered).
Your quote will be more accurate if you also know your ballpark shipping dates and whether you want an enclosed or open carrier. List out these data points, and then call your preferred car shipping company. Some transport companies also let you request quotes online (a handy feature if you dislike phone calls as much as we do).
For more tips, check out How to Get a Car Shipping Quote.
Should I use open or enclosed transport?
Use an open carrier to ship your car if your biggest priority is saving money. An open carrier will expose your car to the grime and debris of the road, but your vehicle will still arrive in one piece.
But if you need auto transport services to ship your classic car or exotic vehicle, choose the enclosed carrier. Enclosed car transport means your vehicle will be in its own enclosed trailer—so it’ll be protected from road debris, rain or hail, and dirt from the road—but it’s pricier and often takes longer.
To learn more, read Do I Really Need an Enclosed Car Carrier?
When is the cheapest time to ship a car?
Fall and winter are usually the cheapest times to ship a car. That’s because most people ship their car when they’re moving to a new home, and (you guessed it) most moves happen in spring and summer. As demand for car shipping goes up, so do prices.
But if you live in a college town or in a state with lots of snowbirds (folks who move south for the winter), your community might have its busy moving season at a different time of year. If your auto transport time frame is flexible, consider asking a car shipping company when your particular route has the best rates. You might be surprised by what you find out.