The 5 Best Classic Car Transport Companies of 2021

Move.org talked with 10 companies and analyzed nearly 700 quotes to find the nation’s best classic car shipping companies.
Best overall
Montway-Center-Color
Montway Auto Transport
4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6
$1,470 avg. shipping cost
  • Icon Pros  Light
    14 years experience
Low prices
shipacardirect
Ship a Car Direct
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3
$1,210 avg. shipping cost
  • Icon Pros  Light
    10 years experience
Excellent drivers
amerifreight
AmeriFreight
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3
$1,610 avg. shipping cost
  • Icon Pros  Light
    16 years experience
Online marketplace
uship
uShip
4 out of 5 stars
4
$1,560 avg. shipping cost
  • Icon Pros  Light
    18 years experience
Guaranteed prices
American Auto Shipping logo
American Auto Shipping
3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9
$1,770 avg. shipping cost
  • Icon Pros  Light
    22 years experience
Kurt Manwaring
Researcher & Writer
Read More
Published on August 18, 2021
16 min read

Our top pick: Montway Auto Transport has everything a classic car owner could want: reasonable prices, safe drivers, and a positive reputation.

The 5 best classic car shipping companies


Compare classic car shipping companies

Company
Average Quote
Years of experience
Average customer review score (out of 5)
Details
Montway Auto Transport
$1470
144.7
Ship a Car Direct
$1210
104.8
AmeriFreight
$1610
164.8
uShip
$1560
184.6
American Auto Shipping
$1770
224.8

What should you look for in a classic car shipping company?

  • Classic car shipping expertise. You don’t want just any old company to ship your custom-made beauty. Look for a broker that specializes in classic cars. We recommend paying attention to companies that show up on the first page of search results for classic car shipping or that have specialty vehicle web pages.
  • Low prices. Some brokers take a bigger cut of the profits than others. We recommend looking for a company that costs less than the $1,500 industry average for classic car transport.
  • Guaranteed quotes. Almost no one offers fully binding quotes, but some classic auto transport companies guarantee your estimate for a couple of hundred bucks. That means if your price goes up, the broker pays part of the difference. Just be sure to ask about specific dollar amounts (some companies use “guaranteed quotes” in a misleading way).
  • Years of experience. The longer a shipping company has been helping customers deliver their cars scot free, the more likely it is to be trustworthy. Since many companies come and go within a year or two in this industry, we recommend looking for brokers with at least 10 years of experience.
  • Extra insurance. Basic liability insurance is a requirement for car shippers. Still, some of them go the extra mile. Look for companies that have supplemental insurance perks like double coverage or cash toward your deductible.
  • Customer reviews. Do a quick search of a few review sites, like Yelp and Transport Reviews, to see how highly ranked a company is—and check for red flags like inaccurate prices, damaged shipments, or unprofessional drivers. We recommend companies with an average rating of at least 4.6 stars.
Info Box
Do I need open or enclosed transport?

Most customers use an open transport carrier because it’s cheaper. However, if you have a one-of-a-kind or expensive vehicle that is important to you, we recommend an enclosed carrier. An enclosed carrier will better protect your luxury or vintage car from debris or weather.


Montway Auto Transport—Best overall

Montway-Center-Color
Montway Auto Transport
Our Rating
4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7

Montway is our number one classic car shipping company. Not only does the auto transporter have reasonable prices, but it carefully vets potential drivers to make sure your beloved old car or exotic vehicle stays safe. Montway also knocks the socks off its customer reviews. Tens of thousands of customers give the transport broker near-perfect marks. The only real drawbacks we’ve seen are an annoying pop-up ad and the lack of guaranteed quotes (something very few companies offer).

Montway is so impressive that it tops our lists for regular car shipping, motorcycle shipping, enclosed auto transport, and military car shipping.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Low prices
Pro Bullet GPS tracking
Pro Bullet Carrier vetting
Pro Bullet Guaranteed pick-up dates
Pro Bullet Positive customer reviews
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No guaranteed quotes
Con Bullet Annoying pop-up ads

What sets Montway Auto Transport apart?

Guaranteed pick-up dates

Montway Auto Transport guarantees the pick-up date for your classic car. Whether you’re moving to a new home or going to an antique car show, Montway won’t leave you scrambling to find a back-up plan because it was late picking up your vehicle. If Montway says it will be there by the 15th, it will be there by the 15th.

Heads Up
The importance of guaranteed pick-up dates

We talked with a real-life customer who used Montway after her first choice failed to pick up her car on time. While her experience wasn’t perfect, it highlights the importance of guaranteed pick-up dates.

GPS tracking

Montway is one of the few car shipping companies that have GPS tracking. That’s one reason it’s at the top of our list for classic car transport. There’s a better chance that Montway can tell you where your vehicle is than most companies.

Here’s some helpful background info.

GPS tracking is up to your driver (or carrier). Most drivers don’t enable GPS tracking, so it doesn’t do you any good to call and ask where your vehicle is. But top-notch companies like Montway know how much this matters to classic car enthusiasts and find a way to help. In this case, Montway partners with 300 of the biggest GPS-enabled carriers in the country. That means if you want to know where your vehicle is at any given moment, Montway can probably connect you with a driver that has GPS.

Excellent customer reviews

Montway Auto Transport scores an average review rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Not only is that above average, but it’s also nearly perfect. Montway gets more customer reviews than any other company we’ve seen. That means you’re seeing the average score given by almost 50,000 customers. Totally not a fluke.

Oh yeah, and Montway responds to every negative review. If you search through these, you’ll see that the company isn’t usually in damage control mode. It sincerely wants to find out what went wrong to give you a better experience next time. That’s why you’ll often see customers praise Montway’s fair prices, timely delivery, and professional staff.

Like what you see?


Ship a Car Direct—Low prices

shipacardirect
Ship a Car Direct
Our Rating
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3

Ship a Car Direct has the lowest classic car shipping prices we’ve seen. We analyzed hundreds of quotes and found that Ship a Car Direct can often save you about $290. Plus, it doesn’t require a deposit.

But that’s not all it brings to the party. The auto transport service also has extra insurance, sky-high customer reviews, and a thorough carrier vetting process. You can’t get online quotes (the website is pretty clunky), but that’s about the biggest drawback we’ve found. This is a legit classic car shipping company.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Low prices
Pro Bullet No upfront deposit
Pro Bullet Excellent carrier vetting
Pro Bullet Additional insurance
Pro Bullet Positive customer reviews
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No guaranteed quotes
Con Bullet No online quotes
Con Bullet Clunky website

What sets Ship a Car Direct apart?

Low prices

Ship a Car Direct has the lowest classic car shipping rates of any company on our list. The transport company’s initial quotes are about 15% lower than the industry average. True, the estimates aren’t guaranteed (meaning prices might rise upwards of 25–50%), but there are two things about the broker’s pricing that impress us:

  1. Transparency. Ship a Car Direct honestly explains the tricky way that auto transport pricing  works. The broker takes you behind the curtain to show you how the sausage gets made. You leave feeling confident about what your final price is going to be—and why it might be higher than your initial quote.
  2. Fees. Ship a Car Direct doesn’t charge upfront deposits. Just as impressive, it lets you cancel your shipment for free at any step along the way (most companies charge a fee once they find a truck driver).

Damage-free guarantee

Ship a Car Direct uses insured carriers and gives you free secondary insurance covering up to $500 of your deductible. This “damage-free guarantee” kicks in if the driver’s insurance isn’t enough—or if there’s a dispute about liability. It’s one of the things that separates good car shipping companies from great ones.

Happy customers

The average customer review score for Ship a Car Direct is 4.8 out of 5 stars. And the company has a fun customer service perk. Imagine how you would feel about leaving an Amazon review only to get a response from Jeff Bezos. That’s kind of what it’s like with Ship a Car Direct. The company’s owner, Michael Strickland, personally responds to all reviews on Yelp.

And here’s the thing: it doesn’t take too much of his time. Ship a Car Direct dives deep into the backgrounds of every potential truck driver and picks only the best for your transport needs.

If you have a bad experience, all you have to do is talk to Ship a Car Direct, and the broker will scrap its relationship with the carrier. It’s all part of the company’s “hire slow, fire fast” mentality. Ship a Car Direct takes its time finding good drivers and immediately gets rid of them if they don’t live up to your expectations.

Example exchange:

Danny S. via Yelp
6/24/2021

Was nervous about shipping a classic muscle car across country. I have heard horror stories about car shipping companies. They came through with delivering the car in great condition and a day early.


 

Michael S. of Ship a Car Direct via Yelp
6/25/2021

Hi Danny, Thanks for your business and for having faith in us. Thanks also for sharing a picture of your car, that’s a great looking ride. Hope we can help you again in the future.

Want a company that customers love?


AmeriFreight—Excellent drivers

amerifreight
AmeriFreight
Our Rating
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3

AmeriFreight keeps your classic car safe during transport. The auto transport broker carefully vets its carriers to find the very best drivers. It also has gap coverage (worth up to $2,000) in case your vehicle gets damaged. These aren’t one-and-done features, either. AmeriFreight has been doing this for more than 15 years. Thousands of customers give the company stellar reviews, making it an excellent pick for classic car owners who want their vehicles to arrive in tip-top shape.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Guaranteed price option
Pro Bullet Gap coverage (up to $2,000)
Pro Bullet Exceptional carrier vetting
Pro Bullet Positive customer reviews
Pro Bullet 15+ years of experience
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Confusing pricing

What sets AmeriFreight apart?

Excellent drivers

AmeriFreight goes all out to make sure you have the best drivers for your classic car transport. It also provides gap insurance coverage that pays up to $2,000 toward your deductible—but chances are you won’t need it.

Check out everything that AmeriFreight does before picking out your driver:

  • Basic paperwork check. AmeriFreight does a thorough background check to make sure all of its drivers are properly licensed and registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation.
  • Interstate driver verification. Some drivers are licensed to transport vehicles only within the same state. That’s a problem if you’re traveling farther. AmeriFreight makes sure that your driver is licensed to cross state lines.
  • Insurance confirmation. All classic car carriers must possess basic liability insurance to transport your vehicle. Unfortunately, some drivers try to sneak in under the radar, meaning you’d be out of luck if they damaged your luxury vehicle or custom car. AmeriFreight investigates behind the scenes to be certain you end up with an insured driver.
  • Driver filtering. AmeriFreight starts with more than 10,000 carriers to choose from but filters out the best ones for your classic car shipment. It uses only the top 5% of drivers to make sure your car stays safe.
  • Additional driver filtering. Once AmeriFreight narrows down your options to the upper echelon of drivers, it runs them through 16 years’ worth of in-house statistics. The company bounces drivers with suspicious histories, meaning you likely won’t end up with unprofessional or accident-prone drivers.

The detailed carrier vetting results in excellent drivers—a dream come true for classic car owners.

Positive customer reviews

Customers love AmeriFreight. Move.org analyzed nearly ten thousand reviews across a dozen popular sites. What did we find? AmeriFreight gets an average score of 4.8 out of 5 stars. That would be impressive enough if AmeriFreight were a brand new company, but it’s been around for 16 years—meaning it’s held a nearly perfect star rating for almost two decades.

Here are some of the positive themes we’ve noticed:

Excellent customer service reps

Many reviews praise AmeriFreight customer service reps by name. The representatives leave such a positive impression that car owners don’t forget them. Customers often mention how the agents are honest, kind, and professional.

Professional drivers

This makes sense, given how much effort AmeriFreight puts into finding the best carriers. Customers routinely sing the praises of its professional drivers. And when someone sneaks in who’s below average, we often see mention of how AmeriFreight worked with the customer to resolve their concern with the driver.

Clear explanations

Car shipping can be complicated, but AmeriFreight teaches customers about the entire process. Customer reviews often mention how these explanations helped people decide to use AmeriFreight. For example, AmeriFreight will likely teach you that you’ll be handed off to a car carrier company once a reservation has been placed. Many other companies leave you feeling disoriented because they don’t clearly explain what’s happening.

Damage-free delivery

Few things matter more to classic car owners than making sure the vehicles arrive in tip-top shape. You’ll see more than one or two reviews from AmeriFreight customers who are delighted that their cars came free of damage.

No car transport company has a perfect record. And AmeriFreight will be the first to tell you that bad apples sometimes get mixed in with the bunch. But the company goes out of its way to find the best carriers and then works with you if your driver is late or your car gets damaged.

Guaranteed price option

AmeriFreight has a guaranteed pricing option that sets it apart from other companies. Since car shipping prices can often climb about 25% after your initial quote, any kind of guarantee is worth looking into. In this case, AmeriFreight guarantees your quote if you need your vehicle shipped within 24 hours. That means even if the carrier ends up charging more, AmeriFreight will cover the difference.

Note: AmeriFreight’s guaranteed quotes are one of three pricing options you can choose from. None of them have clear names, so it can be challenging to know which is which. Check out our AmeriFreight review for a more detailed discussion of its pricing.

Want a driver you can count on?


uShip—Online marketplace

uship
uShip
Our Rating
4 out of 5 stars
4

uShip is different from any company on this list because it’s an online marketplace. Rather than pay a broker to research drivers, you do the work yourself on uShip’s easy-to-use website. Not only does uShip let you select your driver, but it also lets you pick your price. It requires a little extra work (and customer service is slow if you need help), but the tradeoff is worth it if you want to choose your price and driver.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Pricing control
Pro Bullet Driver profiles
Pro Bullet Extra insurance
Pro Bullet 50-state availability
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No guaranteed quotes
Con Bullet Below average customer reviews
Con Bullet Slow customer service

What sets uShip apart?

You choose your price

uShip gives you something few companies do: the ability to choose your price. That’s because uShip is an online marketplace rather than a broker or carrier. While a broker normally scopes out the prices of carriers interested in your job, uShip’s website lets you pick the price that’s right for you.

Your price is determined by several factors such as distance, car make and model, and time of year. While those are the big ones, carriers look at hundreds of variables when making a bid for your classic car shipment. Since everyone calculates their estimates a bit differently, you might see bids that are hundreds of dollars apart.

That’s where uShip can save you money. You sort through the prices and select the one you like the most. That’s all there is to it.

classic-car-transport-graphic

uShip’s online marketplace allows you to pick the lowest price for shipping your classic car. In this example, Tempus Logix has the lowest bid with an amount of $529.

Just be aware that uShip’s prices (like most car shipping companies) aren’t guaranteed. That means there’s a possibility that prices will go up after you receive your initial quote.

You choose your driver

uShip lets you pick the classic car shipping company that you think is best for the job. Normally, you pay a broker to do this for you. They check out government websites and publicly available information to verify that the transporters are legit. Top-notch brokers also keep in-house statistics, so you work with only the best of the best. With uShip, you do the homework. It takes some extra time, but it’s a nice feature for those who prefer making their own decisions.

What should you look for?

The uShip website is easy to navigate. Once you pull up a company’s profile, we recommend you examine a few specific details:

  • Star rating. The average auto transport company has a uShip rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars. It’s a good idea to look for a classic car shipper that is at least that high.
  • Total reviews. Look for a classic car transportation service that has thousands of reviews. It’s a sign that the company is reliable. Just make sure you don’t overlook the star rating. You want a company with lots of reviews and a high rating.
  • Repeat customer percentage. uShip includes a percentage of customers who would use the company again. There’s no hard and fast rule, but we probably wouldn’t recommend using a company that scores below 90%.
  • Company age. Classic car transport services come and go with surprising frequency, so it’s a huge trust signal anytime you see a company that’s been around for a while. We like transporters with at least a 10-year history.
  • Power broker status. uShips breaks its best auto transport companies into four tiers based on how many truckloads they transport each month: bronze (10 loads), silver (25 loads), gold (50 loads), and platinum (100 loads). The more loads a company ships, the more experience it brings to the table.
  • Individual reviews. In addition to the details above, spend a few minutes reading through individual reviews. You have access to every customer comment from the company’s uShip history. But you likely don’t need more than a few minutes to make sure there aren’t any big red flags. Pay special attention to complaints about price hikes, damaged vehicles, late delivery, and unprofessional drivers.
classic-car-transport-company-profiles

Company profiles give you access to information like a provider's total number of shipments and overall customer service rating. You can even scroll through reviews to get a better sense of what real-life customers think.

You get extra insurance

uShip gives all of its classic car shipping customers an extra insurance benefit worth up to $500. The company you choose for your shipment must carry insurance. However, you should ask them for a copy of their insurance certificate to make sure they’re legit. Liability insurance typically covers your vehicle against driver negligence. After that, your personal insurance is usually on the hook for damages.

That’s where uShip comes in.

Its Ship with Confidence guarantee is uShip’s way of taking the stress out of auto transport. The marketplace contributes up to $500 toward your deductible if the carrier’s insurance denies a claim. That’s a huge load off your shoulders if you end up needing to file a personal claim.

You don’t have to pay anything for the $500 benefit, but you need to follow some uShip rules. In particular, you must verify your classic car shipper has insurance and work with the company to resolve your issues before contacting uShip. The marketplace also has a few rules associated with payments, namely that you shouldn’t pay in full before delivery or use untraceable wire services like Western Union or Moneygram.

Bullhorn
Don’t forget your bill of lading

Your bill of lading is a form used to identify damage to your classic car at the time of delivery. uShip requires a completed bill of lading to qualify for its Ship with Confidence guarantee.

Want to pick your driver?


American Auto Shipping—Guaranteed prices

American Auto Shipping logo
American Auto Shipping
Our Rating
3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9

American Auto Shipping’s guaranteed prices set it apart from most competitors. Your quote is typically an estimate that can rise anywhere from 25–50% by the time your bill comes due. You don’t see that extra increase with American Auto Shipping. That means while the classic car shipping company’s initial quotes may be higher than the competition, you’ll often end up paying less. This isn’t a benefit you’re likely to find with any other auto transport service.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Guaranteed prices
Pro Bullet No deposit required
Pro Bullet Instant online quotes
Pro Bullet Decades of experience
Pro Bullet $500 damage-free guarantee
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet High initial quotes
Con Bullet Relatively few customer reviews

What sets American Auto Shipping apart?

Guaranteed prices

American Auto Shipping guarantees 100% of its classic car shipping quotes. That means if you hop online and get a $1,000 estimate, you pay $1,000. That might sound like common sense, but it’s not how car shipping normally works.

With many companies, your final car shipping price often rises anywhere from 25–50% by the time you pay. That means places that give you an initial $1,000 quote often end up charging $1,250–$1,500. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how much money AmeriFreight’s guaranteed pricing can save you. The classic car shipping company may have higher upfront prices, but you can often save hundreds of dollars when everything is said and done.

Exclamation
No deposit

American Auto Shipping doesn’t make you pay a deposit. So if you book a reservation and find a lower price somewhere else, you don’t have to pay anything.

Instant online quotes

You can get an online classic car transport quote with AmeriFreight in just a few minutes. Many companies require you to call and talk with a customer service representative. That usually involves setting aside your lunch hour for a 10–15 minute conversation—not counting the time you spend on hold. With AmeriFreight, you can squeeze in a quick internet search during your break (or a boring Zoom meeting).

All you need are three basic details:

  1. Destination. Enter your destination and arrival city zip codes. You’ll also want to select the enclosed auto transport option (it’s best suited for high-value  vehicles like a Mercedes Benz S-Class, Lexus LS, or Audi A8).
  2. Vehicle. The website will ask for your vehicle year, make, and model. It will also ask you whether your vehicle runs on its own power (it costs extra otherwise).
  3. Date. Put down your first available date. To get the best pricing, we recommend selecting a date that is about two weeks out. American Auto Shipping also asks you for your name, phone number, and email address.

You can get a fully guaranteed instant online quote from American Auto Shipping by entering basic information about your destination, vehicle, and shipment date.

Decades of experience

American Auto Shipping has been around for more than 20 years. That should make you drool if you’re a classic car owner. Car shipping companies aren’t like established retail stores. Many vintage car shippers that do business this year won’t be around next year. A few sketchy characters even close down shop and reopen under a new name after they start getting bad reputations.

But there’s an easy way to avoid shady companies that won’t treat your custom vehicle with the attention it deserves. Choose a company like American Auto Shipping that’s been around for a long time.

American Auto Shipping has fewer total reviews than we’d expect (we found only around 2,000 on the biggest review websites), but customers reward the company with an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.  American Auto Shipping customers often praise the custom vehicle transporter for its clear communication, timely delivery, and smooth overall process.

As a classic car owner, you can’t ask for much more than a 20-year business history with a nearly perfect customer review rating.

Looking for an established company?


Top 5 classic car shipping companies


Recap

We researched nearly a dozen companies to find the best classic car transporters:

  • Montway Auto Transport. This is our top pick. Montway is an established car shipping company with reasonable prices and excellent customer reviews.
  • Ship a Car Direct. Your best budget company. Ship a Car Direct can save you about $300 on the average exotic car transport.
  • AmeriFreight. A great option if you value your car’s safety. AmeriFreight dives deep into the history of its drivers to make sure you end up with the best of the best.
  • uShip. A nice choice if you want to make an informed decision for your classic car. uShip’s online marketplace lets you pick your price and your driver.
  • American Auto Shipping. Consider this company if you hate expensive surprises. American Auto Shipping is a 22-year-old company with guaranteed prices and a positive reputation.

Methodology

Move.org calculates industry averages and identifies pricing trends by following a fourfold research approach:

  1. Compare quotes. We collected nearly 450 quotes from 10 different companies. The car shipping quotes included prices for a motorcycle, car, SUV, and truck across 11 distances on enclosed auto transport.
  2. Mystery shopping. We contacted classic car transport companies posing as customers to gather pricing data and learn how the brokers formulate their prices.
  3. Site visits. We invited several industry leaders to visit our headquarters in Salt Lake City, UT, and explain what goes into their pricing. We then compared their answers to information we independently obtained to verify accuracy.
  4. Annual calendar. We repeat this process every year and save our data so that we can compare trends over time.

Classic car shipping FAQ

What reliable carriers offer exotic car transport?

Many reliable carriers offer exotic car transport, including Montway Auto Transport, Ship a Car Direct, and AmeriFreight. Move.org recommends looking for a company that gets positive customer reviews and specializes in exotic car transport.

Do antique car haulers use enclosed transport?

Yes, antique car haulers often use enclosed transport. While you can use an open transport carrier, enclosed car transport is typically recommended for high-value vehicles because they’re protected from the elements and road debris.

What is a shipping service that offers international classic car transport?

Montway Auto Transport is a shipping service that offers international classic car transport. The auto transporter has experience working with international classic car transportation services at ports and airports and has guaranteed pick-up dates.

What are the best sports car transport companies?

The best sports car transport companies are Montway, Ship a Car Direct, and AmeriFreight, according to Move.org. Each company has an established reputation, reasonable prices, and top-notch customer reviews.

How much does it cost to ship a vehicle from a car auction?

The average cost to ship a vehicle from a car auction is approximately $1,290. Prices vary depending on factors such as the shipping company, car make and model, distance, transport type, and time of year.

How much does classic car transport cost?

Classic car transport costs approximately $1,500. While you can find cheaper rates using open transport, we recommend enclosed shipping to protect your vehicle during transit. Other factors also affect classic car shipping costs, such as seasonality, car size, and total distance.

Kurt Manwaring
Written by
Kurt Manwaring
Kurt Manwaring brings nearly a decade’s worth of research experience as a business consultant to the Move.org team. He specializes in taking complicated issues (like moving) and presenting them in a way that everyone can understand. His writing has been featured in hundreds of publications, including USA Today, Martha Stewart Living, Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Heavy, Slate, and Yahoo! Lifestyle. He brings a BS in sociology and an MPA (masters of public administration) to the Move team. He would love to hear about your moving experiences and questions at kurt@move.org.