2021 Sherpa Auto Transport Review

Bottom line: Sherpa Auto Transport is one of our favorite companies. Its Price Lock Promise guarantees your rate up to $300—something almost unheard of in this industry.
Sherpa Auto Transport
Our Rating
4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2
Kurt Manwaring
Researcher & Writer
Read More
Published on July 29, 2021
8 min read

Sherpa Auto Transport is one of Move.org’s best car shipping companies. You’ll enjoy talking to the transport broker’s reps on the phone (they’re famous for great customer service). And no one would turn down Sherpa’s free car wash. But the auto shipping company really turns heads with its Price Lock Promise: since final prices are often higher than initial quotes, Sherpa pledges up to $300 to cover any unexpected changes. Most other companies require you to pay that extra cost on your own, making Sherpa Auto Transport truly exceptional.


How Sherpa Auto Transport compares to the car shipping industry

Company informationSherpa Auto ShippingIndustry averages
Company pricing (out of 5)$$$$$$$
Average customer review score4.8 / 54.6 / 5
Offers extra insurance coverage
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes

See where Sherpa Auto Transport ranks on our Best Car Shipping Companies piece.


How much does Sherpa Auto Transport cost?

The average cost to ship a vehicle with Sherpa Auto Transport is approximately $1,410. Prices range from around $480 to ship a midsize car a few hundred miles on open transport to about $2,140 to transport a heavy-duty truck across the country in an enclosed carrier. In addition, Sherpa contributes up to $300 of its own money if your final price is higher than your invoice. The auto broker also offers a discount upon request to active duty military personnel.

Sherpa Auto Transport average car shipping pricing

Transport type
Open transport
Closed transport
Car (Toyota Corolla)
$1060
$1560
SUV (Ford Explorer)
$1180
$1530
Truck (Ford F-150)
$1300
$1840

Data as of 05/12/2021. Offers and availability may vary and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing shipping costs for 3 vehicle sizes across 11 distances.

Methodology

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

  • Icon Yes  Light
    Compare quotes. We collected nearly 700 quotes from 10 different companies. The car shipping quotes included prices for a motorcycle, car, SUV, and truck across 11 distances on both open and enclosed transport.
  • Icon Yes  Light
    Mystery shopping. We contacted auto transport companies posing as customers to gather pricing data and learn how the brokers formulate their prices.
  • Icon Yes  Light
    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.
  • Icon Yes  Light
    Annual calendar. We repeat this process every year and save our data so that we can compare trends over time.

How Sherpa Auto Transport pricing compares

Sherpa Auto Transport’s initial quote is higher than the competition, but its final prices are often lower. In the auto transport industry, it’s not unusual for your price to rise upwards of 25% by the time your final bill arrives. Sherpa’s initial quotes are about 10% higher than the competition. However, the transport broker kicks in $300 of its own money if your price goes up, meaning its final prices are often lower than other places.

Here’s an example. Let’s say a transport company quotes you $1,080 to ship your car (the average price for open transport shipping). That number isn’t what you pay—it’s an estimate. The car shipping company submits your shipment details for truck drivers to bid on and gives them $1,080 as a target price. But there usually aren’t many takers, so the transport company has to offer higher and higher prices to the truck drivers.

By the time there’s enough money on the table to make it worth the driver’s time, the lowest price is often about 25% higher. In this case, that means you’d pay an extra $270. Which just happens to be about the same amount as Sherpa’s guarantee. Other companies make you pay the difference, but Sherpa covers the cost for you.

We crunched all of our numbers  and found that Sherpa’s initial quote is about $100 more expensive than the industry average—but its expected final price is around $170 less. Granted, these are expected final prices. You want to compare several quotes and make the best informed decision you can. But we’ve done this long enough to say that Sherpa looks like it costs more upfront but often costs less in the end.

Info Box
Confused by car shipping prices?

It’s a weird concept. Our car shipping pricing guide breaks it down into more detail.

Sherpa car shipping quotes vs. final price

Description
Initial estimate
Expected final price
Difference between initial estimate and final price
Sherpa Auto Transport
$1180
$1180
$0
Industry average
$1080
$1350
$270

Sherpa Auto Transport cost factors

Sherpa Auto Transport lists four things that affect the cost of shipping your vehicle:

  • Shipping distance. More miles means more money. A coast-to-coast transport often costs about $800 more than a hop, skip, and a jump across state lines.
  • Vehicle size and weight. You know how your gas mileage gets worse when you fill your car to the brim with passengers and luggage? Same thing with auto transport. The bigger and heavier your vehicle, the more you pay.
  • Car condition. Sherpa can transport any vehicle as long as the wheels, brakes, and steering function properly. But it charges extra if your vehicle won’t start (your Sherpa rep can give you price info).
  • Transport method. Open transport costs less, but your car gets dirty. Enclosed transport costs more but keeps your car snug inside an “enclosed” semi.
Heads Up
Looking for a discount?

Car shipping discounts can often knock about $25 off of your price. Those who qualify often include students, seniors, and snowbirds.

Sherpa Auto Transport coverage options

Sherpa Auto Transport requires its carriers to have a minimum of $1 million in liability coverage and $100,000 in cargo insurance. Sherpa also lists itself as a policy certificate holder so that it can help you file a claim if your car gets dented or scratched in transit. Sherpa also carefully monitors trucking safety records of its drivers to minimize your chances of damage.


Sherpa Auto Transport at a glance

DescriptionCompany information
MC #51106
USDOT #3053476
Broker or carrierBroker
Carries basic insurance
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Availability (# of states)50
Average customer service rating4.8 / 5
Years in business4

Sherpa Auto Transport features and services

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Low final prices
Pro Bullet Guaranteed prices (up to $300)
Pro Bullet Excellent carrier vetting
Pro Bullet Free car wash
Pro Bullet Impressive customer service
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Newer company
Con Bullet No online quotes
Con Bullet Misleading “start chat” feature

Sherpa’s vehicle transport services include open transport and enclosed shipping for all types of automobiles, including:

  • Auto auction vehicles
  • Classic cars
  • Collectible autos
  • Family cars
  • Inoperable vehicles
  • SUVS
  • Trucks
Info Box
The best motorcycle shipping companies

Move.org looked all over the country to find the best motorcycle shipping companies. We recommend looking for a company with motorcycle expertise, extra insurance, and positive customer reviews.


Why we recommend Sherpa Auto Transport

Price Lock Promise

Sherpa’s Price Lock Promise is a $300 car shipping price guarantee. It means that you can often expect your final bill to be less than other companies—even though your initial quote is usually higher. We covered this above, but it’s important enough to mention again. Sherpa’s Price Lock promise is something customers often rave about in reviews. And it isn’t just this company’s best feature. It’s one of the single best car shipping services we’ve seen anywhere. And we’ve been around the block a time or two.

Here’s a quick peek behind the Move.org curtain (we don’t do this often, so pay attention).

We invite car shipping executives from around the country to visit our headquarters in Salt Lake City, UT. We grill them on the nuts and bolts of their companies—especially pricing. And they all struggle with the same question: what do we tell customers about how prices work?

Their responses run the gamut. Some don’t mention pricing at all (it’s that hard to explain). Others use the term “guaranteed prices” but don’t actually guarantee their quotes. The best ones—like Sherpa Auto Transport—put their money where their mouth is.

In other words, Sherpa could say that it has super low prices and then jack up your rate. But it wants you as a customer for life—and burning you on your first transaction isn’t smart business. So Sherpa tells you from the get-go that car shipping pricing is funky (how’s that for transparent pricing?) and then pledges up to $300 to cover potential price increases. That’s virtually unheard of in the car shipping industry. And it’s why Sherpa lands a spot on our Best Car Shipping Companies list even though it’s been around for only four years.

Light Bulb
Do I really need an enclosed carrier?

We recommend enclosed transport primarily for people with high-end vehicles like classic cars, custom cars, and luxury vehicles.

Excellent carrier vetting

Sherpa Auto Transport works hard to make sure a safe driver is behind the wheel of your transport truck. The company gets its drivers the same place as everyone else: from a pool of more than 13,000 carriers. Problem is, with that many options, it takes a lot of effort to separate the good drivers from the bad ones. Thankfully, Sherpa’s willing to do its homework.

Check out what the auto transporter does to keep your vehicle safe:

  • Reviews government records. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) tracks publicly available safety, regulatory, and insurance information for every driver in the country. Sherpa won’t touch a carrier if it has any red flags.
  • Analyzes data. Sherpa doesn’t just take your money and send you on your way. Instead, the shipping company keeps statistics on the details of your shipment and the performance of your driver. Then, it constantly analyzes the data to make sure that poor drivers don’t sneak under the radar.
  • Maintains a “do not use” list. All car shipping companies are bound to come across a few drivers that don’t live up to expectations. When that happens, Sherpa adds them to an internal “do not use” list. Forget “three strikes and you’re out.” Drivers get only one chance with this shipping company.
  • Provides extra insurance. We mentioned this earlier, but Sherpa adds itself as a certificate holder to your carrier’s insurance policy. That means if you end up needing to file a claim, Sherpa will walk you through the process rather than feed you to the wolves.

Impressive customer service

Customer service is the reason Sherpa Auto Transport exists. Once upon a time, the company’s founder had a lousy experience shipping his car. He learned the hard way about the finicky nature of bait-and-switch prices, poor communication, and unreliable companies. But rather than complain, he realized he could help people with the same problems. So he started a company.

Sherpa’s founder focused on the things that he wished were different. He made sure to hire only reps who could provide five-star customer service. And he thought outside of the box. For example, since most vehicles arrive dirty at their destinations, he decided to reimburse every customer $20 for a car wash (called a Clean Car Guarantee). It was such a success that many other companies followed suit.

Sherpa Auto Transport also created the Price Lock Promise  to ensure that customers didn’t go into cardiac arrest after seeing higher-than-expected prices on their invoices. Other companies again tried to copy the idea (some even use the term “price lock promise”), but none of them measured up to Sherpa’s $300 guarantee.

Is Sherpa perfect? Nope. But our qualms are pretty minor. For example, the company’s website could use some tweaking to bring it into the 2020s. You can’t get online quotes. And its “start chat” feature connects you with a low-IQ bot instead of a real person (we think most people would prefer Sherpa’s friendly human service reps). We have these same gripes about many other companies, and think that Sherpa may address some of these flaws as it continues looking for new ways to provide excellent customer service.

For now, the company shines where it matters most: guaranteed prices. It all adds up to an average customer review rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. Customers routinely praise Sherpa’s Price Lock Promise and friendly customer service.

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What should I look for in a car shipping company?

Low prices, guaranteed quotes, and customer reviews are all hallmarks of the best car shipping companies. It’s also helpful to find a car shipper that offers extra insurance.


FAQ about Sherpa Auto Transport

Does Sherpa have cheap car shipping?

Yes, Sherpa has cheap car shipping. The company’s $300 Price Lock Promise means you often pay less for car shipping even though your initial quote may seem high.

What’s the average rating of Sherpa Auto Transport reviews?

The average rating of Sherpa Auto Transport reviews is 4.8 out of 5 stars. Move.org looked at a dozen review sites and found that Sherpa’s positive transport reviews often mention things like professional service, prompt delivery, and accurate pricing.

How highly does Move.org rank Sherpa Auto Transport?

Move.org ranks Sherpa Auto Transport highly enough that it lands a spot on the Best Car Shipping Companies list. In addition to customer reviews, Move.org also looks at things such as pricing, features, and insurance.

Does Sherpa have a damage-free guarantee?

No, Sherpa doesn’t have a damage-free guarantee. However, the shipping service lists itself as a certificate holder on your insurance, so it can help you file a claim.

What is Sherpa’s Clean Car Guarantee?

Sherpa’s Clean Car Guarantee is a $20 reimbursement to wash your car. Many people need to wash their vehicles since automobiles shipped on an open carrier often get dirty.

Does Sherpa have vehicle tracking?

Yes, Sherpa has vehicle tracking. The car transport company says that it will tell you your vehicle’s location and estimated delivery time if you call 1-877-850-1231.

What is Sherpa’s auto shipping dispatch fee?

Sherpa’s auto shipping dispatch fee is a $25 charge for shipments canceled before the assignment of a carrier.


Our recommendation

Sherpa Auto Transport belongs on our Best Car Shipping Companies list. The car shipper guarantees your quote up to $300 with its Price Lock Promise and tosses in an extra $20 car wash with its Clean Car Guarantee. Sherpa also uses carefully vetted carriers to make sure you    get the best drivers. If something goes wrong and your car gets scratched or dented, the auto transport company will also walk you through the claims process. No wonder Sherpa gets an average customer rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.

Do you like Sherpa’s Price Lock Promise?

Other car shipping picks

Want to check out your options? Browse our reviews of some other industry-leading auto transport companies:

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.