uShip Auto Transport Review 2021

Bottom line: uShip is an online marketplace that lets you pick your price and driver. It takes a minute to learn how the website works, but it’s worth your time if you want control over the shipping process.
uship
uShip
Our Rating
4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1
Kurt Manwaring
Researcher & Writer
Read More
Published on July 29, 2021
12 min read

uShip has a well-deserved spot on our list of the best car shipping companies. In addition to connecting you with providers that ship household items like furniture, appliances, and animals,  uShip also has thousands of shippers specializing in auto transport. The website is easy to use and gives you more control over price than traditional car shipping brokers. uShip even has a $500 guarantee in case of theft or damage. We like what we see.


How uShip compares to the car shipping industry

Company information
uShip
Industry averages

Company pricing (out of 5)

$$$$
$$$

Average customer review score

4.6 / 5
4.6 / 5

Offers extra insurance coverage

Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes

See where uShip ranks on our Best Car Shipping Companies piece.


How much does uShip cost?

The average cost to transport a vehicle with uShip is approximately $1,360. However, car shipping costs vary widely. For example, you can ship a midsize car a few hundred miles on an open carrier for about $550. On the other hand, shipping a large truck across the country in an enclosed carrier is almost four times more expensive. Because uShip is an online marketplace rather than a traditional car shipping broker, you also pay a service fee of approximately $60.

uShip average car shipping pricing

Vehicle type
Open transport
Enclosed transport
Car (Toyota Corolla)$1,040$1,360
SUV (Ford Explorer)$1,190$1,620
Truck (Ford F-150)$1,250$1,560
Data as of 5/14/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing shipping costs for 3 vehicle sizes across 11 distances. Prices include uShip’s service charge.

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 uShip pricing compares

uShip auto transport pricing is about 5% more expensive than the industry average. You don’t always pay extra with uShip, though. For example, the company’s best price point is for shipments of about 500 miles or less. We found that you can often save about $70 if that’s as far as you plan on shipping your car.

uShip average cost to ship a vehicle 500 miles or less

Description
Car shipment under 500 miles
Industry average cost$760
uShip cost$690
Amount below industry average$70

Data as of 5/13/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing shipping costs for 3 vehicle sizes across 11 distances on enclosed transport.

uShip cost factors

uShip breaks down several of the most common car shipping cost factors on its website:1

  • Distance. uShip says this is the most significant cost factor because total mileage affects the fuel needed to transport your vehicle. For example, the average cost to ship a vehicle a few hundred miles is about $680. On the other hand, a cross-country car shipment will set you back an additional $1,000.
  • Service type. You can ship your car on an open transport carrier (the cheapest option) or inside a fully enclosed transport trailer (usually about $400 more than open transport). You can also pay for extra expedited pickup.
  • Vehicle height and length. Because transport trucks are often carrying shipments from other routes, they have limited space available, so the more space your vehicle takes up, the more you pay.
  • Vehicle make and model. uShip uses this information to calculate an approximate vehicle weight. Since heavier cars require more fuel, you can expect a vehicle such as a midsize Toyota Corolla ($1,200) to be more affordable than a heavy-duty Ford F-150 ($1,480).
  • Condition of vehicle. uShip says that most carriers tack on an extra fee if your vehicle isn’t in working condition (meaning it can’t move on its power). You’ll want to check with the drivers who bid on your job to see how much they charge.
  • Pickup and delivery locations. Urban and metropolitan areas are more affordable because there are always transport trucks coming and going. Rural areas are pricier because it takes extra time and fuel to deliver your car.
  • Seasonality. uShip says that winter is the most expensive time of year to ship a vehicle. Not only is demand high because snowbirds flock back to warmer areas, but truck drivers also have to wrestle with weather delays caused by snow and ice.

uShip coverage options

uShip’s coverage is a bit different than what you see with traditional car shipping brokers. Here are three things to know about the online marketplace’s coverage options:

  1. You do the legwork. The federal government requires auto transporters to carry insurance. However, uShip doesn’t vouch for its drivers. The shipping service says that you’re responsible for verifying the insurance status of your car carrier.2 You can do this by asking the provider for a copy of its insurance when you book a shipment.
  2. uShip’s regular coverage doesn’t apply to cars. uShip has dozens of third-party partners that sell cargo insurance—but none of them cover vehicles in working condition.3 Remember, uShip is an online marketplace, so cars are just one thing that the company delivers. uShip’s coverage options are primarily for household items such as furniture and appliances.
  3. uShip has a $500 guarantee. The company’s Ship with Confidence Guarantee reimburses you up to $500 for payment disputes and damaged, missing, or stolen shipments.4 This extra insurance perk is one of the best we’ve seen. Just be aware that you have to follow some rules to qualify for the cash.
Light Bulb
Auto transport insurance 101

Our car shipping insurance guide breaks down the basics of how auto transport coverage works. While every company must carry basic liability insurance, we recommend looking for places like uShip that offer extra insurance perks.


uShip at a glance

Company information

MC #

N/A

US DOT #

Confirm with carrier

Broker or carrier

Confirm with carrier

Carries basic insurance

Confirm with carrier

Availability (# of states)

50

Average customer service rating

4.2 / 5

Years in business

18

uShip features and services

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Pricing control
Pro Bullet Driver profiles
Pro Bullet Ship with Confidence Guarantee
Pro Bullet GPS tracking option
Pro Bullet 50-state availability
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No guaranteed quotes
Con Bullet Below average customer reviews
Con Bullet Slow customer service

uShip offers open and enclosed car shipping services for vehicles ranging from small ATVs to large tractors and other heavy equipment:

  • ATVs
  • Cars
  • Commercial trucks
  • Construction equipment
  • Farm equipment
  • Motorcycles and mopeds
  • Personal watercraft
  • Powerboats
  • Power sports vehicles
  • Recreational vehicles (RVs)
  • Sailboats
  • Trailers
  • Trailers and other vehicles
  • Vehicle and boat parts
Money
How to hack the car shipping auction

Wait about 10–14 days to pick a winning bid. That’s almost the perfect amount of time for your price to drop to its lowest point.

How to pick a uShip provider

Once you enter your shipment details, you can instantly select a provider—or you can request quotes from the uShip marketplace. The instant rate option shows you a few companies uShip automatically selects. Providers have varying degrees of low prices, shipping experience, and customer satisfaction.

A screenshot of uShip's website

uShip lets you book an available instant rate from preselected providers—or you can choose to get quotes from the marketplace and possibly find an even better option.

The marketplace option is ideal for customers who have a while to find the perfect fit. Rather than pick from uShip’s preselected options, you get to see truck drivers bid on your shipment in real time.

uShip lists three reasons why it might be worth your time to get quotes from the marketplace:

  1. Find service providers with more flexible timeframes. uShip’s preselected choices are available only during select dates. If you need your car picked up sooner—or later—the marketplace lets you scroll through the companies that bid on your shipment to find a match.
  2. Get competing quotes from service providers with extra space. There may be drivers that are already traveling on your route. If they have extra space on their truck, you may be able to find rates lower than uShip’s preselected options. For example, suppose several providers are going the same way. In that case, they’ll bid against each other to win your business—and your price will go down.
  3. Choose a service provider based on your preferences. uShip’s preselected providers may not be your cup of tea. Sometimes it might be because you need a lower price. Other times, you may want a provider with more experience or better customer reviews. You might even want to do business with the same company you used for a previous shipment. uShip’s marketplace increases your chances of finding the perfect fit by giving you access to thousands of additional carriers.

Why we recommend uShip

Greater control over prices

uShip gives you something no other company can: control over your price. Here’s how that works.

Most companies you work with are brokers. That means you tell them where you need your car shipped, and they set up an auction to find the lowest-priced driver. You never see the bid amounts, which means you must trust the broker. Sometimes that’s good—and sometimes it’s not (depending on the broker’s quality). Either way, you’re letting the broker control your price.

uShip lets you hold your own auction. After you submit the details of your shipment, you’ll see dozens of truck drivers who want the job. Selecting the right one isn’t as simple as picking the lowest price, though. You also need to scroll through reviews, verify insurance and do many of the other little things that you normally pay a broker to do for you. But you can pick up the basics in about 15 minutes. From there, it’s just a matter of finding the best drivers with the lowest prices.

You don’t find that kind of freedom anywhere else. It’s one reason why uShip is the only non-broker on our list of the best car shipping companies.

Info Box
What’s the deal with brokers and carriers?

There are many differences between brokers and carriers, but they essentially boil down to this: you reserve your shipment with a broker, which then connects you with a driver called a carrier.

Driver profiles

uShip gives you access to the driver profiles of every broker that bids on your job. To understand why this is so unique, let’s quickly look at how car shipping companies typically select your driver.

Traditional transport brokers usually look at price and reputation when selecting a driver. Low prices are a big deal because customers like to save money (obviously). And reputation is important because no one wants a driver who’s rude or always running late. In both cases, the broker usually makes all of the decisions.

uShip gives you that control by letting you choose your driver. For example, we asked car shipping companies on uShip to provide us with quotes to transport a 2016 Honda Civic from Detroit, Michigan, to Buffalo, New York. Three of the first companies to pop up on our screen were Tempus Logix, SGT, and Montway.

The first two companies were a bit cheaper than Montway Auto Transport, but Montway had better reviews (and more of them). If safety were your top priority, you’d probably select Montway and its 4.3-star rating. On the other hand, if you felt like a lower uShip customer review score was worth saving a few bucks, then you might go with Tempus Logix (4.1) or SGT (3.8).

A screenshot of uShip bids to transport a 2016 Honda Civic from Detroit, Michigan, to Buffalo, New York. In this example, Tempus Logix has the lowest price ($529), while Montway has the best reviews (4.3 stars).

You can also dive deeper by accessing each company’s online profile. For example, Montway’s profile on uShip shows that the company has shipped over 3,000 cars for uShip customers in the past year. Additionally, more than 23,000 customers gave the auto transport company a 4.3-star rating. You can also see that 94% of customers would use Montway again.

Technically, uShip also shows you how many people canceled a shipment—but we don’t recommend reading too much into this statistic. Most customers who cancel auto transports do so because their schedules changed—not because the car shipping company did anything wrong.

A Screenshot of Montway's profile on uShip's website.

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 each review to get a better sense of what real-life customers think.

As you can see, the uShip site regulates itself through customer ratings. You can effectively blacklist a carrier by leaving bad reviews. You can also incentivize truck drivers to continue providing excellent service by leaving positive reviews. It all adds up over time. For example, the screenshot above shows that Montway Auto Transport has a total of more than 23,000 reviews, suggesting that the company’s 4.3-star rating is anything but a fluke.

We’ve never seen a company give customers so much information about individual car shipping companies. It’s unique to uShip’s status as an online marketplace and a definite win if you’d prefer to make an informed decision rather than pay a broker to do it for you.

Ship with Confidence Guarantee

uShip has a $500 guarantee that gives you peace of mind when shipping your car. While you must verify a truck driver’s insurance on your own, uShip has you covered if things go wrong. You can use the company’s $500 Ship with Confidence Guarantee during payment disputes or when documenting damage to your vehicle.

Note: You must immediately file a claim within 15 days of delivery (or 30 days of booking) and follow uShip’s seven-step Safe Shipping Guide to qualify for the Ship with Confidence Guarantee:5

  1. Verify credentials. Don’t automatically trust what a provider says. Ask your transport company for insurance info, applicable legal registrations, and copies of driver’s licenses.
  2. Be safe with off-site payments. Use a major credit card or online payment system like PayPal. It gives you extra options in case someone runs off with your money.
  3. Do not pay in full before delivery. uShip doesn’t allow its providers to request full payment before they pick up your vehicle. Run the other way if a company asks for the money upfront—and be sure to report it to uShip. The marketplace will blacklist carriers who break the rules.
  4. Do not use Western Union or Moneygram. These services don’t verify who gets your money—and you can’t get it back if something goes wrong.
  5. Execute a written contract. You should request a written agreement from your provider once you book your shipment. uShip relies on that contract to help settle disputes.
  6. Fill out your bill of lading. This form documents the condition of your vehicle before and after delivery. If a scratch shows up when the car arrives, you need proof that it wasn’t there on day one. The bill of lading is your proof.
  7. Trust your instincts. uShip warns against paying providers or giving them your vehicle if a deal seems too good to be true.
Bullhorn
How to identify a scam

Readers often ask us whether a moving company’s offer might be a scam. We give the same advice that uShip does: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

GPS tracking

uShip’s mobile app has a Location Sharing option that allows carriers to give you updates on the status of your vehicle. The GPS tracking feature is both rare and optional. It’s rare because almost no transport brokers connect you with truck drivers that use GPS (meaning you can call and ask where your car is, but they likely won’t have an answer). And it’s optional because truck drivers don’t have to turn on the Location Sharing feature (meaning the app might not know where your vehicle is either).

No car shipping company has GPS tracking for every shipment. But we appreciate companies like uShip that go the extra mile to increase your chances of finding a driver with GPS.


Our recommendation

uShip gives you options that we rarely find even with some of our other favorite car shipping companies:

  • Pricing control. Most companies require you to trust that they have your best interest at heart. uShip lets you see all of the bids and pick the option that’s best for you.
  • Detailed driver profiles. Many companies keep an internal “do not use” list, but uShip shows you each driver’s entire history and lets you make the call.
  • Ship with Confidence Guarantee. Not all car shippers offer extra insurance. uShip says that fewer than 5% of shipments involve vehicle damage.6 Still, it reimburses you up to $500 if you file a valid claim.

Want control over your final price?

Other car shipping picks

Leaning towards a traditional freight broker? Check out our reviews of some of the best national auto transport companies:


FAQ about uShip

How does uShip work?

The average uShip service charge for auto transport is approximately $75. uShip fees are not part of your initial car shipuShip works by letting you search for shipping services on a virtual marketplace. The shipping company connects you with shippers that can transport everything from furniture and appliances to cars and trucks. uShip is free to use but charges a service fee if you use one of its providers for your shipment.ping estimates.

Is uShip a moving company?

No, uShip isn’t a moving company. It is an online marketplace that connects customers with service providers that transport household goods, vehicles, and more.

How much is the uShip fee for a car?

The uShip fee for a car varies according to the details of your shipment, but the average uShip service fee is approximately $60.

Can I hire a mover on uShip?

No, you can’t hire a mover on uShip. While the shipping service has online content to help you pick a moving company, uShip’s providers focus only on shipping goods like furniture and cars. To hire a mover, you may want to consider one of Move.org’s Best Moving Companies.

What’s the cheapest way to transport a car?

The cheapest way to transport a car is on an open carrier. uShip’s average open transport auto shipping price is approximately $1,160—or about $400 cheaper than its enclosed pricing.

Is uShip legitimate?

Yes, uShip is legitimate. The online marketplace has been connecting customers with car shippers for nearly 20 years and is one of Move.org’s Best Car Shipping Companies.

Where can I find uShip reviews for auto transport?

You can find uShip reviews for auto transport on the uShip website. uShip auto transport reviews are generally lower than the industry average. However, this may be because uShip penalizes companies for customer cancellations.

How long does it take to get bids on uShip?

It takes anywhere from a couple of minutes to a couple of weeks to get bids on uShip. You’ll often see initial uShip estimates arrive within minutes, but you can leave your listing up longer to see how low you can get the price.

Are there other companies like uShip?

No, there aren’t other companies like uShip that give you almost complete control over the auto shipping process. A broker like Bargain Auto Transport offers you a degree of control by letting you set a price but still acts more like a go-between than an online marketplace.

Is there a uShip Canada?

No, there isn’t a uShip Canada. However, while uShip is based in Austin, Texas, it does have shipping services to and from Canada.

What can I ship with uShip?

You can ship almost anything with uShip. In addition to cars, boats, and motorcycles, uShip also transports items such as furniture and appliances. You can even find shippers for pets, horses, and livestock.

What kinds of animals can I ship with uShip?

You can ship several kinds of animals with uShip, including cats, dogs, and live fish. The marketplace also connects you with shippers that transport horses and livestock.

How much does it cost to ship a pet with uShip?

The cost to ship a pet with uShip depends on the needs of your pet and the distance of the shipment. uShip says that short-distance pet shipping costs between $100–$300, while long-distance shipments run about $350–$600.

Sources

1. uShip, “What Factors Determine Car Shipping Rates?” Accessed June 21, 2021.

2. Lisa Friedrich, uShip, “Do I Need Insurance to Ship a Car?” March 22, 2019. Accessed June 21, 2021.

3. uShip, “uShip Cargo Insurance,” Accessed July 6, 2021.

4. uShip, “Ship with Confidence Guarantee: Terms & Conditions,” Accessed June 21, 2021.

5. uShip, “Safe Shipping Guide,” Accessed July 6, 2021.

6. Amanda Laviana, uShip, “How to Prepare a Car for Shipment,” April 23, 2016. Accessed July 6, 2021.

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.