uShip Review: Be Your Own Broker for Car Transport (and Everything Else)

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

If you’re thinking about shipping your car, you’ve almost certainly come across uShip. uShip advertises an affordable way to get your car from point A to point B, whether that’s the 1,800 miles between Albuquerque, NM, and Baltimore, MD, or the 30 miles from Augusta, ME, to Bath, ME.

To be clear, uShip is not in and of itself an auto transport company or even a shipping company. Instead, uShip serves as a marketplace to facilitate connections between shippers and shippees. You list your car—or whatever else you need moved—and get estimates or bids from several carriers. That means you get to be your own broker, finding the best rates for your needs.

While imperfect, uShip offers two rare perks in the moving industry: the ability to coordinate complicated moves in one spot, and instant quotes.

What services does uShip offer?

To see why you might prefer uShip to a traditional shipping company, take a look at these unique features that make uShip stand out from the crowd.

Standout features

  1. Immediate estimates from several carriers
  2. A marketplace to list your shipment and get bids from drivers
  3. Shipping for your car—and everything else you can think of

We’ll look at these features in detail in just a moment, but first, a word on features and services:

As we said, uShip doesn’t ship your belongings, but rather puts you in touch with the companies that can. That means that the exact features of your move could vary depending on the company you choose.

For example, some auto transport companies on uShip will use open vehicle trailers, while others will use enclosed or a combination of both. Likewise, if you choose to move homes with uShip, you can look for quotes from movers who offer white-glove service or movers who simply move your belongings after you pack.

uShip itself simply helps you get estimates and book with the carrier of your choice. It also makes it easy to set up a secure payment to your carrier.

Pros

  • Gives you shipping estimates
  • Lets you list your shipment on the market
  • Helps you book services
  • Providers a secure payment system

Cons

  • Lacks transparency about fees

For more information on features for your shipment, you’ll need to look at the specific carrier you’re using. uShip makes this easy—carriers have extensive profile pages that include a company’s summary, its rank in various categories, and feedback from its customers. Ultimately, of course, you’ll want to communicate directly with your carrier of choice to make sure you understand what features are included in your uShip quote.

How much does uShip cost?

Here at Move.org, we often tell you the cost of a service depends on the details of your move. With uShip, that’s even truer than usual.

First and foremost, your cost depends on what you’re shipping. uShip made its name with automotive shipping, but it can help you ship much more than that. As you’d expect, you’ll pay more to move your whole house than just your car, but you might be able to ship a single couch for cheaper than your car.

Next, costs depend on the company you choose. uShip’s business model connects movers and carriers who have extra space with individuals who need smaller shipments moved (that’s you). These movers and carriers often quote very different prices for moving the same object—we’ll show you an example in the next section.

Of course, as with all moves, your price will also depend on things like how far you’re moving, the weight of your shipment, the features you want, and even the time of year.

Even with all these variables, uShip suggests you can get a better deal through its services than through a traditional shipping company. Our research showed that’s often, but not always, true.

If all this sounds vague and confusing, don’t worry—uShip makes it easy to see how much your shipment will cost. In fact, its instant estimate is one of our favorite features.

uShip gives you instant estimates from multiple companies

Shipping a car? uShip provides instant estimates for shipping your vehicle so you can make an informed choice. You simply tell uShip about your vehicle (year, make, and model) and where it needs to go, and the site shows you a few quotes from different companies. If you see a price you like, you can immediately book.

These estimates can vary widely, but in our research, we always got at least one estimate that was comparable to—if not better than—estimates from other car shipping companies.

For example, we said we wanted to ship a compact car—in this case, a 2006 Scion xA—from Albuquerque to Baltimore (around 1,800 miles). The estimates had a range of over $1,400.

Estimate
Company 1$1,129 + uShip fee
Company 2$1,249 + uShip fee
Company 3
$1,286 + uShip fee
Company 4$2,024 + uShip fee
Company 5$2,595 + uShip fee
Company 1
Company 2
Company 3
Company 4
Company 5
Estimate
$1,129 + uShip fee
$1,249 + uShip fee

$1,286 + uShip fee
$2,024 + uShip fee
$2,595 + uShip fee

Then we looked at shipping the same car in-state from Augusta to Bath (around thirty miles).

Estimate
Company 1$208 + uShip fee
Company 2$229 + uShip fee
Company 3$455 + uShip fee
Company 4$1,392 + uShip fee
Company 1
Company 2
Company 3
Company 4
Estimate
$208 + uShip fee
$229 + uShip fee
$455 + uShip fee
$1,392 + uShip fee

Keep in mind that the number you see does not include a “uShip fee.” This fee varies depending on your shipment. uShip shows you what the fee will be before you actually book your service, but we wish the fee were more transparent from the get-go. We’ve seen fees as low as $25 and as high as $150, so be sure to check the fee before you book a service.

Get multiple quotes from multiple car transporters in seconds using uShip!

uShip lets you list your shipment to find the best rates

What if you don’t like the estimates you get? Or what if you want to ship something that’s not a car? In that case, you list your shipment on uShip’s marketplace.

If you’re shipping a car, you can choose to list your vehicle after looking at estimates. You’ll have to confirm the details, and then your listing goes live. Once your car is listed, you just wait for the quotes to start rolling in. Carriers may ask clarifying questions (whether you’ll have personal items in your car, for example), but otherwise, you can wait for a quote you like. Your post stays active for a week.

The process is pretty similar for non-car shipments. You won’t get an instant estimate with anything that’s not a car, so you’ll jump straight to listing your shipment. For some items—a single couch, for example—uShip provides a graph that shows the low, average, and high prices people pay for similar shipments. However, when we looked at coordinating a home move, we didn’t get any such information.

As the quotes come in, you can look at each company’s profile and reviews to ensure you get good service in addition to a good price. If you get a quote you like from a company that looks reputable, you can go ahead and book.

Again, remember the uShip service fee applies. This fee is more visible on marketplace quotes, and it is included in the total dollar amount, but if you’re just glancing through a list of quotes it’s easy to overlook this.

uShip ships cars—and a whole lot more

uShip has a reputation as a car-shipping solution, but that’s only one small part of what it offers. In fact, uShip helps you ship all sorts of items. Here are just a few of the categories on the uShip website:

  • Cars
  • Motorcycles
  • RVs
  • Trailers
  • Car parts
  • Furniture
  • Household appliances
  • Home moves
  • Office moves
  • Construction equipment
  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Livestock
  • Hay bales
  • Waterslides
  • Jacuzzis

You can use uShip to transport that Scion xA, but you can also use it to send your old couch to your friend, to ship your old washing machine to your Craigslist buyer, or even to get your llamas to your new home.

That could make uShip particularly useful for people with more complicated moves. For example, say you’re moving from one state to another, and for logistical reasons, you choose to fly rather than drive to your new home. You need to move your three-bedroom house, your car, your horse, and your dog to your new place. You also need to send your mother’s antique piano to your sister, since you won’t have room for it in your new place.

Ordinarily, you’d have to arrange separate shipping services for all of those tasks. With uShip, however, you can simplify matters by using just one website and letting the carriers come to you. That convenience could be helpful during a complicated move.

As we pointed out earlier, you won’t necessarily get an instant estimate for shipments of livestock or pianos or hot tubs—you’ll simply list your shipment on the marketplace and receive bids.

Our recommendation

uShip offers a simple way to get competitive prices for your shipments—whether that’s cars, livestock, or just your packed boxes. We love that uShip lets you act as your own broker. In particular, uShip could be right for you if you want to get several quotes without doing the research yourself, or if you have a complicated move and want to coordinate your shipments from one central hub.

That being said, book carefully. Make sure you know what the uShip fee will be for your quoted price, and always check out company reviews before accepting a quote. Don’t simply assume the cheapest option is the best.

If you’re looking for a more traditional car transport option, check out our recommendations on our best auto transport companies list.

Have you shipped a car (or anything else) with uShip? We’d love to hear about your experience. Tell us about it by commenting below.

About Chloe Gawrych

Chloe Gawrych