What to Expect When You Ship a Car with Sherpa — Crystal’s Move

Joe Roberts
Oct 18, 2021
Icon Time To Read5 min read

Sherpa Auto Transport is one of our favorite car shipping companies for good reason. Its rates are often well below average, it consistently gets rave reviews from customers, and its Price Lock Promise is a rare find.

But does Sherpa live up to its excellent reputation? To find out, we helped a family ship their 2005 Saturn LS with the company, and we’re happy to tell you that Sherpa did more than just deliver the car. It delivered on our expectations as well.

Keep reading to get the details on this car shipment, or check out our Sherpa review to learn more about the company.

Meet the Shepherds

Crystal Shepherd, a curriculum coordinator at a virtual academy, recently moved with her husband of 24 years, Derek, and their three sons. In their free time, the Shepherd family loves to “geek” out over everything from Star Wars to Tolkien.

The COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult for the Shepherds to visit their extended family in Ohio. So, they decided to move from North Carolina to Ohio to be closer to them.

In addition to shipping their Saturn with Sherpa, the Shepherds also moved using a Zippy Shell container and a Penske truck. Read our report on their experience moving with Zippy Shell if you’re in the market for a good container move.

Zippy Shell meet the Shepherds

Crystal Shepherd with her husband and three sons.


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Why Crystal chose Sherpa

Like anybody, Crystal wanted her auto transport service to be smooth and hassle-free. She also wanted to ensure that her Saturn’s windshield—which she’d just replaced—didn’t get damaged during its journey, so she needed a shipping company with a reputation for delivering cars undamaged.

She started shopping around online and gathered quotes from multiple auto transport companies, which was a smart move. Gathering multiple quotes is the only sure-fire way to know you’re getting a decent price. This was how her quotes compared:

Crystal’s auto-shipment quotes

Car transport company
Sherpa Auto Transport
Montway Auto Transport
Easy Auto Ship
Mercury Auto Transport
Elite Auto Shipping

As you can see, Sherpa’s quote wasn’t the lowest Crystal received. In fact, it was one of the highest, though it was still well below the average cost to ship a car long-distance. So why did Crystal decide to book with Sherpa? Because she did her research.

She looked across multiple online review platforms and found that Sherpa had very few damage complaints and consistently received great reviews from customers and sites like Move.org.

She was also persuaded by Sherpa’s Price Lock Promise, which all but guarantees your final price will match your quote. If your final price exceeds your quote, Sherpa will actually pay up to $300 to cover the difference.

After considering both of these factors, Crystal decided to book her auto shipment with Sherpa, and she didn’t regret it.

Watch out for car shipping scams

Like the moving industry, the car shipping industry is plagued by its fair share of scammers. One of the tell-tale signs of a scammy company is a quote that’s hundreds of dollars cheaper than reputable companies like Sherpa and Montway Auto Transport. Learn what else to watch out for by checking our guide to auto transport scams.

Crystal’s auto shipment at a glance

Car shipping companySherpa Auto Transport
Shipment dateJune 21, 2021
Service typeOpen auto transport
Start locationNashville, North Carolina
End locationHuntsville, Ohio
Quoted cost$925
Actual cost$925

What to expect with Sherpa—Pricing

We mentioned that Sherpa’s Price Lock Promise was one of the primary reasons Crystal chose the company, and as you can see, it came through for her. The shipment didn’t end up costing Crystal a single cent more than her original quote.

This might not have been the case if she had shipped the Saturn with one of the companies that gave her a lower quote but didn’t guarantee it.

Like the moving industry, the auto transportation industry is plagued by hidden fees and last-minute price gouging. So while it’s true that Sherpa’s original quote was higher than the quotes from other companies, its actual price was probably lower in the end.

Here’s the bottom line: a pricing guarantee like Sherpa’s is far more valuable and trustworthy than an exceptionally low quote.

What to expect with Sherpa—Customer service

Like its honest pricing, Sherpa’s customer service left very little to be desired, and the company’s delivery driver was both professional and punctual.

Sherpa said its driver would pick up Crystal’s car between June 21 and 23 and would deliver it between June 23 and 25. And sure enough, the driver was there to pick up the car on June 21 and arrived at the Shepherds’ new home on the 23rd, so he hit both of the company’s earliest time estimates.

In fact, the delivery was so quick that Crystal “did not have a chance” to track her vehicle’s journey in real-time.

The driver also did everything he could to ensure the Shepherds’ car was safe and that they felt comfortable. At pickup, he took inventory of the car’s existing damage and properly secured the car to the carrier before driving away. Then, before the delivery, he called Crystal to update her on what time he’d arrive, and he had absolutely no trouble finding the Shepherds’ new home.

And yes, the Saturn’s windshield arrived in one piece, just as Crystal had hoped.

Want to give your ride a deluxe ride?

The Shepherds opted for open transport, and their car arrived at their new home without a scratch. However, this isn’t always the case with open transport. If you want to guarantee your car safely gets where it’s going, consider paying extra for enclosed transport.

What didn’t surprise us about Sherpa

Sherpa’s exceptional delivery driver was one of the best parts of Crystal’s experience, and we’re glad Sherpa’s driver was such a rockstar, but you could color us wholly unsurprised.

Like many auto transport companies, Sherpa is a broker, not a carrier. This means when you ship a car with Sherpa, the company doesn’t actually send its own truck or driver to deliver your car. Instead, it works with a smaller delivery company, called a carrier, to complete your shipment. You can think of auto transport brokers as travel agents for cars.

As a result of this business model, you sometimes get worse service from your delivery driver than you do from the broker you booked your auto shipment with.

Sherpa takes great pains to avoid this disconnect, though, and it’s one of our favorite things about the company. Unlike some brokers, Sherpa carefully vets each carrier by analyzing its track record and checking government documentation about it. Any carriers that don’t live up to Sherpa’s high standards don’t get hired for Sherpa shipments.

This means that any carrier Sherpa sends your way will be the cream of the crop.

Our take

In the end, Crystal gave Sherpa five out of five stars for her auto shipment, and we agree with her assessment. The company stuck to its original quote, it delivered Crystal’s Saturn damage-free and on time, and the delivery driver did everything right from pickup to delivery. No red flags, no mix-ups, no-nonsense.

You can’t beat service like that at any price.

Let’s get this show on the road! If you’re shipping a car soon, and you’re looking for top-notch service, request a free quote from Sherpa Auto Transport.

If you want to learn a little more about Sherpa before booking your shipment, read our full review or glance over our list of the best auto transport companies to see how Sherpa compares to its competitors.

Joe Roberts
Written by
Joe Roberts
Joe Roberts is a professional writer with a degree in writing studies and over four years of copywriting experience. He previously worked at Overstock.com, where he wrote about furniture, home decor, and moving. Joe has moved all over Utah, so he knows his way around a moving truck—and he spends his time (and money) expanding his personal library so it will be even heavier next time he moves.