5 Best Car Shipping Companies of 2021

·14 min read

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Car shipping companies make most long-distance moves easier. Whether you need to ship a car cross country, to your new university, or to a military base, choosing the right auto transport company can make the process simple and hassle-free.

Read on to learn more about the five best car shipping companies available. For each auto transporter, we'll go over services, state availability, average costs, industry standing, customer service ratings, and overall pros and cons. Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to choose the right car shipping company for your vehicle.

To ensure you get the best vehicle shipping price, we recommend reaching out for quotes from multiple car shippers. Many factors play into car shipping costs, and no company is a one-size-fits-all solution for every vehicle owner. To see how much you would pay for shipping, get free quotes from top-rated car shipping companies below.

Best Availability

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Best for Locked-In Prices

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Best Discounts

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Best Auto Transport Marketplace

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Top 5 Car Shipping Companies

To narrow down a list of the best car shipping companies, we reviewed every major provider in the industry with attention to reputation, cost, available services, and customer reviews. Based on our research, the top five auto shipping companies include:

  • #1 Montway Auto Transport: Best Availability

  • #2 AmeriFreight: Best Discounts

  • #3 Sherpa Auto Transport: Best for Locked-In Prices

  • #4 Easy Auto Ship: Best Added Benefits

  • #5 uShip: Best Auto Transport Marketplace

Keep reading to learn more about each provider, including average costs based on our secret shopper analysis.

#1 Montway Auto Transport: Best Availability

Type of Company: Broker

Services: Open, enclosed, door-to-door, expedited, Hawaii, and international shipping

State Availability: 50

Additional Cargo Insurance Coverage: Yes

Average Cost: $1,097

Montway Auto Transport is one of the most popular auto transporters on the market. The company provides standard shipping services, including open and enclosed transport, and several optional services like door-to-door transport, guaranteed pickup dates, expedited shipping, and Hawaii car shipping for an additional cost.

Montway Auto Transport works with over 15,000 vetted carriers to provide affordable shipping services, which are regularly lower than competitors'. Here are a few sample quotes we received from Montway Auto Transport for an operable 2018 Honda CR-V using door-to-door delivery service:

  • Open transport, 520 miles: $689

  • Open transport, 1,489 miles: $959

  • Enclosed transport, 1,489 miles: $1,289

  • Open transport, 2,445 miles: $1,389

During any on-land shipment, Montway includes insurance coverage up to $100,000 through Inland Marine Cargo. This protection comes at no additional cost.

Montway Auto Transport has above-average customer service ratings, holding an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a 4.49 out of 5-star BBB rating, and a 4.3-star rating from customers on Trustpilot.

You can read more in our complete Montway Auto Transport review. To see how much you would pay for shipping, get a free quote from Montway Auto Transport below.

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#2 AmeriFreight: Best Discounts

Type of Company: Broker

Services: Open, enclosed, door-to-door, terminal-to-terminal, alternative vehicle, and expedited

State Availability: 50

Additional Cargo Insurance Coverage: Guaranteed asset protection (GAP) coverage available at an additional cost

Average Cost: $1,300

AmeriFreight provides several discounts to auto shipping customers including military personnel, students, senior citizens, first responders, and more. The auto transporter ships vehicles to all 50 states and provides services for alternative vehicles like ATVs and RVs.

AmeriFreight car shipping quotes are average compared to competitors. The overall cost depends on which shipping services you choose: Economy, Priority, or First Class. Here are a few sample estimates we received for a 2018 SUV:

  • Open, Economy transport, 1,489 miles: $929

  • Enclosed, First Class transport, 1,489 miles: $1,671

AmeriFreight holds an A+ rating from the BBB alongside a 4.86 out of 5-star customer rating. It also has a 4.7-star rating based on over 2,900 Google reviews. Customers mostly praise the company's timeliness and competitive pricing.

All car carriers are vetted by AmeriFreight. The company checks not only that its auto transporters have full coverage insurance, but also that they've received high satisfaction ratings from customers. The broker does offer add-on coverage called AF Total (AFta), which covers any gaps in protection that the carrier's policies won't cover. These plans come in several customizable tiers.

Learn more in our in-depth AmeriFreight review. You can also get a free quote from AmeriFreight by clicking below.

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#3 Sherpa Auto Transport: Best for Locked-In Prices

Type of Company: Broker

Services: Open, enclosed, and door-to-door

State Availability: 48

Additional Cargo Insurance Coverage: Yes

Average Cost: $1,720

Unlike other car shipping companies on this list, Sherpa Auto Transport offers a Price Lock Promise with all its car shipping services. If you receive a quote from Sherpa, it will be the final price you pay, so you don't need to worry about hidden fees. The auto broker holds a 4.9 out of 5-star customer score on the BBB as well as an A+ rating from the organization itself.

Sherpa Auto Transport ships standard sedans as well as SUVs, classic cars, pickups, and vans. It offers door-to-door shipping but not terminal-to-terminal transport. Sherpa also includes a Clean Car Guarantee with all auto shipments, which reimburses customers up to $20 for car washing services upon delivery.

Based on car shipping quotes we received, Sherpa Auto Transport costs about $1,300 for a 1,500-mile trip. Here are a few examples of estimates for an operable 2018 SUV:

  • Open transport, 1,489 miles: $975

  • Enclosed transport, 1,489 miles: $1,650

  • Open transport, 2,445 miles: $1,650

  • Enclosed transport, 2,445 miles: $2,775

Carriers working with Sherpa Auto Transport must carry a minimum of $1,000,000 in liability coverage and $100,000 in cargo insurance coverage.

Read more in our complete Sherpa Auto Transport review. To see prices for your vehicle, get a personalized quote from Sherpa Auto Transport below.

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#4 Easy Auto Ship: Best Added Benefits

Type of Company: Broker

Services: Open, enclosed, international, door-to-door, alternative vehicle, and expedited

State Availability: 50

Additional Cargo Insurance Coverage: No

Average Cost: $1,168

Easy Auto Ship is an affordable car shipping provider that offers some unique benefits. If your vehicle arrives dirty, Easy Auto Ship will pay for a wash and detail. And if the shipment takes over 14 days because of unforeseen circumstances, the auto shipper will pay for a rental car.

Easy Auto Ship provides open and enclosed shipping for standard and alternative vehicles. It can also arrange international auto shipping.

Company reviewers frequently mention finding cheap car shipping rates when booking through the company. According to our research, Easy Auto Ship charges about $950 for a shipment of 1,500 miles. Below are a few sample quotes we received for Easy Auto Ship's open transport services:

  • Open transport, 520 miles: $718

  • Open transport, 1,489 miles: $947

  • Open transport, 2,445 miles: $1,362

Additionally, as part of the vetting process, Easy Auto Ship ensures each of its carriers has full cargo insurance coverage. It also provides another layer of insurance on its own. To book a shipment, drivers can go through a quick online quote process or work with transport specialists for personalized service.

Click below to get a free quote from Easy Auto Ship.

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#5 uShip: Best Auto Transport Marketplace

Type of Company: Marketplace

Services: Open, enclosed, door-to-door, expedited, international, and single-car shipping

State Availability: 50

Additional Cargo Insurance Coverage: At an additional cost

Average Cost: $1,472

uShip is neither a motor carrier nor an auto broker. Instead, the company acts as an auto shipping marketplace for carriers to bid on customer shipment requests. uShip is a great option for drivers looking to reduce research time, as you're offered multiple quotes at once.

uShip prices tend to be higher than the industry average if you opt for instant quotes. However, increased carrier bidding through the uShip marketplace may provide lower-cost options to many car owners. Here are a few examples of prices we received from the company for an operable 2018 Honda CR-V using door-to-door, open transport delivery services:

  • Open transport, 520 miles: $924

  • Open transport, 1,489 miles: $1,428

  • Open transport, 2,445 miles: $2,064

It's important to be aware of uShip's relationship with carriers. Unlike standard brokers, uShip does not vet carriers' insurance information or licensing before connecting them with customers. While uShip complaints are uncommon, they largely deal with late auto carriers or difficult communication with carriers.

You can read more in our full uShip review. Get a free instant quote from uShip or post your job for bidding below.

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How Much Does Auto Shipping Cost?

We reached out and received several car shipping quotes from top auto transport providers. According to the data we received, the average car shipping cost is about $1,200. However, many factors may affect the overall cost of auto transportation services. To give you a better idea of what your shipment might cost, we've broken down each of these factors below.

  • Miles traveled: Cross-country shipments will have better rates per mile than shorter-distance shipments, but they'll cost more overall. Based on quotes we received from multiple car shipping companies, transporting a vehicle 520 miles costs an average of $734, while a 1,489-mile trip costs an average of $1,307.

  • Transport type: Enclosed auto carrier transport service is more expensive than open carrier car transport service, but it may be worth the additional cost for luxury and classic cars. Door-to-door shipping is also more costly than terminal-to-terminal shipping, since the service is personalized (more on this below).

  • Time of year: January and summer months have a high frequency of moves, making auto transport services more expensive.

  • Carrier competition: When using a marketplace-style service, higher competition between car carrier bids means lower auto shipping costs.

  • Price of fuel: When fuel prices rise, car shipping companies will charge more to compensate for this increased expense.

  • Vehicle operability: Inoperable vehicles take more effort and resources to move, making them more expensive to ship.

  • Vehicle size: The type of vehicle affects how much you pay to ship a car. Larger vehicles, like SUVs and trucks, will cost more to ship than a standard sedan. This also applies to specialty vehicles like RVs and ATVs.

Insurance and service fees also play a role in determining your auto transport costs. Depending on the car transport company, you may need to pay for additional insurance to protect against any losses or damages, as well as a $50 to $100 service fee per transport. Some car shipping companies set fees according to the shipment, but others charge a flat rate.

Types of Auto Shipping Services

Certain types of auto shipping cost more than others. Additionally, certain car shipment services are better suited to specific types of vehicles.

Here are the auto shipping options and services you will likely come across in your research:

  • Open vehicle transport: The most common transport service, open auto transport means your vehicle will be exposed to the elements. This shipping process is best for budget-conscious drivers.

  • Enclosed vehicle transport: Your vehicle is transported in an enclosed trailer or shipping container to prevent damage. This usually costs more than open transport and is a good option for luxury and classic car owners who want peace of mind.

  • Door-to-door: Drivers moving from one home to another may prefer door-to-door transport, in which the vehicle is picked up and dropped off as close as possible to the customer's home.

  • Terminal-to-terminal: Alternatively, terminal-to-terminal transport means your vehicle pickup and drop-off occur at a predetermined location along with other auto shipments. Budget-conscious drivers with some flexibility may choose this type of transport. Keep in mind that not all major providers offer terminal-to-terminal shipping.

  • Expedited: Rather than waiting one to two weeks for carrier availability, drivers with time constraints might choose expedited shipping for an additional cost. Vehicles can usually ship within a few days.

  • Single-car: If you don't want your luxury or classic car shipped with other vehicles, you can choose to have it shipped by itself, often in a closed container. This is an expensive option for car shipping.

How Do I Choose a Car Shipping Company?

High-quality car shipping companies are insured or work with vetted and insured motor carriers. Seek out a cost-effective company that has positive customer service ratings, offers quick quotes, and provides additional insurance coverage for any losses or damages. You may also want to consider the company's years in business, industry ratings, and vehicles shipped per year. This ensures that a car shipping company is reputable and trustworthy.

Related: How Long Does It Take to Ship a Car?

To make sure you choose the best car shipping company for your situation, you'll want to get quotes from several car transporters. As mentioned, there are many factors that can affect your total shipping costs, so it's a good idea to seek out multiple options and compare pricing between companies.

Best Availability

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Best Added Benefits

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Best for Locked-In Prices

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Best Discounts

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Best Auto Transport Marketplace

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FAQ: Best Car Shipping Companies

What is the best company to ship a car?

Based on our research, Montway Auto Transport, AmeriFreight, Sherpa Auto Transport, Easy Auto Ship, and uShip are the best car shipping companies available. Each scored highly in our reputation, cost, shipping services, and customer experience rating categories.

What is the difference between a carrier and a broker?

A carrier physically ships your vehicle, while an auto broker connects customers with available carriers.

What is the cheapest way to ship a car?

The cheapest way to ship a car is by train, although this method is not widely available. You can also save money shipping your vehicle through open transport, terminal-to-terminal shipping.

Who is the cheapest car shipping company?

Based on the car shipping quotes we received, Montway Auto Transport has the cheapest car shipping for most drivers. On average, the company costs about $1,000 per shipment. However, your own car shipping quote from the company may vary.

How much does it cost to ship your car cross country?

Our research shows that it typically costs between $1,389 and $2,775 to ship your vehicle cross country. Costs vary based on the type of transport you choose along with miles traveled. For example, car transport from Los Angeles to New York costs $1,389 for open transport, but enclosed transport can cost as much as $2,775.

Are there discounts for auto transport?

Yes, some providers offer discounts for auto transport. Our expert review team researched every major car transporter in the industry and found that AmeriFreight has the most comprehensive list of discounts. You can save by booking early, shipping multiple vehicles, or being a member of the military, among other things.

Can I ship my car overseas?

Yes, you can ship your car overseas. Not every shipping company offers international transport, but most can connect you with an international carrier to meet your needs.

Does AAA offer car shipping?

AAA Discount Auto & Truck Transporters works with vetted carriers and offers open transport and enclosed shipping services nationwide. However, this company is not affiliated with the AAA that's known for roadside assistance.

What's the best moving company?

If you're shipping a car, you may also be wondering how to choose a moving company that's right for your needs. Read our review of the industry's best long-distance moving companies to learn more about top providers, pricing, and services.

Methodology

Auto shipping ratings are based on a comprehensive comparison between every major car transport company in the industry. We rate providers based on cost, available services, company reputation, and the customer experience. Each auto transporter receives scores in these individual categories and an overall score out of 5.0 stars.

To formulate rankings, our review team considers a company's offerings compared to competitors, ratings from experts like the BBB, and customer reviews. We also collect sample quotes across a variety of shipping routes, distances, and transport types to measure pricing against the industry average.