How to Get the Best Car Shipping Quotes Online (2021)

Home Service Research Team
·7 min read

Adobe Stock - Roman Babakin

Getting car shipping quotes online is the quickest way to find out how much your auto shipment will cost. However, not every company offers instant auto transport quotes.

It's a good idea to reach out to multiple providers when getting quotes. With several quotes, you can ensure you're getting the best deal on your vehicle shipment. We've researched and ranked the best car shipping companies of 2021, and you can get free, no-obligation quotes from our top picks below.

What is a Car Shipping Quote?

A car shipping quote is an estimated cost from an auto transport service for a particular shipment. Some car shipping companies factor all fees into their quotes, including the cost of transport as well as service fees, additional insurance coverage costs, and increased carrier prices. However, most do not, meaning the final price you pay for auto shipping will likely be higher than the initial quote.

Auto transport prices vary based on several key factors, including your vehicle, distance of the shipment, time of year, and more. Later in this article, we'll explain each factor in detail and how to get cheap car shipping quotes online.

How to Get Car Shipping Quotes Online

Some auto transporters offer instant quotes, but you'll need to provide information about your shipment before you can receive one. You should have the following details handy when requesting car shipping quotes online:

  • Vehicle age, make, model, and operability

  • Pickup and destination location

  • Preferred shipment timeframe

  • Preferred shipping method: open, enclosed, door-to-door, terminal-to-terminal

  • Name, email, and phone number

After inputting this information into an online form, you should receive an email or call with your online car shipping quote. Note that not all auto transporters offer online pricing. Some companies require that you call directly to receive a quote for your auto shipment.

Car Shipping Quote Calculators

Using a company's car shipping calculator is another way to get car shipping quotes online without the pressure to book a shipment. These calculators ask for fewer details than an official quote tool—for example, listing your vehicle as an SUV rather than its specific make and model—and can be less accurate, but they're a great way to get a general idea of your car shipping costs.

What Affects Auto Transport Costs?

When reaching out for car shipping quotes online, you should be aware of what impacts the cost of auto shipping. This allows you to know why prices may be high for your shipment, or how to lower your shipping costs by leveraging some of the factors in your control. Below, we've detailed what affects auto transport costs and why.

  • Miles traveled: Cross-country shipments have better rates per mile than shorter-distance shipments, but they cost more overall.

  • Open vs. enclosed transport: Enclosed carrier transport costs more than open carrier transport, but it may be worth the increased price for luxury and classic cars.

  • Door-to-door vs. terminal-to-terminal: Door-to-door shipping, in which your car is delivered to your home, is more costly than terminal-to-terminal shipping, in which your car is delivered to a designated terminal.

  • Time of year: Demand is higher in January and summer months, making auto transport more expensive.

  • Carrier competition: When using marketplace-style car transportation services, higher competition between car carrier bids leads to lower auto shipping costs.

  • Price of fuel: Auto shippers may charge more to compensate for carriers’ fuel costs if necessary.

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

  • Vehicle size: Larger vehicles, like SUVs and trucks, cost more to ship than a standard coupe. This also applies to specialty vehicles like recreational vehicles and all-terrain vehicles.

Top Companies That Offer Car Shipping Quotes Online

If you’re looking for hassle-free online quotes, we recommend reaching out to Montway Auto Transport and uShip. Both car shipping companies scored well in our 2021 best car shipping companies review and offer instant online quotes when you fill out a form. We’ve detailed more information about each company below.

Montway Auto Transport: Best Availability

Established in 2006, Montway Auto Transport provides car shipping services to all 50 states and internationally. The auto broker works with over 15,000 vetted carriers nationwide. Customers praise the company's low-cost shipping options and timeliness, making it easy to understand why 100,000 cars were shipped with the provider in 2019 alone.

Montway Auto Transport offers instant online quotes for open, enclosed, door-to-door, and expedited shipping services. It also provides guaranteed pickup dates and free additional insurance coverage.

Montway Auto Transport Pros:

  • Affordable pricing

  • Good customer service and industry ratings

  • Free shipping insurance

  • 24/7 online chat feature

  • Guaranteed pickup dates

Montway Auto Transport Cons:

  • No real-time tracking or mobile app

  • No shipping services for RVs or personal watercraft

Read more about the auto broker in our comprehensive Montway Auto Transport review. You can also visit Montway.com or call (844) 601-0286 to get a free car shipping quote online.

Best Availability

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uShip: Best Auto Transport Marketplace

uShip is a unique company in the auto transport industry. It’s neither a broker nor a carrier. Instead, uShip is an online marketplace for shipping services, much like eBay. Customers can post their shipments online and have different carriers bid on the booking. uShip also offers an instant quote option for car shipping. However, these prices may be more costly than the alternative bidding option.

uShip holds an accredited A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a 4.6 out of 5.0-star Trustpilot rating. The company not only ships cars but also household items, heavy equipment, freight loads, animals, RVs, and more. It provides international shipping services as well.

uShip Pros:

  • Reduced research time

  • Complimentary tracking

  • Military moving discounts

  • Ship with Confidence Guarantee that covers damage and payment disputes

uShip Cons:

  • No auto transport carrier or broker vetting process

  • Instant quotes are often more expensive than traditional car shipping companies

  • Low mobile app ratings for Apple and Android devices

More details about this company can be found in our uShip review. Click below to receive a free, no-obligation quote from uShip.

Best Auto Transport Marketplace

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cheapest way to ship my car?

The cheapest way to ship your vehicle is through open, terminal-to-terminal shipping during non-peak seasons (i.e., avoiding January and summer months). These shipping methods are often the lowest-cost options available. You may also want to consider a company that offers discounts to further reduce your car shipping costs.

Does AAA offer car shipping?

Although the company offers vehicle towing, AAA does not offer car shipping.

What is a car shipping quote?

A car shipping quote, or car shipping estimate, is an approximate price from an auto transport company for a particular shipment. Your auto transport quote may not be the final price you pay for shipping, as many companies tack on service fees, additional insurance coverage costs, and increased carrier prices when your vehicle is delivered. Some companies, such as Sherpa Auto Transport, offer a price-lock guarantee that ensures you won't pay more than your quoted price.

How do I get my car shipped?

If you're wondering how to ship a car, there are a few steps you'll need to take. Initially, you'll need to reach out to an auto broker or carrier and ask for a quote. Most companies require information about your vehicle, pickup and delivery locations, preferred shipping method, and preferred shipping timeline to give you a car shipping quote. From there, you'll book your shipment.