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By: Kathryn Parkman & Chris Davies | Updated Apr 1, 2021

Auto transport is a great solution for anyone who wants to move their vehicle a long distance without the wear and tear. Whether you’re moving across the country or buying an antique automobile from another city, an auto transport company can move your vehicle in a safe and efficient way. We suggest comparing multiple car shipping companies before handing over your keys. To help you get started, we compare our favorites below.

Read our auto transporter methodology to see how we rated each company.

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Top auto transport companies

Bargain Auto Transport

Bargain Auto Transport

5/5.0

Pros

  • Sets upfront pricing
  • Compares multiple options
  • Free quotes online
  • Available in most areas

Cons

  • Must call for transportation update
  • Limited carrier information

Bargain Auto Transport is a transportation broker that helps customers compare options to find the lowest possible price. In fact, Bargain allows you to set your price and then works to find the carrier that can transport your car within your budget. Customers can get a free quote on the company’s website.

Ship a Car Direct

Ship a Car Direct

5/5.0

Pros

  • Transparent about services
  • No payment until carrier confirmation
  • Door-to-door shipping available
  • Damage-free guarantee

Cons

  • Limited carrier information
  • No recreational vehicle shipping

Ship a Car Direct is a transport broker that prioritizes transparency. The entire website and FAQ section is dedicated to providing information about its services. Plus, Ship a Car Direct’s damage-free guarantee promises to pay for damages if they arise during transportation. We like that no payment is required until the carrier has confirmed pickup.

Sherpa Auto Transport

Sherpa Auto Transport

5/5.0

Pros

  • Price Lock Promise
  • Free cancellation
  • Clean Car Guarantee
  • Door-to-door shipping

Cons

  • No terminal-to-terminal transport
  • Limited pricing information

Sherpa Auto Transport is a broker that uses a proprietary ranking and scheduling algorithm to match customers with the right company for their car shipping needs. Customers must provide their information online or call the company to get a quote. Sherpa offers a price-lock promise, and after transportation, Sherpa’s Clean Car Guarantee gives customers a $20 reimbursement for a car wash.

Budget Transporter

Budget Transporter

4.9/5.0

Pros

  • No upfront deposit
  • Value Lock Guarantee
  • Vehicle tracking available
  • Extra insurance

Cons

  • No international shipping
  • Limited tracking information

Budget Transporter is an auto transport company that offers shipping services across the nation. Customers can receive a free quote online and are not required to pay an upfront deposit for services. Prices come with the company’s Value Lock Guarantee.

Budget Transporter provides door-to-door transport, so you don’t need to drop off or pick up your car at a terminal. Services include its Platinum Protection Plan, featuring a damage-free guarantee and rental car reimbursement if delivery is over 48 hours late. Though the company says tracking is available, the site has no additional information about this service.

Montway Auto Transport

Montway Auto Transport

4.9/5.0

Pros

  • Instant quote system
  • Highly rated
  • Services all 50 states
  • Personal and business options

Cons

  • No online vehicle tracking
  • No price guarantee

Montway Auto Transport is an auto broker that services all 50 states. Customers work with dedicated advisors who monitor shipments over extended hours. Customers can get an instant quote online from one of more than 15,000 vetted and insured professional carriers. Montway Auto Transport requires no payment until it dispatches a carrier for pickup.

eShip

eShip

4.8/5.0

Pros

  • Vehicle tracking available
  • Personal shipping agent
  • Platinum Protection Plan
  • Options for recreational vehicles

Cons

  • No terminal-to-terminal transport
  • No instant quote

eShip offers a price-lock guarantee on its transportation broker services. Each customer works with a personal shipping agent who oversees the entire process, including getting a quote and tracking the shipment. All shipments include the Platinum Protection Plan, featuring a damage-free guarantee and up to a $300 reimbursement for a rental car if delivery is over 48 hours late. Customers can easily track their vehicle shipment on the company’s website.

AmeriFreight

AmeriFreight

4.7/5.0

Pros

  • Guaranteed rates
  • Ships nationwide
  • AFta gap insurance protection
  • Multiple discounts available

Cons

  • No instant tracking
  • Deposit required at booking

AmeriFreight is an auto broker that offers guaranteed rates with no upfront deposit. The company includes extra protection for vehicle shipments with AFta gap insurance, which provides compensation if any damage is detected after delivery. AmeriFreight offers multiple discount options, including for military members and first responders.

How we found the best car transport companies

We started with a list of 24 car shipping companies. To narrow it down, we only considered those with at least 10 verified reviews on ConsumerAffairs over the last year and an average overall customer satisfaction rating of 3.5 or higher. When making our final selections, we also took additional factors into consideration, such as reviews and ratings from Transport Reviews, Car Talk and Move.org; the selection of transport options; geographical availability; and overall online experience.
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How to choose an auto transport company

When looking at potential transport companies, you should look for a broker or carrier that prioritizes the safety of your vehicle and your budget. Search for transparent information about shipping and pricing, as well as positive reviews from past customers.

  • Guaranteed quotes: Some companies can change their prices after they give you a quote or even after they drop off your vehicle, leaving you with a hefty, unexpected bill. Look for a company that offers guaranteed quotes, meaning you’ll only pay exactly what it quotes you.
  • Additional insurance coverage: All auto transportation companies are legally required to provide a basic level of insurance coverage. Try to find a company that offers additional coverage, either at an additional price or, if possible, for free, in order to better protect your vehicle and your budget.
  • Carrier options and shipping conditions: Depending on your situation, you may prefer open or enclosed transport. Make sure the company you decide to work with offers the type of transportation that you need. Things to consider here include how valuable your vehicle is and the expected weather while your vehicle is in transit.
  • Good customer reviews: Most importantly, see what other customers are saying about the company. Find out from reviews if previous clients are satisfied with the quote process, customer service and the vehicle condition upon delivery.

Bottom line: What to know about auto transport companies

Shipping a car can be a stressful experience. Hiring the right auto transportation company can make all the difference between a smooth move and a costly headache. Make sure you do your research to find an affordable option that has good reviews and comprehensive insurance coverage. By doing the right research upfront, you can transport your car confidently wherever it needs to go.

Car shipping FAQ

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When you ship a car, a carrier picks it up either at your preferred location or at a central terminal. The car ships via open or enclosed transport, depending on the type of transport you’ve arranged with the carrier or a broker. It usually takes anywhere from one to nine days for the carrier to ship your car to its destination. You or someone representing you must be present for both pickup and delivery. Many companies offer tracking options so you know where your vehicle is during transport.
According to ConsumerAffairs, the cost to ship a car ranges between $500 and $1,500. Factors that affect the cost of auto transport include the shipping distance, whether you choose open or enclosed transport, the type of car you have and the time of year.
An auto transport broker searches a network of carriers to find one that is able to transport a customer’s vehicle. Brokers do not do the actual transporting of the vehicle; the carrier does. Working with a broker may help you find a lower price and give you more car shipping options.
As the name suggests, open carriers are open to the elements. Enclosed carriers have sides and a roof, meaning that your vehicle is protected from the weather. If you choose enclosed transport, expect to spend up to 50% more than the cost of open transport.
It’s possible. That’s why you shouldn’t ship anything valuable inside your vehicle while it’s being transported. Some companies will require that you remove all personal items from the car before handing it over to the carrier.
Standard insurance covers damages that might occur during transportation. If there’s any damage that happens because of something wrong with your vehicle prior to transportation, like a cracked windshield, it will not be covered. Always ask a car shipping company about the details of its liability coverage before booking transport.