The 8 Best Car Shipping Companies of 2020

The logistics of moving a vehicle don't need to be difficult

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: AmeriFreight

"If you wish to cancel before you accept an offer, you won’t lose any money on non-refundable broker fees or upfront payments."

Best Budget: Bargain Auto Transport

"Instead of receiving a quote with carrier rates to transport your vehicle, you’ll work with a broker to find one at your price point."

Best Broker Service: Ship a Car Direct

"Ship a Car Direct takes its commitment to screening car carriers seriously, especially since they offer a damage-free guarantee on delivery."

Best for Upfront Pricing: Sherpa Auto Transport

"Using market data, the company delivers its quote backed by a "Price Lock Promise"—the estimate you receive, is the price you can expect to pay."

Best DIY: UShip

"You can enter the company's online marketplace, where you’ll be able to find quotes from hundreds of carriers."

Best Enclosed: Intercity Lines

"Intercity Lines also offers shipping services for motorcycles and doesn’t require crating or boxing."

Best for Classic Cars: Horseless Carriage

"Horseless Carriage has tracking information available for their trucks on the road, so you can get updates on your vehicle’s trip status."

Best for Hawaii: Montway Auto Transport

"Montway Auto Transport specializes in car shipping services to Hawaii."

Best Overall: AmeriFreight

AmeriFreight

AmeriFreight

AmeriFreight is a top option for car shipping services. The company has competitive rates, but also offers a number of discounts that will help seniors, students, or military members move their vehicles for less.

In terms of pricing, sample rates for transport from New York to California are around $925 for a sedan and about $1,100 for a crew cab truck. If you’re making a shorter trip, you could ship a sedan from New York to Florida for about $650 or a truck for approximately $700. This is for open-trailer transport services, which offers less protection, but is the most cost-effective way to ship your vehicle.

If you’re worried about damages, AmeriFrieght offers additional insurance. The AFta PLAN gap protection policy includes basic, standard, and comprehensive levels of coverage. Top-tier protection costs about $100 and covers around $2,000 of harm sustained during shipping, approximately $800 for any damages discovered within 48 hours after delivery, and about $300 towards lost or stolen keys.

This provides extra peace of mind, whether you’re shipping your daily driver or your cherished sports car. It’s also important to know that you don’t pay AmeriFrieght any fees until you’ve accepted a carrier’s offer. If you wish to cancel before you accept one, you won’t lose any money on non-refundable broker fees or upfront payments.

Best Budget: Bargain Auto Transport

Bargain Auto Transport

Bargain Auto Transport

If you’re looking for an affordable car shipping service, check out the name-your-price option with Bargain Auto Transport. Instead of receiving a quote with carrier rates to transport your vehicle, you’ll work with a broker to find one that can meet your price point.

The process begins with a standard form where you'll receive an initial estimate from the broker. After that, you’ll work with them to adjust the price you’d like to transport your vehicle, depending on your time frame, transportation preferences, and more.

If no carrier accepts your offer, the broker will help you adjust it to make it more competitive—but they will never accept one that is above your agreed-upon budget. 

If you have a set limit for transportation costs, then working with a budget car shipping service like Bargain Auto Transport may be your best bet for a good deal. Keep in mind that Bargain Auto Transport is a broker, so you will have a fee to pay, but if you get the right price, this additional amount will be worth it in the long-run to save big bucks on your shipping expenses. 

Best Broker Service: Ship a Car Direct

Ship a Car Direct

Ship a Car Direct

A broker is a popular way to shop for car shipping services. However, it can be hard to tell whether the broker is working with you or for themselves, since they often get a percentage of the total transport cost as commission.

Use a broker if you’re looking for a competitive rate on your car shipping service and have some flexibility when it comes to the pick-up and delivery dates for your transport. 

However, Ship a Car Direct is a broker service that has earned the trust and business of its customers. It has a stellar satisfaction rating with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to back up its reputation and reliability.

Ship a Car Direct takes its commitment to screening car companies seriously, especially since it offers a damage-free guarantee on delivery. The company requires that every service it brokers with has satisfactory insurance that protects your vehicle in case of any destruction.

In addition, the company’s Damage Free Guarantee program assists you in paying for any desecration that the carrier refuses to cover. However, you should know that it’s imperative that you carefully inspect your car for any harm done and make note of it at the time of delivery. 

Best for Upfront Pricing: Sherpa Auto Transport

Sherpa Auto Transport

  Sherpa Auto Transport

The reality of car shipping services is that many times you’re working through a broker who is trying to find a carrier to transport your vehicle. The broker may quote you a price, but this is no guarantee that they will find a service that will agree to transport your vehicle for this rate.

As a result, many customers become exasperated that their initial quote for car shipping services increases. Sherpa Auto Transport aims to solve this problem by offering upfront costs with a price guarantee. 

Using market data, the company delivers its quote backed by a "Price Lock Promise"—the estimate you receive is the price you can expect to pay. Sherpa Auto Transport uses its network of transporters to find a carrier that will accept the rate you’ve been offered. Otherwise, the company will split the difference—for up to around $300—to meet the original, agreed-upon rate. 

Best DIY: UShip

UShip

UShip

If you’re looking to broker your own automobile transport, then UShip is a popular platform for connecting car carriers with customers looking to move their vehicles.

UShip is actually a marketplace for shipping a variety of items, but it's best known for auto transport. The process is simple and straightforward—once you enter your vehicle information, you’ll see instant car shipping rates. You can also enter the marketplace, where you’ll be able to find quotes from hundreds of carriers.

Using the instant rates tool, a search for shipping a sedan from New York City to Los Angeles returned rates as low as around $1,100 for open-trailer transport. Keep in mind that UShip will tack on its own service fee.

Since you’re acting as your own broker, be sure that you compare the quotes you’re receiving with the market price. UShip provides a helpful table of recent transport costs in the marketplace. You should also perform due diligence on any car shipping company that you’re considering.

UShip makes it possible to see a snapshot of the company’s profile and history, and you can communicate directly with the shipper to ask specific questions you might have. The ability to see how many shipments the carrier has successfully completed—and how many they have canceled—is especially useful. 

Should you choose to post a listing in the marketplace, you’ll have access to even more companies that may have more flexible pick-up and delivery times, varying rates, and more. For any carrier you’re seriously considering, it’s recommended that you ask to see the certificate of insurance, and check the company’s status with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. 

Best Enclosed: Intercity Lines

Intercity Lines

Intercity Lines

Intercity Lines is a car shipping service that specializes in enclosed transport. The company has been in business since 1980 and uses its own fleet of enclosed auto transport trailers, equipped with air-ride suspension to cushion and absorb impacts on the road.

Intercity Lines also offers shipping services for motorcycles and doesn’t require crating or boxing, since the trailers are equipped with flat floors and soft tie-downs. You can expect to pay a premium price for enclosed car shipping services, but you’ll have the peace of mind that your vehicle is protected no matter what the weather is like or what road hazards come along the way.

According to a recent rate sampling, to have your vehicle shipped cross-country from New York City to Los Angeles, you could expect to pay in the neighborhood of $2,500 for a sedan, around $2,700 for an SUV, and about $2,900 for a truck.

Best for Classic Cars: Horseless Carriage

Horseless Carriage

Horseless Carriage

If you have a classic automobile to transport, it’s important to choose a car shipping service with a stellar reputation for handling this type of vehicle.

Horseless Carriage, a company named after the early reference to automobiles that were powered by an engine, rather than drawn by animals, has been in business since 1975 and specializes in the transport of antique and classic cars. 

The service's fleet of auto transporters are enclosed trailers with the appropriate suspension and precautions necessary to ensure that your vehicle has a smooth ride from point A to point B. You know you can trust Horseless Carriage because collectors that have purchased a vehicle out-of-state, or need to transport one to a prestigious car show, have been using the service for nearly half a century.

Horseless Carriage has tracking information available for their trucks on the road, so you can easily receive an update on your vehicle’s trip status. Customers of other car shipping carriers are often met with frustrations when up-to-date tracking information isn’t available for their vehicles, but this isn’t something you’ll need to worry about with Horseless Carriage.

Best for Hawaii: Montway Auto Transport

Montway Auto Transport

Montway Auto Transport

If you’re moving to the Aloha state, shipping your car is going to involve moving it by boat to your new island home. Not all vehicle transport services are equipped to arrange for the delivery of your vehicle outside of the contiguous United States. However, Montway Auto Transport specializes in car shipping services to Hawaii.

Montway, which also offers conventional automobile shipping services in open and enclosed trailers, makes it easy to obtain an instant quote for shipping your vehicle to Hawaii. It also may not be as expensive as you think.

While rates vary by vehicle type and season, shipping a Honda Accord to Honolulu would cost around $1,500 for port-to-port delivery (you'll need to get the vehicle to Long Beach), or have the car picked up in your originating neighborhood (in the vicinity of Long Beach) and delivered to the port of Honolulu for about $1,700.

If you’re not already on the West Coast, you’ll need to arrange for land transport of your vehicle to California, either through Montway or another car shipping service.

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