5 Best Car Shipping Companies 2021

We researched the top 5 auto transport companies, cross-referencing customer reviews, license, insurance, and federal complaint data to find you the best.

Best Overall Value
(224) 206-5633
Best Overall Value
Montway Auto Transport
Licensed Insured
  • Door-to-door deliveries
  • Open and enclosed trailers
  • International shipping
  • Hawaii / Alaska Shipping
  • Insurance
  • Online instant pricing
  • No deposit required, pay at delivery
  • Expedited delivery available
  • Guaranteed delivery available
  • Ships all vehicle types
(224) 206-5633 LEARN MORE
Best price matching
(888) 259-6046
Best price matching
Easy Auto Ship
Licensed Insured
  • Door-to-door deliveries
  • Open and enclosed trailers
  • International shipping
  • Hawaii / Alaska Shipping
  • Insurance
  • Online instant pricing
  • No deposit upfront to schedule
  • Expedited Shipping Available
  • Ship an additional 100lbs in the car for Free
  • Guaranteed pick-up and delivery available
(888) 259-6046 LEARN MORE
Best for accurate pricing
(833) 775-1461
Best for accurate pricing
Sherpa Auto Transport
Licensed Insured
  • Door-to-door deliveries
  • Open and enclosed trailers
  • International shipping
  • Hawaii / Alaska Shipping
  • Insurance
  • Online instant pricing
  • "Price Lock Promise" keeps pricing fixed
  • Pay by credit card available
  • Free car wash at delivery
  • No deposit upfront to schedule
(833) 775-1461 LEARN MORE
Best auto transport marketplace
Best auto transport marketplace
U-Ship Car Marketplace
Licensed Insured
  • Door-to-door deliveries
  • Open and enclosed trailers
  • International shipping
  • Hawaii / Alaska Shipping
  • Insurance
  • Online instant pricing
  • Get instant pricing from a variety of car haulers
  • $500 complimentary damage or loss coverage
  • Ship any type of vehicle and more
LEARN MORE
Best small carrier
(559) 289-7801
Best small carrier
Golden Key Express
Licensed Insured
  • Door-to-door deliveries
  • Open and enclosed trailers
  • International shipping
  • Hawaii / Alaska Shipping
  • Insurance
  • Online instant pricing
  • All trucks are company owned
  • Do not broker shipments
  • No deposit required
  • Insurance included in all pricing
(559) 289-7801 LEARN MORE

The 5 best car shipping companies in 2021 are...

Best Overall Value
(224) 206-5633
Best Overall Value
Montway Auto Transport
  Licensed   Insured

After 13 years in business and over four hundred thousand cars shipped, Montway Auto Transport knows a thing or two about how to ship cars long distance.

Montway is the preferred choice for some of the largest corporate relocation companies in the world as well as the exclusive transport partner for Auto Trader Classics.

Their competitive pricing and easy booking process earn them the number one spot in auto transport.

(224) 206-5633

Services

  • Door-to-door deliveries
  • Open and enclosed trailers
  • International shipping
  • Hawaii / Alaska Shipping
  • Insurance
  • Online instant pricing

The Good

  • Additional insurance provided on every shipment
  • No deposit required, pay at delivery
  • Expedited delivery available
  • Guaranteed delivery available
  • Ship up to 100lbs in the car for free
  • Special discounts for return customers and military
  • Ships classic cars, motorcycles, ATVs, boats, RVs and trailers

The Bad

  • Quotes expire sometimes within 1 week

How Montway Auto Transport works

Like most national auto carriers, Montway acts as a broker. The company has a network of over 15,000 car carriers that they contract with to haul your car.

When you book with Montway, a portion of the total amount you pay goes to Montway and the rest goes to the actual car hauler. Montway’s deep experience in the car transport industry means they can usually find you a more affordable and higher quality car carrier than searching for one yourself.

How much does Montway Auto Transport cost?

One of the best things about Montway is how easy they make it to get an instant price right on their website. You just need to enter a few basic details about the car you’re shipping and an email address and Montway will show you a variety of different pricing options.

There are three main ways to reduce the cost of shipping your vehicle with Montway.

  • Pay cash – Truckers love cash. if you pay cash at delivery Montway will knock 6-8% off your total cost.
  • Expand your pick-up window – If you need your car picked up on a precise date you’ll pay more. If you can be flexible around which day your car is picked up you’ll pay less.
  • Use an open trailer – Unless you have a really nice car, you can save a good chunk of money by shipping your car in an open trailer.

To give you an idea on pricing we’ve pulled a few quotes. Keep in mind car shipping prices are dynamic. You will need to get a quote yourself to truly know the cost to ship your vehicle with Montway.

To ship a Volkswagen Jetta from New York City to San Francisco (2,900 miles) in mid-June the cost is $1299. That assumes a 7 day pickup window shipping in an open trailer.

To ship from Washington DC to Boston (430 miles) in mid-June the cost is $679 also assuming a 7-day pickup window and open trailer.

Montway Auto Transport has been leading the auto shipping industry for years and continues to be a preferred choice for moveBuddha customers.

Best price matching
(888) 259-6046
Best price matching
Easy Auto Ship
  Licensed   Insured
Easy Auto Ship was founded in 2012 and specializes in Domestic Auto Transport to and from all 50 states and Canada. The company has an A+ accredited business with the National BBB and they have a 4.5 rating on google with over 1000 reviews. You can get an instant quote for a 1-5 day pick up on their website or call in for a custom quote if your situation is unique.
(888) 259-6046

Services

  • Door-to-door deliveries
  • Open and enclosed trailers
  • International shipping
  • Hawaii / Alaska Shipping
  • Insurance
  • Online instant pricing

The Good

  • Free contingency cargo insurance
  • No deposit upfront to schedule
  • Expedited Shipping Available
  • Ship an additional 100lbs in the car for Free
  • Guaranteed pick-up and delivery available
  • Military, Senior, and Student discounts
  • Free car wash on delivery
  • Free rental car should transport take more than 14 days

The Bad

  • Do not ship boats or heavy equipment

How Easy Auto Ship works

Like most auto transport companies they are a 3rd party logistics provider (Broker). This means they have access to a large network of vetted carriers on the road throughout the entire United States. They evaluate your specific shipping needs then match you up with a qualified carrier to pick up and deliver your vehicle. You will always have a dedicated account rep from start to finish with Easy Auto Ship.

Easy Auto Ship never requires any money upfront to schedule a pick-up. Once your vehicle has been assigned a carrier and a pick-date only then will you put a small deposit down and the rest is paid on delivery. Once your car is dispatched you will get a text and an email with the company’s name, driver’s name, and their cell phone number so you can always stay in contact while they have your vehicle. Easy Auto Ship will also soon be launching GPS tracking as well as digital paperwork for more accurate condition reports.

Overall Easy Auto Ship is a great company to ship with and they deliver a very high quality of service and transparency.

How much does Easy Auto Ship cost?

They are not the cheapest transport company but they offer the most accurate pricing so you will never have to deal with any bait and switch tactics. The price they quote is the final price even if you book online with their instant quoting tool for a 5 day pick up window.

Easy Auto Ship also provides additional cargo insurance for up to $100,000 dollars per occurrence as well as a free car wash on delivery.

Easy Auto Ship also powers all the instant quotes on large well-known websites like Hemmings and Classic Cars. They do offer Military, Senior, Student, and repeat customer discounts. Overall, you get what you pay for with Easy Auto Ship which will be a transparent pleasant experience.

Easy Auto Ship is a great option if you want a smooth no-hassle shipping experience and top-notch service.

Best for accurate pricing
(833) 775-1461
Best for accurate pricing
Sherpa Auto Transport
  Licensed   Insured

Sherpa Auto Transport started after the founder had a negative experience shipping his own car. Unlike most of the auto transport industry, the company is deeply customer focused and prides itself on providing accurate pricing and excellent communication throughout the shipping process.

Sherpa's Price Lock Promise and free car wash at delivery are just a few reasons the company is raising the customer service bar when it comes to auto shipping.

(833) 775-1461

Services

  • Door-to-door deliveries
  • Open and enclosed trailers
  • International shipping
  • Hawaii / Alaska Shipping
  • Insurance
  • Online instant pricing

The Good

  • "Price Lock Promise" keeps pricing fixed
  • Pay by credit card available
  • Free car wash at delivery
  • No deposit upfront to schedule
  • $100k in cargo insurance
  • Will ship inoperable vehicles as long as they can brake, roll and steer
  • Ship cars, SUVs, pickup trucks, and vans

The Bad

  • Online instant quote not available
  • Cars only. Cannot ship boats, motorcycles, RVs, or trailers
  • No international shipping
  • No shipping to Alaska or Hawaii

How Sherpa Auto Transport works

In reviewing Sherpa Auto Transport, it’s clear the company does 2 things really well. They consistently communicate to ensure their customers are informed throughout each step of the car shipping process. They also keep pricing consistent from quote to delivery.

How much does Sherpa Auto Transport cost?

The big difference with Sherpa is their Price Lock Promise. In the car shipping industry costs are based on a number of dynamic variables and pricing can fluctuate from booking to pickup. But not with Sherpa. If additional funds are required to secure a carrier for a shipment, the company will contribute up to $300 to make sure the transport happens. This is a huge benefit. Most auto shippers will pass any price increases onto customers. Sherpa will kick in their own money to keep the price consistent.

To give you an idea on pricing:

To ship a Volkswagen Jetta from New York City to San Francisco (2,900 miles) in mid-June the cost is $1,350. That assumes a 7 day pickup window shipping in an open trailer.

To ship from Washington DC to Boston (430 miles) in mid-June the cost is $600 also assuming a 7-day pickup window and open trailer.

Sherpa also has a variety of discount options including Military, Student, Snowbird, Repeat Customer, and Multi-car. Customers also get a reduced rate by paying the Carrier Payment via cash or certified check.

Best auto transport marketplace
Best auto transport marketplace
U-Ship Car Marketplace
  Licensed   Insured

UShip is an online marketplace connecting shipping companies with customers. The Austin Texas based company features an easy to use website and a large database of shippers making it easy to find a car shipping provider.

Services

  • Door-to-door deliveries
  • Open and enclosed trailers
  • International shipping
  • Hawaii / Alaska Shipping
  • Insurance
  • Online instant pricing

The Good

  • Get instant pricing from a variety of car haulers
  • $500 complimentary damage or loss coverage
  • Manage your entire shipment on your mobile device
  • Review service history and verified reviews on any shipper
  • Ship any type of vehicle and more

The Bad

  • No standardized contract
  • Picking a carrier can take some research
  • Quality can vary between carriers

How U-Ship Car Marketplace works

UShip isn’t a car hauler or a broker, they’re a car shipping marketplace. Simply enter the basic details of your vehicle shipment and UShip will instantly display pricing on a list of car haulers.
UShip is a great concept and super useful to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

The only drawback to going through UShip is the final contract isn’t standardized. So you’ll need to make sure you review all the details of your shipment with the carrier you choose.

How much does U-Ship Car Marketplace cost?

When it comes to price comparison this is where UShip really shines.

You can quickly get an idea of the average cost to ship your car by using UShip’s website. Even if you don’t want to book through their platform, UShip can be super helpful as a research tool to make sure you don’t overpay to ship your car.

Best small carrier
(559) 289-7801
Best small carrier
Golden Key Express
  Licensed   Insured

Golden Key Express is a nationwide auto shipper based out of Clovis, California. The company is family owned and has been in business shipping cars since 1998. You won't find the cheapest prices with Golden Key and availability can sometimes be limited. But the company is a top-notch auto shipper with a spotless reputation in the moving industry.

(559) 289-7801

Services

  • Door-to-door deliveries
  • Open and enclosed trailers
  • International shipping
  • Hawaii / Alaska Shipping
  • Insurance
  • Online instant pricing

The Good

  • All trucks are company owned
  • Do not broker shipments
  • No deposit required
  • Door-to-door service
  • Insurance included in all pricing

The Bad

  • Availability may be limited
  • Pricing can be higher
  • Open rack transport only
  • Do not service the Northwest
  • No instant online quotes

How Golden Key Express works

Golden Key provides door-to-door auto shipping. Roughly 24-hours prior to pick-up the driver will contact you with an estimated time. The truck will pull up as close to your residence as possible but keep in mind the truck is 80 feet long and over 14 feet tall. You’ll need to make sure your car is at a location where the truck can legally and safely park.

Transit times are usually around 7-10 days from the pickup date for delivery. The company will provide a 4-5 delivery window at pickup and then narrow this window as the delivery gets closer.

How much does Golden Key Express cost?

Because Golden Key Express owns all their trucks and doesn’t broker loads their shipping rates can be higher than going through a larger broker. That being said, the increased costs are justified by their impeccable reputation in the auto shipping industry.

Unfortunately, the company’s website does not provide instant quotes. You’ll need to call them or submit a form online and wait to hear back with pricing. Rates will vary based on the time of year, distance, type of vehicle, and availability. For the best pricing call at least 3 weeks ahead.

Golden Key also includes in all their quotes with no deductible. Just be sure to inspect the vehicle carefully at pickup to ensure there is no damage. All damage claims must be filed within 5 days of delivery.

Overall, if you want to ensure a good customer experience and don’t mind paying a little extra Golden Key Express is an excellent auto shipper to consider.

Car Shipping FAQ

How Long Does It Take To Ship A Car?

Car transporters usually take between one to two weeks to ship a car. Of course, the time that it will take to ship a car will depend on a number of factors including
  • The distance the car is being shipped
  • How many cars the company is shipping in the same direction
  • Traffic and how many hours the driver is driving
Your vehicle shipping company will give you the best estimate for how long it will take but even they will give you a bit of a range since you never really know what the roads might be like. Delivery times can vary depending on road conditions. Check out our car shipping checklist to see all the things you should do before the car shipper arrives.

Can You Ship Your Car With Things In It?

Even if the car shipper allows it (most don’t), we do not recommend it. The auto transporters will not cover any damaged, lost, or stolen items.

What is the Difference Between Open and Enclosed Auto Transport?

The difference is the type of trailer your car is transported on. Open transport means your car is exposed to the elements of the road: weather, road debris, etc. Closed transport means your car is shipped in a box that protects from these elements. An open carrier is the more popular choice because it’s cheaper and more available. Enclosed transport offers your car better protection and security but comes at a higher price.

What Car Shipping Company Should I Hire?

The company you hire is up to you. However, there are things you should make sure you look out for to hire a reputable company that will take care of your vehicle.
  • Verify their licensing and insurance records with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
  • Look at Auto Transport Reviews from qualified sources.
  • Check out the company with the BBB.
  • Read through the Google reviews of the company and verify their address.

What Car Shipping Options Are There?

Car Shipping Options Include:
  • Shipping by Trailer: By Far the Most Popular Choice
  • Driveaway
  • Auto Shipping by Rail: Not an Option in Most Areas but Affordable for Long Distances
  • Shipping by Plane: Quickest Option but Extremely Expensive
Delivery Options:
  • Door-to-Door: Company picks up the vehicle at your old house and drops it off at your new home.
  • Terminal-to-Terminal: You drop off the vehicle at a point and pick it up at a destination set by the auto transport company.
Talk to your company about the auto transport services they offer. Some people consider selling their car and buying another at the destination. Compare this to shipping it.

Can I Get An Auto Transportation Discount?

Ask the company for the following discounts that they may offer:
  • Military
  • First Responders
  • Student
  • Senior Citizens
  • Early Bird
  • Return Customer
  • Multiple vehicles
  • First-Time Shippers

How Much Does it Cost to Ship A Car?

The car shipping cost will depend on the following factors
  • Distance of shipment: Obviously the longer it move, the more it costs
  • Discounts applied: You can save money by getting discounts
  • Time of the year: Shipping during the summer will be more expensive because of higher demand.
  • Delivery Date: If you need the car urgently, it’s going to cost a lot more.
Contact a car shipping company listed above for a free car shipping quote.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship A Car Cross Country?

The cost to ship a car across the United States will depend on the factors listed in the question above. Although a long-distance car shipment will cost more than a shorter distance one, the cost per mile actually goes down the further the distance. Shipping a car from Los Angeles, California to Miami, Florida would cost about $1,250. Contact the car shipping companies directly for a better estimate of your cross-country shipping costs. Wondering how much it costs to ship a car to Hawaii? See our full Vehicle Shipping to Hawaii Guide.

What Is The Cheapest Way to Ship A Car?

If you're using a car shipping company consider the following:
  • Use open transport
  • Ship during off-peak season
  • Get a car shipping discount
  • Be flexible with the delivery date
For more cost-effective options, read our article on Cheapest Ways to Ship A Car.

What is a car shipping broker?

A car shipping broker is part of the personal transport industry in the United States and is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). To transport vehicles as a broker, the broker must have the proper licensing and authority from the FMCSA. The broker is the go-between when a shipper needs to have a vehicle shipped. The broker is contacted by the shipper and will then find a carrier to transport the car to its destination. Brokers are used in this process because they have access to freight load boards, where they can post the project and find vehicle transport carriers in the area with the proper resources available.

Do you need insurance to ship a car?

For the most part, carriers do not require you to purchase insurance when shipping a car in the United States. However, you can still purchase insurance to protect your vehicle while it is en route. It’s also important to note that auto transport companies must carry liability insurance coverage by the United States Department of Transportation services. Only auto transport companies, not the brokers, are required to have liability insurance. If you are shipping a car overseas, it might be in your best interest to purchase additional insurance.

Does AAA offer car transport?

Yes, AAA does offer car transport for customers in the United States. AAA Discount Auto & Truck Transporters is the arm of AAA that transports cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs to your desired destination. Every single vehicle transport carrier operated by AAA is licensed, bonded, and insured, allowing transports to occur between every state in the country.

What are the benefits of a door-to-door car transport?

There are quite a few benefits to using door-to-door car transport when traveling for vacation, work, or moving to a new home. Like a full-service moving company, door-to-door car transport will handle everything about the move from your current destination to your new home. This service is also available for buying a new vehicle, but the dealership is located across the country. Flying out to the dealer’s lot to drive the vehicle home yourself might not be an option based on your schedule. Having a vehicle transport company drive the vehicle to your location is an excellent benefit. Other benefits of using door-to-door vehicle transport include the following:
  • Keep your schedule intact
  • Stay within legal compliance when buying a vehicle from an auction
  • Avoid breakdowns, accidents, and other issues
  • Less work for you to do
  • Convenient transport times
  • Convenient delivery locations
  • Most carriers don’t use vehicle terminals

Is it possible to ship a car with a trailer?

There are two ways to answer this question. The first is yes; you can ship a car using a trailer. Many trailers are enclosed, which protects the vehicle from the elements while being shipped to its destination. This means that the car will not be exposed to road dirt or debris, rain, wind, sleet, hail, or other items that could damage the vehicle. This is especially important for owners of classic cars that need to be shipped. The second is yes; you can ship a car with a trailer. For example, do you have a trailer that you typically tow using your vehicle? If so, you can transport the vehicle and the trailer together. When you schedule the transport with a broker or auto carrier, make sure you let them know that you need an auto transport quote for a car and a trailer together. The cost will be higher, but it won’t break the bank.

How do I prepare my car for shipping?

If you are moving to a new state across the country, the easiest thing you can do is have your car transported to your new home while you fly to the destination. This makes a move go much smoother and quicker. To prepare your vehicle for shipping, you will need to do the following:
  • Gather all of the documents for the vehicle (title, registration, insurance card, bill of sale, and a copy of unexpired identification
  • Wash your car inside and out (also remove all personal items from the vehicle)
  • After you have cleaned the car, document all of the damage the vehicle already has by taking pictures.
  • Perform any maintenance the vehicle requires (oil change, tire rotation, battery charge or replacement, top-off fluids, tire pressure, check for leaks, and write down the mileage at pickup time
  • Do not fill the gas tank before shipping the car (it will be on a carrier, not driven, so drive it until the tank is down to one-quarter)
  • Remove all exterior accessories (ski racks, rooftop boxes, bike racks, spoilers, luggage racks, retractable antennas, and any other accessory.
  • Lock the vehicle and leave the keys with the transport company (someone will still need to drive the car onto the transport truck)
  • Sign the bill of lading (the bill of lading covers the condition of the vehicle when it is picked up, where the car is being shipped from and where it is going, and if there are any mechanical problems or particular issues with the car)

Can I ship a car internationally?

Yes, you can ship a car internationally. However, you cannot do it on your own. You will need to use a reputable and experienced car transport company. You can ship a car overseas using any of the following methods:
  • A shipping container
  • Airfreight
  • Ocean transport vessels
A car can be shipped overseas using door-to-door service or port-to-port service. This means that your vehicle can be picked up at your home and dropped off at your new home overseas, or you can drop it off at a local port and pick it up at a port in your new country of residence. The cost for shipping a car internationally will depend on a few factors, including:
  • The time of year
  • How quickly you need the car
  • The country to which you are relocating
  • The shipping method you choose
  • Import taxes, tariffs, and other duties
  • The total distance of the trip
  • The size of your car
  • The estimated value of the car
  • The insurance you choose
  • Pickup and delivery options (door-to-door or port-to-port)
If you need to ship your car internationally, make sure you do the following before it leaves for the trip:
  • The gas tank should be at one-quarter or less
  • Inflate the tires
  • Secure the spare tire and the jack
  • Remove all personal items from the vehicle
  • Buy a new battery or give the current one a complete charge
  • Write down existing damage and the mileage
  • Top off all of the fluids
  • Disable the vehicle’s security system
As with all car transport options, you need to weigh the pros and cons of shipping your car internationally. It might just be cheaper to purchase a new car when you arrive at your new country of residence, depending on the cost to ship the car internationally.

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