Whether you're shipping your car across the country or across the ocean, you want an auto transport company you can trust – one that is reliable, offers reasonable pricing, has the right insurance, and excellent customer service.
To save you time, we researched more than 25 of the most popular options and filtered that list down to the 11 companies we'd recommend based on your needs. Our list includes cross-country shippers, international shippers, shippers that let you track your vehicle on your phone, and even budget options.
Below we also explore the ins and outs of car shipping, costs, what to expect, and more.
For those just looking for a few quick recommendations, here are out top choices.
With so many companies out there offering to move your vehicle across the country or around the world, it can be overwhelming to decide which one to choose. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a car shipping company.
Before you reach out to a shipping company, consider the vehicle you need to ship. Many companies handle a wide range of vehicle types. These include cars, pickups, SUVs, RVs, motor homes, motorcycles, ATVs, heavy machinery, and even marine vehicles like speedboats and sailboats. Others only manage standard cars.
If you are moving a specialized or oversized vehicle, then online price estimates are not a true reflection of what you will pay. Shipping any vehicle other than a car often comes with price increases. A detailed quote should lay out these fees clearly.
Most vehicle shipping companies operate as brokers. This means that they take a customer’s order and then contract with a carrier to perform the actual shipping. A reputable broker is selective about which carriers they work with to ensure a good customer experience. However, the customer does not have a say on which carrier ultimately transports the vehicle.
It is possible for individuals to skip working with a broker and book directly with a carrier. However, this can be a challenge. Carriers who take on single vehicles are usually looking to fill out a truckload. Most rely on brokers to help them find the loads they need for routes they already have planned. Many carriers do not want to contract directly with individual customers and rarely have robust customer service.
Customers determined to deal directly with a carrier can sometimes locate through marketplaces like uShip. Any bookings made this way should be carefully researched to ensure the carrier is reputable.
Business customers looking to ship a fleet of vehicles are more suited to working with a carrier directly. This is because your fleet could fill or substantially fill a carrier’s vehicle. It is still important to thoroughly vet carriers before you trust them with your fleet. You should also ensure that the carrier meets all requirements set by your fleet insurance provider.
Brokers can streamline selecting a carrier that meets your needs, but developing a relationship directly with a carrier could bring savings in the long run by eliminating the middleman.
Research the business reputation of every shipping company you consider. Reliable reviews can be found on these websites:
Read reviews beyond the overall rating to fully assess the company. Avoid businesses with consistent negative reviews. Also, proceed with caution when a company does not have many reviews. Unscrupulous companies sometimes change their operating name to escape their trail of negative reviews.
Beyond the company’s general reputation, you should also look at when and how their customer service team is available. Will you be able to reach them easily to check on your shipment?
A few companies now offer an online tracking system so that you can see your vehicle’s location in real-time. Others require you to call them for any status updates. Some companies give the driver’s contact information for updates but this can be very hit or miss as drivers cannot take calls from the road and are not incentivized to call back.
Selecting the right car shipping company depends on where you need the vehicle to go, and how it will get there. Look for these options to find the best fit:
Pricing is typically set through online or phone quotes. A range of factors impacts the cost of shipping a car. For this reason, requesting quotes directly from car shipping companies is the best way to obtain accurate pricing.
Quotes, particularly online instant quotes, are often changeable if prices rise before you book. To avoid these changes, look for prices that are locked in and book within 2-3 weeks when you need your car shipped.
Payment is often split into two parts: an initial deposit or broker fee, followed by the balance paid on delivery. Some companies ask for partial payments at booking, dispatch, and the balance at delivery.
Keep in mind that payments made at delivery are usually directly to the driver and may need to be paid in cash. Some brokers accept credit cards but if you want to pay for the entire shipment by credit card, you may need to pay the full amount upfront.
A number of companies offer discounts. Military and veteran discounts are the most common but others include student and senior discounts.
Insurance is usually included in the shipping price but this may be limited to the carrier’s insurance. Most carriers hold cargo insurance, which should cover damage to your vehicle during transit but you should make sure to ask about what’s covered. Personal vehicle insurance typically is treated as supplemental insurance and may provide coverage if the carrier’s insurance does not. Check your policy for details.
Customers shipping a car overseas will want to obtain marine insurance to cover the vehicle during shipment.
Montway Auto Transport has been in business for over 15 years, giving them plenty of industry knowledge in vehicle shipping. Montway is also one of the largest car shipping companies in the US.
Montway offers transparent pricing and provides estimates for many common shipments on its website. Customers should be aware that they charge a cancellation fee when shipments are canceled after dispatch.
Customers can pay by credit card in full or opt for a cash discount if paying the carrier directly at delivery.
Sherpa Auto Transport provides a unique Price Lock Promise, through which Sherpa will cover up to $300 of shipping costs if there is an increase after you receive a quote. Consistently good customer reviews, including an A+ rating with BBB, suggests that this is not an empty promise.
Sherpa is newer (opened in 2017) and more limited than some other companies. They only transport standard vehicles and only cover the lower 48 states.
Pricing is by request only, but they do provide quotes over the phone or through an online request form.
Easy Auto Ship can cover a wide range of shipping needs and destinations. Their services would fit well for customers shipping to or from international destinations, as well as those shipping non-standard vehicles.
They also hold a contingent insurance policy for damage not covered by the carrier’s insurance.
If you need to ship your vehicle in a hurry, Easy Auto Ship can provide expedited shipping.
Mercury Auto Transport offers shipping options for all kinds of vehicles across the US, including shipments to Hawaii, Alaska, and Guam. This makes them a good choice for those shipping non-standard vehicles like RVs, All-terrain vehicles, or travel trailers.
Mercury does not track vehicles in transit. Instead, they share the driver’s contact so that customers can contact the driver directly. Driver responsiveness can vary since drivers do not work for Mercury directly.
Mercury states that they only work with carriers holding FMCSA-required insurance. However, this insurance is necessary to operate as an interstate carrier in the US, which means they don’t guarantee more than the minimum required coverage.
Matson is the only shipping company on our list that functions as both a carrier and a broker. Matson operates its own ships for ocean transport to and from Hawaii and Alaska. They also broker transport to Asia and across the South Pacific region.
Individual car shippers will need to drop off and pick up their vehicles from Matson port terminal locations. Business clients can also book with Matson to provide transport across the US.
Matson is one of the few shipping companies to allow the shipping of personal items in the car. This is priced by weight added to the vehicle and is only allowed on routes between Alaska and Tacoma, Washington.
eShip provides a wide range of services across the US and Canada. They are unique in offering auto transport services to and from Puerto Rico as well. Numerous online guides and customer service resources are available for Spanish-speaking customers.
The full range of vehicle types and shipping methods are on offer. eShip can also book household moving services to consolidate moving planning.
AmeriFreight has been in business since 2004, and regularly receives positive customer reviews. They are a very large broker in the US and cover all 50 states, but they do not take on international shipments.
One thing that sets AmeriFreight apart is their wide range of discounts. These include military, first responders, seniors, students, return customers, and early bird discounts.
AmeriFreight does not publish pricing but they do give an average car shipping estimate between $700-1,200. They also have an online quote generator to get an estimate for your shipment.
Nexus differs from competitors by offering payment options that include paying in full by credit card. Customers can opt to pay their full balance by credit card if paid upfront. They can also choose to make partial payments with the final payment to the driver directly by cash only.
Customers may wish to purchase supplemental insurance, particularly for unique or classic vehicles. Nexus does not provide additional coverage beyond the carrier’s standard insurance.
Personal items can be left in the vehicle during shipment if they are under the window line of the back seat or in the trunk. However, the carrier’s insurance will not cover personal items that are damaged or stolen.
Ship A Car Direct caters to individual car owners looking for door-to-door service. The company has gained a solid reputation over the past 15 years in business. Unlike many other car shipping companies, Ship A Car Direct does not require an upfront deposit. Payment is only required after a carrier has been selected for the shipment.
Customer reviews indicate that Ship A Car Direct often provides competitive pricing quotes, though they do not offer any defined discounts.
SGT Auto Transport is one of the few US-based car shipping companies to also broker international vehicle shipments. They also cover most of the US, excluding Alaska.
Pricing is on par with other door-to-door car shipping companies, but they do not offer terminal-to-terminal services for those looking for the cheapest rates.
SGT Auto Transport dedicates a fair amount of business to luxury and classic car transportation. Vehicles needing extra TLC are well served here.
American Auto Shipping has been in business over 20 years and covers all 50 US states. They focus on door-to-door service. Those hoping to save by opting for terminal-to-terminal service are better off looking elsewhere.
Pricing is based on individual quotes but they do include averages online based on common variables like vehicle type and distance traveled. This shipper only takes credit card payments for the initial deposit. Final balances are paid directly to the driver and must be made in cash.
Priority (1-2 weekdays) and Expedited (24 hours) shipping options are available for those on a tight timeline.
A family-owned business, Corsia Logistics has been in business for over 10 years and ships across the entire US. They can also handle international shipments, mainly to Europe.
While they focus on door-to-door services, those hoping to save money can opt for terminal-to-terminal transportation depending on what cities they need to ship between.
Corsia makes it easy to get instant quotes online. For payment, the company accepts cash and debit/credit card. Cash payments receive discounted pricing and while a deposit is required once a carrier is assigned, the remainder is due on delivery to the carrier. Debit and credit card payments are processed in full once a carrier is assigned.
These services solicit online quotes from numerous sources quickly. Customers enter their details once and the marketplace will aggregate multiple quotes.
Marketplaces can make it easy for customers to compare quotes quickly. However, they often lack the level of detail that individual companies would request. As a result, the end pricing may differ when the customer is ready to book.
Customers should check reviews on any broker or carrier they are considering before committing. The marketplaces do not guarantee quality level for the shipping companies quoted.
The most commonly used marketplaces for car shipping quotes are Shiply and uShip.
It is not common to ship a car without using a broker. Vehicle carriers want to fill their truck, and brokers bring customers to them with minimum hassle. For that reason, there is not much incentive for carriers to seek out individual customers or provide useful customer service.
Business customers have more options if they can contract for a full truckload of vehicles. Many businesses still opt to use a broker to find the best pricing.
A good broker has industry knowledge and will only work with carriers they trust. This helps customers avoid contracting with unscrupulous carriers. There are some brokers who additionally operate as carriers, but this is not common.
Car shipping can be broken down into 5 steps:
Yes, but the amount of coverage can vary. Auto carriers are required to carry liability insurance, and nearly all will also carry cargo insurance. Cargo insurance specifically covers damage to goods on the carrier’s truck. Some brokers also offer supplemental coverage to step in when a carrier’s insurance doesn’t cover damages. Ask about what’s covered before you book with any shipping company.
To book car shipping, the shipping company will need details to complete a Bill of Lading. The Bill of Lading is the contract between the customer and the transport company. It includes the terms and conditions for the shipment.
Information needed from the customer will include:
You will need the city and state for pick-up and drop-off to get started. This will give a basis for the shipping company to quote a price and locate an available carrier. If you’re unsure of the final destination address, this can often be added later or you can opt to ship to a terminal. Note that leaving a vehicle at a shipping terminal after delivery often results in accrued storage fees.
This will depend on the carrier. Auto transport carriers are not always licensed to carry household goods. Some shipping companies work with carriers who are allowed to carry household goods and will let you leave a limited amount of personal items in the car.
If you are allowed to leave personal items in the car, it's best to leave them in the trunk or out of sight. Note that a carrier’s cargo insurance is unlikely to cover damage to personal items.
Someone will need to be available to sign the bill of lading at pickup and delivery. If you can’t be there, you can designate someone to sign on your behalf. Shipping companies offering door-to-door service can pick up and deliver at any location where the car can reasonably be loaded or unloaded. For example, pick-up could be from an office location during work hours.
Regional car shipping usually costs around $300-$600 while cross-country shipping can cost anywhere from $800 to $1,500 or more.
Per-mile costs are the highest for short-distance trips but a range of other factors will impact pricing.
To obtain the best pricing, request quotes from several shipping companies before committing.
Some factors are hard to adjust, like the vehicle type and how far you need to travel. However, there are a few steps you can take to find the cheapest car shipping prices:
Most brokers will accept payment by credit card but most drivers will not. Payments are often split with an upfront payment to the broker, followed by the balance paid to the driver. Some brokers will allow you to pay entirely by credit card but will require you to pay the full amount upfront rather than paying some at delivery.
If you’re planning to ship a vehicle across country lines, taxes, and import fees may apply. There are also likely to be customs paperwork and processes to follow.
For example, shipping a car from the US to the UK may incur VAT unless you apply for tax relief. Hiring a company familiar with the country the vehicle is entering will help avoid surprise fees and customs delays.
Many car shipping companies can manage shipping classic or specialty cars. If the car is not operable, make sure the shipping company can arrange loading and unloading assistance.
Enclosed car shipping is more popular for classic cars because the enclosed container will protect the vehicle from the elements during transit.
Finally, check your insurance coverage and consider purchasing additional classic car coverage to make sure you are covered in case of accidental damage or theft.
One week prior to the ship date is a good rule of thumb for car shipping within the US. Many brokers won’t book more than a few weeks to a month in advance due to rapidly changing costs. Shipping overseas needs more lead time to work through customs requirements. Aim to book 2-3 months in advance.
Expedited shipping is also available if you need to have your vehicle picked up in as little as 24 hours. However, this will increase the shipping price.
Shippers that need vehicles moved even more quickly can opt for hot shot shipping. This usually involves 1-3 vehicles that are hauled by a pickup truck with an attached trailer. This service comes at a premium, but can be a good option for those on a tight timeline.
Follow these 5 steps to get your car ready for shipping:
Yes. Car shipping companies can manage everything from food trucks to RVs to heavy equipment. The more complicated a vehicle is to ship, the more expensive it will be to ship.
Shipping costs vary by a number of factors, but a sample estimate from SGT Auto Transport comes out to $0.35 per mile for a trip between 2,500 and 3,000 miles (~2,500 miles from Los Angeles to Orlando). This works out to $875 for a standard car.
Request quotes from several shipping companies to find the best price.
Montway Auto Transport estimates $0.93 per mile or $930 to ship a standard car 1,000 miles.
Other factors like the type of vehicle and time of year can also influence pricing. Reach out to several car shipping companies to find the best pricing for your vehicle.