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Best Car Shipping Companies of 2023

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      Auto transport comes in handy for anyone who wants to move their car without putting extra miles on the odometer. Use our guide to learn about the different ways to ship a car and find local carriers. To help you choose the right option, we compare our picks for the best auto transporters on costs and reviews. Note that our picks may be Authorized Partners who compensate us. This does not affect our recommendations or evaluations but may impact the order in which companies appear.

      Our editor's top picks

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      Our picks for top car shipping companies

      Our top pick overall
      Ships all types of vehicles door to door. Enclosed and open trailers available. Expedited shipping upon request.
      Type of company
      Special Offer

      FREE car wash upon delivery!

      FREE car wash upon delivery. Additional discounts available for multi-shipments, Active Duty Military, First Responders, Students, Snowbirds, and Repeat Customers.

      Sherpa Auto Transport has exceptional ratings and reviews on our site and across the internet. The North Carolina-based company works with a network of carriers nationally to move everything from family cars to exotic and vintage automobiles.

      Average costs are under $1,000, though your actual estimate will vary based on a range of factors. To get the best price, it’s smart to book early. Advance notice also helps make it possible to choose the exact pickup and delivery dates. However, the company can accommodate most short-notice situations.

      Sherpa has what it calls its “Price Lock Promise,” where the price to ship your car is locked in. It also offers its “Clean Car Guarantee,” which includes a car wash upon delivery.

      Many reviews say that working with Sherpa is “simple” and “seamless.” According to a recent reviewer in Kentucky, “The reservation process at Sherpa was straightforward and it was easy to book.” Others highlight the company’s good communication.

      A reviewer in California highly recommends this shipper to anyone looking for a “set it and forget it” experience.

      Our pick for quick deliveries
      Enclosed and open trailers available with door-to-door shipping.
      Type of company
      U.S. and Canada

      EShip is a Florida-based car transport company that has been in business for a decade. It ships a variety of vehicles, including motorcycles and motor homes.

      Costs range from 50 cents to $2 per mile for shipping, depending on the distance, with a 35% increase in costs for enclosed shipping. No upfront deposit is necessary, and there’s a price guarantee.

      Expect to pay around $750 for medium-distance car shipping. Fill out an online form or call to get the most up-to-date cost estimate.

      eShip assigns an agent for vehicle tracking and monitoring throughout the entire process. There’s also rental car reimbursement if your vehicle is late.

      Recent reviewers highlight speedy transports and good communication. Several happy customers used the service to transport a car to or from college.

      “We had our car delivered across the country in less five days,” said a reviewer in California, who added that it was a “seamless experience.” A reviewer in New York said, “It took one day for them to move the car from Huntsville, Alabama to Bronx, New York.”

      Another reviewer in California said that eShip will “actually give you all the driver's contact information. … They called and text me every step of the way and the car arrived as promised with no issues.”

      Our pick for customer service
      Enclosed and open trailer with door-to-door service. Size and type of trailer may depend on distance of shipment.
      Type of company

      Ship a Car Direct works with a network of more than 7,500 carriers. It's good for those with limited shipping experience looking for information and advice. It also offers free online quotes.

      Ship a Car Direct uses carriers with enclosed and open trailers for national shipping and smaller, four- to eight-car trailers for regional shipments. No upfront deposit is required.

      Ship a Car Direct has a “Damage Free Guarantee," and it provides customers with videos and emails to help during the shipping process.

      The company is overall easy to work with. A reviewer in Iowa said they had “a very smooth and transparent experience” and that they “would use them again" if needed.

      A reviewer in Florida said their rep “was very helpful in explaining all the details and within two days my car was picked up. The next day car was delivered as scheduled with no damage and in perfect shape.”

      Our pick for transparent pricing


      Ships all types of vehicles. Door-to-door transport in enclosed or open trailers.
      Type of company
      Special Offer

      Save up to $50 in discounts!

      Save up to $50 in discounts including military, senior citizen, student, first responders, and multi-car.

      AmeriFreight probably won’t give you the lowest estimates, but the extra costs are worth the peace of mind for a lot of car owners.

      No upfront money is required, and discounts are available for students, seniors, first responders and medical personnel. You can get an instant personalized quote online or over the phone.

      Most long-distance transports will be on an eight- or 10-vehicle carrier; short-distance shipments are typically on smaller, two- or three-car carriers.

      The company offers AFta PLAN damage protection and a money-back guarantee.

      Most AmeriFreight reviews are positive. Estimates might not be the cheapest, but at least you know what you’re paying for.

      A reviewer in Texas said that their rep was helpful and knowledgeable: “She wasn't hiding any costs and she explained to me the whole process. … In the end, there was a very minimal difference between the quote I got and the price.”

      “Overall, the price is more than I expected to pay and wanted to pay, but the quality of service was good,” according to a reviewer in Washington.

      Our pick for guaranteed pickup date
      Enclosed and open trailers available. Expedited shipping upon request. Ships all types of vehicles door to door.
      Type of company
      Special Offer

      FREE insurance coverage!

      FREE insurance coverage included. Additional discounts for multi-shipments, Active Duty Military, First Responders, Students, Snowbirds, and Repeat Customers.

      Montway works with a network of 15,000 car carriers from across the country. It's a broad-based car transport company that ships everything from daily drivers to classic, vintage automobiles and even golf carts.

      It isn't the cheapest or the most expensive. Shipping costs average about $1.96 per mile for short distances ($588 for a 300-mile trip) and 58 cents per mile for long distances ($870 for a 1,500-mile trip).

      Quotes are all-inclusive, and initial fees are charged only once the carrier is dispatched. Plus, the company monitors the transport of your vehicle 24/7.

      Happy customers consistently say that the reps are easy to get hold of. “They do a real job of communicating, email, texts and I like that. Their website is also really good, easy to understand,” a reviewer in Massachusetts said.

      According to a recent reviewer in Illinois, “The quote was extremely competitive. Also, I didn't get a lot of crazy phone calls and emails from them even when I approached them like I did from the other companies.”

      Our pick for easy booking process
      Enclosed and open transportation trailers. Door-to-door service.
      Type of company

      RoadRunner Auto is a highly rated New York-based broker. It provides 24/7 shipment tracking online and offers comprehensive insurance coverage.

      The average price for transporting a sedan 1,000 miles is about $800, though costs vary by season and other factors. You can get a quote online or over the phone.

      RoadRunner ships all types of vehicles, including new, used and classic cars, and offers business services for companies and dealers.

      People seem to like the personalized support — you speak directly with the driver and sometimes find more flexible bookings.

      “Booking the shipment was easy, transparent and quick,” according to a reviewer in Florida. The customer added that the transport “was all handled very professionally with the car arriving quicker than expected. It was a very smooth process.”

      “Good experience except for two items: Price hiked a little ($180) from original quoted price. … Second issue was tracking. I always had to call to get this info,” said a reviewer in Idaho.

      Compare Top Auto Transport Reviews

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        Ways to ship a car

        If you need to ship your car, you’ll choose between several other modes of transportation to get your vehicle from point A to point B. In general, the choices are between truck, train and ship, and you'll also need to choose between using an open or closed shipping container. Your ultimate choice will come down to your timeline, budget and how much exposure to the elements you’re willing to subject your car to.

        While the average cost to ship a car ranges from 40 cents to $2 per mile, that price will vary based on factors like your beginning and end points, the time of year and your type of vehicle. On average, you can expect to pay around $500 to ship a car a short distance and about $1,700 if your car needs to travel across the county.

        Plan to spend from about 40 cents to $2 per mile to ship your car, depending on the shipping distance, what kind of vehicle you have and the season.

        Door-to-door shipping

        The main draw of door-to-door shipping is convenience. Instead of having to drive to a drop-off point hundreds of miles away, a truck picks up your vehicle from a predetermined location and loads it on the truck alongside others.

        The term door-to-door shipping is a little misleading, though — it sounds like a company comes right to your home to pick up your car and then drops it off at your new driveway. In reality, it all comes down to how accessible your location is.

        For instance, if you live in a crowded city with limited space for a truck, you may have to meet elsewhere. But if you live in an easy-to-reach home with plenty of parking, a truck should be able to come directly to you.

        Door-to-door shipping costs

        The major con of door-to-door shipping is cost — the ease of door-to-door shipping can come at a premium — but it’s a good option if you’re busy and willing to pay more for added convenience. Also, if your delivery address at the end of shipping is far from a major city or hub, you’ll be looking at added delivery fees.

        Terminal-to-terminal shipping

        Want to save a few bucks? You can opt for terminal-to-terminal shipping, where you drive to an auto shipping hub to drop off your car, then meet your car at the destination hub to drive it away.

        Terminal-to-terminal shipping may require more effort on your part, especially if the hub is far from where you live, but this method is a good option for those looking for a way to save on car shipping costs.

        Terminal-to-terminal shipping costs

        The exact price of this shipping method comes down to how far your car is traveling and the kind of car you have. Still, you can expect to save a few hundred dollars (compared with door-to-door transport) if you go with this type of shipping, which is generally considered the lowest-price method.

        Open shipping

        Open shipping is pretty simple to explain — your car is on a carrier but open to the elements rather than enclosed in a truck. Open shipping is the most popular way to ship a car, and it comes with the lowest price tag (especially if you opt for terminal-to-terminal transport, too).

        Open shipping is usually a good choice for those who only have to ship their vehicles a short distance. A big downside, though: Your car is exposed to all road conditions, which may include debris, bad weather or traffic accidents, as well as wear and tear on your shock absorbers.

        Your car could also be vulnerable to damage by the surrounding cars. If your car is older, though, the risk of a ding or two in exchange for a better price might be worth it.

        Open shipping costs

        The total cost of open-carrier shipping depends on how far your vehicle is traveling and the size of your car. Open shipping on a truck is generally the least expensive way to ship a car, with prices starting around $900 to ship a midsize car about 1,500 miles with door-to-door service.

        Enclosed shipping

        Enclosed shipping means your car is covered, which adds an extra layer of protection (and cost) for your vehicle, whether it’s a beat-up family car or a pristine classic car. Enclosed shipping also generally means fewer cars packed into the container, giving your car a bit of space as it travels.

        If you love your car and have a few bucks to spare, enclosed shipping may be worth the extra cost for the peace of mind.

        Enclosed shipping costs

        Enclosed shipping can add hundreds to your shipping bill. On average, you’ll pay a minimum of $1,400 to ship a midsize car 1,500 miles with door-to-door service.

        Expedited shipping

        If you need your car shipped STAT, expedited shipping will generally get it to your destination in five days or fewer. You’ll also be in the loop regarding the exact delivery date, which sometimes feels impossible with other shipping methods.

        But, as with shipping something overnight at the post office, you’ll pay extra for the swiftness of this service. If you need your car right away, though, this may be the best option for you.

        Expedited shipping costs

        Expedited car shipping can get pricey pretty quickly; the cost really comes down to how quickly you want your car and how far it needs to travel.

        What to look for in a car shipping company

        Shipping something as big and valuable (or as loved) as a car can be stressful, so it’s crucial to find a company with a great reputation that feels like a good fit for you.

        The main thing to look for in an auto shipping company is transparent pricing. The last thing you want is to be held hostage to mystery fees once you’ve arrived to pick up your vehicle at point B.

        Also be sure to read reviews for each carrier you’re interested in. Knowing what real customers thought about each company’s ability to safely transport their car is helpful; you want a company with a good track record of satisfied customers.

        A good auto transport company has a history of happy customers and is transparent about its pricing and additional fees.

        Another major thing to look for is whether the company has auto transport insurance, also known as car shipping insurance. Auto transport insurance falls under the Department of Transportation (DOT) and its mandatory insurance guidelines, so it’s a huge red flag if a company isn’t registered.

        Insurance can vary from state to state, but it usually covers basic liability. Ensure a carrier’s insurance covers pickup and delivery of your vehicle as well as the time your vehicle spends in transport. Also inquire about when the company’s liability for your car ends, and ask what additional insurance (if any) is included in the quote. (You can generally buy additional insurance from the carrier.)

        Auto transport carrier vs. broker

        If you’ve moved your household before, you’ve likely come up against the choice of working with a broker or a carrier. But what’s the difference?

        Brokers are an intermediary between you and the actual auto shipping company. They’re essentially a “sales team,” according to the Department of Transportation.

        Brokers get all the information about your car, your budget and your timeline, and then they essentially sell that information to carrier companies who bid on the job.

        On the upside, you’ll get a lot of bids to choose from when you work with a broker. On the downside, the initial estimate you get may be a far cry from your final payment. To entice you to use their services, brokers may offer low bids to lock you in — so be prepared to get a number of cold calls and emails vying for your business.

        But you can also work with an auto transport carrier directly. This means picking up the phone (or going online) to give your information to several different companies yourself. You’ll share the make and model of your car, the ZIP codes of your starting and drop-off points and your transport dates.

        While this may be more time-consuming than working with a broker, you may be able to get a more accurate price from the get-go.

        As with any estimate you get, if a price is unbelievably low, it’s best to stay away. And remember that some initial quotes are not the price you’ll pay when you pick up your car at its final destination. That said, always get your initial estimate and contract in writing as a safeguard against price gouging.

        Car shipping FAQ

        Can I ship a car overseas?

        Yes. Shipping a car overseas is a seemingly complex process that becomes much simpler once you know how it works. Choosing a company that has experience shipping cars abroad is essential. Once you’re familiar with the steps involved in international car shipping, the entire experience will be much easier.

        How long does it take to ship a car?

        In general, it takes a week or two to transport your car to various areas of the U.S. Times will vary depending on traffic conditions and weather events. You may also have to wait for your carrier to get a full load before it can begin its journey.

        Should I use open or enclosed transport?

        Whether you should use open or closed transport to ship your car all comes down to price and how much you want to protect your car.

        About 90% of people who transport their car use open transport because it’s the least expensive option. Your car may arrive in need of a good scrubbing when it gets to its destination, but the price of a car wash may be well worth the overall savings.

        However, if you have a car you want to protect or that’s valuable, you may want to opt for enclosed transport. You’ll pay a premium for it, but your car arriving in pristine condition might make it all worth it.

        How far in advance should I schedule auto transport?

        As soon as you know you need to transport a car, you should schedule your auto transport. If possible, aim for at least a month in advance. This way, you have more control over when your car arrives — and you’ll avoid any rush fees.

        What happens if my car is damaged during transport?

        If your car gets chipped by debris or damaged by another car, your carrier will take care of paying for the repair. A carrier usually pays for minor damage out of pocket, but if a car is badly damaged, a carrier might use its insurance.

        It’s crucial for you to inspect your car and document any existing damage before you hand it off to an auto shipper. That goes double for when you pick up your car — before you drive away, do a thorough inspection for any type of damage and report what you find.

        Can I ship an inoperable vehicle?

        Yes, you can ship an inoperable vehicle. It just may cost you more money and a bit more time than shipping a car that runs perfectly.

        Do I need insurance to ship a car?

        You may not need your own auto insurance while your car is in transport, but it’s a good idea to have it in case of unforeseen circumstances. Also, you need insurance if you’re driving your car to and from pickup and drop-off points.

        You may want to buy extra auto insurance coverage while your car is in transport, especially if you have a vintage, exotic or expensive car, to help offset any potential damages.

        Can I ship a motorcycle?

        Good news for motorcycle riders everywhere: You can ship your motorcycle. While the process of shipping a motorcycle is like shipping a car, you’ll want to ensure the company you work with has specific experience in shipping motorcycles.

        Can I ship a car overseas?

        If you’re moving overseas, you can take your car with you. However, even if you travel by plane, your car will travel by cargo ship.

        Note that when you ship a car overseas, you’ll have added paperwork, but an overseas shipping company should be able to handle all this for you.

        When you ship a car overseas, expect to wait at least a month before it arrives on the next shore. In general, it takes between 30 and 40 days to ship a car overseas from the U.S.


        To select our top picks for this auto transport guide, we compared all brokers and carriers on our site with reviews over the last year.

        We first eliminated those with an overall satisfaction rating below 3.5 stars. To remain on our list, shippers needed to have at least a 2:1 ratio of 5-star to 1-star reviews.

        The ConsumerAffairs research team also considered availability and recent FMCSA safety data when making final selections.

        Not sure how to choose?

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