Best Car Shipping Companies, Reviewed By Experts (2024)

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The best car shipping companies in 2024 are Montway Auto Transport, AmeriFreight, Nexus Auto Transport, Sherpa Auto Transport, and SGT Auto Transport international import export solutions

Alex is a MarketWatch Guides team writer that covers automotive and personal finance topics. She’s worked as a content writer for over a dozen car dealerships across the U.S. and as a contributor to several major auto news websites.

Rashawn Mitchner is a MarketWatch Guides team editor with over 10 years of experience covering personal finance and insurance topics.

Choosing the right car shipping company is an important decision, whether you’re moving to a new city or out of state. So, who can you trust to offer great value while taking care of your vehicle? To help answer that question, we at the MarketWatch Guides team have researched nearly two dozen providers to find the best car shipping companies .

We’ll discuss each auto shipper in further detail below, along with costs and what you need to know before choosing a car shipping company.

The MarketWatch Guides Team is committed to providing reliable information to help you make the best possible decision about shipping your vehicle. Because consumers rely on us to provide objective and accurate information, we created a comprehensive rating system to formulate our rankings of the best car shipping companies. We collected data on dozens of auto transport providers to grade the companies on a wide range of ranking factors. After 200 hours of research, the end result was an overall rating for each provider, with the companies that scored the most points topping the list.

Learn more about our methodology and editorial guidelines .

Below you can see how the top five car shipping companies stack up against each other: Car Shipping Company Our Rating Better Business Bureau (BBB) Customer Rating 1,588-Mile Open Transport Cost* Visit Site Montway Auto Transport Free Estimate 9.5 4.6 out of 5.0 $1,289 Free Estimate AmeriFreight Free Estimate 9.4 4.8 out of 5.0 $909 Free Estimate Nexus Auto Transport Free Estimate 9.3 4.8 out of 5.0 $1,045 Free Estimate Sherpa Auto Transport Free Estimate 9.0 4.9 out of 5.0 N/A Free Estimate SGT Auto Transport Free Estimate 8.9 4.6 out of 5.0 $1,395 Free Estimate Car Shipping Company Our Rating Better Business Bureau (BBB) Customer Rating 1,588-Mile Open Transport Cost* Visit Site Montway Auto Transport Free Estimate 9.5 4.6 out of 5.0 $1,289 Free Estimate AmeriFreight Free Estimate 9.4 4.8 out of 5.0 $909 Free Estimate Nexus Auto Transport Free Estimate 9.3 4.8 out of 5.0 $1,045 Free Estimate Sherpa Auto Transport Free Estimate 9.0 4.9 out of 5.0 N/A Free Estimate SGT Auto Transport Free Estimate 8.9 4.6 out of 5.0 $1,395 Free Estimate

*Based on our team’s secret shopper experiences.

In our 2023 car shipping companies customer survey of 1,000 respondents, AmeriFreight was one of our most popular car shipping companies. Around 14% of respondents reported using the company for their shipment. Here is a breakdown of our survey responses below:

Reliable auto transport providers maintain a consistent track record of strong customer service. In our 2023 survey of 1000 respondents, 451 of the participants were customers of our recommended providers and reveal how each company (except Nexus) scored for customer satisfaction:

Our experts name Montway Auto Transport, AmeriFreight, Nexus Auto Transport, Sherpa Auto Transport and SGT Auto Transport as the best car shipping companies based on reputation, cost, shipping methods, logistics and customer experience.

Below, we discuss each provider in detail:

We rate Montway Auto Transport as the top shipping option overall. As one of the largest auto transport brokers on the market, Montway can provide some unique benefits while offering competitive prices — all without requiring an upfront payment.

Keep reading: Montway Auto Transport review

Our review team was impressed by Montway’s customer service, the discounts the company offers and Montway’s reliable vetting and insurance policy. Below you will find what makes Montway stand out from its competitors.

Montway has an online quote calculator that helps consumers determine their shipping costs quickly and easily. Here are a few sample quotes we received for a 2019 Honda Civic: VehicleShipping TypeShipment MileageQuoteHonda CivicOpen549 miles$619Honda CivicOpen1,588 miles$1,289Honda CivicEnclosed1,588 miles$1,669Honda CivicOpen2,877 miles$1,259

Although we often found Montway Auto Transport quotes to be cheaper than the industry average, it is important to keep in mind that your quoted rate can change with the provider because it doesn’t offer guaranteed rates. Another downside is that Montway charges a $249 fee to customers who cancel after their shipment is booked. 

Montway offers discounts for active-duty military personnel, veterans, students, cash payments and more. In order to receive the discount for cash payments, customers can pay some of their balance with a credit card when booking and the remaining balance later with cash. 

Montway offers a wide variety of car shipping services, including open and enclosed shipping, door-to-door transport , terminal-to-terminal shipping and shipping to all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Below is a complete list of the vehicle transport services offered by Montway:

While Montway doesn’t transport boats and recreational vehicles, Montway can ship your car from any dealership or auction to your door. This makes it easy to buy a car online and avoid the hassle of arranging transportation.

Because drivers must agree to be tracked, Montway cannot guarantee that every shipment will include GPS tracking. However, the broker goes farther than most providers in working to ensure carrier compliance.

Unlike most car shipping companies, Montway offers expedited shipping and guaranteed pickup dates for a small additional fee. Customers who choose guaranteed shipping should be advised that Montway gives carriers a five-day window from the pickup date to deliver your vehicle.

Montway’s commitment to customer service is evident in reviews of the company, where customers give Montway a 4.2-star rating on Trustpilot and a 4.7-star rating on Google. Additionally, Montway Auto Transport has moved over 1 million vehicles in the past 16 years. The company has accreditation from the BBB, along with an A+ rating .

Montway’s innovative chat feature connects customers with a live support agent in less than a minute, to answer questions about existing orders or help you get a quote. Instead of dealing with the frustrating and impersonal back-and-forth of an automated bot, Montway customers can reach a live representative anytime.

AmeriFreight is a car shipping broker based in Atlanta that was founded in 2004. The company has some of the strictest vetting standards in the industry, and has some of the most comprehensive insurance policies.

Below are descriptions of the services that make AmeriFreight one of the best car shipping companies.

Along with its customizable pricing system, which we’ll discuss in further detail below, AmeriFreight offers some of the lowest pricing for larger vehicles of any auto shipping company we reviewed. Here are a few sample quotes we received from the company:VehicleShipping TypeShipment MileageQuoteHonda CivicOpen549 miles$590Honda CivicOpen1,588 miles$909Honda CivicEnclosed1,588 miles$1,545Honda CivicOpen2,877 miles$1,068

With its unique three-tier system, AmeriFreight offers a different type of pricing model than most car shipping companies. While this level of customization allows customers to choose an option that meets their needs, the only downside is that it can potentially make it confusing for customers to know which option they need. 

AmeriFreight provides a customizable experience where you can choose from the following three options:

AmeriFreight also provides several discounts, including for active-duty military members, medical personnel, first responders, veterans, students and seniors.

You can get the following auto shipping services with AmeriFreight:

To ensure that they are only working with high quality carriers, AmeriFreight works with drivers who have at least a 95% rating on central dispatch, and actively maintains a “do not use list” to weed out low-quality drivers. 

When it comes to insurance, AmeriFreight makes sure all its carriers meet the proper minimum liability requirements. AmeriFreight requires most of its drivers to maintain $1 million to $2 million in coverage, which is significantly more than the $750,000 worth of coverage that is required by the federal government.

There are times when a carrier’s insurance may not cover a certain type of damage, or the carrier’s insurance deductible could cost thousands of dollars. To address this issue, AmeriFreight offers Allied Fidelity Total Assurance (AFta) insurance plans, which provide extra coverage in the event of a necessary insurance claim during shipments. 

These optional insurance policies, which cost $50 to $100, are a unique form of gap (or guaranteed asset protection) insurance. They include coverage for up to $2,000 for deductibles and other expenses not covered by the standard insurance policy. This ensures that you’ll be spared from additional out-of-pocket costs in the majority of instances where you’d need to fill a claim.

The coverage can even be applied to rental vehicle costs if there is a significant delay in your vehicle delivery. You can select from three plan levels, which provide different types of coverage. Here’s a summary of the plan options:Insurance OptionCostWhat It CoversComprehensive$100$2,000 for major damage, $800 for minor damage, $300 for lost or stolen keys and coverage for cancellationStandard$80$2,000 for major damage, $800 for minor damage and $300 for lost or stolen keysBasic$50$600 for minor damage

AmeriFreight has a solid reputation and has provided customers with a safe auto transport experience for over 20 years. The company has many positive reviews from customers, as demonstrated by its A+ rating with accreditation from the BBB and a 4.8-star rating on Google.

Nexus Auto Transport was founded in 2015, so it’s one of the younger companies on our list. That said, it offers a range of shipping services and can transport vehicles to all 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. You can also store up to 100 pounds of personal items in your trunk at no additional cost to you.

Here are a few things that make Nexus Auto stand out from competitors:

Nexus Auto Transport shines in this category, compared to other companies. On its website, Nexus Auto Transport has a readily available cost calculator to provide you with an easy and free instant quote.

Below, you can see the different quotes our team received from Nexus Auto Transport for a 2019 Honda Civic:VehicleShipping TypeShipment MileageQuoteHonda CivicOpen549 miles$595Honda CivicOpen1,588 miles$1,045Honda CivicEnclosed1,588 miles$1,645Honda CivicOpen2,877 miles$1,225

Nexus Auto Transport offers a wide variety of shipping services. You can get a glimpse of them below:

In addition to what’s listed above, Nexus provides services for dealerships and auto auctions.

On the whole, Nexus has positive reviews from most customers. It maintains a rating of 4.8 stars from over 1,000 customers on the BBB and an A+ rating from the organization. Many reviews mention Nexus providing great communication and some customers even cite having their shipment delivered early.

If you’re looking for security that your rate won’t increase after booking, Sherpa Auto Transport may be the best car shipping company for you. 

Keep reading: Sherpa Auto Transport review

Below are all of the services provided by Sherpa that made them stand out to our review team.

Overall, we found Sherpa to be a bit more expensive than the average cost for a car transport company. Because the company’s Price Lock Promise ensures your rate won’t increase, Sherpa’s agents consider the market to set a transport price that carriers are likely to accept. 

Here are a few example quotes we received for a 2018 Honda Civic: VehicleShipping TypeShipment MileageQuoteHonda CivicOpen549 miles$745.00Honda CivicOpen1,588 miles$1,290Honda CivicEnclosed1,588 miles$1,490.00Honda CivicOpen2,877 miles$1,850.00 Though the company does have an impressive pricing calculator on its website, it doesn’t give actual pricing estimates online. Because of this, customers seeking an estimate from Sherpa will need to do so by phone.

Similar to Montway, Sherpa isn’t a generalist provider that ships ATVs, recreational vehicles, boats or campers. Instead, Sherpa specializes in providing quality transportation services specifically for automobiles. The auto transport broker offers a wide range of shipping services, including: 

Sherpa maintains some of the strongest carrier-vetting standards in the industry. The company takes the following steps to ensure that it is working with only the highest-quality carriers: 

Started in 2017, Sherpa is a relative newcomer. Yet since it began, the company has shown a clear commitment to providing the best possible customer experience. A 4.9-star score and an A+ rating from the BBB, backed by many positive customer reviews, confirm this commitment.

Sherpa has maintained a BBB rating of 4.8 stars or higher for the previous two years. Positive customer reviews cite Sherpa’s friendly customer service agents, its Price Lock Promise, high quality carriers and free car washes.

Founded in 2014, SGT Auto Transport is one of the most popular auto transport providers in the industry. SGT is able to consistently provide a level of customizable shipping service that is unique in the industry.

Keep reading: SGT Auto Transport review

Here are the factors that make SGT Auto Transport one of our top picks for car shipping companies:

According to our research, SGT Auto Transport is about average when it comes to car shipping costs. That said, the company offers some of the lowest guaranteed prices in the industry. 

Below are some example quotes we received for a 2019 Honda Civic. VehicleShipping TypeShipment MileageQuoteHonda CivicOpen549 miles$524Honda CivicOpen1,588 miles$1,395Honda CivicEnclosed1,588 miles$2,199Honda CivicOpen2,877 miles$1,420

While SGT doesn’t have the lowest prices on the market, it makes up for it with solid payment options, customizability and a price match guarantee. Along with price matching, SGT also provides full insurance coverage for every vehicle that it ships.

The company can provide door-to-door service and can ship vehicles in the continental U.S. and to or from Hawaii. With its enclosed containers, SGT also specializes in classic car shipping by protecting prized vehicles from the elements during transport. 

Services offered by SGT include: 

SGT Auto Transport has maintained a strong track record of providing reliable auto shipping services since the company’s inception. SGT customer service is available 24/7, which has made a good impression on customers and is reflected in positive reviews and satisfaction ratings. 

Though SGT performs generally well in customer reviews, there are some complaints of the vehicle arriving after the scheduled pickup time. Though not uncommon in the industry, this conflicts with the guaranteed pickup services that the company offers. The bottom line is that the company has a solid industry reputation, with a B rating on the BBB with accreditation, and a customer rating of 4.6 stars on the platform. 

Shipping a car is not overly complicated, but it can be cumbersome for first-time shippers and even people who have previously hired an auto transport company. To help consumers make better-informed decisions regarding car carriers, our review team created the following guide. Read on to learn how to ship a car , avoid costly mistakes, find the perfect car the best price without sacrificing quality. 

It can be difficult to differentiate between most vehicle transportation companies because almost all offer similar shipping routes and transport options. However, several factors indicate a company is reputable and trustworthy, including the quality of customer service, industry reputation, pricing transparency, years of experience and adequate supplemental insurance coverage.

Below are detailed explanations of the most important characteristics to look for when shopping for an auto transport company:

Before you ship your vehicle, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the common shipping industry jargon and understand how the quote, shipping, pickup and drop-off processes work to ensure a smooth experience.

Quotes are estimates and do not guarantee your final price unless you use a company that offers locked-in pricing. This is because when you get a quote from an auto shipping broker, that broker doesn’t have a carrier lined up for the shipment right away. Instead, the broker gives you an estimate and then attempts to secure a carrier for that price.

The estimates you receive may increase due to carrier availability, fuel prices and market demands. To prevent receiving any unexpected price increases, provide your carrier with as much information about your car and shipment details as possible during the quote process.

Quotes Should Be Free, but You’ll Pay a Deposit

You can get a free quote from any reputable auto shipping company. You shouldn’t have to pay until the broker has secured a carrier, which could be a few days after you get a quote. At that point, you’ll either pay a deposit and elect to pay the rest in cash upon delivery or pay for the whole shipment up front.

Shipping Dates Aren’t Set in Stone

Shipping dates can fluctuate — even among the best auto transport companies. Unless you get expedited transport or the company agrees to a guaranteed pickup date, your pickup window can be up to five days or more. The pickup window provided to you is the earliest and latest pickup date. However, carriers may experience delays on the road, so it’s a good idea to be flexible beyond the pickup window, too. The same goes for delivery times. Staying flexible with your shipping dates is also a way to save some money on car shipping. 

Know What Is Covered by Your Insurance Policy

Your car insurance company may cover some but not all damage caused during transit, so it is crucial to understand what insurance car shipping companies carry and what, if any, liability your car insurance company covers.

Know What Is Covered by the Carrier’s Insurance Policy

It is essential to understand precisely what is covered before you choose a carrier in case your shipment is delayed by weather or damaged by road debris, theft or a traffic accident.

As for your belongings, most car movers prohibit the transport of personal items in vehicles. So if you do choose to leave any personal belongings in your vehicle, the shipping company’s insurance will likely not cover any instances of damages or theft. 

You can purchase supplemental coverage from most shipping companies. However, before purchasing extra insurance, you should review your insurance policy to know if the extra coverage is needed.

The Bill of Lading Is Important

You and the truck driver will inspect your vehicle and sign a bill of lading at pickup and delivery. At pickup, make sure this document accurately describes the condition of your vehicle. We recommend taking photos of your vehicle at this time to have visual evidence of its condition in case of an incident while it is being transported.

Our team of experts surveyed 1,000 people who had used a car shipping company during a move. Most of the survey’s participants used one of the car shipping companies in this article.

According to our 2023 survey results, most car shipping customers reported being satisfied with their service. Among respondents, 93% said that they were either “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with their shipping experience. The remaining 7% reported that they were either “neither satisfied nor dissatisfied,” “somewhat dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied.”

In this same survey, most customers experienced some issues during the car shipping process. Note that some respondents experienced more than one problem. The most common issues from the survey reveal that:

The complaints mentioned above are easy to avoid by choosing a reputable shipping company, understanding shipping methods, being as flexible as possible and knowing the precise steps customers need to take to ship a vehicle. Knowing these ahead of time can give you realistic expectations for the shipping process.

According to our research, the average cost to ship a car is around $1,182. Because car shipping costs depend on transport options and many other factors outside your control, costs can vary widely from shipment to shipment. Prices can range from over $1 per mile for short shipments to 50 cents per mile or less for longer cross-country shipments . Below are average costs per mile for a few different shipping distances from our analysis.

Shipping a car can be expensive, but our team found several ways to save money during our research. Many companies offer discounts, and if you do your research, you can find cheap car shipping services from a reputable company. 

Even if you choose a cheap car shipping company, it is still possible to pay more than you should unless you know all the ways you can save money. Below are several ways to lower your total shipping cost:

Aside from the company you choose, several factors affect the cost of shipping a vehicle, including:

Shipping a car can take a lot of work for first-timers. To help ensure you have a positive shipping experience and avoid unnecessary hassles, our Guides team has provided the steps you should take to have a positive experience when transporting a vehicle.

Determine your budget before getting quotes to eliminate companies outside your preferred price range. By determining how much you are willing to spend, you can mix and match different services to better meet your needs, since prices for similar car shipping services can vary drastically depending on your chosen company.

We recommend researching companies on trusted sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Trustpilot and Google. Look into companies that can support your transport needs, the size of your vehicle and the distance of your move. For example, if you work during the day, you should know before you start getting quotes which companies offer extended or 24/7 customer service. 

Determine what transportation method you need and which additional car shipping services are important to you.

Start getting quotes from the companies you researched at least two weeks before you need to move your vehicle. We recommend getting between three to five quotes to compare prices and determine which one best suits your budget.

Most carriers provide free online quotes, but to get the most accurate quotes, the car shipping company needs the specific details of your shipment, including your vehicle make and model, pickup, and drop-off locations, shipping dates and whether you prefer open or enclosed trailer options.

Settle on the company that offers the best services for you and that matches all of your car shipping criteria.

A quote is not a contractual obligation between you and the car shipping company. You must confirm your booking to initiate the shipping process. Car shipping companies will require you to provide proof of ownership or ask for proof of insurance to ensure the company is not transporting a stolen vehicle. Having these documents handy when you book your quote is important.

Once you have booked your transport services, ensure that the shipping company confirms all the details, verifying your chosen transport method, shipping dates, pickup and drop-off locations and insurance coverage, including additional coverage if you purchased it. 

Before the carrier picks up your vehicle, there are several steps you need to take to prepare your car for its journey. First, make sure your vehicle is clean and take photos of your car’s current condition. This documentation will be useful if you file a claim with the auto transport company’s insurance.

If your shipping company allows you to ship personal cargo in your vehicle, do not exceed the maximum weight limit allowed, or you will have to pay an additional fee. Also, the carrier has the right to search personal belongings shipped in a vehicle to ensure the driver’s safety and prevent the transfer of illicit drugs.

You must meet the carrier at the agreed-upon location on the pick-up date, whether at a terminal, your house or a nearby interstate. You and the auto transporter will inspect your car and document any existing damage on the bill of lading. Once the inspection is complete, you will sign a bill of lading. This document acts as a receipt and details the services provided to you. Along with the photos you took while preparing your car for shipment, the bill of lading is handy if you need to file an insurance claim because it documents the condition of your vehicle before it was shipped.

Some companies offer real-time GPS tracking, while others require you to call the car shipping broker to inquire about the location of your vehicle. Many customers find this step gives them peace of mind, since it reveals whether the carrier is on schedule and their vehicle is on its way to the correct drop-off location .

When your vehicle is ready to be picked up, meet the carrier at the drop-off location and inspect your vehicle for any damage. If your vehicle has new dings, dents or scratches, you should take pictures and record the damages with the carrier. Ensure the damages are recorded on the bill of lading because the carrier’s insurance will deny your claim if the damage is not detailed there.

At the end of your car shipping process, you should leave a review of the company’s services on the car shipping broker’s website and trusted review sites. That way, other customers can decide which companies to use and which to avoid.

There are several ways to ship a car, including by truck, train, ship or airplane. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages, which is why our team has reviewed the pros and cons of each to create a car shipping method guide for those needing auto transport services.

Due to its affordability, simplicity, and availability, the most common ground shipping method for cars utilizes tractor-trailers or trucks with modified beds specifically made to transport vehicles. 

When you ship your car with a truck, carriers offer open or enclosed shipping. 

Open car transport is the most common and cheapest way to ship a vehicle. With this service, the carrier loads your car onto a two-level trailer with up to 10 other vehicles on a modified truck bed or trailer. 

Generally, open car shipping provides the most flexible scheduling options of all the car shipping methods. However, cars on an open trailer are exposed to the elements and other hazards, such as upper cars’ dripping fluids onto lower cars during the trip. That said, open carrier shipping is a safe and cost-effective way to transport your vehicle.

Below are the pros and cons of open carrier shipping:

Enclosed shipping moves your vehicle on a trailer with sides and a roof that protects your car from the elements, road debris and other hazards. You may want to book an enclosed carrier if you have a luxury or classic car because it is less probable that your vehicle will arrive with dents, dings, scratches or a broken windshield. However, shipping a vehicle on an enclosed trailer takes longer because the carrier can only fit two to three cars at a time, and fewer companies offer this service.

There are also situations in which enclosed transport might be the only choice. For example, the ramps on an auto transport trailer can damage vehicles with fewer than five inches of clearance. If you have a lifted truck or a very large vehicle , you may also need to select enclosed auto transport, as it might not fit on an open trailer.

Below are the pros and cons of choosing enclosed auto transport for your car shipping needs:

Depending on your car moving company, you may also be able to choose between door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal shipping.

Door-to-door service is standard in the auto transport industry and allows you and the carrier to meet at an agreed-upon address to pick up and drop off your vehicle. However, door-to-door service doesn’t always start or end on your exact doorstep. Imagine a 45-foot truck driving up to your house. Meeting at a nearby parking lot or along a wide road is best if the carrier has trouble navigating the area.

Below are the pros and cons of door-to-door service:

Terminal-to-terminal shipping is exactly what it sounds like. You will drop off and pick up your vehicle at a shipping terminal. Terminal-to-terminal shipping is an excellent option for people who live in rural areas or not along common shipping routes. Even if you cannot personally take your car to the terminal or pick it up, you can designate someone to do it for you. 

Below are the pros and cons of terminal-to-terminal shipping:

Utilizing a train to ship a car is only advantageous for people moving up or down the East Coast. Amtrak’s Auto Train is the only rail freight company providing non-commercial car shipping, and it only offers one route between the Washington, D.C. area and Sanford, Florida. Along with the cost of shipping your vehicle, you must purchase a passenger ticket for this vehicle transport service. While that means you can skip I-95 traffic jams, keep in mind that the journey takes an average of 17 hours.

Below are the pros and cons of using a train to ship your vehicle:

When you use a boat to transport your car, you can choose from roll on/roll off (RORO) service and enclosed containers. 

RORO is similar to open car shipping in that your vehicle is driven onto the cargo deck of a ship and is exposed to the elements during transport. 

Enclosed cargo ship containers protect your vehicle from the elements, and you can choose an individual container — which costs more — or a shared container that offers better value . Shipping a car by boat is the most common service used to transport cars internationally due to its affordability compared to using an airplane.

Below are the pros and cons of using a cargo ship to transport your car overseas:

Vehicles are not usually shipped in an airplane due to the substantial costs associated with this method, which often exceed the value of most cars. This service is excellent for transporting exotic vehicles quickly and safely.

matson freight Below are the pros and cons of sending a car by airplane: