Compare the Best Car Shipping Companies of 2023

Sometimes moving is inevitable. We have to move due to one or several reasons. And there is no way you will move without bringing your vehicle with you. While you can drive yourself to your new location, the recommendation is to hire a car shipping company to professionally transport your car, especially when making a long-distance move. Unless you already have a detailed and updated review of the best shipping companies near you, you might find it challenging to choose the best. So we've compared the best shippers to make the work easier on your side.

Company Company Name Local and Long Distance Offers
Auto Shipping
Rating Details
Allied Van Lines
North American Van Lines
Montway Auto Transport
Sherpa Auto Transport
A1 Auto Transport
Author: Helen McKenzie
January 02, 2023

Writer & Researcher

8 Min Read

How To Choose A Car Shipping Company?

People may have different ways of describing exactly what the best shipping company is, but there is a standard selection process that will always get you a car shipping firm that will not disappoint you.

One or two shipping companies may offer the scheduling and pricing that you have always wanted from the car transportation companies highlighted in this review and from dozens of others available. 

So with factors such as good insurance coverage and high customer ratings, you already have a framework for looking at different car shipping firms and choosing the best.

Check the Company, Not the Price

Who do you feel most comfortable with transporting your automobile? If it’s a shipper you had worked with before and loved their services, go with them without focusing too much on their shipping price.

Moreover, no car shipping discount will make you happy if your car arrives late or is damaged. 


Although quality services make a shipping company stand out, your budget also matters.

With the increased competition among the many automobile moving companies today, it is essential to shop around and choose the shipper that can complete your car shipping job at a reasonable price. Most car shipping firms will charge you less if you aren’t particular about planning or if you forego door-to-door service. 

Get Several Price Quotes

Getting several opinions has always been an excellent shopping plan, and the same applies to car shipping.

Sometimes car shipping companies have different pricing for a particular route. In other cases, shippers charge differently for additional services, such as insurance.

So, ensure you get quotes from different shippers, compare them based on what they include, and choose the cost-effective one. 

Customer Service Ratings

To save time and money and ensure a positive experience while choosing the best car shipping company, read online reviews and consider shippers’ ratings. This helps you learn from previous clients’ experiences because transportation companies are in the customer service business.

So, shipping firms consider reviews and ratings as their primary assets, as everything about them is available on the internet. 

Check the Coverage

Does the car shipping firm feature a clearly defined insurance policy? And can they guarantee safe transportation from pickup point to drop-off locations? If yes, you are in for a great car shipping deal.

But you must realize that the shipper’s coverage is not just good marketing or selling points.

So, confirm if what the shipper states in its policies are true, for example, from online reviews. In most cases, a shipper’s coverage determines whether the move will be successful or if it will be a nightmare. 

Avoid Making Hurried Decisions

Sometimes life doesn’t allow us to prepare for emergencies, but it’s best to plan for the possibility of moving. Give yourself enough time to make early booking plans, shop around and avoid unnecessary expenses.

But if you must ship your car the same day, your options may be limited, forcing you to pay a premium. 

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How Much Does a Car Shipment Cost?

Vehicle shipment costs can vary depending on the shipment agency itself, the vehicle to be shipped, and the shipping distance. Sometimes even the weather can influence what shippers quote.

But shopping around to three or so different shippers can help set you up and find the best shipment cost. Additionally, selecting open truck transport or any other cost-effective shipping technique and shipping your car during off-seasons might save you some cash. 

Generally, the industry average shipment cost with an auto transport firm is around $2 per mile for moves less than 200 miles. And for long-distance journeys that exceed 1,500 miles, the automobile shipment fee dips down to an average of $0.58 per mile. 

We gathered car shipment quotes for a sedan from New York City to Los Angeles, a 2,790-mile journey, to establish the average shipment cost, and got the following:

  • The average cost was $1,650 at the national average rate.
  • The highest cost for an enclosed carrier was $2,100.
  • The lowest cost for an open carrier was $1,200.

Since an enclosed carrier provides more security and protection than its counterpart open carrier, it features a premium cost of around 40% more than an open carrier. 

What Factors Impact Quotes?

Before booking with a reputable vehicle shipper, the recommendation is first to compare different quotes. So to make an informed car shipping choice, it is worth acquainting yourself with the key factors impacting the auto shipping rates.


When requesting your vehicle’s shipping quote, potential shipping companies will need you to provide details of the car precisely. Shippers have to know your vehicle’s model, make, current condition, and whether it features modifications. This is so they can know the hauling rate that applies to your car before drafting the quote.

Generally, luxury cars, boats, and other specialty automobiles cost more to transport because they demand special services and attention.

Additionally, taller and longer automobiles need some extra adjustments, so you may have to pay more. The shipping cost might also be slightly higher if your vehicle features modifications like racks on the roof and huge tires. 


Like most industries, the car shipping industry equally experiences high and low seasons. So, expect vehicle shipment bills to be higher in the summer simply because the auto transport services are in higher demand during this time of the year.

Conversely, the winter period tends to be slow in household moves, generally leading to lower car shipment rates.

But it isn’t always the case. For example, the car shipment fee won’t be essentially lower during severe weather conditions and the holidays. Some roads are impassable during winter, forcing car carriers to choose longer routes, increasing the overall shipment cost. 

Shipping method

Here, you can either choose the open auto transport or the enclosed one. The open shipping technique is the most common, but it is advisable to go with the enclosed system to incorporate an additional protection layer.

Open auto transport is often cheaper than its enclosed counterpart because it involves shipping several vehicles in an open-air car carrier.

Shipping your vehicle with an enclosed trailer protects it from grime, dust, dirt, and weather elements and is recommended for classic and expensive vehicles. 


Distance is among the essential factors influencing auto shipping quotes. The car shipping quote will feature a higher bill if the transport truck travels farther from the pickup point, and the opposite also applies.

Long-distance vehicle hauling usually includes extra fuel charges, labor costs, and tolls that add to the ultimate quote. Whereas a short-distance haul will cost you less but remember that the cost per mile will still be higher. 


It is typical for auto transport firms to provide their clients with basic insurance coverage, meaning that all brokers and car carriers must have valid cargo insurance.

Unfortunately, there are scenarios where this basic cargo insurance doesn’t match the true value of clients’ vehicles. So, besides knowing the insurance limitations and deductibles, getting a clear idea of the damage that the basic coverage covers by default would help. 


Like real estate, location also determines the car shipment rate you are likely to get from different auto transport firms. For a shipper to draft you a final quote, you must provide your pickup and delivery addresses.

Generally, city routes are less costly than rural routes. For example, shipping your automobile to Los Angeles, Houston, New York or other cities will probably cost less.

On the other side, shipping your car to a more rural location means that your auto transporter must deviate from the main route, leading to an increased car shipping quote. 

Reasons to Ship Your Car vs. Buying New

Is it worth shipping my car instead of opting for the trade-in option to buy a new one? That’s the tight spot for most people about to ship their automobiles.

But don’t worry. We will enlighten you on the primary reasons for shipping your vehicle vs. purchasing a new one. As discussed above, car shipping costs real money, but on the other hand, cars are equally expensive. 

For some car owners, it makes more sense to use the trade-in cash for buying a new vehicle at a new location. But for the majority, shipping their vehicles instead of purchasing a new one when moving is just an excellent way of saving money.

Here are some of the reasons to ship your automobile versus buying new:

  • Cost

The biggest reasons to ship your vehicle when moving are to save money and time. In most cases, it costs fewer dollars when you hire a car shipping company to ship your vehicle to your new destination than purchasing a new car once you reach where you are going.

Additionally, shipping your vehicle saves you the headache of looking for your vehicle’s potential buyers so that you don’t sell it at a loss. 

Typically, car owners today have long-term leases or payment plans, with some of these payment plans and leases being either expensive or challenging to get out of. And that’s not forgetting that some consumers feature collector automobiles that must be shipped because they are irreplaceable. 

  • Safety

If you are moving long-distance, the recommendation is to go the car shipping route. This is because driving on your own for extra-long distances is draining and hazardous from different angles.

You could encounter car trouble and human error along the way. Weather can also affect your overall safety when behind the wheel for long distances.

But having the best car shipping firm transport your vehicle professionally removes all these personal safety concerns. 

  • Simplicity and assurance

Most car owners prefer shipping their vehicles for simplicity and assurance when moving long or short-distance. After you hand over the shipment quoted amount to your most preferred car shipping firm, you can be stress-free about your car reaching your new location.

Today, most car transport companies pick up and drop off their client’s automobiles on their doorsteps. And that’s not all. The promise to handle your valuable vehicle with care plus damage insurance options assures you that your vehicle will arrive safely, taking most of the worries away. 

  • Inoperable vehicle

You don’t have to sell your inoperable automobile at a loss. You can ship it to your new location and repair it from there.

So, if your vehicle is not in good working condition, meaning you cannot drive it, look for a car shipping company to transport it.

But long-distance towing would be the best term to describe such a scenario, almost similar to car shipping, especially in terms of cost.

For long-distance towing, other charges may apply regarding how to load and offload your inoperable vehicle from the shipping vehicle. Severe cases may even demand the hiring of a forklift at the pickup and drop-off locations. 

  • Saving wear and tear

It’s no surprise that hiring someone to transport your vehicle to a distant destination on a truck will help retain its current value because it will do away with the extreme mileage associated with long-distance driving, saving your valuable vehicle the wear and tear of a long road trip.

Vehicle transportation experts usually have transportation vehicles specially designed to take the long-distance travel beating, so it’s best if you leave it to them.

Author: Helen McKenzie
January 02, 2023

Writer & Researcher

8 Min Read

Helen McKenzie is a writer with more than 10 years of experience. She has always loved writing and started writing for her school newspaper and eventually became a staff writer for a major metropolitan publication. More recently, Helen has been a member of the iMove Research Team, where she seeks to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information about products and services available to consumers. In this role, she has conducted extensive research on topics such as moving companies, storage solutions, and real estate.

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