In This Review: What Is a Car Shipping Quote? | How To Get Car Shipping Quotes Online | What Affects Car Shipping Costs? | Recommendations for Companies With Car Shipping Quotes Online | Additional Things to Consider When You Move | FAQs
Moving to a new home can be a pretty complicated process. When moving yourself, family, and your belongings any distance, there are many things to consider. Even after you decide on one of the best moving companies, there’s still more to plan, like choosing a car shipping company for your auto transport.
Depending on how far you’re moving, you may want to ship your car rather than drive it. But how much will that cost? When you’re budgeting for your relocation, getting car shipping quotes online is the easiest way to figure out how much you’re likely to pay to transport your vehicle. Most car shipping companies provide tools on their websites to get no-obligation quotes.
In this article, the This Old House Reviews Team takes you through what a car shipping quote is, where to find one, and what companies we recommend for instant quotes online. The more you know about the car shipping process and comparing quotes, the easier it will be to make a decision that aligns with your moving budget and timeline.
What Is a Car Shipping Quote?
When you’re planning a move and decide to ship your car instead of driving it to your new home, get car shipping quotes. A car shipping quote is an estimate of how much it will cost to transport your vehicle to a specific delivery location.
Some car shipping companies will provide cost-per-mile base rates on their websites, but there are many factors that go into determining the final price. You’ll have to provide your desired shipping date—which may change at the time of booking—for the company to determine which auto transport carriers may be available.
Unless a car shipper advertises guaranteed pricing, it’s best to take the quote as an estimate. Depending on the factors that affect auto transport costs, you should be prepared for a different final price than what the shipping provider quotes. From there, you’ll be able to factor your estimated car shipping costs into your moving budget.
How To Get Car Shipping Quotes Online
Auto transport providers may offer different ways for getting car shipping quotes online. Many companies have online car shipping calculators that generate quotes based on the information you enter.
Other vehicle transport companies require you to enter the requested information, a phone number, and an email address. Once an agent sorts your info, they contact you with the quote and information on how to book your transport.
Here’s the information most auto transport companies will request from you to give you a car shipping quote:
- Vehicle make, model, and age
- Vehicle condition and operability status
- Preferred shipping method (open transport vs. enclosed car shipping)
- Preferred delivery method (door-to-door shipping vs. terminal-to-terminal shipping)
- Preferred pickup date or dates
- Pickup and delivery locations
- Personal information (name, phone number, and email address)
Most companies’ car shipping quotes remain valid for a period of time, giving you a chance to seek out auto shipping quotes from other providers while planning your move. To ensure you get the best price for your transport needs, it’s always a good idea to compare quotes.
What Affects Car Shipping Costs?
If you’re trying to keep your move within budget, using a cheap moving company can help with that, as well as reducing car shipping costs. When looking for cheap car shipping, keep in mind why car shipping prices fluctuate. There are a number of factors that affect how much vehicle transport will cost. These factors include:
- Type of vehicle: Larger vehicles, such as pickup trucks, SUVs, and vans, cost more to ship than sedans or other smaller vehicles.
- Vehicle operability: Inoperable vehicles require more time and labor to ship, so they’re more expensive to move.
- Transport type: Open transport is the cheapest and most popular option for vehicle shipping, allowing the trucker to move several cars at once. Enclosed auto transport protects your car from road hazards and bad weather conditions but costs significantly more.
- Pickup and drop-off locations: Choosing terminal-to-terminal shipping, in which your car is picked up from and dropped off at a central location, is usually cheaper than door-to-door delivery, which ships your car to and from specific addresses.
- Distance: In general, long-distance shipping costs less per mile but more in total.
- Time of year: Demand for car shipping changes seasonally, peaking in the summer and January. During those times of year, the cost of auto shipping increases.
- Cost of fuel: When fuel costs fluctuate, you can expect transport costs to do the same.
Keep an eye out for surprise costs or hidden fees. Companies that don’t offer guaranteed pricing may spring sudden expenses on you, increasing the cost of your transport well beyond the quoted price.
Recommendations for Companies With Car Shipping Quotes Online
The car shipping industry is full of options to sort through. Price and services are important, of course, but make sure you’re choosing a reputable company. Some car shipping companies don’t get the highest marks when it comes to transparent pricing or effective communication.
To help you narrow your search to the most reputable auto shippers, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the best car shipping companies in the country.
Montway Auto Transport: Best Shipping Company
Headquarters: Schaumburg, Illinois
Year founded: 2006
Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating: A+
BBB customer review score: 4.6 out of 5.0 stars based on over 2,200 reviews
Shipping area: All 50 states
Services available: Open auto transport, enclosed auto transport, expedited shipping, door-to-door delivery
Average cost: $1,159
Montway Auto Transport is one of the country’s most popular vehicle shipping companies. Since its founding, the company has shipped more than 700,000 vehicles. Montway works with an extensive network of over 15,000 car carriers to ship cars and motorcycles to all 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. Though it doesn’t ship internationally, the auto broker does coordinate shipping to every major port in the country.
Montway Auto Transport reviews are generally positive, citing the company’s excellent communication. Montway’s average customer review score on the BBB’s website is a solid 4.6 stars out of 5.0, and the organization gives Montway Auto Transport an A+ rating.
Montway Auto Transport Pros and Cons
✔ High average customer reviews
✔ Free cargo insurance coverage
✔ Vast network of over 15,000 verified carriers
✘ Lacks guaranteed pricing
✘ Doesn’t ship terminal-to-terminal
✘ No GPS tracking
Read more about the shipping broker in our Montway Auto Transport review.
Easy Auto Ship: Best for Added Benefits
Headquarters: Youngstown, Ohio
Year founded: 2013
BBB rating: A+
BBB customer review score: 4.6 out of 5.0 stars based on over 800 reviews
Shipping area: All 50 states and international destinations
Services available: International shipping, alternative vehicle transport, open carrier shipping, enclosed trailer shipping, door-to-door delivery, classic car service
Average cost: $1,196
Though it’s been in the auto transport industry for less than a decade, Easy Auto Ship has developed a solid reputation for low-cost car transport services. The company not only provides auto transport services to all 50 states but will also ship your car to just about any international destination. Plus, Easy Auto Ship offers services for alternative vehicles such as RVs and heavy equipment.
The This Old House Reviews Team named Easy Auto Ship Best for Added Benefits thanks to a few perks. For instance, if your car arrives at its delivery location dirty, Easy Auto Ship will reimburse you for a car wash. Also, if your shipment is delayed more than 14 days, the company will pay for a rental car.
Easy Auto Ship holds an A+ rating from the BBB, and customer reviews on the site give it an average of 4.6 stars out of 5.0.
Easy Auto Ship Pros and Cons
✔ Perks such as car wash and rental car reimbursements
✔ Hassle-free booking process
✔ Guaranteed pricing
✘ No instant car shipping quote tool on website
✘ Doesn’t have GPS tracking for car shipments
✘ Doesn’t offer terminal-to-terminal shipping
Easy Auto Ship doesn’t have an instant quote tool on its website, but it does offer a shipping quote calculator to help you get a sense of what your transport could cost.
Get more information in our full Easy Auto Ship review.
Additional Things to Consider When You Move
While finding car shipping quotes online is a major part of planning your move, there are other considerations involved in getting to your new home. Whether you’re headed across town or making a long-distance move, you need to know how to prepare.
Our guide to moving can help you understand all the parts involved in moving, which include:
- Setting a budget
- Planning a timeline
- Deciding between hiring movers and doing it yourself
- Buying or renting moving supplies
- Taking time off of work
- Asking friends and family for help moving
- Preparing children and pets for the move
- Researching the area of your new home
- Changing your address and doing other administrative tasks
Frequently Asked Questions
Our Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews Team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparent reviews and having the data to back up our ratings and recommendations. Our rating system for auto shipping service providers is based on four categories:
- Price (30% of total score): Many factors affect car transport rates. To determine our price score, we secret shop with providers across a variety of cars and routes.
- Services (25% of total score): Our team of experts looks at available services, guaranteed pickup and drop-off dates, and insurance coverage.
- Industry Standing (20% of total score): Providers with a high rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) score best in this category. Reputable providers with a history of reliable service and timeliness also receive strong marks.
- Customer Experience (25% of total score): We learn about consumer experiences by reading through reviews on sites including the BBB. Auto shipping companies with a low volume of complaints score highest in this area.
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at email@example.com.