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Car Shipping Companies: What You Need to Know 1 year ago

Whether you’re moving to another state or just bought a car online, car shipping companies can get your vehicle to its new home. This article will tell you what you need to know about the auto transport industry before you make any car moving plans. We’ll highlight key elements of the car shipping process and what you can expect from the best car shipping companies.

Each customer has different shipping needs. When you get car shipping quotes online, you can see which service is right for you. After comparing quotes from auto shippers, you can find the option that best fits your situation.

In This Review:

What Do Car Shipping Companies Do?

Car shipping companies transport vehicles for a variety of reasons. The two most common reasons for arranging car shipments are moving to a new place and buying a vehicle online. Car shipping companies can make cross-country deliveries or shorter trips.

The Car Shipping Process

Once you schedule your auto transport, the carrier will contact you and arrange a pickup time and location. It’s important to fully inspect your vehicle before it’s loaded onto a car carrier. The driver of the transport truck will help you note any existing damage on the bill of lading. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of the exterior and interior of your vehicle, as well as the odometer.

Many car shipping companies offer tracking options as your vehicle is in transit. Your vehicle transport timeline will vary depending on the route. As the driver nears the delivery location, you’ll be contacted with an updated drop-off time. Once your vehicle arrives, you’ll do a final inspection and complete the bill of lading.

Shipping Options

There are two basic types of auto transport delivery: door-to-door and terminal-to-terminal. Which one is best for you depends on several factors, including your budget and flexibility. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Door-to-door shipping: The door service shipping option involves picking a vehicle up and dropping it off as close to a home address as possible. If you’re moving from one home to another, this may be the most convenient choice.
  • Terminal-to-terminal shipping: With this auto transport method, your vehicle will be dropped off at a predetermined location with other cars. If you have more flexibility with your pickup date and location, this is a budget-friendly car shipping service.

At Sherpa Auto Transport, we only offer door-to-door shipping for our customers.

Types of Transport

You can schedule your car transport service on an open-air trailer or opt for the added security of an enclosed car carrier. Here are the basics of these options:

  • Open car transport: This is the cheapest and most common vehicle shipping option. Your car is exposed to the elements on an open carrier, along with possible road debris.
  • Enclosed auto transport: This method places your car in an enclosed trailer, protecting it from roadway hazards and adverse weather. Enclosed transport is ideal for owners of classic cars, luxury vehicles, and other high-end autos. Note that enclosed car shipping is more expensive and takes longer than open transport.

Car Shipping Companies: What to Look for

When looking for the right auto transport provider for your needs, there are a few things to prioritize. As you gather free quotes for cheap car shipping, consider these factors:

  • Good customer reviews: If you see that a car transport company gets consistent praise for reliability and excellent customer service, you’ll gain extra peace of mind going into your car shipping experience.
  • Long track record: Car shipping companies with proven track records of excellence in the auto transport industry are your best bets. Work with movers who have the expertise to get the job done quickly and safely.
  • Locked-in quotes: It’s not uncommon for the car shipping cost to jump after the initial estimate. Look for auto transport services that come with clear, up-front quotes that won’t change once your vehicle is in transit.
  • Carrier’s insurance options: Auto transport companies must have basic liability insurance at a minimum, but some offer expanded coverage, such as cargo insurance. Understand your insurance coverage options before you make
    your shipping arrangements.

Average Auto Transport Costs

Car shipping rates depend on details including vehicle size, route, distance, time of year, and whether you need expedited service. Market conditions also influence the cost. To give you an idea of how much you might pay for your auto transport, we’ve compiled the ranges for Sherpa Auto Transport rates.

Shipment Mileage Price per Mile
0 to 500 miles $1.32 to $2.75
501 to 1,000 miles $0.88 to $1.55
1,001 to 1,500 miles $0.70 to $1.23
1,501 to 2,000 miles $0.60 to $1
2,001 to 2,500 miles $0.53 to $0.84
2,500+ miles $0.48 to $0.74

Popular Auto Transport Routes

Looking at popular car shipping routes can help you find out what you might pay for a similar transport. The cost ranges below are influenced by the same factors mentioned above. These rates apply to open carriers, so remember that enclosed transport is more expensive.

Route Price per Mile
New York City to Los Angeles $0.56 to $0.72
New York City to Miami $0.98 to $1.20
Los Angeles to Miami $0.48 to $0.66
Los Angeles to New York City $0.48 to $0.71
Miami to New York City $0.65 to $1.20
Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles $0.49 to $0.69
Chicago to Los Angeles $0.61 to $0.88
New York City to Houston $0.80 to $1
Los Angeles to Atlanta $0.48 to $0.74
Chicago to Phoenix $0.68 to $0.92

Why You Should Choose Sherpa Auto Transport

Sherpa Auto Transport is an auto transport broker that can provide you with a hassle-free shipping experience. Our team uses in-depth research to maintain a network of trusted auto shipping companies. From there, we match you with the best carrier for your needs. We offer the following perks:

Price Lock Promise

When you receive an online quote from Sherpa, that price is assured with our Price Lock Promise. That means the quote from the beginning will be what you pay. If our original quote isn’t enough to secure a reputable carrier that aligns with your needs, we’ll cover up to $300 to cover the difference.

Clean Car Guarantee

If your car arrives dirty after Sherpa’s auto transport services, you can get a reimbursement of up to $20 for a car wash. Just send us a copy of your receipt and bill of lading to get a reimbursement to the payment method you used.

Our Network of Elite Carriers

Our thorough vetting process for auto carriers includes analysis of customer reviews and transportation records. Only carriers that meet our high standards will ship your vehicle.

Car Shipping Companies FAQs

Is shipping a car expensive?

Car shipping prices depend on the type of vehicle being shipped, the distance, and other factors. Open carrier transport is the cheapest way to ship your car, while enclosed haulers offer more protection at a higher transport price.

How long does it take to ship a car?

Long-distance car shipping can take 10 days or more. Shorter routes mean earlier delivery times, but weather and road conditions always need to be considered.

Can you ship a car full of stuff?

You should remove all personal items from your vehicle before shipping it. Sherpa Auto Transport and the carrier are not responsible for your possessions, and you don’t want to add extra weight to your car.