Ten Best Auto Transport Companies (Reviewed)
Some people love a road trip: a chance to take in the country, a new stop every day, adventure on the open road. To others, a road trip is just a monotonous journey, stuck behind the wheel for hours on end, day after day. But if you are moving far away from your current home, you need a way to get your car where you are going.
is a great option for people who need to move their cars but don't want to do it themselves. If you are making a permanent or a seasonal move, shipping your car is an easy way to get your car where it needs to go without driving it yourself. Here is a quick guide to choosing an auto transport company for your car.
Open-Air vs. Enclosed Transport
When choosing an auto transport company, the first decision you will have to make is whether to choose open or enclosed transportation. Both have pros and cons, so it really comes down to which option best meets your needs and fits your budget.
Open-air transport is the most popular choice when it comes to shipping a vehicle. Roughly 90% of all auto transport companies use open-air transport. Chances are, you've seen an open-air transport in progress: a big rig pulling a trailer with two levels of vehicles.
An open-air trailer can carry up to 10 vehicles at a time. Each vehicle is strapped and secured to the trailer to minimize bouncing or vibrating. Because these trailers can accommodate so many vehicles, and because most carriers use this approach, open-air transport is more affordable than enclosed transport. It also offers more flexible scheduling and faster transportation times. These features make open-air transport the more convenient, budget-friendly option.
The downside to open-air transport is that the cars are exposed to the elements including weather, dust, and debris from the road. Your car will probably arrive dusty and dirty, and there is no guarantee that it won't be dinged by a rock or other object during the trip.
If you are shipping a regular vehicle that you drive every day, open-air transportation is your best bet. You might need to hit the car wash when it arrives, but it is worth it for the convenience and reasonable pricing.
Enclosed Auto Transport
, on the other hand, offers the highest level of protection to your vehicle. With this approach, the vehicles are loaded onto a trailer with either hard or soft coverings. The trailer is fully enclosed on all four sides for maximum protection. Cars shipped by enclosed transport should arrive clean and free of marks or dings.
Only 10% or so of auto transport companies provide enclosed transportation, and the typical enclosed transport trailer holds up to eight vehicles at a time, whereas an open-air trailer holds up to ten. The limited availability of this service has a few drawbacks. In general, it is harder to schedule transportation, the shipping times are longer, and it costs more money.
If you drive a luxury car, then it is probably worth spending the extra money for enclosed transport. Many people who own sports cars, collectibles, antiques, and other luxury vehicles choose to pay for enclosed transportation because they want premium service for their cars.
Best Open Air Auto Transport Companies
This established carrier specializes in vehicle transport. Customers can pay with either cash or credit, with a discount for cash payments. Montway does not require any upfront payments. One perk is its expedited shipping option, which allows customers to schedule vehicle pickup within 24 to 48 hours after booking.
AmeriFreight: This company provides more insurance options than some other carriers, which many customers find reassuring. It also offers a variety of discounts for military customers, first responders, students, and more.
Sherpa: Sherpa has a great reputation for customer service. Two of its selling points include the Price Lock Guarantee, which ensures that customers pay just the original quote and no hidden fees, and the Clean Car Guarantee, which reimburses customers up to $20 for a car wash after delivery.
eShip: This provider ships everything, including cars. It offers door-to-door service and vehicle tracking, so customers always know where their vehicles are. It also offers a $300 rental reimbursement if vehicle delivery is delayed by more than 48 hours.
uShip: Like eShip, uShip will ship anything, including cars. uShip is a broker that links customers with multiple shipping providers. Customers can see multiple quotes, then compare prices and services.
Best Enclosed Auto Transport
Montway offers the same reliable service with its enclosed auto transportation as with its open-air transportation. When customers request an online quote, Montways provides the prices for open and enclosed transport for easy comparison.
AmeriFreight: The many discounts AmeriFreight offers can help defray the cost of enclosed transport.
eShip: For its enclosed transportation services, eShip offers the Platinum Protection Plan, which ensures that all carriers are licensed and bonded. It also covers repairs in the unlikely event that the car sustains any damage.
USAuto Shipping offers enclosed shipping at affordable prices. This company works hard to deliver cars on-time and problem-free.
Ship a Car Direct ships vehicles door to door, with no upfront payments required. It offers a Damage-Free Guarantee that provides coverage for any damage incurred during transport.
If you are looking for a vehicle transportation service, take the time to check out these carriers. You are sure to find a company that can meet your needs and your budget.
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