If you need to move a car from one place to another, it can be tempting to hop in the driver’s seat and take the ride yourself, but that’s not always the best call. Shipping a car can be less expensive and less annoying than driving cross-country, and can be done with little effort from you. Enclosed auto transport is even better, because it can protect the vehicle from the elements while it’s in transit. We’ve selected five of our favorite companies that offer enclosed shipping, but they all offer a variety of other shipping options as well, so you’ll be covered no matter which way you go.
Here are our top recommended enclosed auto transport companies (in no particular order):
uShip is a national shipping company that offers its customers the ability to move anything from a bulldozer to a motorcycle from coast to coast affordably and quickly. The company works with a huge array of shipping companies and individuals to provide an affordable and timely way to ship a vehicle.
AmeriFreight offers shipping services in all 50 states, which is a big bonus for folks living in Alaska and Hawaii. Its shipping costs are usually a bit higher than its competition, but it offers services that others do not.
Sherpa offers a Price Lock Promise, which is a big bonus for people wanting to secure their pricing and lock in the price they thought they were paying. On the flipside, Sherpa’s pricing is a bit higher than that of its competitors.
Easy Auto Ship is a newer auto transport company, based out of Youngstown Ohio. The company ships a number of vehicle types and offers many different options, including enclosed shipping and classic car shipping. This company also offers international shipping.
eShip started life in Florida, where it began as an auto transporter, but it doesn’t actually do the transporting. Instead, it relies on a network of carrier partners and acts as the point of service for all vehicles shipped through its service.
The first, and most important, thing to remember when shipping a vehicle is whether or not you need to ship it in the first place. Keep in mind that you might come out ahead by driving the car to its destination, but long distance drives and overnight trips add to the cost of travel considerably, and then there’s the safety aspect of long hours behind the wheel.
Once you’ve decided that shipping is the best option, consider whether or not you actually need enclosed transport. Vehicles that don’t carry much value might not be worth the added cost. You can save quite a bit by shipping on an open trailer, and if it’s your daily driver that sees weather anyway, open shipping can be a much more cost-effective option.
For more on this topic, see our detailed guide on how to ship a car.
The biggest thing with shipping your vehicle is to feel comfortable with both the company and the people involved with it. If you’re not satisfied with the answers you get, or if anything is unclear, ask questions to make sure that you understand what you’re getting yourself into. Reviews from previous customers are also helpful, as they can give you an idea of the type of work the company is doing and whether or not it will meet your expectations.
The cost for enclosed auto transport prices vary greatly depending on the distance, vehicle being shipped, and the time of year. The average cost, according to move.org, is $710, with costs that range from $280 to over $2,000.
You can read more on Car Shipping and see our recommendations for the Best Car Shipping Companies in 2021 here.
In the vast majority of cases, the answer is no. Packing your car full of extra gear not only increases its weight, it also adds another layer of liability for the shipper because of the extra “stuff.”
Of course! Most carriers can pull an inoperable vehicle onto a trailer for shipping. You’ll need to be sure that it’s at least able to be steered and stopped, as most companies require the bare minimum of functionality. There’s also an additional cost associated with a non-running vehicle, but it’s typically pretty affordable.
Typically, three things add wrinkles to estimates for shipping a vehicle: Distance, size and height. If your vehicle is a standard height SUV or pickup, you’ll generally be ok, but if you’re running around with 38-inch wheels and a four-inch lift, you may be (A) assessed an additional fee for shipping, and (B) restricted to shipping on an open trailer because it may not fit in an enclosed unit.
You can, but you may need some additional paperwork. The shipping company will want to be sure that you’re in good standing on the loan, and may require some documentation from the lienholder.
Just like the cost of shipping, the time it takes for your vehicle to reach its destination will largely depend on how far you’re shipping it. Most companies state something like 8 to 10 business days, but again, shipping times are hugely dependent on shipping distance and the carrier.
Most carriers offer some coverage for damage that occurs on their watch, but you may opt to purchase additional coverage if it doesn’t meet your needs. You may even be able to get a discount or special rate on coverage provided by your shipping carrier. You also want to check with your own insurance company to see if you’re covered during shipping, even if the carrier provides insurance.
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