Best Cheap Car Shipping Companies

The most affordable auto transporters . . . that you can still trust with your keys.
  • Best overall shipping price
    3.5 out of 5 overall
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  • Best for price transparency
    3.5 out of 5 overall
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  • Best affordable small business
    4 out of 5 overall
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  • Best protection for less
    4 out of 5 overall
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Your car is great at transporting you, but what happens when you need to transport your car? Whether you’re moving across the country, showing off your classic at a show, or arranging a sale, you may end up hiring an auto shipper to get it there.

But hauling a couple thousand pounds of metal on the freeway is not cheap. So before you shell out half of your car’s Blue Book value in shipping costs, make sure to get quotes from these affordable auto shippers.

Compare the best cheap car movers
ProviderAutoStar Transport ExpressNexus Auto TransportKVB Auto TransportShip a Car Direct
FMCSA certified* YesYesYesYes
Extra insurance optionsNoNoNoYes
Instant quotesNoYesNoYes
Enclosed/open carrierYesYesYesYes
Door-to-door deliveryYesYesYesYes
Additional moving servicesNoNoNoNo
DetailsGet A QuoteGet A QuoteGet A QuoteGet A Quote

*FMCSA stands for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

AutoStar Transport Express: Best price overall

Ditch the frills and save on some bills with this budget auto mover.

Autostar Transport Express Logo

AutoStar Transport Express offers customers rock-bottom prices without sacrificing the essentials. Its strong nationwide presence and years of experience mean reliable shipping, no matter where you’re going.

Sure, the company doesn’t have online tracking or an instant quote tool. But these special features are kind of like CGI: it’s better not to do it at all than to do it poorly (*cough* Matrix Reloaded *cough*).

Pros

  • Low prices
  • Strong nationwide coverage
  • Single-truck transport

Cons

  • No additional insurance options

What you get with AutoStar

The cost of each auto transport will vary depending on the particular circumstances (location, car model, schedule). But here’s a good sign: when we sent out our test quote, AutoStar came back to us with an estimate that cut over $200 off the price of premium shippers.

To save money, AutoStar is definitely cutting corners but mostly in the right places. With an FMCSA certification, the company has made safety a priority. It’s also hired full-time customer service staff to deal with any problems that may arise.

AutoStar car shipping services

  • 24-hour customer support
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Door-to-door shipping
  • Single-truck transport
  • National coverage, including Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Alaska
  • Basic insurance included
  • Classic car, motorcycle, oversized vehicle, and truck transport

Unfortunately, AutoStar doesn’t provide any extra options when it comes to insurance, so you’ll be stuck with whatever insurance your carrier has (which will most likely cover just damage due to driver negligence, up to the Kelly Blue Book value of your vehicle).

AutoStar mover experience

AutoStar is a broker, which means that it doesn’t actually transport your vehicle. Instead, it will hook you up with the cheapest third-party option it can find. Of course, you should be aware that brokers pay their rent by scraping a little dough off the top.

While this might sound like a bad deal for you, the customer, it actually makes sense in an industry that has so many individual carriers, many of whom operate only in select areas. With auto transport, most people end up booking through a broker.

But with AutoStar, you can request a quote online and receive it through your email without ever getting on a sales call—woohoo!

Options for getting a quote from AutoStar

We should mention a couple of runners-up in this category: Nationwide Transport Services and American Haul Experts. These nationwide auto transporters gave us very similar quotes to AutoStar and are worth looking into.

Nexus Auto Transport: Best price transparency

Get an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at how auto shipping quotes are actually made.

Nexus Auto Transport

Pros

  • Instant, transparent quotes
  • Affordable prices
  • 24/7 online tracking

Cons

  • No additional insurance options
  • No guaranteed pickup dates

What you get with Nexus Auto Transport

Brokers are like calculators. They take a complex equation and spit out a number (with a dollar sign next to it) as an answer. But behind that number are many factors, like carrier routes and schedules, varying pick-up times, and overall fleet quality.

What Nexus does is let you see a little slice of that calculator’s inner workings. When you use its instant quote tool, Nexus will provide you with not one, but three different numbers—economy, standard, and expedited pricing.

For example, with the scenario that we gave Nexus (2016 Honda Accord going from Chicago to Dallas), we got back quotes of $679, $829, and $1,059. Interestingly, these prices corresponded closely with the range of quotes we got from other brokers.

While most brokers just choose a carrier for you (so much for democracy), Nexus lets you see the options. Then you can choose one based on your needs. Power to the people!

Even if you don’t end up going with Nexus for your transport, this instant quote tool can give you a great impression of the range of prices you should expect from other companies.

Nexus Auto Transport car shipping services

  • Seasonal car shipments
  • Classic car moving
  • 24/7 online vehicle tracking
  • Door-to-door delivery
  • Open and enclosed shipping options
  • Basic insurance

Other than its nifty instant quote tool, Nexus doesn’t offer any particularly stunning features. But it does check all of the boxes you want to see in professional auto shippers, and of course it was cheap enough to make this list!

Nexus Auto Transport mover experience

It’s clear from the quote tool that Nexus is a broker that hires third parties to actually get your car from point A to point B. So be prepared to ask your Nexus representative for details about the actual carrier, like name, insurance, and contact information.

Nexus seems to charge a $150–$200 deposit on most transports. You’ll have to pay the remainder of the price to the carrier upon delivery. Cash is king in the shipping world, so make a run to the bank before reps arrive with your vehicle.

Be sure to prepare your car for the shipment by checking for damage and loose parts. Remember, your car is not a moving container and you cannot put more than 100 pounds of personal items in the trunk (though there are some wonderful packing hacks out there if you’re running out of room in the moving truck).

Options for getting a quote from Nexus

KVB Auto Transport: Best affordable small business transporter

The underdog of auto shipping.

KVB Auto Transport logo

We solicited quotes for the same auto shipment from various companies, and something very interesting happened: a small, family-run business came back with the best price. In fact, KVB Auto Transport beat the next lowest quote by nearly $100.

Call us jaded reviewers, but we thought it was too good to be true. Thankfully, a little bit of online research and a quick call put our minds at ease.

The representative at KVB explained that they can offer such a low price because they know the route well. He even took $50 off the company’s normal rate because he saw the quote origin was nearby and they felt that offering discounts to military and locals was just the right thing to do.

It’s that kind of honest, friendly service that makes small businesses so nice to work with. The only reason that we didn’t award KVB the “best price overall” label is because their deal was so regionally specific.

Pros

  • Fantastic prices
  • Honest and friendly service
  • No up-front deposit required

Cons

  • Limited nationwide coverage

What you get with KVB Auto Transport

Besides its low prices and neighborly customer service, KVB doesn’t exactly stand out among auto shippers. It doesn’t advertise specialty shipping for classic cars or oversized loads, and it doesn’t have any extra insurance packages.

KVB Auto Transport car shipping services

  • Door-to-door service
  • Open and enclosed transport
  • Express transport option
  • Basic insurance
  • 24-hour customer service

If you like the down-home vibe of KVB, but it doesn’t quite meet your needs, you may want to look for other auto carriers and brokers in your area. The industry is full of smaller companies who are looking to cut deals and build a customer base.

KVB Auto Transport mover experience

How many brokers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? None. They’ll just hire a third party to do it for them.

Um, sorry about that one. All joking aside, KVB is another broker in our lineup of the cheapest car shipping companies. As with the others, be prepared to ask some follow-up questions about the specific carrier that’s going to handle your car.

One perk of working with KVB is that you don’t need to pay a deposit until your car carrier has been dispatched for the pickup. That means no cancellation fees—booyah! The rest of your quoted price will be due upon delivery.

KVB doesn’t offer instant quotes, but it will get back to you pretty quickly if you provide your email.

Options for getting a quote from KVB Auto Shippers

Ship a Car Direct: Best damage protection for less

Let’s pile ten cars onto one truck and drive it very fast across the country—what could go wrong?

ship a car direct logo

Auto shipping is actually a very safe way to transport your car from one place to another. The risk of it getting dinged up are probably less than if you were to drive it yourself. But when it comes to your sweet ride, you can never be too careful.

Ship a Car Direct has a “damage-free guarantee,” which means that you’re protected even beyond the insurance carried by the carrier. If you end up having to file your own insurance claim, the company will pay the deductible (up to $500).

That’s not Ship a Car Direct’s only selling point. In fact, it’s the only company that has made our list of the best car shipping companies as well as this list of the cheapest.

Pros

  • Damage free guarantee
  • Competitive pricing
  • Transparency

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive

What you get with Ship a Car Direct

Besides the damage-free guarantee, Ship a Car Direct offers competitive prices. In our sample quote, the company offered less than most big-name players, like Montway Auto Transport and Allied Van Lines, but also about $70 more than companies like AutoStar.

One thing we really love about Ship a Car Direct is, strangely enough, the company’s FAQ page. The questions and answers take a deep dive into how the auto shipping industry actually works, and it’s worth reading before you hire any company.

Ship a Car Direct auto transport services

  • Basic insurance and extra protection
  • Door-to-door service
  • Open and enclosed transport
  • 24-hour customer service

Ship a Car Direct mover experience

Ship a Car Direct is—yep, you guessed it!—another broker service. So make sure to check in about what carrier will be doing your transport.

You can get a quote range (not an exact quote) instantly with Ship a Car Direct, and then someone from the company will send a follow-up email with a specific quote.

From there, it’s much like the other companies we’ve talked about: you pay a deposit once your carrier has been scheduled and make sure to have someone waiting with cash or a cashier’s check upon delivery.

Options for getting a quote from Ship a Car Direct

Recap

AutoStar Transport Express is your best bet for booking a broker without breaking the bank.

All your stuff is packed and ready (you’ve got an affordable moving company, right?), your flights are booked, and now all you need to worry about is your car. Here are the companies that will get it to your destination without breaking the bank (or your car’s windshield).

Best price overall: AutoStar Transport Express makes car shipment simple—and, most importantly, affordable. It has strong nationwide coverage and all the basic features you need. Close runners-up in this category include Nationwide Transport Services and American Haul Experts.
Best for price transparency: Nexus Auto Transport has an awesome instant quote tool that will help you gauge the price range for your shipment, whether or not you choose to use its service.
Best affordable small business: We’ve got a real soft spot for the folks at KVB Auto Transport. They not only gave us the lowest quote, but they also talked us through some of the ins and outs of the industry.
Best damage protection for less: Ship a Car Direct knows that your car’s well-being is too important to leave to chance. So it’s got a “damage-free guarantee” to sweeten the deal on its already low prices.

If you’re still not sure which company is right for your auto transport, go ahead and get a few quotes. Seeing those specific dollar amounts can really clarify things. And if you’ve used these companies in the past, let us know in the comments below.