Sherpa Auto Transport Review 2019
Self-driving cars are on the way, but they aren’t here yet. So, no, your Honda won’t follow you while you drive your moving truck across the country. This is why we have car shippers like Sherpa Auto Transport.
In the short time since Sherpa opened for business, it’s developed a reputation for simple, honest service. But the company still can’t compete with others on price, service options, and overall convenience.
Speaking of convenience: it might take a few minutes for Sherpa to contact you after requesting a quote, so you might as well get the process started right now.
What you should know about Sherpa Auto Transport
Relax, Sherpa will carry your heavy load. Or at least it’ll hire someone else to.
The Sherpas are an ethnic community of about 150,000 people who live in eastern Nepal and who are known for being excellent mountain climbers. So much so that the word “sherpa” is often used to describe anyone who carries things on a hard journey.
But Sherpa Auto Transport doesn’t actually carry anything. It’s an auto transport broker, which means that it’ll hire a third-party carrier to ship your vehicle. So the company is more like the mountaineer who hires a Sherpa and then takes all the credit (zing!).
We joke, but brokers are actually very common in the auto transport business. These companies have the advantage of working with multiple carriers to find customers the fastest and cheapest auto shipment available.
What you get with Sherpa Auto Transport
Nothin’ fancy: just a classic car shipment. No cheese, no lettuce, no extra insurance options.
If Sherpa Auto Transport was a donut, it would be a classic, glazed donut. No chocolate filling, rainbow sprinkles, or caramel glaze. In other words, Sherpa keeps things simple.
|FMCSA certified *||Yes|
|Enclosed/open carrier options||Yes|
|Extra damage protections **||No|
|Boat, RV, and motorcycle shipping||No|
|Additional moving services||No|
|Guaranteed pickup and delivery dates||No|
|Free Quotes||Get a Quote|
*FMCSA stands for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
**Beyond standard carrier insurance.
While we’d prefer to see more services, Sherpa has only been in business about two years, so we can cut them some slack. After all, we’d rather a company do one thing well than ten things not-so-well.
The good news is, all auto carriers are required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to have insurance on the goods that they transport. However, this insurance may not cover things like extreme weather events, theft, or anything else that’s not the fault of the driver.
Sherpa vets its carriers well, and it insures its trucks for higher amounts than its competitors. But unfortunately, Sherpa doesn’t offer any extra insurance options or guarantees beyond that. If something does happen to your vehicle during transit, Sherpa’s terms and conditions make it clear that the company will not be at fault for any damages.
So if you’re transporting a particularly nice car, like an Aston Martin (or even a BMW), you might want to check out Ship a Car Direct, which has some of the best insurance options in the industry.
Sherpa Auto Transport moving experience
Reasonable pricing, great customer service, and a free car wash? Pinch me, I’m dreaming!
You know where your car is, and you know where you want it to be. But how’s Sherpa Auto Transport going to get it there? Here’s the play-by-play.
Getting your quote
We live in a glorious future. We can stream TV to our phones, we can 3-D print pizza, and we can get instant online quotes for the services we need. Well, sometimes.
Unlike many other car shippers (like Montway), Sherpa Auto Transport doesn’t have an online quote tool (yet!). We had to give the company our contact information and then wait for them to call us to get a quote.
Once we were on the phone with a representative, though, things went as smooth as silk. No salesy talk. No pressure tactics.
Sherpa even has a “Price Lock Promise,” which means that the company will guarantee your quoted price even if the carrier ends up charging more. It’ll shell out up to $300 of its own money to cover any difference in cost. Now that’s putting the customer first.
Pricing and payment
The best things in life are free . . . but shipping your car across the country is not one of those things. (If it is for you, then please let us know your secret in the comments.) So just how much will this set you back?
Well, here’s the quote we got from Sherpa.
|Distance of transport||1,078 mi. (Chicago, IL, to Houston, TX)|
|Date of transport||June 2019|
|Vehicle model||2016 Honda Accord|
|Free Quotes||Get a Quote|
That price doesn’t quite put it on the list of the best cheap auto shipping companies. But it’s not the most expensive company, either.
What we’d really like to see is some sort of price matching policy, like Amerifreight has. (A reviewer can dream, can’t they?)
When it comes to payment, Sherpa follows the industry standard. You’ll have to pay a deposit up front, but this is actually just Sherpa’s charge for finding the carrier. And good news, you can pay this with a credit card—but you’ll have to pay the rest of your balance in cash on delivery.
If you cancel before a carrier is assigned to your shipment, you’ll be charged $25. If you cancel afterward, you’ll be losing out on your entire deposit. This doesn’t seem unique to Sherpa, but still, something to be aware of before you commit.
Prepping your car
Those flags from your favorite sports team that fly out your rear windows? You’ll have to take those off. That spoiler you installed to make your Jetta look like a Lamborghini? That too.
You’ll also need to make sure that your car works properly. It’d be a shame if the auto carrier came and your car door couldn’t open or the steering wheel didn’t work. And make sure there’s gas in your tank—a quarter tank or more should do it.
Finally, turn off your car alarm and remove all personal items. This includes your E-Z pass or other toll collection machines, unless you want to be charged for a cross-country road trip that you aren’t actually on.
Auto pickup and drop-off
Sherpa will call you once it’s secured a carrier to pick up your car. You’ll owe your initial payment (the part that Sherpa keeps) at that point.
On the day of the transport, the carrier will give you a window, usually 2–4 hours, in which they can come to get the vehicle. Make sure you are available during that time because you’ll need to do a pre-move inspection with the driver.
Then you send your sweet, beautiful car out into the big, bad world. But don’t worry, you can always check in on it by calling Sherpa to ask for a status update. (Fair warning, Sherpa does not offer online tracking.) And you won’t have a guaranteed delivery date, but in fairness, that’s a tough thing to guarantee in this industry.
When your car gets delivered, you’ll need to hand over a big wad of cash to the driver. (Some will accept other forms of payment, but all drivers prefer cash.) That should settle your bill. Be sure to check for any damage before the driver takes off.
Now that all of that’s taken care of, you can celebrate with a free car wash! (For real!) Just sit back and watch the suds. Sherpa’s “Clean Car Guarantee” is picking up the check (up to a $20 value).
Normally this section is the part where we talk about how disappointed we are in a company. But with Sherpa, it’s actually the opposite.
The company makes up for some of its flaws (fewer services and higher prices than some) with some excellent customer service. And it’s not just the phone call we had about our quote.
Usually we can find a ton—a plethora, a deluge, a cornucopia—of online complaints about a company. But review sites from the Better Business Bureau1 to Yelp2 have almost all positive comments. The company seems to personally respond to every comment as well. That’s unusual in any industry, and we love it.
Recap: Is Sherpa Auto Transport a good mover?
This new car shipper is making waves, but not quite tsunamis.
Sherpa Auto Transport is an industry newcomer that’s establishing itself by offering a stripped-down but high-quality car shipping service. It’s perfect for some customers, but still not quite enough to make our list of the best car shipping companies.
Here’s a recap of what we liked and didn’t like about Sherpa:
Services: Just good old-fashioned car shipments. Which, unfortunately, means no RVs, motorcycles, extra insurance options, or fancy online tools. Sorry folks.
Quotes: You’ll have to get on the phone (sorry, fellow introverts!). It could take a few minutes, so you might want to start the process right now.
Shipping: It’s pretty straightforward—just remember you’ll have to pay in cash upon delivery. And make sure to take advantage of that free car wash!
Customer service: We are genuinely surprised to say this: it’s good. It might even be great.
We’re excited to see how Sherpa evolves in the coming years. If you’ve had some experience with Sherpa Auto Transport—good or bad—we’d love to hear about it in the comments section down below.