Autoblog / Car Shipping Trends / Auto Transport Broker vs. Carrier: What’s the Difference?

Auto Transport Broker vs. Carrier: What’s the Difference?

auto transport broker vs carrier what is the difference

Auto Transport Broker vs. Carrier: What’s the Difference?

The most common way for people to look for auto transportation services is good old Google. Using simple terms such as auto transport services or vehicle moving services, in just a few clicks, you get a long list of companies. Look a little closer, and you'll notice the list includes both brokers and carriers. On the surface, they might look like they're the same thing, but underneath, they're very different.


In the interest of keeping you all informed, let's look a little closer at the differences and why they matter.

What’s the Difference Between a Carrier and a Broker?

The main difference between the two is that a carrier operates the trucks you’d use for shipping your car to another state, while a broker coordinates shipments.

A carrier might be a single operator with one enclosed car transport trailer or a large operator with a fleet of trucks. Before making a booking, make sure the carrier has all the necessary USDOT credentials, cargo insurance, and truckers licenses.

Brokers work with many different carriers and can provide a service across the whole of the US. A broker accepts bookings from customers and then looks for a carrier offering the best car carrier rates.

Both brokers and carriers have their advantages depending on your needs. 

The Pros of Choosing a Carrier

  • Price – the price you get might be lower than a broker because it means you're not paying a go-between. It’s not guaranteed to be lower, but it’s a viable option if your budget is limited.
  • No Surprises – with a carrier, you get what you pay for. They’ll be the one handling your shipment throughout the journey.
  • One Point of Contact – you’ll be able to communicate directly with the carrier should any issues arise. There’s no need for a go-between, which can sometimes make solving problems simpler. 

The Pros of Choosing a Broker

  • Flexibility – carriers are often tied to a specific location, the size, and type of fleet they have. A broker, on the other hand, has access to a much wider range of options. They will be more likely to meet your needs wherever you are and whatever time you need auto transport.
  • Unexpected Events – say, for example, you booked with a carrier, and their truck broke down. Your only option would be to wait while the truck was fixed or start looking for another carrier. A broker, on the other hand, will be able to make all the new arrangements for you and get your car shipped with minimal delay.
  • Licensed, Insured, and Qualified – checking out the legitimacy of a carrier can be very time-consuming. Put your vehicle shipping in the hands of a broker, and they'll do all that for you. More often than not, they'll have a list of legitimate carriers they can turn to. 

Why You Might be Interested in a Third Option

When you're looking at your Google results, you might notice there's a third option. They are called auto transport management companies, and we happen to be one of them. The service we provide, here at SGT Auto Transport, falls somewhere between the two we’ve just looked at. We’re able to manage the complete shipping process from start to finish. Our service includes:

  • Taking your booking
  • Getting in touch with some of the top-rated car transport companies
  • Coordinating the vehicle shipping process
  • Keeping you updated throughout the process
  • Resolving any issues that might arise
  • Making sure your vehicle is delivered according to the schedule

We’re able to provide an online instant quote, or you can speak with our shipping advisors for a tailored quote.

The Benefits of Choosing an Auto Transport Management Company

Choose to work with an auto transport management company, and we'll do everything for you. From the moment you get in touch, you can rest assured your vehicle will be in the best of hands.


Auto transport management companies are also able to offer a nationwide service, thanks to our extensive network of carriers we’re connected with.

Call (866) 774 6570 if you want to enjoy the benefits of both a broker and a carrier. One point of contact, the best possible prices, and complete peace of mind guaranteed.