Reliable car transport: More expensive or cheaper in the long run?

Reliable car transport

If you ever need to transport a car, whether it’s across a state line, south for the winter, or from coast to coast, it’s only natural to want the best service possible. The trouble is, such a service often comes with a hefty price tag. But not in the case of reliable auto transport. If you know what to look for, and where to look, a reliable car shipping service is much cheaper, simpler, safer, and faster than other alternatives.

It’s easy to feel completely overwhelmed, as there are so many to choose from. Not knowing what to look for doesn’t make it any easier. There’s a lot to consider when it comes to reliable car transport. In this guide, we’ll show you what makes an auto transport company reliable and why it’s the best option, especially when you take all the factors into consideration.

What are the options for anyone wanting to move a car?

There are lots of different ways you transport your car.

  • Drive your car yourself: A road trip might sound exciting and a cheap way to move a car but it’s possibly one of the most stressful ways to do it. The overall cost is also much higher when you factor in the cost of accommodation, eating and drinking, increased wear and tear on your car.
  • Get someone to drive it for you: You could ask a friend which might be quite cheap or hire a professional driver which can be expensive. There’s also the additional cost of the wear and tear. You might also need to purchase additional insurance.  
  • Transport your car by train: This is quite a cost effective method until you start adding on the cost of getting your car to the station and picking it up when it arrives at the final destination.
  • Use a plane to transport your car: This is one of the most expensive options, and you’ve also got the cost of getting your car to the airport and picking it up again.
  • Ship a car across country with the help of an auto transport management provider: A reliable auto transport company, such as SGT Auto Transport, will take care of everything, from the moment you book your order until the moment you receive your car. The entire process, from start to finish, is managed on your behalf. You don’t have to do or worry about anything. 

What is the best option for shipping a car across country?

Reliable car transport

Before you worry about finding a reliable car transport company, you’ve first got to decide what kind of auto transport service you’re looking for. There are a range of different options, depending on your needs.

Are you, for example, in a hurry to get your car shipped? You might have left the arrangements until the last minute, or found out very recently that you’ve been given a promotion, but the position is out of state. Are you heading south for the winter, because it’s much warmer? Is your schedule very tight and you need a guaranteed pick-up date?

Open car transport vs. enclosed auto transport

Both methods move vehicles using a truck and trailer. The difference is in the type of trailer used.

With open car transport, the carrier ships your car on a long, two-level trailer. You’ve no doubt seen this type of trailer loaded with vehicles on the highway. It’s a method of transporting vehicles that suits any type of vehicle and is the most popular choice for anyone who wants to move a standard model or a used car. It’s also the transport method of choice for most car dealerships.


  • Faster and cheaper
  • Easy to book
  • No wear and tear on your vehicle
  • More affordable


  • It exposes your vehicle to the elements, traffic grime, and road debris

Enclosed auto transport is slightly different in that the carrier ships your vehicle in a fully enclosed trailer. What they offer is a higher level of security and protection for your vehicle. The cost of enclosed auto transport is slightly higher, around 30% - 40%, but it’s the preferred method of shipping for owners of antique, custom, collectible, luxury, unique, and expensive vehicles.


  • Fully protected from the weather and road debris
  • Higher level of security
  • Drivers have experience in the care of high-end vehicles


  • More expensive than open car transport

Guaranteed pick up service

Choose this auto transport service if you need your vehicle picked up on a specific date. It’s also a good choice if you’re pushed for time.

Express auto transport

If time is of the essence and you need a vehicle shipped super quick, express auto transport is the answer. Last-minute car transport is available, and you can arrange for your vehicle to be picked up in 1-2 business days.

What to look for in a reliable auto transport company

Now you know your options, let’s look at what makes a reliable car transport company.

Department of Transport registration

Companies that wish to offer auto transport services have to register with the Department of Transport (DOT). When you contact an auto transport provider, always request their DOT number. A Motor Carrier is also a requirement if the service they provide crosses state lines. Always check the number via the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website. You can also check the company’s driving record.  

Insured and bonded

All reliable auto transport companies are bonded and insured. Choose this type of company and you get peace of mind knowing you’re protected should something happen to your vehicle and the company is at fault.

Professional website

A reliable auto transport company is going to spend time on their website. Online reputation is important and you can tell a lot from the quality of a website and the information they’re willing to share. Features of a professional website include a comprehensive FAQs section, various ways to contact the company, and 24 hour support.

Excellent online reputation

When you visit a company’s website, there is often a page dedicated to customer reviews and feedback. Spend some time on the page and read what previous customers have to say about the company.

There are other places you can look for reviews. For example:

Competitive prices

If you contact several auto transport companies you’re likely to find a range of prices. When you request a quote, always ask what they include in the price. There’s nothing worse than being caught out by extra or hidden charges. A reliable auto transport company will be honest and upfront about their prices, so never be afraid to ask for clarification. There should be no problem requesting a free quote either.  

Transparent service

Look for a company that is transparent about the service they offer and the auto shipping process. It’s important that you understand what your responsibilities are. A reliable auto shipping company will walk you through the process, recommend you take photos of any existing damage, and record the information on the Bill of Lading. This is standard procedure for a reliable company.

Check what happens should there be any delays. There are no guarantees in the auto transport industry and many variables can affect the service. Traffic delays, for example, can be an issue. A reliable auto transport provider is one that promises to keep to the schedule as much as possible and keep delays to a minimum.  

Claims process

It happens very rarely, but there is the smallest chance that damage might occur during the car shipping process. Before you sign on the dotted line, check what happens should it occur. Knowing the procedure and protocols in advance makes it easier should you need to make a claim.

Top quality customer support

The best auto transport companies are those that provide round-the-clock support and offer several ways for customers to get in touch. You never know when you might need to ask a question and knowing there is someone on hand to talk to is very reassuring.

Knowing that your precious vehicle is in safe hands takes a load off your mind. There are lots of options to choose from when you need to move your vehicle, but if you choose a reliable car transport company you get a great service, your vehicle is safe and secure throughout the journey, and it’s not going to break the bank in the process.

If you ever need a reliable auto transport company please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our shipping advisors are always available on the phone or via Live Chat and we’ll do our utmost to provide a value for money service.

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