Lots of people think that truck trailers on highways belong to car dealers when they see them. However, did you know that not only auto dealers transport cars but private car owners as well? Whether you need to ship a single car or multiple cars, you can easily hire a private car hauler.
This includes efficiency, safety, and avoiding wear and tear. Does nobody want a “new” car that has been driven thousands of miles from day one? As with manufacturers, private owners have several reasons to select a car transport company.
10 Best Private Car Transport Companies
|Companies||Best For||Contact Detail|
|AutoStar Transport Express ||Best overall||888-802-8250|
|Thrifty Auto Shipping ||Cheapest car shipping||(844) 741-1221|
|Onroad Transport and Logistics||Shipping all type of vehicle||(888) 849-7269|
|Goliath Auto Transport||Locked-In Rates||(941) 914-7373|
|Umbrella Auto Transport||Expedited shipping||(267) 523-2727|
|Kwik Trans ||Military Personnel||(413) 455-3958|
|Ktk Transport ||Best Customer Service||973-981-1910|
|Starway Logistics||Additional insurance coverage||(215) 938-8567|
|OCH Trans INC||Instant quotes||(323) 715-2020|
|West Coast Auto Transport||Open Car Transport||
Who are the Private Car Haulers?
Private car haulers provide car shipping services to private car owners and usually run a specific car shipping route. Some travel to other locations, but only when there are vehicles available for the trip back to the station.
Different types of cars can be transported by them, including sedans, SUVs, race cars, classic cars, boats, and motorcycles. The best ones have customized equipment suited to every type of vehicle and provide affordable, safe, and customer-centric services.
What to Look for in a Great Private Car Hauler
A private car shipping company must be reputable, quick, and endorsed by many satisfied customers on top of being affordable when searching for vehicle transport services. If you do your research you can ensure a smooth delivery.
Our team of independent researchers, testers, and advisors provides you with a list of the top 10 private car transport companies, cross-checked with customer reviews, state availability, licenses, insurance, and federal complaint data.
Don’t forget that you must use a carrier registered with the Federal Maritime Commission if you are shipping a vehicle overseas. This list does not include every company that can handle international shipping, so you may need to do additional research if this applies to you.
Find out which of the top ten private car transport companies in the USA is right for you.
How to work with Private Car Haulers
Use this simple, step-by-step approach to get a good deal from private car haulers.
Record Call or Talk on WhatsApp
If it is your first time dealing with a private car hauler, consider recording your call or using an App like WhatsApp where the chat record is safe. This will help you avoid any bad surprises.
Correctly Describe your Vehicle
Describe your vehicle in detail. Include the make and model of the car you want to ship. The driver will use this information to plan a spot for your car on the car carrier.
Remove your Personal Items from the Car
While car shipping companies like AutoStar Transport Express may allow some personal belongings, a private car hauler may object to it. We advise that you remove all of your personal items from the car.
Stick to Pick up and Delivery Time
Private car carriers may have only one car carrier. Unlike car shipping companies, if you miss your pickup time, they may cancel your order. Similarly, if you miss the delivery time, they may ask for extra fees.
Private car haulers are solopreneurs. There is no staff. Your relationship is with the car carrier driver who is also the decision maker. Being nice to your car carrier can get you some unexpected favors.
1. AutoStar Transport Express
We rate AutoStar Transport Express as the best car shipping company on our list. They provide quality-driven, affordable, and professional vehicle transportation services.
Carriers are thoroughly screened to ensure they have good ratings, are fully insured, and are ready to meet your needs. 80% of carriers who don’t meet their standards are removed from their list.
They haul everything from classic cars to exotic sports cars, military equipment, motorcycles, and SUVs. AutoStar Transport Express is known for providing the reliable and secure vehicle transportation from state to state. They can provide you with an instant, free car shipping quote.
It is one of the few private car transport companies that offer money-back guarantees in full.
Among the areas in which they specialize are:
- Open carrier car shipping
- Enclosed auto transport
- Seasonal auto relocation
- Expedited express auto shipping
- Classic car auto shipping
- Oversized and heavy machinery transport
They offer flexibility and customization, and they cover all bases. Tracking, insurance, taxes, tolls, and door-to-door service are all part of the services.
You can get a free shipping quote instantly from them. Best of all, AutoStar Transport Express fully insures all of its vehicles from pick-up to drop-off. That means real peace of mind when it comes to auto transport.
2. Thrifty Auto Shipping
Like AutoStar Transport Express Thrifty Auto Shipping offers affordable car shipping and auto transport services. Whether it is a dealership delivery, a business relocation – or even a military PCS vehicle move – they make sure all vehicles are delivered when promised, and in as good a condition as they were given.
Furthermore, they have received an A+ rating from BBB, as well as 5-Star reviews across all reputable auto transport websites. They offer an online quote that includes fuel charges, insurance, taxes, and tolls.
3. Onroad Transport and Logistics
Auto transportation is made easy with OnRoad Transport and Logistics. All types of vehicles are available to be shipped including trucks, sport utility vehicles, motorcycles, boats, cars, and ATVs anywhere in the lower 48 States, Hawaii, Alaska, and internationally.
They are always available on cell phones. No fancy call menus or hold times. As a licensed, bonded, and accredited company, OnRoad Transport and Logistics selects car carriers from a preferred network to ensure your car is in good hands throughout the shipping process.
4. Goliath Auto Transport
A company called Goliath Auto Transport, LLC transports vehicles nationwide to all 50 states. As needed, they utilize both open and enclosed car carriers.
Its mission is to provide you with a service that is a high standard and satisfactory, supported by quality customer service and reasonable pricing.
All of their drivers use newer trucks & trailers and are well rated. However, it does not provide instant quotes online. For a quote, you’ll need to call or email. Furthermore, they have received an A+ rating from BBB, as well as 5-Star reviews across all reputable auto transport websites.
5. Umbrella Auto Transport
What about private car haulers as another fantastic option? Umbrella Auto Transport. With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, Umbrella Auto Transport has received many 5-star reviews from satisfied customers. It provides fast, free quotes online and is courteous and professional.
Besides providing vehicle tracking, umbrella auto transport offers expedited and enclosed services. A single, dedicated agent will work with you throughout the process. Lastly, the company is licensed, bonded, and insured.
6. Kwik Trans
Try Kwik Trans if you are active in the military. The company offers active-duty personnel a $50 discount. The company offers services in Alaska and Hawaii as well as the contiguous United States.
It does not, however, provide instant quotes online. Instead, you will need to call or email for a quote. Be it a sports car, a classic sedan, or a family SUV, Kwik Trans will transport it to its destination safely and on time.
7. Ktk Transport
Ktk transport Provides two shipping quotes, one for cash and one for credit or debit cards. Many of their quotes will save you approximately $60 if you pay cash.
Additionally, you have the option of choosing between open and closed carriers. Despite their slightly higher prices, they excel at shipping vehicles from point A to point B without complications.
Their sales and support are available 24/7, and you can reach the trucker personally. In some areas, they offer free insurance coverage and expedited shipping. Unlike some private car haulers, they do not require upfront payments.
8. Starway Logistics
The customer reviews prove that Starway Logistics offers better service than many private car transport companies. Customers are offered discounts and additional insurance coverage if a vehicle gets damaged in transit.
Additionally, Starway Logistics provides services in all 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii.
The company, however, does not offer GPS tracking and instantaneous online quotes. However, most customers consider its strengths to outweigh its weaknesses.
In case shipping makes you nervous, consider a company like AutoStar Transport Express that offers tracking updates whenever requested.
9. OCH Trans INC
ETA Trans Inc provides car transport services for all of your vehicle’s moving needs, with safety and compliance being the highest priority. To ensure that drivers are compliant with FMCSA laws, they provide back-office support.
The GPS tracking on trucks helps them monitor your vehicle at all times so that you are never late, and can report the location on any given day.
10. West Coast Auto Transport
The company has been family-owned and operated since 1998 in Spokane, Washington. This company may not have the lowest prices, but its reputation makes up for it.
The company owns all trucks, and they don’t broker any shipments. All prices include insurance, and they offer door-to-door service. There is no deposit required.
However, the company isn’t always available. Unlike AutoStar Transport Express, it does not offer instant online quotes, and West Coast Auto Transport only has open trailers. So, if you have investment-worthy vehicles to move to, stay away from this company.
Private Car Shipping Methods
Private car hauling companies typically offer two different types of carriers to transport your vehicle. One of the most popular methods is to use an open-air truck.
Choosing open-air transport is the most cost-effective way to ship a vehicle with a private shipping company. These carriers can carry anywhere from four to twelve cars at a time.
Open-air trailers are also quite affordable and are the most popular method of transporting both new and used cars to dealers, as you have likely seen on major U.S. interstates.
An enclosed carrier is another option to ship a car with a private shipping company. Carriers of this type are smaller, completely enclosed, and typically haul fewer cars at a time. They provide full protection for vehicles that are being moved. Enclosed auto transport is less common than open shipping. Therefore, the service is more expensive.
Benefits of Private Car Haulers
The chief benefit of using a private car shipping company instead of a broker is direct access to the driver. For a car shipper, being in a deal with the driver who will carry your car is more straightforward.
We have discussed some benefits of using private car shipping companies.
Direct Access to Car Carrier Drivers
In a private car hauler company, the car carrier driver is mostly the decision maker. You can bargain the price and the car pickup and delivery time. It gets you rid of the corporate red tape and you won’t have to go through a receptionist for everything.
Car tracking can’t get easier than calling the car carrier driver. Whenever you want to know the car’s location, simply call the car carrier driver and know everything you want to know.
Most drivers are easy going and your communication with them will be easy and open.
Fast Pickup and Delivery for Short Distances
If your private car hauler serves your state only and you want to ship your car within the state, you are in luck. For people moving within California, using such a private car hauler is one the best way to ship their car.
The private car haulers that serve within the state or on short distances will often pick up your car within 24 hours and you can expect delivery within 2,3 days.
Pay on Car Delivery
Unlike broker car shipping companies, you don’t have to pay anything in advance. You’ll pay the car shipping charges when you receive your car.
Disadvantages of Private Car Haulers
Let’s look at the flip side of the coin and see what are the drawbacks of using private car shipping companies.
Limited Routes and Availability
Private car shipping is mostly a solo show. The car carrier owner drives the car carrier truck and manages the business.
As private car shipping companies have limited resources, they can only serve a limited number of car shipping routes, and their availability at your desired date is subjective to workload.
No Service Reviews
Private car haulers work for themselves. Most of their business comes from repeat customers and word-of-mouth referrals. You can’t find reviews about their service online. If you have heard good words about them, mostly that good words can be trusted.
No Price Contract
As private car haulers don’t have offices or staff, they will tell you the price over the phone at the time of the deal. Mostly, there is no written contract about the price. You’ll only sign the bill the lading as proof of car transit and delivery without damages. A Bill of Lading is a simple document that does not mention the price.
Some private car haulers may practice malicious ways to milk more money. If your car is different from what you told them at the time of booking or you have loaded your car with personal items, they may ask for extra fees. Also, if you are late at the time of pick up or delivery, that may result in you paying more.
Are you interested in learning about the different options for private auto transport services? Keep reading for your complete guide to the cheapest way to ship a car.
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