Which Is The Best way to Ship a Car

Auto Transport Comparison Guide:
Brokers, Carriers, Marketplaces.

Request a Quote or call (707) 500-7555

Carrier Type


Are you about to ship your car for the first time? You probably performed online research to find out how you can do it. You may have found a couple of marketplaces, a dozen of brokers, and even some companies claiming to be carriers. In order to save you time, let us show you the pros and cons of those options.
You have 4 main options to ship your car across the country. Let us dive into these options.

Car Shipping Marketplaces

We live in the “Amazon era”, where we can find a marketplace for everything. In the car transportation industry, there are several car shipping marketplaces that claim to connect customers and carriers directly. At a first glance, it’s a cost-efficient and easy way to go with. Not the case. And here are 4 reasons why.

  1. 90 percent of service providers pretending to be carriers on vehicle shipping marketplaces are brokers. We know this as we have been registered and working on the marketplaces for a while. There is nothing wrong with working with a broker. But this is not the worst thing with auto transport marketplaces.
  2. Some marketplaces don’t require service providers to undergo any verification, such as a USDOT or MC number check. This puts you at risk of working with untrusted or unreliable service providers. Plus most marketplaces don’t allow the service providers to show their real names and contact details, so you can’t even go and check them yourself.
  3. The car shipping marketplaces cover zero risks. In case of any emergency or problems with service providers, they just stay apart. Just read the terms and conditions before starting bidding on a marketplace.
  4. The vehicle shipping marketplaces will charge you about 20% deposit in advance. They will call it a success fee, deposit, or other way. In fact, they charge their own profit. The only thing you get for this 20% is a chance to meet a service provider. Once more, 90 % of those service providers will be brokers. In other words, you will pay for double brokerage. Moreover, in case of cancellation of the booking it will be a challenge to return that deposit.

Doesn’t sound like an option to go with, right?

Everything you should know about Vehicle Shipping Brokerage Companies

There are hundreds of auto transportation brokers in the market. Most of them are good enough and reliable. Brokers will do the “dirty” job for you. They will find a reliable carrier, arrange the shipment, handle the paperwork, and assist you during the whole trip. But here are some nuances to consider before finding one.


1. Instant quote isn’t that instant.

The brokers who give you an instant quote, overcharge you. Here is how it works. The car shipment industry is a free market, where each and every deal is negotiated between the carrier and the client (or the broker, in this case). After having a price quote, brokers go to the load board and search for a carrier who can accomplish your transportation. So how do they give you an instant quote? They just keep a higher profit margin to back their risks. Let’s say you ask for a quote for Los Angeles to New York City transportation. The broker knows that that destination costs about USD 950-1050. Your instant quote will be something around USD 1300-1400. After you confirm the quote, the broker tries to negotiate with carriers to get the cheapest price and maximize their profit.


2. Upfront charges

Brokers usually claim not to charge you upfront. That’s a marketing trick. In most cases you will be charged once a carrier is assigned to your shipment. Some brokers even charge once you book the order. Once again, they may call it in many ways. The reality is, they charge their profit upfront.


3. “Unpredicted situations”

Several unethical brokers employ this strategy. They give low quotes, but later call and demand more money with false justifications. In order to safeguard yourself from these frauds, it's crucial to be aware of these strategies. This can be a frustrating and unpleasant experience. Always be on the lookout for extremely low quotes to avoid falling for these kinds of frauds. Some service providers might be advertising prices that seem too good to be true, and they might then attempt to make up the difference by introducing extra fees or hidden charges after the booking has been made. According to our researches, most of negative feedbacks the brokers receive are because of cancellations due to this strategy. Those dishonest brokers are most likely to find you on vehicle shipping marketplaces. Always compare the prices you see there with reputable brokers. Don’t let them fool you with inadequately low prices.

Auto Transport Carriers

It seems that the best option is to find a carrier and work with them directly, without any mediators. That’s an option. But, here too, there are some crucial drawbacks you should know about.

  1. Most carriers have one or only a few car transporters, even the biggest ones. Finding a carrier that has a free slot to your desired destination at the right time is not the best idea to bid.
  2. Even if you decide to, you will spend a ton of time finding a carrier (because they have low online presence), negotiating the price and time, checking their credibility (because you risk your money), preparing and signing documents (because they won’t). Do you really need this?
  3. You are always at risk with a carrier. If a booked shipment is canceled (you may decide to change the date, or the carrier may have technical problems), you will have to start over again. That may be frustrating.
  4. For carriers, doing business with brokers is much more convenient rather than with clients directly. They usually prefer to book ready shipments from brokers. It’s quicker, easier, and regulated by law.
  5. Carriers usually do terminal-to-terminal shipping. This option will hardly be the fit for you, as their terminals may be hundreds of miles far from you. You can find more information about it in our door-to-door shipment description.

Innovative Ways Logistics

We have been in the industry for a decade now, and see all those problems from the inside. That’s why we have funded Innovative Ways Logistics. We tried our best to be as innovative as possible to combine the advantages of all those options and create the service our clients deserve. Here is what you should know about us:

  1. Innovative Ways Logistics is an Auto Transport broker
  2. Unlike other vehicle shipping brokers, we will show you the real price the carriers charge
  3. We will take care of the paperwork, make sure the carrier has insurance, be with you during the whole process, and stand by you in case of unpredicted situations
  4. You will not pay a cent until your car is picked up
  5. We charge only 10% service fee of the carrier’s price. That’s fair to you. That’s enough for us.