Best Long Distance Car Shipping Brokers USA – How to Find Them?

Car Shipping

When getting vehicle shipping services, your first Google search query must have been about finding the best long-distance car shipping brokers in the USA. And it is the right thing to do, especially if your expensive vehicle’s safety is involved. That’s exactly why this guide is put together: to help you find the right car shippers for you. 


From the key considerations when hiring local or international vehicle shipping services to decide between individual carriers vs. established brokers and the cost differences, we will put everything in front of you. So read on to get all the information you need for the right decision:

Finding Long Distance Car Shipping Brokers Within USA – 7 Considerations:

When looking for long distance moving services or vehicle transport solutions, general considerations like checking licensing with U.S.D.O.T, proof of insurance, online reviews and ratings, and years of operation are a MUST. However, to ensure the best cross-country shipping experience, you need to scratch beneath the surface. Here are 7 more things to check:

1. Security measures and protocols during transport

Do their carriers adhere to the Cargo Securement Rules stated by FMCSA for properly securing automobiles they transport? Look for auto-moving brokers that can list the security protocols they follow to ensure your auto is protected during transit. 

These protocols may include enclosed carriers, the use of chains/tie-downs to prevent shifting, GPS tracking, anti-theft measures, etc.

2. Experience with luxury, exotic, or speciality vehicles

Do their carriers adhere to the Cargo Securement Rules stated by FMCSA for properly securing automobiles they transport? Look for auto-moving brokers that can list the security protocols they follow to ensure your auto is protected during transit. 

These protocols may include enclosed carriers, the use of chains/tie-downs to prevent shifting, GPS tracking, anti-theft measures, etc.

3. Customisation options

Something that you will not find discussed widely online is how much customization the broker offers. This is important, especially if you are on tight deadlines, have a non-operational vehicle, or are moving a super-expensive luxury car. 

Things like expedited delivery, enclosed carriers, lift gates for loading/unloading, concierge services, and so on show that a broker is well-equipped to handle all kinds of challenges.

4. Flexible Delivery & Scheduling

 Door-to-door auto moving solutions and the ability to access hard-to-reach areas, whether rough terrain or populated neighborhoods, show a broker has the fleet and drivers with the flexibility to deal with each situation. 

Moreover, accommodating pickup and delivery dates as per the customer’s schedule or close to it shows their transport solutions are meticulously designed to be customer-centric.

5. After-Hours Support:

 24/7 support is rare for any business, but if a broker has support agents who can be responsive after hours, it’s a sign they’re committed to handling your case on a priority basis. Since it’s a long-distance move, it will take at least a week to haul your vehicle to its destination. 

So, in case of any emergency like a change of drop location, tracking vehicle location, drop date change, etc., you should be able to get a hold of the agent fast. Ask for after-hour support and test it by contacting them or their agent’s number during after-hours with any questions you have and see how they respond.

6. Cost Estimates:

 One thing that separates the shady brokers from the creme de la creme is quote transparency. Good ones work on the YGWYS (You get what you see) model. 

They send you a quote that clearly outlines the auto moving services you’re getting, any add-ons and the costs for everything. Nothing is left for the ‘hidden’ costs at the time of the final quote after delivery. 

Nevertheless, if you later ask for something not initially discussed or if the vehicle dimensions/weight are different than what you provided, the costs can change because of these things.

car shipping brokers

7. Online Presence

Beyond the typical online customer reviews on Google, Transport Reviews, and Birdeye, look for reviews done on platforms like BBB and Consumer Affairs. 

BBB shows complaints and whether or not they’re resolved, the number of past complaints and record of resolution, and also a rating that tells you if this business is trusted.

Consumer Affairs has customer reviews and also a detailed review by their team, discussing different aspects of the company so you get a full picture of their solutions and credibility. 

Hiring Long Distance Car Shippers For International Car Shipping – 5 Considerations:

When getting international transport solutions like domestic auto moving services, you should look at general things like licensing, certifications, insurance proof, online reputation, past customer experience, and cost transparency. However, some other things that many people neglect checking include:

On-The-Ground Agents:

Go for brokers that have direct representatives/agents present at the origin/destination ports to assist with inspection, customs clearance, and collections. This reduces your reliance on third parties and makes the process seamless, as one company does it all for you. 

Moreover, international shipping brokers should be able to assist you with the documents required prior to shipping to US ports, during shipping, and after shipping for clearance at the destination port. This will ensure you get all necessary approvals and do not face any penalties or delays due to incomplete paperwork.

Tracking Technology & Dedicated Customer Support:

International shipments can take several weeks. Make sure to hire an international shipper with real-time shipment tracking and clear communication protocols in case of delays. You should be able to have GPS tracking and receive messaging updates to promote peace of mind.

Moreover, vehicle shipping brokers in the USA should have a support agent dedicated to your case. You should be able to call them and get updates, ask for any changes, or share any concerns throughout the transportation period.

Ask About Experience Shipping Your Vehicle:

Different vehicles have different types of regulations when shipping outside of the USA. For instance, an Electric vehicle will have specific battery-related regulations that must be met. Similarly, larger vehicles like RVs may need some modifications to be imported into a country and be road-ready. 

Motorbikes may also need changes, such as having imported with anti-theft devices into certain countries. Similarly, some countries like the US have left-side steering while others only allow right-side steering vehicles. A conversion might be needed beforehand. 

Then there are emission standards as well. The international car shipping broker should have regulatory knowledge regarding your specific vehicle to ensure it meets the criteria of the destination country.

Consider Costs of Door-to-Door vs Port-to-Port Delivery:

Door-to-door is convenient but can cost a lot because you’ll first pay from your door to the port in the US and then from the port of the destination country to the final drop point in the country. Depending on the distance, this can add a few hundred dollars.

The best and simplest way to save money is to get port-to-port shipping, where you drop the vehicle off at the US port and then pick it up from the destination country’s port after it’s cleared by customs. Make sure to ask the company if they have this option and how much you’ll save if you go port-to-port instead of door-to-door.

Confirm Insurance Coverage: 

If you are shipping a vehicle from the US to another country, the broker might not offer insurance coverage because, being US-based companies, their cargo insurance policies are typically limited to the US. However, you should discuss this with the broker, as they may or may not have cargo insurance. 

Most brokers charge 1.5% to 2% of the vehicle’s value for insurance coverage on vehicles shipped outside the US.

If the vehicle is coming to the U.S, then you shouldn’t have to pay for any coverage as the broker’s coverage policy will apply for US-bound vehicles. 

Carriers Vs. Auto Transport Brokers – Which One is Best For Long Distances?

Car transport brokers are the middlemen between car carriers and customers. They represent the customer and do everything on their behalf. The cost of shipping with car shipping brokers in the USA is almost always a little higher than with carriers, and we’ll discuss that as well, but first, let’s see the benefits of working with both:

  • Flexibility & Time Saving: With brokers, you do not have cost savings, but you have flexibility in dates and time-saving because brokers keep a tight check on the carriers. If you’re dealing with a carrier on your own (while not all of them are lazy), you won’t know what’s happening behind the scenes and why your shipment is being delayed. Brokers use ELDs (electronic logging devices) to account for every mile traveled, not letting the carriers waste time.
  • Communication: You can get the carrier’s phone number and call them for timely updates. However, what if the carrier just switches off the phone? Who will you go to for updates then? With brokers, you have live chat and phone support to get the updates. They’ll be chasing after the carrier to get updates, or they may even have GPS technology to keep tabs on the carrier. Plus, carriers don’t have any online presence, so they’re not afraid of getting a bad review if they don’t answer your calls. Trusted vehicle shipping services or brokers always have an online reputation at stake, so they are very serious about customer support.
  • Geographic Coverage: Carriers only have a one-way load and only one destination. You will have to keep calling different carriers before you find the one who can take your load to your destination. Brokers have a large carrier network of thousands of drivers going to different destinations, so getting your vehicle to and from wherever you want is a piece of cake for them.
  • Type of Vehicle: Just like geographic coverage, carriers are limited to the size of vehicles they can move based on the type of hauler/trailer they have. So you will have to search for the one with the right fleet. Brokers have networks, so they have all kinds of carriers to handle small vehicles, large motorhomes, and even heavy equipment.
  • Background Check: You’re very limited in checking the background of your auto carrier as you don’t have access to portals where carrier history can be checked and reviews can be viewed, such as Central Dispatch. As an individual, you don’t have access to these websites, so you can only verify the license through FMCSA and check their insurance information. Brokers can access Central Dispatch and other platforms to vet the carriers before assigning your shipment.
MetricCar CarriersAuto Transport Brokers
Potential for Lower Shipping CostsYes No
Direct Communication with DriverYesDepends on Broker

Availability Online
Less More

Geographic Coverage

Vehicle Type Options
Fewer More

Flexibility and Time Savings

Shipping Management
Less More

Key Advantages of Using Car Shippers

  • Access to a wider network of carriers, allowing for more options and potentially better pricing
  • Expertise in navigating the logistics of long-distance shipping, reducing the burden on the customer
  • Ability to negotiate better rates and terms with carriers on behalf of the customer
  • Streamlined communication and coordination throughout the shipping process

While carriers may offer more direct service, the advantages of hiring experienced auto transport brokers result in a better experience for those needing long-distance car transport solutions.

Cost to Ship a Car Long Distances Broker vs Carriers:

The cost to ship a car will almost always be higher with brokers than with carriers. However, the difference is usually $150-300, as pointed out by ReloGeek’s research. But with all the hassle they’re going through to ensure you get a hands-off vehicle shipping experience, the carrier is fully vetted, and your vehicle is fully insured during the shipment, don’t you think this is justified?

Now, let’s take a scenario of costs.

  • 500 Miles: If the distance is 500 miles, a carrier may quote $450, but the broker may quote $550.
  • 1,000 Miles: Let’s say a car needs to be transported 1,000 miles. The carrier gives you a quote of $650, and a broker may quote you $800.
  • 1,500 Miles: Let’s say the distance is 1,500 miles. A carrier may quote $800, and a broker may quote $1,000.

On the surface, it seems like the broker is only making $100 to $150 but offering you dedicated support, a streamlined transport process, insurance protection, and carrier handling on your behalf. 

So, isn’t this a bad deal for the broker? They do have to employ staff to take off all this for you.

Well, the thing is, they offer multiple loads to carriers, so they negotiate better rates with them. Plus, one open carrier can take 5-9 vehicles, so one full shipment profits the broker by a few hundred to a thousand dollars. This means they get a good enough amount to their operations smoothly and ensure their end customers get the best possible service and support.

If you look at the chart, you’ll see the difference in costs is less with smaller distance shipments and increases as the distance increases. Nevertheless, the broker’s responsibility of keeping track of the broker and ensuring safe transport over long distances also increases. 

Auto Transport Companies to Avoid For Long Distance Moves – 4 Types Discussed:

Remember that not all car shipping companies USA are created equal when shipping your vehicle long distances. You should never hire some types of auto transport companies if you’re looking for a smooth and hassle-free international or cross-country car shipping experience. Here are four categories of auto moving services to avoid:.

Type of Auto Transport Companies to Avoid
Reason to Steer Clear
Unlicensed and Uninsured Providers
If you do not have the necessary safeguards to protect your vehicle during long-distance vehicle shipping, you will be vulnerable to loss, damage, or fraud. Always ask for proof of insurance certificate.
Brokers Masquerading as Carriers
This may result in higher prices later on, bad communication, and no accountability if any issues arise during the transit. Check their U.S.D.O.T number for license.
Companies with Excessive Negative Reviews
Negative reviews can indicate unreliable service, hidden fees, or unethical practices. Use Google, BridEye, and BBB for ratings and complaints.
Non-Professional Websites
Any professional auto shipping company will have a clean website layout with their Google Map address pin, MC and D.O.T numbers mentioned, live chat support, and team members’ information with pictures, and content without grammar or spelling mistakes. 

Recognising 4 Common Scams By Car Shipping Brokers in USA:

Being vigilant against scams during long-distance long-distance car shipping is super important. Not only does this save you from overpaying, but also from getting your expensive vehicle damaged during transit. Unscrupulous car shipping brokers in the USA employ several shady tactics to exploit unsuspecting customers. Here’s what to keep in mind.

  1. Bait and Switch Pricing: Some car shipping companies USA may advertise a dirt-cheap hauling rate. This is only done to attract customers, and then the price is hiked up after the final quote arrives. They either chalk it up to hidden expenses or additional efforts required to move your vehicle. Always get a detailed written quote upfront, and be wary of hidden fees or sudden price hikes.
  2. Lack of Transparency: Reputable car shipping brokers USA will always list clear and verifiable information about their company, licensing, insurance, and the transport process. You can check with their insurer, FMCSA, and BBB to verify if they’re legit. 
  3. Deposit Demands: Legit and reputable car transport companies may require a small deposit when booking. That’s okay, and they typically refund it if you cancel before a carrier is assigned to your load. However, stay away from brokers who demand a full payment upfront. This is almost always a scam.
  4. Unrealistic Delivery Timelines: Even if online people say it’s a trusted car transport company, do not hire them if they offer unrealistically quick delivery timelines. For instance, moving a vehicle 500 miles takes 3-5 days. It can be a scam if they promise to do it in 1-2 days.

Whether it’s domestic, cross-country shipping, or international vehicle shipping services you’re getting, you’ll come across shady brokers everywhere. So put on your investigative hat and do thorough due diligence before hiring car shippers.