Moving Auto cross-country
January 23, 2020 10:50 AM   Subscribe

Has anyone used a service to move an auto across country? It feels like the wild west and not in a good way.

I was hoping to call someone that would put it on their truck and deliver it for me. But it most certainly doesn't seem that easy. Instead it all seems much more shady. All I can find are "brokers," who as best I can tell, give me an "estimate" of cost and pickup dates make me pay a nonrefundable deposit, and then see who they can find. Internets are filled with horror stories about what happens next. Has anyone gone through this and can give me any hope and/or warnings?
posted by rtimmel to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I used Montway Auto Transport, and it worked roughly like you wanted. They scheduled pickup, and the shipment itself took about a week.
posted by whisk(e)y neat at 12:32 PM on January 23, 2020

Used Dicks' and it worked fine. Paid for by my employer, however, so I can't attest to cost efficiency.
posted by aramaic at 1:32 PM on January 23, 2020

You should not need to provide a deposit to the broker.

From my understanding, the broker will put your move on the national database. Your information will include date the car is available and date you can pick it up. It also includes how much you will pay for the service. Carriers will work with your broker to schedule a pick up if the route and cost work for them. (They are filling a truck with multiple cars.)

The broker I worked with seemed to have a network of carriers who he had worked with and whom he had good experiences. He also was helpful in suggestions the process.

I paid $1,020 to ship my car from CA to TN. In addition, I paid the broker $265. The broker charged my credit card when I confirmed my car was loaded on the truck. I paid the carrier via cashiers' check when I took delivery.
posted by bruinfan at 2:06 PM on January 23, 2020

I did this some years ago, and although I found the whole broker vs driver thing weird to navigate at first, it ended up being a fairly simple process of calling a few shippers to get quotes, then just scheduling the time and place to meet the driver and send the car on its way.
posted by Dip Flash at 3:47 PM on January 23, 2020

I shipped a car cross country from Nevada to Tennessee using a broker. I had no problems and everything went very well. I just had to call two or three places to get exact quotes after being given an estimate upfront by the broker I believe. I was also able to view reviews for each company that would actually move the car. That was helpful.
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 6:44 PM on January 23, 2020

I shipped a car from California to Chicago, I arranged it myself. The carrier put the car on a train, and told me when and where to pick it up. Super easy.
posted by chocolatetiara at 7:57 AM on January 24, 2020

Thanks all for alleviating my fears. Between Yelp reviews and BBB complaints, I was seeing nothing but the dark side.
posted by rtimmel at 6:51 AM on January 25, 2020

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