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Best Car Shipping Companies In Iowa

From our #1 rated provider,


07/17/2024 01:03 PM

If you need to move either temporarily or permanently, shipping your car to or from Iowa should be easy. In this article, we’ll provide a look at the five best auto transport companies in Iowa that offer peace of mind and competitive costs. We will also explain the costs for shipping cars using both open and enclosed transport services and show you how to easily ship your car.

The Gist:

  • Our team found that Montway Auto Transport is the best Iowa car shipping company, though it’s best to compare rates with those from Sherpa Auto Transport, SGT Auto Transport, American Auto Shipping and AmeriFreight.
  • The average cost to ship a car to or from Iowa is $944 for open car shipping services and $1,322 for enclosed auto transport.
  • Your car shipping cost in Iowa depends on factors like a city’s size, nearby traffic patterns, and weather conditions.

5 Best Car Shipping Companies In Iowa

We’ve put in more than 300 hours of research on the auto transport field to give you an honest review of the top car shipping companies in the industry. If you’re moving a car to or from Ames, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, or beyond, check out our list of the best Iowa car shipping companies.

1. Montway Auto Transport: Best Reputation

Montway Auto Transport is our favorite choice among the top auto transport companies of 2024 because they provide dependable service and reasonable rates. While Montway may not have the cheapest prices, their excellent customer service and variety of options make them stand out from their competitors.

Montway Auto Transport is a big and well-liked car shipping company in the United States. They operate in all 50 states and even offer international shipping. Montway has a wide network of carriers, which helps them provide affordable prices to their customers that are below the average.

Read more: Montway Auto Transport review

Montway Auto Transport Best Reputation
BBB Rating : A+ Phone : 844-601-0286 Coverage : 50 states
Pros & Cons
Pros Strong reputation, customer satisfaction, and industry ratings Carrier vetting Large network of 30,000+ carriers Offers expedited delivery Competitive pricing Cons No real-time tracking or mobile-app; must contact company for tracking info No guaranteed pricing $249 cancellation fee No specialty shipping services for recreational vehicles (RVs), boats, trailers, or other watercraft Intrusive Pop-up Ads

Montway Auto Transport is a reputable auto transport broker offering several car shipping services and cheap car shipping rates. We named it the Best Reputation car shipping company for 2024.

2. Sherpa Auto Transport: Best For Locked-In Rates

According to our research, Sherpa Auto Transport has a rating of 4.6 out of 5.0 stars on our scale. This is because they have locked-in rates, high customer satisfaction, and a wide range of services. On top of that, Sherpa also provides customers with a $20 reimbursement for a car wash through their Clean Car Guarantee.

Sherpa Auto Transport makes shipping easy and guarantees fair prices with a Price Lock Promise. This means that the price you’re quoted is the price you’ll pay, and if needed, the company will even cover up to $300 to prevent any price increases.

Read more: Sherpa Auto Transport review

Sherpa Auto Transport
BBB Rating : A+ Phone : 888-202-7706 Coverage : 49 states
Pros & Cons
Pros Locked-in shipping rates through the Price Lock Promise Vetted network of reliable and friendly carriers Strong customer service ratings on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Offers a Clean Car Guarantee Cons Slightly higher prices than competitors Does not provide terminal-to-terminal shipping

Sherpa Auto Transport has many strengths, from excellent customer service to the added security of the Price Lock Promise.

3. SGT Auto Transport: Best Price-Match Guarantee

SGT Auto Transport has been given a rating of 4.6 out of 5.0 stars because it provides different shipping options at good prices. The company received a high score for its services because it offers a range of transport choices like open, enclosed, and door-to-door, along with fast delivery and guaranteed pickup dates.

You don’t have to pay until the carrier is sent to pick up your car with SGT Auto Transport. Plus, if you find a cheaper price from another company, SGT Auto Transport will give you the same price. Our team discovered that most customers have a good experience with this provider.

Read more: SGT Auto Transport review

SGT Auto Transport Best Price-Match Guarantee
BBB Rating : B Phone : 864-635-4879 Coverage : 49 states
Pros & Cons
Pros Available in 49 states Offers price matching Has an option for a guaranteed pickup date Cons Doesn’t offer real-time tracking No terminal-to-terminal shipping option

We give SGT Auto Transport an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. This shipping broker has an outstanding reputation and offers affordable options for car transport services. Price matching, express shipping, and guaranteed pickups are other great features of SGT Auto Transport.

4. American Auto Shipping: Best Service Availability

American Auto Shipping provides various auto transport services to help you transport your vehicle. They have a strong rating of 5.0 in the services category. They offer door-to-door shipping, both open and enclosed auto transport options, shipping to Hawaii, motorcycle shipping, military vehicle shipping, heavy equipment transport, and more.

American Auto Shipping strives to offer customers a pleasant experience with perks like a covered rental car if your shipment is delayed over 14 days past the delivery date. Another benefit is your choice of pickup times from three different options–standard, priority, or expedited.

Read more: American Auto Shipping review

American Auto Shipping Best Service Availability
BBB Rating : A+ Phone : 800-238-7613
Pros & Cons
Pros Instant online quotes 24/7 customer service A+ rating from the BBB Standard, priority, and expedited service Cons No Alaska service No terminal-to-terminal shipping No GPS tracking

Considering its service offering, availability, and average rates, we give American Auto Shipping 4.5 out of 5.0 stars overall. It can work with a variety of shipping timelines, whether you need to ship your car next month or tomorrow. We recommend checking out a quote from American Auto Shipping when you plan your car shipment.

5. AmeriFreight: Best For Discounts

AmeriFreight has prices that are similar to other companies in the industry, but customers can pay even less by taking advantage of AmeriFreight’s discounts and different pricing levels. Some of these discounts include reduced rates for people who have used AmeriFreight before, customers who are shipping multiple vehicles, first responders and medical personnel, seniors, students, and more.

AmeriFreight is included in our top five auto shippers because they offer various discounts, price-match services, and excellent customer service. They work with over 10,000 car carriers and make sure to check the background of each shipper to ensure they are licensed and insured.

Read more: AmeriFreight review

AmeriFreight Best for Discounts
BBB Rating : A+ Phone : 855-460-6609 Coverage : 50 states
Pros & Cons
Pros Affordable rates and several discount opportunities available Thorough carrier vetting process Excellent reviews on BBB; A+ rating and accreditation Offers a guaranteed price option Delivers coast to coast Cons No real-time GPS tracking or mobile app Charges extra for insurance No locked-in rates No international shipping

AmeriFreight is a leading car shipping broker that partners with over 10,000 car carriers to deliver a wide range of auto transport services. The company also works with government agencies, vehicle manufacturers, and retailers to deliver outsourced logistics services and shipping on a large scale.

Other Iowa Car Shipping Companies

Although we mentioned five reliable national car shipping providers earlier, there are also excellent regional options to consider in Iowa. Take a look at the provider listed below as another option.

Eagle Auto Transport

Eagle Auto Transport is headquartered in Addison, IL. Learn more about this provider on the Eagle Auto Transport website.

Iowa Car Shipping Costs

The price of shipping a car in Iowa can change a lot based on a few things. Some of these factors depend on what you want, like what kind of car transport you pick. Most people use either an open trailer or an enclosed one to ship their car, so we have listed the average costs for both methods in the sections below.

Open Car Shipping Costs In Iowa

Open car shipping is when multiple vehicles are transported at the same time using a trailer without walls or a roof. It is a cheaper way to ship cars, but there are more risks involved compared to using enclosed transport services.

The average cost to ship a car to and from Iowa using open car shipping is $944, which is 7 percent cheaper than the national average of $1,010. We gathered cost estimates for open car transport along popular Iowa car shipping routes, which you’ll find below:

Auto Shipping RouteTotal Average Cost
Ames to New York$819
Ames to Los Angeles$969
Ames to Chicago$459
San Francisco to Ames$999
Miami to Ames$1,029
Cedar Rapids to New York$819
Cedar Rapids to Los Angeles$1,099
Cedar Rapids to Chicago$459
San Francisco to Cedar Rapids$1,199
Miami to Cedar Rapids$1,099
Des Moines to New York$769
Des Moines to Los Angeles$1,099
Des Moines to Chicago$449
San Francisco to Des Moines$1,099
Miami to Des Moines$1,029

Enclosed Car Shipping Costs In Iowa

Enclosed auto shipping services utilize an enclosed carrier that provides the ultimate level of protection from road hazards during transport. While it makes Iowa car shipping much pricier than open auto transport services, owners of classic or luxury cars should consider it.

The average cost to ship a car to and from Iowa using enclosed car shipping is $1,322, which is 40 percent more than the average cost of open car shipping in Iowa. The table below has average costs of popular Iowa car shipping routes using enclosed transport.

Auto Shipping RouteTotal Average Cost
Ames to New York$1,149
Ames to Los Angeles$1,359
Ames to Chicago$639
San Francisco to Ames$1,399
Miami to Ames$1,439
Cedar Rapids to New York$1,149
Cedar Rapids to Los Angeles$1,539
Cedar Rapids to Chicago$639
San Francisco to Cedar Rapids$1,679
Miami to Cedar Rapids$1,539
Des Moines to New York$1,079
Des Moines to Los Angeles$1,539
Des Moines to Chicago$629
San Francisco to Des Moines$1,539
Miami to Des Moines$1,439

What Affects Car Shipping Costs In Iowa?

Your exact car shipping costs for Iowa will likely depend on various factors. Different factors can impact how much you have to pay when shipping a car, including the type of transport, where it is being delivered, the cost of fuel, the distance it needs to be shipped, the type of vehicle, and the condition of the car.

A visual list of items that affect car shipping prices

How To Ship A Car To And From Iowa

Are you trying to send a car in Iowa but don’t know where to begin? It might seem difficult at first, but we have explained the process of moving a car below to make it easy and stress-free.

Choose Your Shipping Method

First, you must choose how you want to transport your vehicle. As previously mentioned, enclosed and open carrier car shipping are the most common types used across the industry. Both have their pros and cons, so comparing enclosed vs. open auto transport will help you determine which best fits your needs.

Compare Iowa Car Shipping Quotes

After you have chosen how you will transport your car, it is time to compare the prices for auto transport in Iowa. It’s easy to get online quotes for car shipping, and we recommend providing vehicle details to various car shipping companies to find the best price.

Remember that not all companies will promise to keep your quoted price for shipping your car in Iowa. Some may increase the rate due to changes in the market. If having a fixed price for shipping your car is important to you, choose a provider that offers this guarantee.

Select A Transport Provider

Once you have looked at quotes from different auto transport companies, you will probably reduce your options for Iowa car shipping services. At this point, you need to choose whether you prefer to work with a car shipping broker or an online shipping marketplace. Brokers will find a car carrier for you, but shipping marketplaces let you handle the carriers yourself.

Make sure to do some research on online review platforms and discussion boards before making any decisions. Hearing about other people’s experiences with shipping providers can be really helpful when deciding which one to go with for transporting a car to Iowa.

Prepare Your Car And Meet The Carrier

After you’ve booked a service to transport your vehicle, it’s important to prepare your car for shipment. Make sure to remove any personal belongings from your vehicle, as some transporters in Iowa factor in the weight of the vehicle when determining the costs. It’s also wise to leave your gas tank no more than a quarter full.

It’s now time to meet your carrier at a predetermined time and location. Whether you opted for door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal shipping, you’ll inspect your vehicle for prior damages such as dents, scratches, and dings. Before your car is loaded onto the trailer, make sure to take pictures of it for proper documentation. All you need to do now is sign the bill of lading, which is a receipt that follows your vehicle as it travels to or from Iowa.

Pick Your Car Up

If the company you choose to transport your vehicle has GPS tracking, you can watch your car as it travels to or from Iowa in real time. Regardless, the carrier will send you a message about when they will pick up your vehicle.

When you see your carrier at the designated place and time to pick up your vehicle, make sure to check it for any damages. This is extra important if you choose open auto transport. If you find any damages, report them on the bill of lading and take photos for potential claims. However, if everything looks good, you’ll just sign the bill of lading one last time and drive the car away.

What To Expect With Iowa Car Shipping

When you send a car to or from Iowa, there are factors unique to the state that could impact your car shipping experience. The size of the city, the number of people, the traffic patterns, and bad weather can all affect how long it takes to ship your car in Iowa. It’s best to know this in advance so you won’t be surprised during the shipping process.

Population density can also have an impact on the availability of door-to-door transport. Iowa is less densely populated than other states in the U.S., which may make door-to-delivery less of a hassle. However, availability may differ in major cities such as Ames and Cedar Rapids.

In addition, many cities in Iowa have higher-than-average rainfall and greater chances of extreme weather. Bad weather like storms or flooding could make it more likely for your car to be delayed when shipping it in Iowa. To avoid this problem, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and be willing to adjust your delivery schedule.

Iowa Car Shipping: FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions customers have about Iowa car shipping.

Why would a person want to ship their car?

If you’re moving more than a few hundred miles away, a long-distance road trip might not be worth it. Cross-country car shipping can provide peace of mind while offering protection from risks associated with long drives, such as mechanical breakdowns and car accidents. Getting your car to Iowa from far away states is much easier with auto transport.

What are the benefits of car shipping?

Car shipping is a safe way to get your car to and from Iowa without wasting the time and expenses associated with a long road trip. Choosing to ship your car rather than drive it will also protect your car from the wear and tear that comes along with extended driving periods.

How do I ship a car to Iowa?

You’ll start the shipping process by researching various car shipping companies and getting free quotes online. Next, you’ll choose a provider, book your shipment, and prepare the car for transport. Once your car has made it to or from Iowa, you’ll meet the car carrier for pickup.

How We Rate Iowa Auto Shippers

Our review process aims to deliver consistent and unbiased assessments of car shipping companies. While there are multiple qualities that make an auto transport provider successful, our review team focuses on those we believe are the most important for consumers:

  • Cost: Cost can be difficult to compare between providers because so many factors impact auto shipping rates. To determine our cost score, we perform a secret shopper analysis for a variety of vehicles and routes.
  • Services: Our team of experts looks at the types of services available, as well as insurance coverage and the ability to guarantee pickup and dropoff dates. Ratings also take into account whether the transport company is a broker or a carrier.
  • Reputation: It’s important that a car shipping provider is able to deliver your vehicle in a safe and timely manner. Companies with a strong rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) score well in this category. Established providers with a long history of reliable service also receive positive marks.
  • Customer Experience: We comb through consumer reviews on sites like the BBB to learn about customer experiences. Car transport companies with a low volume of complaints score well in this area.

*Data accurate at time of publication.
*Read more about our methodology.