What is the difference between a broker and a carrier?

When looking for car transport and car shipping companies, there are really two different options you can choose to book with: a broker, and a carrier. The main difference is that a broker does not own their own trucks. They find trucking companies in your area to pick up and deliver your vehicle. A carrier does own their own trucks, and they send one of their trucks to pick up your vehicle.

But which is better? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that  using a brokerage to handle your car shipping is much easier. One of the main reasons is that they aren’t tied down with their fleet. Many carriers have a fleet of trucks, but the problem is that their fleet is often far, far away from where you happen to be. A broker, on the other hand, is able to quickly and easily track down trucks in your immediate area; that way, your pickup time is much sooner than going with a carrier.

So it can be easier to use an auto shipping broker, what else?

Besides, why would you want to tie yourself down to one carrier? Trucks can be notoriously unreliable, especially when dealing with a carrier. Car shipping is not an exact business; many times, trucks run late and sometimes even cancel. When you ship with a car shipping carrier, as opposed to a car shipping broker, you’re tied down, and if the carrier suddenly decides to drop the ball, you’re sent packing with nowhere else to go. Not so with a car shipping brokerage. If a truck breaks down or fails to pickup the car (rare occurrences, to be sure), they can just find another one, saving you time and money on your car transport.

Another great thing about a brokerage – more specifically, using our website to get a free quote, is that you aren’t obligated to ship with any of them. With carriers, typically you’ll get a quote and then they’ll want to book it immediately. Not so with a brokerage. With a brokerage, you can get quotes, see their prices, and then react to the price and see which one is best suited for you. Car shipping is not an exact science; mostly, the quotes you get from carriers will be estimates, and then they’ll spring you with additional fees and surcharges. With a brokerage handling your car transport, the price you’re quoted is the price you pay. End of story.

Okay, I get a lot more options with brokers, I like that!

What’s also nice about booking your car shipping with a brokerage is that you same time, money, and hassle. With a carrier, it sounds like you’d be getting a good deal: direct contact with the trucks, etc. However, that’s just not the case. Many carriers don’t have the equipment necessary to communicate with their trucks the way brokerages can. Plus, carriers have many trucks all across the United States; brokerages have one at a time. The customer service representative (CSR) from the brokerage you choose for your transport focuses on you; the CSR at a carrier has so many more things they need to do, and you will get lost in the shuffle.

The biggest thing about carriers is that they will give you a quote for terminal-to-terminal shipping. This means that your vehicle will be picked up and dropped off at a terminal, just waiting there for more cars coming from your area to where you’re going. This can take weeks, if not months. Brokerages won’t do that, especially the ones that advertise with us. Their quotes are for door-to-door service, and the price you see is the price you get. Carriers may tend to “forget” to add the cost of insurance to your price, dramatically lowering it to entice you to ship with them. Not only is this sleazy, but illegal. Brokerages tend to respect the law; your price will include the cost of insurance as well as any other fees they may want you to pay. You know what you’re paying for, in other words.

So what does American Auto Shipping do for  YOU?

When you use our website, or call us, you’ll receive a free quote to ship your vehicle right away. No waiting for a quote in your email, just a free, no-hassle, instant quote.

We recommend you search for other companies and get quotes as well. Why? Because competition keep you in control. You can choose which company to ship with and when they ship it. With a carrier, you don’t get that. They are the company you ship with, whether or not you want them to. Carriers use their own trucks, whether or not they’re reliable. With brokers, the trucks they use are only from the top companies, because they care about you. They want you to ship your next car with them, so they’ll do their best to help you.