As you begin the requisite research and decision-making process before you ship your vehicle, you will probably start comparing local and national car shipping companies. At first glance, based on cost alone, you may think that the better option is a local company—their smaller overhead and fewer employees means they can sometimes offer lower prices.

However, there are many things to consider before you commit—as the goal is to get your car safely to its destination.

Here is a handy chart to help you compare and contrast local vs. national car shipping services, then we will go into more specific details below.

local vs. national car shipping services

Consider: Equipment & Drivers

Local car transport companies are often smaller operations run by individual carriers who have a truck or two that they drive themselves. There’s nothing wrong with that, and they can certainly get your vehicle where it needs to be. However, if you need specialized equipment—for example if you are moving a larger vehicle or a rare vehicle—then local companies simply may not have the equipment to provide the white glove service you want.

National carriers often have a fleet of equipment, and the ability to contract many drivers. This means that, while they may cost a little more, they can ship your vehicle in the best and safest way, offering you peace of mind along the way.

Consider: Distance

If you are moving a car more than a few hundred miles, your best bet would be to hire a national transport company. Why? With only a few carriers, local auto shipping companies can only travel a few specific routes. In order to make it profitable to travel long distances, they will want to pick up more vehicles along those routes, which may create a delay in transporting your car. Local carriers can often provide faster service with local moves of up to a few hundred miles.

National auto transport service companies have access to more routes and more drivers. While the amount of time before you see your vehicle on the other side depends on a lot of factors, including the rules and regulations regarding how long a driver can drive in a day, ultimately, with more drivers and routes, your car may be on its way sooner with a national company.

Consider: Safety

Your ultimate goal is to receive your car from point A to point B in the same condition it was when it started. All reputable companies, whether national or local, should be licensed, registered, and have insurance for the cars they transport. Larger national companies may have better insurance policies than smaller, local businesses simply because of the cost of the policy.

Ultimately, before choosing any company, you want to check on what kind of policy they hold, as well as their safety ratings when it comes to transport. No company is immune to accidents.

Consider ShipLux First

It really comes down to what you need for your car. Local auto shipping companies can offer lower prices because of less overhead and employee costs, but that might not be the best option for your vehicle, especially when moving long distances. National companies may cost more, but will have more flexibility, equipment, and staff to ensure your car arrives safely.

As always, the best way to make a decision is to do the research. Contact local companies and ask questions. Contact national companies and ask the same questions. Ask about equipment, routes, how long they expect it to take, safety, insurance, and any other concerns.

No matter their size, reputable companies like ShipLux will answer all of your questions clearly and honestly, as well as provide a clear and reliable shipping quote. When you’re preparing to ship a vehicle, always start by contacting ShipLux for a transparent, no-obligation price quote. You’ll be glad you did!