Should You Use A Local Company Or A National Company For Your Car Shipment?

Car Shipment

Transporting your vehicle during a relocation can be an important but tricky decision. With numerous local and national car shipping companies to choose from, it’s difficult to determine who would best serve your specific needs. Several factors like cost, distance, flexibility, and insurance come into play. This article provides an in-depth analysis of key aspects to consider when deciding between a local versus national carrier. It explores the pros and cons of each based on relocation distances and tips on how to make the optimal choice.

Key factors to consider


Cost is one of the primary factors to consider when choosing between a local and national car shipping company. On average, local car shipping companies tend to offer more competitive rates compared to their larger national counterparts. This is because local companies have relatively lower operational costs without an extensive nationwide network. However, national shipping companies can also offer competitive rates if you request multiple quotes and look for discounts.

Availability and Flexibility

National car shipping companies tend to have a wider coverage area and availability across the country compared to local shippers with regional footprint. They can easily accommodate pickups and deliveries in remote locations. However, local companies offer more flexibility in pickup/delivery dates and customizable services catered to your specific needs, since they operate within a limited geographic area.

Transit Time

For long distance relocations across multiple states, national car shippers using specialized roll-on/roll-off car carriers can transport your vehicle faster than local shippers relying on open trucks. However, for short to medium distance moves within a state or region, local shippers using enclosed trucks have logistical advantages leading to comparable or faster transit times.

Inspection and Value-Added Services

Local car shipping companies tend to offer more personalized services since the owners are hands-on. You can inspect your vehicle before and after transport. They may also offer value-added services like meeting you at the destination for delivery. National shippers rely more on regional partners and tend to be less flexible in offering extras.

When to consider a local versus national company

Short Distance Relocations

Formoves within 50-100 miles, a reputable local car shipping company using enclosed trucks provides a good balance of cost, convenience and security. They can transport the vehicle faster at a competitive price.

Medium Distance Relocations

For moves between 100-500 miles within a state, both local and national companies can work well depending on flexibility needs and exact distance. Check multiple quotes from both.

Long Distance Relocations

For moving vehicles across multiple states over 500-1000 miles, it’s best to go with a national car carrier company using specialized roll-on/roll-off carriers. They provide the fastest door-to-door transit.

Remote Locations

If pick up or destination locations are remote,off the highway or in rural isolatedareas,choose a national company with extensive coverage rather than betting on local carrier availability.

Other Key Considerations

  • Insurance Coverage: Check liability policy limits of local versus national companies
  • Licensing and Permits: National carriers areDOT certified for interstate transport
  • Reviews and Ratings: Check online reviews, ratings and complaint history
  • Communication: Ease of contact matters, especially for issues en route


In summary, for short local moves choose a reputable local carrier but for long distance relocations across states, go for national transport specialists. Get quotes from both and decide based on your budget, timelines and exact relocation details. Reputation, experience and communication ability should top the list along with competitive rates.