The 3 Types of Car Transport Companies

We live in a complicated world and no truer is this when it comes to transporting a car long distances.

If you’re considering vehicle transport to move your car, there’s a lot to think about and choosing the right company, the company that will do the actual loading and transporting of your car really the place to start.

You also have to think about which types of car transport companies are going to give you the best advice.

There are three major types of car transport companies that you might end up dealing with when shipping your car: carriers, brokers and aggregators. Each of these will offer you a slightly different service to the others.


Carriers are the companies that do the actual shipping for you. They’re the ones that will be responsible for loading, transporting, and delivering your truck to your chosen destination.

You might think that since this option (dealing directly with the carrier) would be the best and cheapest and have the most accurate information regarding your shipping.

This is not necessarily the case.

If you go directly with a carrier, you’ll have to take on all the responsibility for shipping.

All the way from contacting the most suitable carrier, making sure they have the right insurance and noting any damages or mistakes in the delivery on the vehicle condition report.

You’ll also have to make sure you have enough time in your schedule to take on all this responsibility, and that it will not cost you in lost productivity.

Unless you’re affiliated with the transport and logistics industry, or you happen to have researched and studied a lot about car transport, chances are you will miss some details in the shipping.

And, that might cause you a great deal of annoyance in the future.


Brokers, on the other hand, connect you to other companies by acting as a liaison between you and your carrier.

They sometimes deal with handling all the details involving the vehicle transport.

They make sure the carrier you use is reputable and has up-to-date insurance requirements. They’ll also handle claims for you if your car is damaged during transport.

Reputable brokers are usually experts in the transport industry and they’re often more likely to know which carriers are trustworthy, safe, and affordable. They’ll be able to find and connect you to a carrier much faster and easier than you could do on your own.

If you want the car transport to be as stress-free as possible for you, a broker can certainly help.


Aggregators are companies that exist almost completely online. This site is an example of an aggregator.

What they do is take information about your car and your shipping requirements, and use that information to connect you to brokers or carriers.

More importantly, they flip the entire business model on its head so that, instead of you doing all the work attempting to find the right carrier, the carriers are doing all the work to win your business.

Aggregators put you in the “driver’s seat”. If you’d like to fine-tune one of the offers put forward by the car transport companies, you can negotiate with them further.

There have been some negative practices by aggregators in the US whereby customers were being bombarded by emails and phone calls from pushy salespeople.

Fortunately, here in Australia, there is a very strong Privacy Legislation and companies need to adhere to strict privacy principles to protect consumers.

In the case of CTS Australia, we are providing a service to You and we insist that all our partners agree to meet a high code of conduct through our Terms of Use at all times when dealing with prospective customers from our site.

We proactively seek feedback from our customers to make sure the carriers are upholding their part and acting in good conduct.

If ever there is an issue, you can be sure to provide feedback directly to us and we will raise it the carrier.

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Customer Success Story

Why Car Transport Services Exists Today!

When I had to move my car from Melbourne to Perth, the journey of finding the right transportation service felt almost as daunting as the 3,400 km drive itself. Through trial and error, a bit of luck, and a few missteps, I learned a great deal about how to select the best service for such a task. Here’s my experience, and I hope it can guide you smoothly through your own process.

Start with Research

The first thing I learned was the importance of research. Initially, I made the rookie mistake of choosing the first service that popped up in my Google search results. Big mistake. The company had hidden fees I hadn’t anticipated, and the service was far from satisfactory. What I learned was to dig deeper. Read reviews on multiple platforms, ask for recommendations from friends or family who’ve undertaken similar moves, and don’t skip on checking the forums where real customers discuss their experiences.

Check for Licensing and Insurance

One good decision I made was ensuring the company was licensed and insured. Insurance is important. Transporting a vehicle across such a long distance has its risks, and you want to ensure that your car is covered in case of any mishaps. Verify the transporter's accreditation with transport authorities and ensure they have valid insurance that covers your vehicle during the transit. This gave me peace of mind, knowing my car was in safe hands.

Compare Quotes

Getting multiple quotes was another area where I initially faltered. I assumed all prices would be roughly the same and didn’t bother shopping around. However, after a pricey quote from the first company, I decided to get several more. The price differences were significant, and some companies offered more comprehensive services at lower costs. Always compare quotes from at least three to five companies. This not only gives you a better idea of the price range but also allows you to negotiate better terms.

Understand the Service Types

I wasn’t aware initially, but there are different types of car transport services: door-to-door, terminal-to-terminal, open carrier, and enclosed carrier. Each has its pros and cons. I chose an open carrier for its cost-effectiveness, but in retrospect, considering the long journey across Australia, an enclosed carrier would have been better to protect my car from the elements. Understanding these options beforehand helps in making a more informed decision based on your needs and budget.

Communication is Key

One of the best decisions I made was selecting a company that had excellent communication practices. They provided updates at every major juncture of the journey, which eased my anxiety. Ensure that the company you choose has a point of contact who is reachable and willing to update you throughout the process. This is vital for peace of mind and to ensure that any issues are quickly addressed.

Timing and Flexibility

I learned the hard way that flexibility is key when transporting a car such a long distance. The initial service I chose promised a delivery within a week, but it ended up taking more than two weeks, which disrupted my plans significantly. Ask about the expected delivery times and check if the company can offer guarantees or compensation if they exceed the estimated delivery times.

Avoid Rush Decisions

A bad decision I made was rushing into booking without fully understanding the terms and conditions. This led to unexpected charges for additional services I wasn’t aware I had agreed to. Take your time to read the fine print or have someone else review it. Make sure you understand every aspect of the service contract.

What I Wish I Knew

If I knew then what I know now, I would have placed more emphasis on checking customer feedback about their post-service experience, especially regarding how companies handle damage claims and disputes. Knowing a company's track record in these areas can save you from potential headaches if something goes wrong.

Open vs Enclosed Car Transport

Open car carrier with new vehicles

Open Car Transport

Open car transport involves shipping vehicles in an open-air trailer, exposing them to weather and road conditions.

This method is cost-effective and widely available, making it a popular choice for transporting vehicles quickly and economically.

The main benefits include lower costs due to multiple vehicles being transported simultaneously and quicker delivery times. However, the downside is the potential risk of damage from environmental elements and road debris.

moving cars in an enclosed car carrier

Enclosed Car Transport

Enclosed car transport uses fully enclosed trailers to provide maximum protection for vehicles against weather, theft, and damage during transit.

This method is preferable for high-value, classic, or luxury vehicles requiring extra security. Enclosed transport is more expensive and less readily available but offers higher insurance coverage and peace of mind.

Specialised services include GPS tracking and expert handling, ensuring vehicles are delivered safely and discretely.

Find out more