Last updated April 9, 2020 by John Goreham
We reviewed Sherpa Auto Transport, one of the top car shipping companies with zero upfront payment. See what we discovered.
Sherpa Auto Transport is a vehicle shipping broker. They set up door-to-door transportation of your vehicle for you, but they are not the actual shipping company. However, they do stay actively involved throughout the process and Sherpa Auto Transport goes the extra mile to make your vehicle delivery stress-free. Sherpa Auto Transport also has a novel payment method that the company says “guarantees you won’t pay more.” But why would you pay more than the contract price? Sherpa Auto Transport explained to Car Talk that some brokers under-price the quotes and later cancel the shipment if the price they quoted can’t be profitable for them.
We asked for sample quotes to ship a 2015 Toyota RAV-4 to several locations around the country. Here’s what Sherpa Auto Transport provided:
Please note: The above prices are for reference only. They represent the cost to ship an operable Toyota RAV4 in an open trailer. Sherpa Auto Transport asked us to make clear that prices may change due to many factors (See below).
Sherpa Auto Transport comes very highly rated from respected sources. Sherpa Auto Transport will appeal to a person shipping a vehicle who wants a great price and who prefers to do the transaction by phone.
Sherpa Auto Transport Car Shipping
Sherpa Auto Transport is simple to work with. If you prefer a phone call to fill out a long form on the internet, this is your shipping broker company. Unlike some other shipping brokers who offer an online price quote process, Sherpa Auto Transport will just call you back to chat if you provide them with your shipping needs using the online form.
Sherpa Auto Transport Price Quotes
Getting a price quote from Sherpa Auto Transport is very simple. You give them a ring. We first phoned Sherpa Auto Transport at a time we felt would be challenging for the company. We called after business hours at 5:30 pm on a weekday. The Sherpa Auto Transport phone system was very easy to use. A message asks you to help Sherpa Auto Transport direct your call. We were calling to get a price quote, so we tapped “1.” We were then quickly connected to a very helpful Sherpa Auto Transport employee. We phoned a second time during what we felt might be a very busy time, at 10 am on a weekday. Again, we were connected very quickly and the agent spoke clearly and was very positive and friendly.
Sherpa Auto Transport is going to want some information from you and it is stuff you already know. They will ask you the year make and model of your vehicle. For example, 2015 Toyota RAV4. They will then ask you if the vehicle is able to run on its own reliably and if it has had any modifications. They need this information so they can arrange the correct type of transportation. We picked a common vehicle for the example pricing in our matrix, but if yours is very special Sherpa Auto Transport is still a great choice. They can handle custom and vintage vehicles without a problem. However, you should contact Sherpa Auto Transport for pricing on such vehicles since the circumstances will impact pricing.
Next up, Sherpa Auto Transport will ask you to tell them when you’d like the vehicle picked up and from which location. Finally, the Sherpa Auto Transport folks will ask you where you want it to be delivered. Unlike some transport companies, Sherpa Auto Transport primarily provides door-to-door service, as opposed to one transit hub to another transit hub. We think the majority of Car Talk readers want door-to-door service, so Sherpa Auto Transport seems like a good match.
Sherpa Auto Transport considers themselves “travel agents” for your vehicle. As such, they are focused on personal conversations, not emails and web-forms. If you prefer a personal touch, Sherpa Auto Transport will be a company you like speaking to.
How Does Sherpa Auto Transport Determine Car Shipping Rates?
The car shipping prices in the table atop this page represent the cost to ship an operable Toyota RAV4 in an open trailer. Sherpa Auto Transport asked us to make clear that prices may change due to many factors (See below).
Here are some factors that influence the price you pay from Sherpa Auto Transport:
- Whether the vehicle is customized, special, or a standard daily driver. These require special attention starting with an enclosed trailer. Best to phone for prices on these special examples.
- The size and type of vehicle (Expect to pay 20% more for very large vehicles)
- How soon your pickup time is approaching. Shipping tomorrow costs a bit more
- The distance your vehicle will travel
- The season may play a role in pricing
- Note that Sherpa Auto Transport offers a price guarantee. Some other brokers do not.
Sherpa Auto Transport Payment Process
Sherpa Auto Transport has a two-step payment process. The first step is you provide a credit card for an initial partial payment. This is sort of a down payment on your contract. When the vehicle is delivered you have to have either cash or a certified check ready to hand the driver. Sherpa Auto Transport says that this guarantees you will never pay more than the quoted price.
Sherpa Auto Transport Cargo Insurance
Sherpa Auto Transport takes insurance seriously. In fact, they insist that they are added to the policy that the individual shipment companies they employ hold. That enables them to be your advocate if a claim is warranted.
Sherpa Auto Transport Clean Car Guarantee
Sherpa Auto Transport offers what it calls a “Clean Car Guarantee.” Car Talk always suggests planning to have a car detailed after the shipment. A clean car would negate that hassle. We dug into Sherpa’s Clean Car Guarantee. Sherpa Auto Transport offers to reimburse you up to $20 on the cost of a car wash. The way it works is this; You get your car back from Sherpa Auto Transport. If you feel it needs to be cleaned, you then take your car to the car wash. You make certain to get a receipt. You then mail that receipt back to Sherpa Auto Transport. Then they will mail you back a check for that value. We’ve researched other shipment brokers and this was a unique benefit we feel could come in handy.
Sherpa Auto Transport Reviews
Car Talk looked closely at the reviews available from third-party sources for Sherpa Auto Transport. We like to start at the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Sherpa Auto Transport has been accredited by the BBB since 2018. It earns an “A” rating from BBB and has an average of five stars from 111 reviewers. A recent review from Anna T at BBB was a good example of what we found there. Anna said, “The service was outstanding! My car was transported with no difficulties from Washington to Illinois. I had frequent updates of the location of my car. The customer service was incredible. I highly recommend this company.”
At Yelp, Sherpa Auto Transport earns a 4-out-of-5 star rating on average based on 40 reviewers. Yelper David R had this to say about Sherpa Auto Transport; “This week I used Sherpa to transport my car from NY to CA and was beyond pleased. The pick-up of the car was hassle-free, the driver was professional and was available by phone during any portion of the trip. The folks at Sherpa were top-notch brokers. I highly recommend Sherpa for your transport needs.” At Yelp, there were a few 1-Star reviews. Each had a response from Sherpa offering more help. Most seemed to end in a fair resolution.
The most impressive reviews were on Google. There are 187 Google Reviews for Sherpa Auto Transport. They average to impressive 4.7/5 stars. We looked for a frequent Google reviewer and found Greg H, who left this overview of his experience with Sherpa’ “I went with Sherpa because of their good reviews and I wasn't disappointed. They were on call at all times during the process, and the delivery of my car from Pennsylvania to South Carolina went smoothly. The Sherpa folks were in touch with the driver and I got updates along the way. The car arrived in great shape and the remainder of the balance was either given to the driver in cash or Cashiers check upon delivery. Thanks, Sherpa for a good delivery and nice customer service.”
Overall, the reviews we found for Sherpa Auto Transport on third-party sites indicate a very positive customer experience. As with any service, there are a few folks who reported a complaint, but those reports were few and far between.
Sherpa Auto Transport Review in Summary
Sherpa Auto Transport is a full-service vehicle shipping company that can also handle other things like your boat or motorcycle. Sherpa Auto Transport is a bit different from some competitors in that it relies mostly on phone conversations, rather than web forms. Sherpa also primarily ships door to door. The reviews for Sherpa Auto Transport are overwhelmingly positive based on our independent review of third-party review sites like Google and Yelp. If you are looking for a full-service shipping company, and if you like to do your business with a person live on the phone, Sherpa Auto Transport is the place to start.
Q: Sherpa Auto Transport Car Shipping: How does it work?
A: Sherpa Auto Transport starts with a phone call. They take it from there and will walk you through the process step by step. They pick up and deliver your vehicle door to door. You pay an initial deposit and then have cash or a certified check ready when the car arrives. During transit, Sherpa offers real-time location information on where your vehicle is.
Q: Sherpa Auto Transport Quote: How much does a Sherpa Auto Transport quote cost?
A: Your price depends primarily on where you ship from and where the vehicle is going. Check out our matrix of pricing above. Please note that Sherpa Auto Transport offers a price lock guarantee. Other brokers do not. If they can’t “sell” your job and make a profit, other brokers may bail on your contract. Sherpa will honor theirs (Sherpa’s words)
Q: Sherpa Auto Transport Insurance: Does Sherpa Auto Transport offer insurance?
A: The shipment company Sherpa Auto Transport contracts with do have insurance. Sherpa Auto Transport is also named on the policy so that they can assist you if a claim is necessary.
Q: Sherpa Auto Transport Customer Service: How accessible are they?
A: In our test calls, SherpaAuto Transport’s customer service agents were quick to answer the phone. Many reviewers give Sherap Auto Transport high marks for accessibility. We liked that the agents spoke clearly and seemed happy to speak with us.
Q: Sherpa Auto Transport: Is Sherpa Auto Transport a broker?
A: Yes, Sherpa Auto Transport is a broker who subcontracts the delivery of your vehicle with shipping vendors they trust and work with closely. There are many advantages to using a broker. These folks provide thousands of bookings each year to individual shippers. Why not use their leverage?
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