When you need to move a vehicle long-distance, it’s convenient to use an auto transport company. Our partners at We researched the best car shipping companies in Santa Barbara so you find a properly registered broker or carrier with a record of delivering vehicles safely and on time.
How to choose an auto transport company in Santa Barbara
When searching for a car shipping in Santa Barbara, look for a company with strong reviews from customers. Check for comments about ease of scheduling, on-time pickup and drop-off, damage-free transit, accurate quotes and ability to track a vehicle while it’s en route.
Understand that auto transporters can be either carriers or brokers. Carriers move the vehicles from point A to point B. Brokers coordinate with many carriers to arrange shipping on behalf of customers.
Whether you choose a carrier or broker, make sure it is registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Brokers and carriers need an MC Docket number, and carriers must also have a USDOT number. Ask for these numbers and verify them on the FMCSA website.
Even though vehicle damage during car shipping in Santa Barbara is highly unlikely, you want to protect yourself financially. Get proof of active insurance, and talk with your car insurance company about how your coverage applies during auto transport.
Contact several car shipping companies in Santa Barbara that meet these criteria. Here are questions to ask:
How long have you been in business?
Can you ship my make and model of vehicle from/to Santa Barbara to/from the destination/origin?
Is transport available when I need it?
How long will it take to ship my vehicle?
Can I track the vehicle’s progress?
What happens if my vehicle is damaged during shipping?
Is the price quote you provide guaranteed?
How much does it cost to transport a vehicle to/from Santa Barbara?
Car shipping cost in Santa Barbara is usually between $500 and $1,200, depending on these factors:
Transport distance and pickup/drop-off locations: The longer the shipping distance, the higher the cost. Also, it generally costs more to pick up and/or drop off a car in areas off the beaten path.
Season: Expect to pay more for auto transport during the summer or around the holiday season.
Scheduling flexibility: Standard service includes a multiday window for pickup. A guaranteed shipping date or expedited transport adds to cost.
Enclosed vs. open transport: Enclosed transport keeps a vehicle inside a trailer during transport, which protects it from weather and road debris. This option is significantly more expensive than open transport.
Vehicle size and weight: Larger, heavier vehicles cost more to transport than smaller ones.
Whether the car is operable: Vehicles that don’t run are more expensive to ship than vehicles in working order.
Estimated transport rates to/from Santa Barbara
Note: Based on shipping a large, operable sedan in an open carrier with availability 45 days in advance.
Enclosed vs. open car shipping
Shipping companies in Santa Barbara offer both enclosed and open shipping. Enclosed shipping places a vehicle inside a trailer during transport so that it’s not exposed to weather or road debris. Enclosed shipping is sometimes chosen by those shipping luxury, antique or exotic cars. Open shipping is a more common, less expensive choice that is often easier to schedule.
How long does it take to ship a car?
It usually takes between one and 10 days to transport a car to or from Santa Barbara. The time it takes to ship depends on distance, traffic, weather and other factors.
Your auto transport company in Santa Barbara will give you an estimated arrival date, and most companies will have a way for you to get updates while the car is in transit.
eShip uses fully insured and bonded carriers to handle over 3,000 transports per year. Choose from open, enclosed and expedited shipping options, with no upfront deposit required. A protection plan with a damage-free guarantee and rental car reimbursement is included at no charge. Customers like eShip’s competitive, transparent pricing and vehicle tracking service.
Sherpa Auto Transport ships cars with reputable carriers and features the Price Lock Promise, which guarantees the price you pay for transport. This company offers door-to-door pickup and delivery and real-time shipping updates. Customers appreciate Sherpa’s Clean Car Guarantee, which includes a free car wash after delivery.
AmeriFreight is a broker with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. The company requires no upfront deposit and offers customers gap coverage for vehicle protection. Discounts are available for military, first responders, students and seniors. Reviewers are highly satisfied with AmeriFreight professionalism, recommending its services to others.