Sonic Auto Transportation Pros And Cons
Sonic Auto Transportation may not be a household name in the car shipping industry, but thousands of customers report good experiences with the company. Our review team wanted to find out how the company stacks up against the best car shipping companies, so we looked into its costs, services, ratings, and reviews to help you decide whether it’s the right choice for you.
Sonic Auto Transportation Overview
Sonic Auto Transportation is an auto transport broker based in Costa Mesa, California. The company works with a network of more than 24,000 car carriers to offer a variety of vehicle transport services in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. According to its website, Sonic Auto Transportation has helped more than 7,500 customers ship more than 8,000 vehicles to date.
As a vehicle relocation broker, Sonic Auto Transportation helps customers find carriers that can fulfill their shipping needs. It also helps both customers and shipping providers navigate the sometimes complex shipping process by providing communications and paperwork support.
Sonic Auto Transportation Shipping Cost
Because Sonic Auto Transportation is a shipping broker and not a direct provider, the company doesn’t have its own set rates. Instead, it negotiates with carriers to find cheap car shipping prices for the service you need.
To give you a sense of how much car shipping costs on average, our team polled 1,000 consumers who had recently shipped cars in our 2021 survey. When asked to report how much they paid to ship their cars, around 41 percent of respondents said they paid between $1,000 and $2,000 in car transport costs.
You can get a car shipping quote online on Sonic Auto Transportation’s website to determine how much you’ll pay with the provider. You just need to input your car’s make and model, the zip codes of your pickup and delivery locations, and contact information like your email address and phone number.
Factors That Affect Car Shipping Costs
Vehicle movers take multiple factors into consideration when they calculate rates. Here are some of the variables that impact car shipping costs:
- Shipping distance: Car shippers usually calculate their rates by the mile. Rates often decrease as the distance increases. While long-distance shipments cost more overall, they cost less per mile.
- Shipping options: Open transport comes with greater risk than enclosed shipping, but it is also significantly cheaper.
- Vehicle type: Your car’s make, model, size, and value all factor into your shipping cost. Larger and more expensive vehicles usually cost more to ship.
- Vehicle condition: If your car is inoperable, you’ll have to pay more to ship it.
- Shipping speed: Your shipping time frame also plays a role. The sooner you need your pickup date to be, the more you’ll need to pay.
- Time of year: Shipping prices fluctuate with demand throughout the year. Our research indicates that summer is the most expensive time of year to ship a car.
- Cost of fuel: You can expect shipping rates to go up and down with the price of gasoline and diesel fuel.
Sonic Auto Transportation Cost Tiers
One uncommon feature of Sonic Auto Transportation is that it offers tiers of service. While your cost will ultimately depend on carrier rates and your needs, our team found this feature useful for people who are new to car shipping. It demonstrates how different factors can influence rates and helps you understand how you can find the best price.
Here are the three tiers of service Sonic offers:
- Economy: 10-day pickup window, delivery in up to 20 days, open container, $100,000 insurance
- Standard: 5-day pick up window, delivery in up to 10 days, open container, $100,000 insurance
- Premium: Same-day/next-day pickup, rush delivery, open container, $100,000 insurance
Sonic Auto Transportation Car Shipping Services
As a vehicle transport broker, Sonic Auto Transportation can offer an array of shipping services. While the company doesn’t provide international shipping options, it can help you find a carrier for just about any other shipping need.
Here are the services Sonic Auto Transportation offers:
- Open carrier shipping: Open transport is less expensive than enclosed shipping, but it leaves your vehicle exposed to road debris and weather conditions.
- Enclosed trailer shipping: This option protects your car from the elements and road hazards but comes at a significantly higher price point.
- Expedited shipping: For a higher price, Sonic can have your car picked up as soon as the next day and shipped as quickly as possible.
- Alternative vehicle shipping: Sonic Auto Transportation offers shipping options for almost any vehicle you can think of, including boats, RVs, motorcycles, heavy machinery, farm equipment, and trucks.
Sonic Auto Transportation Reviews
While the company is not rated by the BBB, Sonic Auto Transportation reviews on the organization’s site are overwhelmingly positive. It holds a 4.4-star average rating out of 5.0 from customer reviews on the BBB, and more than 2,500 customers on Trustpilot give Sonic Auto Transportation an average of 4.8 out of 5.0 stars.
The auto transport company also responds to negative reviews with explanations and offers to make things right, which is a sign of a reputable company.
Positive Sonic Auto Transportation Reviews
In the many positive Sonic Auto Transportation reviews, satisfied customers report good experiences with helpful agents and fast service.
“The car arrived on the date it was scheduled to be here. The driver was nice and courteous. [Agent] worked to correct problems if there were any–and there were not.”
– SD via Trustpilot
“I reached out to Sonic with a last-minute need to have my car shipped. I spoke with [agent] and he was very professional and thorough. He was able to accommodate my shipping request. I was able to get my car within a few days without any issues.”
– S Tools via Trustpilot
Negative Sonic Auto Transportation Reviews
Amid the glowing reviews for Sonic Auto Transportation, some customers report less-than-satisfactory experiences. Most of these auto transport reviews mention issues with individual truck drivers canceling at the last minute or prices increasing from the original quote.
“This company offered me the lowest price [at] $935. Then, about a week after signing a contract with them, they blew my phone up and called me about six times in one hour and told me the driver had canceled and I needed to pay $1,300 for a new driver.”
– Michael via Trustpilot
“We signed a contract on Thursday for Friday transportation for $485. On Friday, we were informed the car will be picked up on Monday. On Monday evening I texted to confirm and we were told it will be on Tuesday. On Tuesday they found a driver for $800.”
– Marina via Trustpilot
Bottom Line On Sonic Auto Transportation: 3.8 Stars
Sonic Auto Transportation has thousands of reviews online from customers who report an easy, successful shipping experience. The company also offers shipping options for a variety of vehicle types, making it an attractive option if you need to ship something other than a standard car.
However, while there aren’t a huge number of negative reviews online, be aware that unhappy customers have identified a pattern of price fluctuations and scheduling issues when shipping with the provider.
We recommend requesting a quote from Sonic Auto Transportation to compare with other offers, especially if you need to ship an alternative vehicle.
|Overall Star Rating||3.8|
Top Recommendations For Car Shipping
Whether you decide that Sonic Auto Transportation is the right choice for you or not, we recommend getting quotes from car shipping companies to see which provider offers you the best rates.
Montway Auto Transport: Best Overall
One of the biggest names in the car shipping industry, Montway Auto Transport has been in business since 2006. The provider works with over 15,000 carriers nationwide to offer expedited shipping, international shipping, door-to-door transport, and more at affordable rates.
Montway Auto Transport is highly rated, with average scores of 4.5 stars out of 5.0 from customers on both the BBB and Trustpilot. The company also holds an A+ rating from the BBB. Positive customer reviews frequently mention fast communication, affordable prices, and timely vehicle delivery.
Sherpa Auto Transport: Best For Locked-In Rates
Sherpa Auto Transport stands out from competitors for its Price Lock Promise, which guarantees you’ll pay the rate you’re quoted and nothing more. The company also offers a Clean Car Guarantee, which lets you get reimbursed up to $20 for a car wash after delivery.
With an A+ rating from the BBB, Sherpa Auto Transport is one of the most trusted names in the car shipping industry. It also holds some of the highest customer review scores among competitors, with a 4.9-star average rating from customers on the BBB. While the company doesn’t offer shipping to Hawaii or Alaska, customers note the ease of the auto transport process and transparent pricing as major benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions: Sonic Auto Transportation
How We Rate Auto Shippers
Our review process aims to deliver consistent and unbiased assessments of car shipping companies. While there are multiple qualities that make an auto transport provider successful, our review team focuses on those we believe are the most important for consumers:
- Cost: Cost can be difficult to compare between providers because so many factors impact auto shipping rates. To determine our cost score, we perform a secret shopper analysis for a variety of vehicles and routes.
- Services: Our team of experts looks at the types of services available, as well as insurance coverage and the ability to guarantee pickup and drop-off dates. Ratings also take into account whether the transport company is a broker or a carrier.
- Reputation: It’s important that a car shipping provider is able to deliver your vehicle in a safe and timely manner. Companies with a strong rating from the BBB score well in this category. Established providers with a long history of reliable service also receive positive marks.
- Customer Experience: We comb through consumer reviews on sites like the BBB to learn about customer experiences. Car transport companies with a low volume of complaints score well in this area.
*Data accurate at time of publication.