The Difference Between Carriers and Brokers

Kevin Wallace March 25, 2024 2 minute read

When researching Auto Transport companies to move your vehicle, the terms you will hear most often are “Carrier” and “Broker”. These words may seem interchangeable, but they are very different.

Should you choose a broker or a carrier?

Of course, there are pros and cons to both. Carriers have direct control over their trucks, but they may not reach all areas of the country. Brokers have a wide network of carriers that they can use, but they are totally dependent on the schedules of those carriers. Consider the following before making this important decision for your vehicle:

Low Quote Prices

Brokers often give low automated quote prices that come with additional hidden fees, after they’ve collected your non-refundable deposit. What seemed like a great price at the beginning, may come back as a surprise to you later, when you begin to hear that your vehicle “can’t be moved for that price”. You’re then asked for additional money to “get the vehicle moved”, that usually adds up to more than what Carriers offered originally.

Pickup Dates (Including Guaranteed)

A Broker may offer shorter transit times, but they have no control over when your vehicle actually gets picked up. And they especially can’t “guarantee” the pickup date. Carriers can give you exact dates, including Guaranteed Pickup.


When your vehicle is moved with a Carrier, it is insured with the Carrier (we carry a minimum of $1,000,000 public liability insurance). But, when using a Broker, your vehicle is usually insured with their subcontractor, not the Broker. This is crucial, because if damage to the vehicle occurs with a Broker, you must deal with their hired Carrier, that you didn’t even contract with.


Working with a Carrier, you are dealing directly with the company that is moving your vehicle. So if issues arise, you have one point of contact. However, with a Broker, you must communicate with them, in addition to the actual Carrier who is moving your vehicle.

Choose Chips

Simply put, carriers own their trucks and brokers do not. While a Broker may give you more flexible options and prices, they can’t assure you on what they can actually deliver. With Chips Transport, you don’t have to choose, because you get the best of both. We’re a licensed Carrier (MC-221833) and a licensed Broker (MC-360523)


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