UPS Car Shipping

When starting to look into the ways you can relocate your vehicle, you may ask "Can I ship a car with UPS?". After all, the worldwide logistics giant is one of the most recognized brands that exist. From their trademark brown and gold colors to their unique trucks. Everybody knows who UPS is. So shouldn't they also ship cars?

The answer to that will depend on what kind of auto transport you you need.  When it comes to UPS,  they will specialize in two types. One type would be fleet vehicles . These are purchased and/or shipped quantities. The other would be boxed motorcycles by freight.

UPS Transport for Fleet Vehicles

So let's say a large company is relocating to another state and is moving dozens of cars, work trucks, and even busses. UPS calls this Finished Vehicle Transport. UPS in these cases can manage the movement of fleet vehicles by offering ocean, air, or over-the-road transport. If this represents your type of shipment, then UPS will help you coordinate the transfer or purchase of your fleet. You can reach them and get a Virtual Consultation.

UPS Transport for Motorcycles

UPS can actually ship motorcycles for anyone. However, it is a kind freight shipping. This means it needs to be packed and wrapped. Since it is being shipped in a crate, it should be drained of all fluids. You will not only save costs by cutting weight, it is also to avoid safety hazards. Generally, UPS ships more new preassembled bikes and scooters this way. If this is not what you are looking for, you can try motorcycle shipping with a vehicle transport company.

Is there UPS Car Transport Available for those Moving, Relocating, or Buying A Vehicle?

As you may have guessed by reading the above, UPS does not ship vehicles for those who are simply moving, relocating, buying / selling a car, etc.  In order to move these types of vehicles, you will have to use an auto transport company.

Will UPS Offer This in The Future?

It does not seem likely that in the near future the service will become available as UPS would have to create a very specific infrastructure in order to be able to move vehicles. The company has not announced any plans to do so and as of this article has not conducted any test marketing for such a service.

Furthermore,  auto logistics also involves interaction and the adjustments to the actions of parties in several locations.  This does not fit their business model. So what does this mean?

  1. UPS would have to design,  create, and build specifically designed auto shipping vehicles and hubs that house cars and trucks.  UPS would also have two have thousands of local yards with smaller trucks so they can deliver vehicles to tight neighborhoods where a large car carrier truck would not fit to promise door to door service. The start up cost would be in the millions.
  2. They cannot compete with the rates of traditional owner-operator carriers. Usually, most carriers run their own trucks. Their pricing is based on what they need to turn their desired profits and keep their small company running. UPS is a huge billion-dollar company that is heavy with several levels of operations. The company needs to turn larger profits to sustain car shipping.
  3. When shipping regular freight or packages nearly 98% can be simply dropped off if the person does not answer the door.  If UPS shows up to pick up a package and it's not on the porch or with the sender, they move on after just one or two minutes. But with vehicles, the driver can't simply ring the doorbell and then leave. When picking up, just because the sender is taking too long to find the keys or take it out of the garage or if the battery is dead, time will be lost. Multiply these small delay several times per customer and UPS will have bottlenecks resulting in delivering or picking up beyond the promised timeframe. Likewise, if the recipient is not at home or ready to receive the vehicle they cannot just simply leave it.  Sending that vehicle back to a UPS hub would take a tremendous amount of space and fuel therefore will not be cost efficient to where the company can turn his expected profits.

How to Ship Your Car if UPS is Not an Option

If your vehicle is not a fleet vehicle or it does not represent the type of transport that UPS normally performs, then you can opt to go in auto transporter to ship your vehicle.  This will probably be the case for nearly everyone since most auto shipping is done for individuals and families. 

Naming a few, this will pertain to :

UPS Insurance Coverages for Transport

Shipping fleet vehicles with UPS is a tailored service. So insurance is calculated and issued on a per case basis with UPS. If you are shipping a motorcycle, the insurance will be calculated on the declared value. If going to a UPS Store, you can get the most accurate valuation prior to shipment.

Getting Help From UPS

If you are not sure or need further information you can reach UPS at or contact them at 1-800-742-5877 (1-800-PICK-UPS®) and they can assist you.


Please note that National Express Auto Transport is in no way associated with United Parcel Service of America, Inc and provides this information to aid in the understanding of the various options for shipping vehicles. Questions for us here at National? Call National Express at 800-284-7177.

Carl has a decade of experience in the car shipping industry. He has worked in nearly every aspect of the transport business since 2014, taking charge of various roles in the company such as dispatching, sales, and customer service.

During those years, Carl amassed an invaluable amount of experience which has contributed to his writing of every article and and guide on NX since taking over content in 2015.