Elite Auto Shipping is one of the many companies you can use to transport your car from one place to another. If you’re considering shipping your car with Elite, you’re probably wondering how they stack up to the competition. We’ve got the details for you.
Elite Auto Shipping ships cars, SUVs, motorcycles, large vehicles like RVs, ATVs, boats, and more within the contiguous 48 states. Elite says it contracts with drivers who carry insurance against damages to your vehicle, and those drivers will pick your car up within 1 to 4 days of your order. The truck that picks up your vehicle, Elite says, will be the truck that drops it off, so there won’t be any transfers during the trip, reducing the chances that your car will be damaged. Elite offers door to door service, which means they’ll pick it up where you want, and drop it off directly at its destination rather than having to drive it to and from freight terminals. That’s a significant convenience, especially since freight terminals can be hard to get to, and take a lot of time to get your car into the hands of the shipper.
Elite offers both open and enclosed transport options. Open shipping is cheaper, but your car’s exposed to weather, road debris, and even possible vandalism while it’s on that car trailer. While enclosed shipping costs more, it might be a good idea, especially if your car is rare, valuable, or a classic.
On the downside, if you need to ship your vehicle internationally, you’ll have to look elsewhere, because Elite doesn’t do it. You can, however, ship it to Hawaii or Guam.
Elite Auto does not display pricing information on its website. You have to ask for a quote, after which a representative will contact you. As such, we’re not able to give you much pricing data, but we can tell you some generalities. Longer-distance transports will cost more than short hauls. Shipping it in an open car carrier will cost less than shipping it in an enclosed trailer.
We recommend putting the details of what, where, and when you’re shipping into Elite’s quote calculator, as well as several other companies, to get the best idea of what you’ll pay. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a way to get a quote without getting a human involved.
What to do when shipping a car with Elite Auto is pretty similar to shipping with anyone else. Once you’ve arranged for transport, there’s a list of things you need to do to have your car ready to go.
Make sure your car’s in good mechanical shape - specifically, the battery needs to be tied down securely, and the car can’t be leaking any liquids. Give it a good wash so that any scratches or dents are easy to spot, then take pictures from all angles, inside and out. Have your camera superimpose the date on the images - you’re creating a record so you can prove any damage that happens to the car wasn’t preexisting.
Run the gas tank down to ¼ tank, but don’t let it go completely empty. Disconnect or disable the alarm, if it has one. Remove everything that isn’t secured to the inside; Garage door openers, cell phones, paperwork, etc. Also detach any trailer hitches, ski, bike, or luggage racks that aren’t permanently attached, and retract the antenna if it telescopes.
And remember they’ll need a set of keys! Make sure one’s available to them. You’d be surprised how many people forget this.
Most important, however, is to make sure you understand all the terms of the shipment. Read every document they send you carefully, and ask questions if something doesn’t make sense. We also recommend making any deposits or payments with a credit card rather than a debit card, because you’ll have greater protections if something goes wrong.
Elite’s careful to note on its website that your vehicle will be insured against damage, and in fact domestic shippers are required to carry minimum levels of coverage. But keep in mind that you have to inspect the vehicle on delivery, because once you accept it, you can’t prove whether the damage was done during transport, or afterward.
As always, we recommend reading the contract carefully and asking questions - preferably in writing - as to what exactly will and won’t be covered by that insurance. If their coverage doesn’t meet your needs, you can talk to your auto insurance company for more options.
Reviews for Elite Auto Shipping are, honestly, all over the map. They’re high - mostly 5-star, on Transport Reviews, though we’ve found that site to frequently rate shippers significantly higher than others. Elite got a low 1.5 out of 5 star rating on Yelp, but a 4.14 out of 5 star rating from readers of the Better Business Bureau’s site.
One possible explanation is name confusion. Not only are there similarly named companies - Elite Shippers Ltd., Elite Transit Solutions, etc - but many other shipping companies describe themselves as “elite” in their marketing materials. It’s possible that some of the reviews were actually meant for other companies.
That said, reviewers on the Better Business Bureau’s sites gave the company both high and low ratings. Darrel H. wrote:
“All they want is the upfront deposit but will only waste your time. I waisted (sic) two weeks getting the run around from --- saying no drivers in the area. Changed brokers driver dispatched to bring my car the next business day. You get what you pay for no driver will accept the lowball bid they throw out there.”
But Linda M. had a different experience:
“I would like to give a extra special thank you to Elite Auto Shipping Services. ---, gave excellent service and I would happily recommend him . --- called me and --- the transporter was ringing my doorbell at the same time. --- was very professional and assured me the auto would be delivered today. Less than 7 hours --- delivered as promised. Thanks again, Elite,”
Reviews on other sites followed a similar scattershot pattern. Kat C. on Yelp wrote:
“Elite Auto came through for me when no one else would and they didn't try to charge me arm and a leg. Thank you so much!!!!!”
On the other hand, Tarek A. had a very different review:
“Compete scam. They take your deposit and you don't hear from them for weeks. I disputed my DEPOSIT for a service I never received because I couldn't get ahold of anyone to cancel, and finally when I did they said I was under contract and couldn't cancel. So I disputed it with my (bank) and over a month later my claim was reversed. And there is nothing I can do. Avoid at all costs.”
An area of particular concern for us was the BBB’s own rating of the company, which is the lowest possible score of “F.” The group lists its reasons for such a low rating as “concerns with the business’s practices,” as well as its lack of response to 75 complaints filed against it. The BBB also expressed concern over Elite Auto Shipping’s “(f)ailure to be transparent about ownership, location, or products/services offered.”
While online Elite Auto Shipping reviews indicate a fairly even-odds chance of having a positive experience with the company, we’re concerned about that F rating from the BBB. That’s a pretty serious red flag. There are so many auto shippers out there that if we were to choose a transport company right now, we’d hesitate to choose any business with such a low rating.
For more information on the best car shipping companies in the industry, check out our Best Car Shipping Companies article here.
According to what we found, it depends who you ask. Many reviews express positive experiences, but many others say the opposite. The BBB has assigned the company its lowest possible rating.
The best auto shipper for you depends on your specific shipment. We recommend reading plenty of reviews of a number of different companies to choose the best option for you. Also read our Best Car Shipping Companies article here.
Anywhere from under $1,000 for a low cost, short-distance, domestic open carrier transport to sometimes over $100,000 for international air transport. Read more on the Best International Car Shipping Companies here.
Plan on between a little under $1,000 to $2,000 to start. Upgraded options such as enclosed transport or door-to-door shipping will add to that cost. Check out our article on How to Ship Your Car Across the Country here.
The best way to get a good price is to compare offers. We recommend reaching out to...