Elite Auto Shipping Review

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.

Pros and Cons

  • Shippings all sorts of vehicles, including large items
  • Door to Door service offered
  • Open and Closed transport available
  • Does not offer international shipping
  • BBB rating is very low

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.

Read more on How to Ship Your Car to Hawaii here.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship with Elite Auto?

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.

Read more on How Much it Cost to Ship a Car here.

How to Ship a Car with Elite Auto

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 Auto Shipping Insurance Options

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.

Elite Auto Shipping Reviews

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.”

Recommendation and Summary

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.

Our Methodology

Some shipping companies are aggregators that work across multiple car transporters and will help you price shop across them. The aggregators are responsible for vetting the individual carriers and often will show you the consumer ratings and individual price quotes so you understand exactly who will be moving your vehicle. They also tend to offer standardized insurance packages that work across their carrier network.

We selected good companies based on over 30 data points and an extensive secret shopper initiative to ensure unbiased and clear results. Our main focus is obtaining the most useful information for our readership based on the central ideas below.

  • Reputation - Companies that maintain a strong rating score and industry reputation on trusted review platforms.
  • Cost - There are many individual factors that can impact the cost of car shipping including location, timing and worth of the car. We took all these into account when examining the cost structure of each company.
  • Consumer Reviews - Individual reviews from current and past customers who have used the business and have personal experience to draw from.
  • Longevity - How many years a company has been in business, growing their company, gaining reviews and establishing trust within the industry.
  • Services Offered - These services can range from international shipping, enclosed options, open container options and more.

For more information on the best car shipping companies in the industry, check out our Best Car Shipping Companies in 2022 article here.

Golden Wrench Winners for Best Car Shipping Companies

4.9 of 5

Montway Auto Transport is a very well known name in the car shipping world. This company simplifieds the car shipping process and even includes the cost of insurance in the price. Their quote process is simple and they sustain excellent reviews within the industry.

4.5 of 5

Sherpa Auto Transport is a very trusted name in the car shipping industry. With door-to-door delivery and a large array of auto transport options available for the consumer, Sherpa is a great choice.

4.9 of 5

AmeriFreight is one of the most prominent and well known names in the auto transport industry. With coast-to-coast delivery and discounts available for military, seniors and students, AmeriFreight remains a big player in car shipping.

4.1 of 5

Easy Auto Ship is a newer player in the car shipping game, but very respected. This shipper has excellent reviews and many options to choose from, including motorcycle, classic and international shipping options.

4.1 of 5

This nationwide shipping company is based in Chicago and is one of the only options available that offers a refundable deposit, should your plans change. They have a very easy quote process in place, even though they have not been in business as long as some of the other companies in the industry.

4.0 of 5

This well known auto shipper uses a trusted network of approved carriers and can ship your car to far away destinations like Alaska and Puerto Rico. They are known for high quality service and reasonable pricing.

3.8 of 5

This very reasonably priced company is a meta-search shipping option. uShip will provide you with quotes from multiple shipping companies to find the best deal for your needs. They have good reviews and many options available.

3.9 of 5

This nationwide auto transport company offers real-time, online vehicle tracking and instant quotes for the consumer. They are known for reasonable prices and a large list of shipping options.

3.1 of 5

Ship a Car Direct maintains a large network of qualified drivers, and is able to offer very reasonable prices. The company maintains excellent ratings and review, and offer many options for consumers.

See all auto shippers »


Is Elite Auto Shipping legit?

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.

Who is the best auto shipper?

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.

How much does it cost to ship a car?

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.

How much does it cost to ship a car across the country?

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.

Editor's note and disclaimer: Car Talk is supported by our fans, readers and listeners. When you click on some of the links on our website, we may receive referral compensation. However, you should know that the recommendations we make are based on our independent editorial review and analyses.