Finding a company to ship your car can be tough. After a while, they all start to look alike. Our series of auto transport reviews is here to help you sort through the options to find a company that works for you. In this edition, GetCarrier Auto Transport is on deck.
GetCarrier has one of the simpler interfaces on its website. No blogs, no “about us” section, and there aren’t even any links. The site presents you with a shipping quote box, and a "how we work" infographic, and that’s about it. Refreshing.
Enter your starting and ending zip, some info about your car, and when you want to ship it, and you can get a price right away. You’ll have to tell them your email address, which of course means you’re likely to get more than one email as a result. But you can always set up a special address specifically for catching advertisements so they don’t clutter your main inbox.
Quotes will be returned from several different carriers, sometimes including GetCarrier itself, and there will likely be a fairly wide range of prices to choose from. Of course, you’ll want to independently research the offering carriers, to be sure they have a good enough reputation for you to be comfortable with them handling your car.
The main downside we found with GetCarrier’s simplistic interface is that it’s sort of a get-what-you-get proposition. We tried a quote for a 2020 Acura TLX shipping from NYC to LA. We specified that we wanted quotes from both open and closed trailers, but only got quotes for 5 open ones. There wasn’t an option to shoot for more quotes to try for that closed trailer.
Another minor issue is that their vehicle database is considerably out of date. That 2020 Acura TLX we wanted to ship wasn’t actually an available option - the model dropdown didn’t have the TLX in it. We had to pick a 2020 Acura TL, which doesn’t exist; the TLX replaced the TL and TSX in the Acura lineup for the 2015 model year.
For our TL TLX shipping from NYC to LA, we chose a date about a month away, on a Monday. We got quotes ranging from $2110 to $3260, with the highest being from GetCarrier itself. North/south shipments are a little cheaper than east/west cross country routes. Shipping the car from St. Paul, MN to Phoenix, AZ gave us a price range between $1817 to $2403, and this time GetCarrier was about mid-pack for pricing. Keep in mind, though, to add $75 to those bids - that’s a service fee that got tacked on to every estimate we looked at.
The website did give us the option to name our own price, then hope a carrier accepts it. But we’d be a little nervous taking that option; folks who think they’re being underpaid might not be as conscientious as they’d otherwise be. There’s also an “auction” option, which allows carriers to submit bids for the job. We suspect that might be the safer option if you’re looking to save some cash.
The process is pretty simple, up front. Just put in the details of what, where, and when, then accept a quote that you’re comfortable with. Be sure to note down the contact information for the shipper you choose - that way you can call if the truck doesn’t show up on time. After that, it’s all about getting your car ready for the job.
First, clean the car out thoroughly. Don’t leave anything inside that isn’t attached. Don’t forget the garage door opener. Disable the alarm if it has one, and make sure the car doesn’t have any fluid leaks. It’s generally a good idea to run the gas tank down to ¼ - and that’s a requirement if the car will be on an ocean vessel at any point in the voyage.
Next, shortly before the shipping date, get the car washed and take pictures of it from all angles, inside and out. Turn on the date stamp feature on your camera. You’re documenting its condition so that any damage that happens in shipment is easy to prove.
As we mentioned above, there appears to be a $75 service fee tacked on to every shipment. They’ll take that up front when you submit your order, then you’ll pay the rest to the driver. Taxes and insurance are included in the price.
Insurance is included, but we recommend talking to the carrier to verify what exactly it will cover, and what you have to do to be covered. For example, most carriers that we’ve found expect you to find any damage when you accept the car at its destination - if you find it later, they won’t take responsibility. If you don’t feel the insurance covers you enough, talk to your auto insurance company to see about getting extra for the shipment.
Overall reviews for GetCarrier are quite good. 93% of the over 1,000 reviewers on Trustpilot give GetCarrier an excellent rating, which translates to a 4.8 out of 5 star score. They don’t have many reviews on Yelp, but the ones they do have are good, earning them a nearly perfect review score - in fact only 2 out of 52 ratings are less than 5 stars.
Caleb M. writes on the BBB review site:
"Extremely professional and efficient. Will use this service again. A pleasure working with Amy put in an order on Friday evening 5 minutes before 5pm, needed it picked up Monday before storage fees accumulated at auction and she arranged pick up and transport of my two vehicles on Monday morning. Denver-Florida amazing service."
And Sally S agrees:
"I had a great experience with GetcCarriers. My agent was Kelly Paker and she did an awesome job of finding me the carrier on short notice. The whole process was very straightforward and pleasant. I will definitely recommend them to my friends."
To be fair, not all reviews are rosy. Samson C says the company tried to raise the price after the cancellation date:
"STAY AWAY. TERRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE. I was warned by other companies that Getcarrier would offer a lower bid but then jack up the price once I was locked into a contract, which is exactly what happened. Vicky sent me a message saying they weren’t able to find a driver at the agreed upon price but she did so within the 5 day window of my pickup and because it was within the 5 day window I would need to pay $75 cancellation. I communicated that I would like to cancel and speak to her but she was “unavailable” to speak for 6 days. Oliver and Harry were two other CSRs that I spoke to that offered nothing besides stating that I was in a contract and could not cancel without penalty but offered no other option of help whatsoever. Completely useless and unhelpful. Moving is stressful enough without having to deal with shady business practices like this. STAY AWAY."
But reviews like that are the exception, rather than the rule. We found ourselves impressed by that, because car shipping companies often have dismal overall customer reviews.
GetCarrier Auto Summary and Recommendations We would feel comfortable considering GetCarrier as an option to ship a car. They have some of the better customer reviews we’ve seen, and their website makes getting a quote straightforward and easy. GetCarrier isn’t the only place we’d look, but it’d be high on the list.
But regardless of which carrier or broker we end up choosing, we’d also protect ourselves, as we would with any significant purchase, by using a credit card rather than a debit card. Credit cards have a number of built in protections that aren’t necessarily there with a debit card.
Read more on our tips and recommendations for the Best Car Shipping Companies here.
Yes, it’s a legitimate shipper and shipping broker.
That really depends on your specific needs. Our advice is always to do your homework and select several companies with good reviews and ratings, then get quotes. You can see our Best Car Shipping Company recommendations here.
A great way is to check out our expanding reviews of car transport companies right here on Car Talk. But another is to check review sites such as the BBB, Consumer Affairs, etc.
Some appear to be trustworthy. Others do not. Always do your homework before committing to a car shipping company, and read our Auto Transport Scams article for help.
The cheapest way, other than hiring a college kid to drive it for you, is usually via open transport. Sometimes that can run less than $1,000 for domestic trips, but not always. Read more on Cheap Car Shipping here.
Sometimes, but in general it’s not a great idea unless you make sure those items are insured against theft. If you really want to do it, make sure to check with your carrier's rules and regulations as many do not permit it.
The best way to get a good price is to compare offers. We recommend reaching out to...