As you search for a service to transport your car across the country, it’s likely you’ll stumble across Ultimate Transport 123. But are they any good? Let’s find out!
Ultimate Transport 123, formerly known as Auto Transport 123, offers a number of vehicle transporting services. Open and enclosed transport is available for cars, and they arrange motorcycle and boat shipping as well. They even offer transport for larger vehicles and objects, such as motorhomes. Ultimate even offers help with household moves and long-distance vehicle purchases, and says it can set up international shipping to more than 47 countries around the world.
But the downside is that Ultimate Transport 123 discloses that it brokers its services to other carriers. Should your transport job be brokered, Ultimate denies responsibility for “any negligence on the part of the actual transporter.” That means if something does happen, you might have difficulty getting compensation, as you’ll have to track down the actual shipper.
Another area of concern in Ultimate Transport 123’s contract is the final paragraph of the terms and conditions section:
If an order is canceled due to something out of Ultimate Transport 123’s control.,(sic) there will be a $100, non-refundable processing fee. Any cancellations which is (sic) listed/posted on competitors (sic) load boards within 7 business day (sic) of cancellation will be therefore voided and deemed non refundable. If paid in full on major credit card (sic) there will be a 3% processing fee and the order will be non refundable or non disputable at anytime (sic).
Now, we aren’t lawyers, but that would seem to mean that if Ultimate contracts your transport job out to another company, and that company cancels the job, Ultimate gets to keep your money. It also suggests that if you pay “in full” on your credit card before the job, and the job then doesn’t get done, Ultimate will keep your money. Of course, lawyers we’ve known have told us that just because it’s in a contract doesn’t mean it’s legally enforceable, but disputing that could involve court and attorney costs. All of that boils down to contractual language on Ultimate Transport 123’s site that suggests a certain amount of risk you’ll assume should you choose to hire them.
Ultimate Transport 123 doesn’t provide any pricing on its website. We can tell you that in general, you will pay more the farther you ship your vehicle. You will also pay more if you ship it in an enclosed trailer rather than an open one. And, of course, if you ship it overseas or to Alaska or Hawaii, that’ll cost more as well.
Shipping a car with Ultimate Transport 123 is as simple as visiting their website and putting in the details of your car, where it’s shipping from and to, and your choices for type of transport. They’ll send you a quote for how much it’ll cost, and if you agree, you sign a contract.
Once you’ve signed, there are things you’ll want to do to make sure your car has the best chance of getting to its destination without difficulty. Clean it out, especially of any valuables. Give it a good wash, then take pictures from all angles, inside and out. Be sure the date function on your camera app is turned on. You’re documenting its condition in case there’s damage when it arrives.
If your car will be on an ocean vessel, make sure its fuel is below ¼ tank. That’s a Coast Guard regulation, and the shipper might refuse to take it if the tank is too full. And confirm with the shipper whether or not the job is fully insured - many aren’t, meaning it’s a good idea to take out a shipping insurance policy to protect yourself.
Ultimate Transport 123 doesn’t have much information about buying insurance for your shipment. In fact the only information they provide on insurance through them is a $75,000 bond which they’re required to carry by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. As such, we strongly recommend you discuss what, exactly, will and will not be covered should something happen during shipment, and be prepared to buy a supplemental policy to cover anything that’s skipped.
Here’s where things get a bit rocky with Ultimate Transport 123. Many review sites give the company a significantly low average score, with a rare exception being Transport Reviews’ - itself a site with somewhat unenviable reader opinions with a design that makes it difficult to ascertain an overall picture of a company’s reviews. We can only report that over the last two years, the site has 299 pages of 10 reviews each rating the company 5 stars, 37 pages of 4 star reviews, four pages of 3 stars, one page of 1 star, and two pages of 0 star reviews.
Ultimate Transport 123 reviews on Yelp rate only a 1.5 out of 5 star average. Consumer Affairs gives it a 1.4 out of 5 star rating. Trustpilot scores it slightly better, at 2 out of 5, though that’s for the business under its previous name of Auto Transporters 123. The Better Business Bureau’s consumer ratings score a fairly dismal 1.28 out of 5, with a B- rating from the Bureau itself.
Negative reviews include accusations of taking money without performing the service - a concern we discussed above about their contract language. Elese Thornton wrote last year on Trustpilot that:
“Jason (Ultimate representative) said I understand I'm going to honest with you. We had a driver but he cancel on us. Then I said if he cancel why I'm being charge a fee change the drive. Then he said did you read your contract because if you did you would've read about the cancelation policy.”
Another, Ludmila, writes on Consumer Affairs:
“Booked an auto transport from NJ to Florida. The driver called me to confirm the date. No one ever came. No one ever replies to phones. No one in the company knows exactly what's going on. My husband had to drive the car. Do yourself a favor and do not work with them. They are brokers and cannot guarantee anything. Also, they can't even provide insurance. Horrible experience.”
It’s not all bad. In one of the few 5-star reviews on the Consumer Affairs site, Tanya H. writes:
“Awesome experience. They got back to me promptly with any concerns and my car was picked up and delivered as promised. Highly recommend.”
And Gregory E. writes:
“Auto transport 123 renders excellent service in auto transportation. I recommend Auto transport 123 to friends.”
Based on the large number of negative reviews on most mainstream review sites, we are hesitant to recommend Ultimate Transport 123 for your auto shipping needs. We’re further concerned by the language in the shipping contract, which appears to assert the company’s intention to charge you money if their contracted driver cancels the pickup. As we said above, a clause’s presence in a contract doesn’t necessarily mean it can be legally enforced, but getting a court to strike problematic clauses can be time consuming and costly.
If you do go with Ultimate Transport 123, we strongly recommend getting a copy of the entire contract, and having an attorney look it over before you agree to anything.
For more information on the car shipping companies we do recommend, check out our Best Car Shipping Companies article here.
It’s hard to say. The vast number of negative reviews suggest it’s problematic. Whether they’re intentionally scamming their customers, or just particularly bad at what they do, is hard to judge.
Few services will advertise prices up front. The best way to determine the cheapest option is to get quotes from multiple companies. But keep in mind that “cheapest” and “best” are not usually found in the same sentence, except this one.
Depends on how far, and what method you’re shipping it with. It can cost a little under $1,000 for domestic open shipping, all the way up to 6 figures for international air transport. For more on this, check out How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Car.
That’s a loaded question that has lots of variables. Your best bet is to pay attention to online reviews, and check for complaints before deciding on a company. Read about our recommendations for the Best Car Shipping Companies here.
Depends on how far you’re shipping it, and how. It can take as little as a few days for domestic short-haul ground, up to a month or three for ocean voyages. The fastest method is by air, but that’s also by far the most expensive.
The best way to get a good price is to compare offers. We recommend reaching out to...