Methodology: How We Rate Car Shipping Companies

Our team prides itself on providing accurate and unbiased information about car shipping companies to help inform consumers’ purchasing decisions. We’ve collected data from 25 auto transport providers about their reputation, cost, services, and customer experience to determine the top companies on the market.

Our Research Process

Our process is backed by 300 hours of research into leading providers in the auto shipping industry. We collect over 545 data points related to key rating factors to provide a thorough picture of each company. To ensure we’re providing you with the most up-to-date information, we update our review standards several times each year.

We’ve also surveyed 2,000 consumers about their experience with their car shipping company. We use information from respondents to get a clear sense of the customer experience, ranging from overall satisfaction to what matters most when choosing a provider.

We use our thorough research to give auto shipping companies scores in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.

Reputation (20 Percent)

Shippers with a history of strong business practices and endorsements from experts receive the highest scores in this category. Our goal is to provide an overall reputation score that can indicate the trustworthiness of a business. We review over 25 providers but only recommend the most reliable companies.

To calculate our reputation score, our team evaluates: 

  • Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, accreditation, and complaints in the last three years
  • Number of years in business
  • State and international availability

The average Reputation rating of all the providers we reviewed is 4.3 out of 5.0. Here’s what the different star ratings within this category mean:

  • 5.0 Stars: Companies that earn 5.0 stars are the most reliable and reputable car shippers. They’ve been in business for more than 20 years, operate nationwide and internationally, and have an A+ BBB rating.
  • 4.0 Stars: Those with a 4.0-star rating exhibit strong business practices and hold high ratings from the BBB. They’ve been in the industry for many years.
  • 3.0 Stars: Auto transport companies that have a 3.0-star rating have average industry reputations. They hold decent BBB ratings, though not as high as more reputable companies, and may not have been in business for that long.
  • 2.0 Stars: Car shippers with a 2.0-star rating are less reputable options in the industry. They generally hold average or lower BBB ratings and often have more limited shipping availability across the U.S.
  • 1.0 Star: Those that receive 1.0 star in this category have a poor industry reputation. They are not reputable companies and typically hold D or F ratings from the BBB.

Cost (30 Percent)

Because cost is one of the most significant considerations for many car shipping shoppers, our team takes a comprehensive look at how companies compare. To compare car shipping costs between providers, we review over 400 sample quotes for a variety of shipping routes, distances, and vehicles. Companies with lower prices and many discount opportunities receive the best scores.

Our team considers the following factors when determining cost scores:

  • Average costs for a 1,500-mile open shipment compared to the industry average
  • Average costs for a 1,500-mile enclosed shipment compared to the industry average
  • Deposit required
  • Number and type of discounts available

The average Cost rating of all the providers we reviewed is 4.3 out of 5.0. Here’s what the different star ratings within this category mean:

  • 5.0 Stars: Car shippers that earn the highest 5.0-star rating offer the most affordable prices in the industry for several types of shipments ranging from short to long distances. They generally offer a wide variety of discounts and may provide guaranteed pricing.
  • 4.0 Stars: Those with 4.0-star ratings have affordable or average rates for most shipping distances. They typically have discounts available to help consumers save.
  • 3.0 Stars: Companies rated 3.0 stars have average prices across the board and more limited discount availability.
  • 2.0 Stars: Those with 2.0-star ratings have a mix of average and above-average prices across all shipping distances. They don’t typically offer many discounts.
  • 1.0 Star: Providers with a 1.0-star rating are some of the most expensive on the market and don’t offer any discounts.

Services (25 Percent)

Car shipping companies that offer a variety of transport services are more likely to meet customers’ needs. Our team takes a comprehensive look at all options available through each provider.

Our rating for this category is based on:

  • Availability of both open and enclosed transport services
  • Availability of both door-to-door and terminal-to-terminal shipping services
  • Pickup date range offered
  • Average transit time
  • Availability of shipping services to and from Hawaii and Alaska
  • Inclusion of basic and additional insurance coverage with shipments

The average Services rating of all the providers we reviewed is 4.6 out of 5.0. Here’s what the different star ratings within this category mean:

  • 5.0 Stars: Auto transport providers that earn a perfect 5.0-star rating offer nearly all car shipping services available. They also have strong insurance coverage to protect your shipment.
  • 4.0 Stars: Companies that earn 4.0 stars offer most standard car shipping services – and often some extras. They provide strong insurance coverage for your shipment.
  • 3.0 Stars: Those with 3.0-star ratings generally offer a reasonable selection of car shipping services and good insurance coverage.
  • 2.0 Stars: Companies with 2.0 stars in this category offer a smaller selection of standard car shipping services and have more limited insurance coverage.
  • 1.0 Star: A 1.0-star rating means a company offers just one or two basic services with limited insurance coverage.

Customer Experience (25 Percent)

A great service selection and affordable prices don’t mean much if a company lacks good customer service. We use a variety of techniques to determine how companies serve customers:

  • Secret shopping: We shop for quotes from all the companies we review, and make notes on our experiences with service agents.
  • Customer surveys: To date, we’ve surveyed 2,000 people who have shipped their cars through many different companies. Survey questions focus on customer experiences and the process of shipping a car from start to finish.
  • Customer reviews: We comb through hundreds of online customer reviews from sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Trustpilot, and Google, and include customer ratings in our overall customer experience score.

The factors we evaluate when determining customer experience scores include:

  • Availability of GPS tracking
  • Whether the provider offers an instant online quote tool
  • Ease of the quote process based on our secret shopping experience
  • Customer review scores from the BBB, Trustpilot, and Google

The average Customer Experience rating of all the providers we reviewed is 4.0 out of 5.0. Here’s what the different star ratings within this category mean:

  • 5.0 Stars: Car shipping companies with a 5.0-star rating offer the best customer experience. They earn some of the highest customer review scores on the BBB, Trustpilot, and Google (typically ranging from 4.5 to 5.0 stars) and offer a simple and straightforward online quote experience.
  • 4.0 Stars: Those that earn 4.0 stars in this category have strong customer service reputations. They receive high review scores from customers and make it easy to get a quote from the company.
  • 3.0 Stars: Companies with a 3.0-star rating have average customer service. Review scores from customers tend to be average across the board, and these shippers often have higher complaint numbers than higher-rated companies.
  • 2.0 Stars: Those with 2.0 stars generally don’t offer a positive customer experience. They receive low review scores and a high number of complaints from customers.
  • 1.0 Star: Providers with a 1.0-star rating provide poor customer service. They field many customer complaints and do not work to resolve issues with customers’ shipments when they arise.