Car Hauler Industry Tips, Carrier

Car Shipping: What to Look For in a Broker

by Kacie LaCombe

It’s time to get your car shipped, so where do you start? Was a simple Google search of a car shipping company overwhelming? We know. There are endless lists of companies who can ship your cars, but no obvious way to navigate whether or not the organization is credible, reliable, or even fair.

Searching online for a car shipping or auto transport company can yield a couple different types of business results – a carrier or broker. A carrier organization has a fleet of trucks or just a single truck that is designed to ship cars from pickup to location. Carriers can be hired directly, or you can choose to work with an auto transport broker. Brokers find carriers, and coordinate the transportation of your vehicle from pickup to delivery for you.

While both are viable options, today we’ll be focusing solely on the process of hiring a broker. The following is a checklist of what to look for in your car shipping brokerage search.

Insurance and Compliance

Always ask questions regarding insurance offered by a broker. Read insurance details fully and make sure you have an answer regarding consequences that might occur in the event of an emergency. More than likely, with a good broker, you have nothing to worry about. However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

“Read the insurance details and make sure you have an answer on any consequence that could occur…”

There are certain documents that every broker must have in order to legally operate their business. You’re always about to ask for verification, but while it’s not required, many brokers will have this documentation viewable on their website or in their office.

Service Options

Before choosing a broker, decide which service you need. Transportation services can range from climate-controlled enclosed car transport, open car shipping for a more affordable service, transportation of damaged or inoperable vehicles, or door-to-door shipping. Before finding a broker, it’s important to know ahead of time which service that you’re in need of because certain types of car hauling services may require specialized hauling equipment that not all haulers have access to.

Request a Quote

There are two ways to go about receiving a quote for the shipment of your car. Once you find a company you feel good about, fill out an obligation-free quote form on their website. For many brokerage companies, you may also call and speak to a representative directly for a quote over the phone.

“If you’re still not sure which company sounds like your best option, you can also find quote calculators on a variety of auto shipping companies.”

If you’re still unsure of which company to go with, you can use quote calculators on a variety of different auto shipping company websites. These provide a list of quotes to view and compare.


Cars are expensive and essential assets. So you can trust that if someone had a bad experience with the shipment of their vehicle, you are going to hear about it. There are a couple of trusted ways to use reviews to refine your list of brokers to hire.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is an excellent source to find accredited brokers. Many auto transportation sites allow companies to pay for higher rankings. As an unbiased and independent evaluation board, BBB is where you should check for reviews first.

Negative reviews are inevitable for even the best companies out there. However, they typically paint a decent picture of whether or not a business provides an overall consistently good or bad experience. First, look for the number of reviews as a reflection of good business practices. Secondly, read a healthy mix of both good and bad reviews in order to decide whether or not the broker may be a good fit.

“As an unbiased and independent evaluation board, BBB is where you should check for reviews and a high rating first.”

Customer Service

A sign of a good broker is someone who wants to help you, not sell to you. When speaking with different brokers, pay attention to whether they actually try to help you and educate you with how the process works, or if they’re simply trying to up-sell you. A good broker should try their best to help and be willing to answer any questions along the way, in order to help provide the best service possible.

Brokerage Pricing

It’s important to remember that you always get what you paid for. The auto industry is no exception –try to look for a broker who will quote an affordable and fair price, but not one that is too cheap. If the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

“Any broker dramatically cheaper than its competition is a big warning sign.”

A lot goes into safely and efficiently transporting a car, but cutting corners is never smart. Any broker dramatically cheaper than its competition is a big red flag. Keep an eye out for a price that feels fair, but won’t break the bank either.

Your car is an expensive asset and it’s important to find a broker who will help manage the transportation of your vehicle with just as much respect. There are tons of brokers to comb through, some of which are top tier organizations, but others are scams. Our hope is that this list helps you along your car shipping journey.

To learn more, check out our article on how auto transport brokers can help car shippers.

Published on September 20, 2019


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