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Shift auto loans: 2023 review

2023-01-01 00:00:00

At a glance

Rating: 3.7 stars out of 5

Bankrate Score

  • Availability
    Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
  • Affordability
    Rating: 3.4 stars out of 5
  • Customer Experience
    Rating: 3.4 stars out of 5
  • Transparency
    Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
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About Shift

  • Moneybag

    Loan amount

    up to $80,000

  • Credit Good

    Min. credit score

    Varies by lender

  • Rates

    APR from

    Varies by lender

  • Funds available in

    Varies by lender

Shift pros and cons

Shift offers the convenience of purchasing and financing your car on the same site, but you won’t be able to negotiate for the best price.


  • Checkmark


  • Checkmark

    Prequalification available

  • Checkmark

    Return period


  • Close X

    Non-negotiable prices

  • Close X

    Service and delivery fees

Shift, an e-commerce platform states its goal is to make the used car buying process seamless throughout the entire lifecycle of vehicle ownership — from purchasing all the way to selling. Much like its competitors, Carvana and Vroom, Shift supports a direct delivery process that allows buyers to benefit from car buying and financing all from the comfort of home.

Do you qualify?

Shift does not disclose eligibility criteria for auto loans as it varies by lender. So, you won’t find a minimum credit score or income requirement online. Instead, you’ll need to get pre-qualified online to view your rates from Shift’s lending partners. The process is simple, takes just 60 seconds and won’t impact your credit score. 

Shift does state that it serves customers “of all credit profiles,” including those with poor or minimal credit history.


What we like and what we don’t like

 The convenience of front-door delivery carries some downsides.

What we like

  • Convenient: You can shop, finance and arrange for vehicle delivery all from the ease of home.  
  • Prequalification available: The option to prequalify means you can view expected rates without a hard credit pull.  
  • Return period: Shift has a week or 200-mile or seven-day return period — whichever is sooner — to ensure you made the right vehicle choice.  

What we don’t like

  • Non-negotiable prices: Unlike traditional buying, the price displayed is non-negotiable.  
  • Service and delivery fees: The cost is undisclosed, but prepare for a high cost if you live far from a Shift location.
  • Selling not available in every state: Residents of some states aren't eligible to sell with Shift.

How to contact Shift

Drivers can call Shift customer support at 855-744-3873 from Monday to Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT. The Shift help center also answers common queries related to buying, selling or financing your next vehicle purchase.

Auto loan types offered

This California-based online dealer does not directly offer vehicle financing for its used vehicles but rather helps drivers match with its partners: Chase Bank, U.S. Bank, Ally Auto, TD Bank, Bank of America and Westlake Financial. Shift will also buy your vehicle, with online offers available in as little as two minutes. This program is only available in certain areas of the country, near the Shift hubs. To determine if you qualify, enter your license plate and state of residence in step one of the online quote process.

Specific rates will vary by chosen lender. Loan terms range between 36 to 72 months based on the auto loan calculator available on Shift’s site. Vehicles can be financed for up to $80,000. Most competitive rates will be offered to drivers with strong credit backgrounds. 

How to apply for a loan with Shift

The Shift car buying process can be done completely online — from order to delivery.  

1. Apply for prequalification. To get estimated loan terms you will enter information on your residence, income, credit score and potential terms. The process should take under two minutes and does not cause a hard credit pull. 

2. Lock in financing and shop. Following loan prequalification, you will be matched with a lender and be able to begin your shopping process. (Be mindful that moving forward with the application process generates a hard credit inquiry that could impact your credit score). Explore available vehicles by inputting your ZIP code and any specifications on the vehicle. When shopping pay close attention to available features and consider checking Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds for specific reviews. 

3. Finalize the loan and arrange for delivery. Review and sign the loan documents. Depending on where you live, you can either arrange for delivery directly to your front door or to pick up at a Shift Hub — which are primarily located on the West Coast. 

Shift will handle the paperwork for your vehicle purchase. If you wish to trade in your previous car, you will need to enter some information on your car to determine its value before being matched with an advisor.

Shift FAQs

How Bankrate rates Shift

Overall Score 3.7
Availability 3.5 While Shift shares repayment terms and maximum loan amount, other undisclosed specifics leave it with a middle-tier score.
Affordability 3.4 High potential delivery and service fees and undisclosed APRs lower what would be a high score based on generous acceptance criteria.
Customer Experience 3.4 Shift only offers weekday support during normal business hours.
Transparency 4.5 Shift encourages loan prequalification and discloses some potential fees on its site.


Bankrate considers 18 data points when selecting top auto loans. Acceptance criteria, whether rates and fees are available and APR range all influence lender scores. These scores are broken up into four categories.

  • Availability: Loan amounts, repayment options, dealership requirements and state availability all contribute to this category.
  • Affordability: This section houses APR ranges, acceptance criteria, fees and discounts. 
  • Customer experience: How long you have to shop, customer service availability, whether there’s an app and autopay availability are accounted for in this section.
  • Transparency: This category accounts for the availability of fees and rates along with whether prequalification is available.
Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.
Written by
Rebecca Betterton
Auto Loans Reporter

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers in navigating the ins and outs of securely borrowing money to purchase a car.

Edited by Auto loans editor