6 Things to Know about Classic Car Shipping

December 1, 2019 classic car

You’ve just bought a new classic car that you’ve been coveting for ages, or maybe you’re moving to another state and you want to take your car with you. While you may plan on driving it all the way to your destination or transporting it yourself using a tow dolly, you may have some fears about what could go wrong.

That’s perfectly reasonable because there are chances you could accidentally damage the car or add to its depreciation along the way. The safest, most stress-free option is to ship your car through a reputable classic car transport service. Even then, there are several things you should know about classic car transport if you want to ensure better protection for your car.

1. Choosing a Classic Car Carrier that Fits Your Needs

Choosing a classic car carrier is one of the most important steps in classic car transportation. Not every type of car carrier ensures the kind of protection that a classic car needs. At the same time, you will also need to consider cost and time constraints, so you need to be very careful with your choice.

Open Car Carrier

While open car carriers are the most affordable option, they’re not exactly the best option for exotic car transport since you’ll be leaving your car exposed to the elements. There’s a chance it could get scratched or dented by flying road debris, for instance. In addition, open car carriers will carry multiple cars at the same time. This means there’s a risk of damage if your car is packed tightly with other vehicles.

Enclosed Carrier

Considering all this, an enclosed carrier is the best option if you want to ensure better protection for your car. An enclosed auto transport trailer protects your car from the elements, minimizing the risk of damage. So although it’s a bit more expensive than open car carriers, it’s ideal for exotic car shipping.

You can further choose between two types of enclosed carrier – single car and multi-car.

  • Single Car Enclosed Carrier – With a single car carrier, an enclosed truck will transport your classic car individually. This means you’ll have room to ship spare parts and tires along with your car. Plus, it’s also the most time-efficient option since there won’t be any stops to pick up other vehicles. With that said, a single car carrier is the most expensive classic car transport option.
  • Multi-Car Enclosed Carrier – You can also go for a multi-car enclosed carrier, which will transport your car along with several other vehicles. It still protects your car from the elements and is a much more affordable option than a single-car carrier especially during peak season. However, it may take a bit longer to receive your car since a multi-car carrier has to make several stops to pick up and/or drop off other vehicles.

2. Do You Need Expedited Service?

Do you need to have your car by an exact date? If you need to take your car to a classic car show or even to an auction, time is of the essence. If you’re facing such time-related constraints, it’s best if you consider expedited exotic car shipping options. This premium service comes at a premium price, but it will guarantee that your car gets delivered on time.

3. Cost Shouldn’t Be Your Main Concern

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when choosing a classic car carrier service is being too focused on the cost. You want premium service for a premium car to ensure its safety. This typically doesn’t come cheap. If you decide to go with a service just because it offers the lowest price, there’s a good chance you’re compromising on quality.

It doesn’t hurt to invest a little more in a reputable classic car carrier service so that your car gets the care and protection it needs. Otherwise, there’s no guarantee that even if some damage happens along the way, the company will take responsibility for it. Make sure you look at their years of service and reputation to decide whether the company’s a good fit.

4. Check about Insurance Coverage

Even if you choose the most secure type of carrier and the most reliable shipping company, there are still some risks involved with classic car transport. For instance, the carrier could experience some unforeseen accident or extreme weather conditions, resulting in loss or damage. In such events, it’s good to have proper insurance coverage to make up for your losses.

Make sure you thoroughly research and understand the company’s insurance information and what they are liable for. Maybe the amount of insurance isn’t enough to cover the damages to your car. This is a very common issue with classic cars, since they are typically more expensive to maintain and repair. It’s crucial that you request a custom policy in case the existing option isn’t sufficient.

In addition, you should call your insurance company and check your own coverage to ensure that your car is properly protected during shipping. This gives you a fallback in case you can’t find a carrier service that provides the kind of insurance you need for your classic car.

5. Make Necessary Preparations

There are several crucial steps to prepare your car for shipping. First, get it inspected so you have a clear idea of its pre-shipping condition. Take care of maintenance issues such as faulty brakes and loose or hanging parts. Fixing issues with leaky fluid lines is especially important so that it doesn’t cause any damage to other vehicles in the carrier.

Then get a vehicle condition report so you have written documentation of the car’s condition before shipping. Make sure you note down additional details of the car’s current condition. Does it have any existing scratches or dents? If so, where and how extensive is the damage? Are there any missing parts? You could even take pictures of your car from different angles just to be on the safer side.

Once you have this documentation ready, sign it and have the transport company sign it as well. This gives you sufficient proof to hold the transporter liable in case of any additional scratches and dents during transport.

Besides these, here are a few additional things to keep in mind to help you prepare your car for shipping:

  • It should only have ¼ tank of gas.
  • Remove any valuables from the car.
  • Remove any detachable parts like special side mirrors, top racks, spoilers, etc.
  • If your car has a soft top, make sure to firmly close and secure it.
  • If there are any special tricks to operating your car, prepare handling instructions in writing.

6. Research the Transport Company

You can’t trust just anyone to ship your car, just like you can’t trust just anyone to drive it. Make sure you do thorough research when choosing a classic car carrier service. Consult with friends and family or even with members of classic car groups and forums on social media to see what experiences they’ve had when shipping their classic cars.

After you narrow down on a few options, check their safety records through the state or federal transportation department. In case of companies that transport across state lines, they should be in the Federal Department of Transportation’s safety database. This will give you a list of major accidents and inspections performed.

Before making your final choice, find out everything you can about the companies on your list. How long have they been in the exotic car shipping industry? Do they have proper equipment and insurance? What are people saying about them on review sites and social media? This will help you make an informed decision and choose a reputable classic car transport company.

Bottom Line

There’s no such thing as being too cautious when you’re shipping your classic car. It has immense value, not just monetarily but also emotionally. So you want to make sure you take proper care of it when you’re transporting it to another city or state.

Consider all the points we’ve listed above to ensure that you choose the right exotic car shipping company, have the right protection, and make necessary preparations to ship your classic car.