Shipping A Classic Car: What To Know

Any time you ship a classic or vintage car, it’s important to pay attention to the details.

As you might imagine, not all auto transporters are a good candidate to ship a car that’s more than just a daily driver.

There’s extra care that needs to be taken and it’s not always easy to separate the qualified, experienced companies from the ones looking to make a quick buck.
In this article, we review some of the best practices for finding a reliable shipper you can trust, what to look for, and how to go about finding one.

Enclosed Is The Way To Go

Shipping a car is usually done one of two ways, either in an enclosed carrier or an open carrier.
An open air carrier is the type you might have seen on the highway hauling a load of cars.

This is a cost-effective method because the cost of shipping is split among the parties having a car shipped–sometimes as many as 8-10 people or more. The downside to using an open air carrier is that the vehicle is left vulnerable to potential damage from road debris, extreme weather, moisture and dust.

An enclosed carrier only moves, at most, a couple cars at once.
There is generally less room as the trucks are smaller and designed to accommodate fewer vehicles. The main advantage of using an enclosed carrier is that the vehicle is fully enclosed every step of the way, preventing any of the issues mentioned above and also offering an extra level of security and peace of mind.

For the reasons listed above, it’s highly recommended that you consider an enclosed carrier if you’re shipping an early model or classic car.
While it does cost slightly more, it’s more than worth the extra money to know that your car will arrive in the same condition it left in.

Other Considerations When Shipping A Classic Car

As with any older car, they require a delicate and professional touch when being shipped over a long distance. Certain companies specialise in this type of auto transport and it’s definitely worthwhile to seek out a shipper that has the necessary expertise.
Here’s how you can pick those companies out:

How is the vehicle secured?
There are different methods for securing a car before transporting it and there are some important differences. Some shippers have a locking mechanism that secures the wheels in place, along with the help of tie downs. For the purposes of shipping a classic car, you should seek out a company that uses soft ties or wheel nets as they are less stressful on the chassis during shipment.

Non-running vehicles
Not all carriers will ship a car that is not in running condition. This is obviously a key point if you’re shipping a car that’s being restored, or if you’re buying one that’s not currently operational. If you are shipping a non-running vehicle, you should opt for an enclosed carrier as open carriers require a winch to load the vehicle, which not all shippers will have easy access to.

Look for experience
As mentioned above, experience is very important any time you’re requesting a specialty transport service. If a company does not explicitly state that they regularly ship classic and vintage cars, they’re likely not the best choice. When assessing companies, it’s also important to make sure they have experience in the regions you’re shipping to, and ideally, an office in that location.

Jason Mueller

Jason Mueller is a guest writer & classic car & truck enthusiast from the USA who asked to contribute to our site.
Jason runs A1 Auto Transport, covering 50 States in the USA

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