Shipping your classic car can feel like taking a leap of faith. You have probably put a lot of time, energy, and money into taking care of or refurbishing this vehicle. Handing it off to an auto shipping company can feel like taking a risk that is not worth it. But what if you have to move or you have bought a classic car that is not located where you live?
If you do need to ship your classic car, you need to know the best ways to make sure that your car will arrive safe and sound at your new address. There are some easy ways to make sure that you find the right company for your needs and that your car gets shipped in a way that is right for this kind of car. This is a different shipping process than the one that you would likely use for a daily driver and you will want to follow the right steps to make sure that you do not end up with a shipping contract that is not ideal for your needs.
If you are ready to learn more about the steps that are needed to ship a classic car, you need to read on!
Steps to Ship a Classic Car
Classic cars are often painted with products that no longer are made and they might have parts and components that are impossible or very difficult to source for replacement. You will want to be sure that your classic car is not damaged when it is being shipped to you and this is a much more attainable goal when you work with a skilled and experienced classic car shipping company.
You have probably put a lot of money into restoring and taking care of this classic car and you will want to be certain that you have not signed your car up to be shipped to a new location in a way that will not keep it safe. Sparing yourself costly repairs and services on your classic car after it has been shipped to you is important and you will want to take the time to prepare for the shipping process carefully to keep your investment safe and secure.
1. Prepare Your Classic Car
This might mean that you will remove items that could get damaged in shipping that can be safely transported with you or you could take the time to wrap up smaller pieces that can be safely removed and place them in a secure place in the trunk or floor of the car. You will want to consider using painter’s tape to cover up paint and other items that you do not want to get dings or scuffs as your car is being shipped.
Some classic car owners will also make sure to cover the seats inside the car to be sure that no damage or stains occur during the time that the car is out of their possession. There are many ways that you might want to make sure that delicate or fragile parts are safe and secure in your vehicle before you hand it over to the shipping company and you should always make sure to take these steps. This will ensure that your car will not be damaged when it is being carried on a trailer to your new location.
2. Do Your Research
When looking into a classic car shipping company, you will want to do some research. Not every shipping company can handle the care that these older or more delicate vehicles need. You want to be certain that you are working with a skilled team of shipping experts who know all about handling a vintage or classic car. Reading reviews can tell you a lot about a shipping company and help you to figure out which companies to get quotes from.
When you are getting quotes, make sure that you ask about special handling charges and services and that you check to see if the company offers fully enclosed trailers or just has open trailers. These details can impact your choice for your unique vehicle’s needs and you should ask about them upfront before you commit to a shipping contract that will not actually take the best care of your car.
Don’t assume that all companies will take care of your classic car in the way that you would and make sure that you consider all of the things that you want to get access to with your shipping service.
The final thing to do when researching is to ask for proof of insurance and licensing from the companies that you are considering hiring. You do not want to get taken in by a shipping scam and you can avoid this risk by asking for the necessary documents and proof that the company is a legitimate company. If the business that you are talking to cannot or will not provide these documents to you, you should not work with them and should move on to look at other quotes.
3. Choose the Kind of Trailer for Transporting a Vintage Vehicle
While it adds some expense to your shipping contract, most vintage or classic cars need to be hauled inside a fully enclosed car trailer. This prevents damage to their paint as well as exposure to all kinds of weather during the drive. This is also a more secure way to have your car shipped since no one will be able to tell that it is a rare or unique car and be tempted to steal it.
Open trailers are less expensive for your shipping needs but they do include the risks of weather and exposure to road grime and things like rock chips. Most classic cars should not be hauled on an open trailer because they will need repairs when they arrive at their new destination. It can be a very significant red flag in your search for the right car shipping company if they tell you that they do not have enclosed car trailers in their fleet.
Most experienced classic or vintage car shipping companies will have just as many enclosed trailers as open trailers and they should be able to schedule your car to be shipped inside one of these trailers with ease. If this seems like it is a major difficulty for your shipping arrangements with a specific company, you should probably move on to look at other options. While you might not care if your car is hauled inside an enclosed trailer, the fact that the company only has one or two enclosed trailers in their fleet means that they might not have much experience shipping this kind of car.
4. Decide How to Handle Pickup and Drop off
There are usually two choices that can be made for car shipping contracts when it comes to pick up and delivery. The company can come to your location and pick up your car and then they can deliver it to your new address directly when the contract is completed. The other option is that you bring your car to a terminal location and make sure it is loaded onto a trailer. You will then pick up the car at the end of its trip at a different terminal location that the company operates.
The terminal pickup and drop-off option can save a lot of money but it can also be difficult to arrange in some cases. If your classic car cannot be driven for some reason or if you do not feel comfortable with loading it onto your own trailer and then unloading it and loading it again at a new location, you might want to avoid terminal pickup and drop off.
The most common choice that classic car owners make is to have the shipping company show up at their location and then drop off at their new address. This can prevent chances that your car will be damaged because it has to be loaded onto two trailers during the process and it can make your life much easier if your car does not actually drive under its own power. When you are in the middle of restoring a car, it can be common for it not to be in driving condition and this would make terminal drop off and pick up quite tough.
5. Prepare for Delivery Difficulties
If your new location does not have the space for a large car trailer to be turned around, you might need to tell the shipping company to meet you a few blocks away or at a school or other public place near your new home. This can make the process of delivery much easier and can prevent damage to your car that might occur when you have to unload it in less-than-ideal conditions.
This is quite common in rural areas where roads are not always wide enough for large trucks and trailers to safely navigate. You will want to consider this potential issue well before you finalize the shipping contract you are considering agreeing to. This kind of problem can throw a real wrench into your pickup or delivery plans and you will want to be sure that everyone is on the same page before the contract is signed.
The delivery location and pickup location need to be laid out in the contract that you sign and if you need to make arrangements for pickup and delivery a few blocks away, this will need to be spelled out in advance so that you and the shipping company can sign off on this part of the agreement. A classic car is an investment and you want to make sure that your investment is not damaged by careless mistakes that could have been avoided.
Will Shipping a Classic Car Cost More?
Overall, the distance that you ship your car is the biggest factor when considering the price of the trip. You will find that some companies have flat fees for certain distances while others charge per mile no matter how near or far the address is from the place that they pick up. The other factor that can come into play is the season that you are shipping. There are high and low seasons for shipping companies and you will pay more during the busy season than you would during a slowdown in the winter or other times of the year when business is slow.
Classic cars can cost more to ship because they will usually need to be shipped inside an enclosed car trailer and they will probably need some additional services applied to the shipping contract to make sure that they are not harmed during transit. The average cost for shipping a classic car is usually a few dollars more a mile but there are lots of variables that can impact the overall cost of the trip for you as the owner of the car.
When you are looking at quotes for this kind of shipping need, you should consider really lowball offers and really high offers as suspicious. It is almost always your best bet to pick one of the median-priced quotes for your jumping-off point. Unless the company is offering some valuable additional insurance for your classic car or other services that make the trip more valuable to you than what others are offering, there is no need to pay the highest price that you have been quoted.
Lowball shipping quotes are sometimes indicators of scams or they might just be a sign that the company does not do a lot of business and is a bit desperate. The price of your contract will probably indicate the experience of the shipping company overall and you will be happiest with the results of your contract if you pick a median quote that is offered by a company that you have done some research on.
When you are thinking about the cost of shipping your classic car, most of the cost will have to do with mileage and the season, so you should not accept quotes that claim to charge a lot more than usual just because you have a classic car that you are shipping and not a daily driver.
Navigating the Classic Car Shipping Process Can be Easy
If you have been worried that you will not be able to relocate your classic car to a new place with ease or you have been dreading trying to move your car yourself, this guide should help you to find the perfect shipping company for your needs.
When you do your research and remember to ask about the kind of trailers that you can choose from as well as the cost for different delivery options, you will get a much better idea of the quality and services that you can get from a specific company.
There is no reason to settle for a shipping company that does not know what they are doing and you should be sure that you are working with a company that has a lot of experience shipping classic cars. Getting your investment to your new location without any damage and on time is a big benefit to making sure that you are working with the right shipping company.
This guide will make it easy to find the shipping company that suits your needs and you will be able to trust that your car will be safe as it heads down the road to your new home.