Every vehicle has value, but some are defined by it. Learn why collectible car owners should take every precaution to protect their investments.

Key Takeaways

  • Collectible chronology conflicts, but the utmost shipping care is always necessary
  • Enclosed transport is the only way to travel for collectible cars
  • Owner care pre-shipping is an essential factor
  • Insurance is an excellent protection for collectibles
  • Auto brokers are a bridge to the best shipping companies

Classics, vintage, and antiques are some of the most sought-after vehicles in the world. Knowing which characteristics define each class is the first step toward finding the best way — and the best auto transport team — to take care of them. Just how valuable collectible cars are can vary widely based on market forces and other factors, but their emotional worth is incontestable. This is why owners of these select machines must do all they can to preserve them.

Some quick (and debated) collectible definitions

Scarcity, design aspects, and simple age are the three basic criteria for judging older cars. The actual definitions aren’t quite so simple with states, auto insurers, and fans fielding varying opinions on the “right” designations. 

  • Classics: A “classic” needn’t be as old as it sounds. As little as 25 years need to pass before cars can qualify for the title. This is a contested number, however, with insurers and car clubs each having conflicting views on the necessary time frames. Opinions also vary from state to state, so owners should consult with local authorities before attaching that “classic” tag.
  • Vintage: Some insurers view vintage as having been constructed between 1919 and 1930. Other models may qualify as vintage far earlier in the eyes of enthusiasts by virtue of being made in the Brass Era (1896 to 1915). 
  • Antiques: Qualifying for the oldest sounding tag of the three may surprise you. The Antique Automobile Club of America rules that vehicles 25 years and older can carry the title. The American Collector’s Community holds a different view: 45 years and older.

There are two key lessons among all this dissent: The first is that some investigative work is required on the owner’s part to attach the right label to their collectible vehicle. The second is that protecting it during transport takes equal forethought along with some valid extra expense. Here’s what makes the extra cost worthwhile.

Collectible cars face particular shipping risks

Every vehicle faces varying degrees of exposure-dependent risk during the auto transport process. Most of these are significantly exacerbated by open-bed auto carriers, which is why collectible owners should always go the extra mile and choose enclosed shipping. This is more costly, but it helps tackle auto transport risks by:

  • Reducing the risk of theft: Worst-case scenarios see vehicles lost to thieves before they reach their destination. Car criminals will be twice as attracted to a collectible, but their interest won’t be triggered if they can’t see the vehicle thanks to its own enclosed carrier.
  • Minimizing the chances of damage: Dings, scrapes, and dents can all find their way onto a vehicle in transit. Enclosed auto transport goes a long way to avoiding this since much of this damage comes from flying road debris. The greater expense of hiring an enclosed carrier that houses only your collectible also removes the chances of another vehicle impacting yours.

 

4 steps that will increase your peace of mind when shipping a collectible automobile

The term “cutting corners” incorporates more than simply tightening your wallet. There are two other valuable expenditures — time and effort — that should be invested liberally if you want to ensure the safest possible passage for your collectible. Concerned owners should apply these by taking four important steps before shipping a collectible vehicle:

  • 1. Research carriers thoroughly: Any carrier can claim they’re the right choice to transport your prized vehicle. Never take them at face value or be overly impressed by a high price tag. Take the time to research the company’s safety record, insurance status, and prior reviews to come to an independent decision. Here is how to vet potential carriers.
  • 2. Be a conscientious owner pre-shipping: Owners who expend a little extra effort prior to shipping their collectible cars can save themselves a lot of money and stress later. Follow a few best practices by emptying the vehicle of all unnecessary contents, ensuring it is inspected (and, if necessary, repaired) before it leaves, and taking plenty of interior and exterior photographs. That last step will help prove your case if the collectible is damaged under carrier care.
  • 3. Invest in insurance: If there’s one thing owners of collectible vehicles know, it’s that you can never be too careful. Any carrier worth your consideration will have insurance of their own, but accidents can still happen and there’s no guarantee that the carrier’s coverage will be enough to repair or replace an expensive collectible vehicle. Look into auto transport insurance and consider it as a worthwhile short-term investment.
  • 4. Hire an experienced auto broker: Cutting corners to save money can also mean cutting out those you perceive as middlemen. Auto brokers are middlemen in the very best and most cost-effective sense. They greatly speed up the search for a reputable and reliable auto carrier and help make their service history and pricing structure transparent. 

Paying for a broker’s services gets you multiple trustworthy quotes and, when you’ve made your carrier selection, keeps you both connected with ongoing communication. You could certainly go it alone when seeking a collectible carrier quote, but there are some potentially costly variables that a broker can help you avoid.

Speak to Mercury Auto Transport for the best in carrier service

Mercury Auto Transport is a nationwide, full-service auto shipping company that connects buyers with reliable vehicle carriers anywhere in the country. We appreciate the high standards of care that are necessary to transport collectible vehicles.

Our process is transparent and trustworthy, and we can provide you with a car shipping quote in minutes. We’re always working to get you the best deal. Call us today to see how we can help!

Get a quote.

Transport Vehicle FROM
Transport Vehicle TO
Vehicle Year
Vehicle Make
Vehicle Make
Vehicle Model
Vehicle Model
Vehicle Type
Destination
2
Vehicle
3
Date
Full Name
Phone Number
Email Address
Available Date
Additional Information
Location
Vehicle(s)
3
Contact & Date

Thank you!

Thanks for submitting the form. You will be receive an email shortly.

Related Posts

FAQs

We feel it’s important for you to know how we determined your quote. Quotes are based on what the market demands for cars to be moved at a given time. Each quote is compared with the current rates on the National Load Board before being sent to our customers and will be reviewed periodically through the process.

Other companies might offer you a lower price to obtain your business. This method is ineffective because if the car does not pay the correct amount of money, it will run the probability of not getting loaded or transported on time. You will not get this information from our competitors. Truck drivers always take the loads that pay the most first, leaving the loads that are mispriced to be moved last or not at all. We try very hard to avoid this with our customers by quoting a fair but realistic quote up front. Visit our How we determine your quote page for more information.

Understanding auto transport insurance is important and we think it’s valuable to explain how it works. As part of providing a great car transport service, it is our job to guarantee that the carrier we assign to pickup your vehicle is licensed and insured. Click here to check out our license.

When you go with Mercury to ship your vehicle, you can rest assured that the carrier assigned to move your car is fully insured and licensed with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier and Saftey Administration).

Your vehicle is covered by the carrier’s insurance policy that is doing the shipping. Depending on the type and size of the truck/trailer that is shipping your car, the insurance policy can cover from $100,000 to $1,000,000 of damage.

We have also provided a checklist to explain what you need to do at both pickup and delivery in case there are any issues so, you can file a claim and know that everything will be taken care of.

It is rare but, time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit and it is good to know that your carrier’s insurance will protect your auto shipment in that event.

To view a sample BOL (Bill of Lading) and learn what to do in case of accidental damage, please check out our Condition Report and Procedure checklist.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible.  

We feel it’s important for you to know how we determine your quote.

When you’re looking for a car shipping rate, you want to understand how auto transport works. Prices are based on seasonal market demands for cars to be moved at any given time. Each quote is prepared based on the season and the current national rates.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible. Not all brokers are created equal in this talent.

Mercury does a thorough background check with each carrier for every shipment. We verify their ratings, references, and in addition, we obtain a certified copy of their insurance certificate, directly from the government agency that it is on file with.

You can have peace of mind knowing that the carrier shipping your vehicle is the very best and that there are no surprises guaranteed.

Mercury Auto Transport is licensed, Bonded and Insured. Our FMSCA Motor Carrier Number is MC647319.

While we do our best match your auto shipping needs with the most responsible carriers with the best track records, from time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit, it is good to know that the insurance of the carrier we locate for you will protect your auto shipment in that event.

Shipping a vehicle can be stressful if you don’t know what to do.  This is why we believe it is paramount to have our highly trained agents be your main point of contact from start to finish.

They will go over everything you need to know so you can relax.  In the meanwhile, we prepared this checklist.  This includes everything from pickup to delivery and how to make sure your car is ready for pickup.

When it comes to car moving, we want you to be ahead of the game!  For any questions and further assistance our agents are standing by, (800) 553-1828.  Please read our checklist to prepare your vehicle to learn more.

There are several ways you can ship a car.  The options include enclosed trailer, open carrier transport, flatbed truck, door-to-door shipping services, and to or from a terminal as well.  The most popular of the options is a 7 to 10 car open carrier.  These large trucks can accommodate almost any size vehicle including carsSUVstrucksjeeps, and vans.

Open car transport, door to door is also the best way to get the cheapest auto transport rate possible.  To learn more and see what transport method is best for you, please fill out our free quote form and one of our representatives will respond to you within minutes.  You can also call us at (800) 553-1828.

We present offers from FMCSA Licensed and Insured Carriers. When you accept an offer, we send your service agreement that guarantees the price, door-to-door service, and 100% bumper-to-bumper insurance. There are never any hidden fees or charges, guaranteed.