Shipping a Classic Car


After months of searching you have finally found the classic or collectible car that you have dreamed about your entire life. The only issue is that the car is on the other side of the country and you need to figure out how to get it moved to your home. A company that specializes in moving classic and vintage cars is going to be the safest, as well as most affordable, way to get the car moved to your home from the seller’s location. In order to take care of this, you are going to have to choose a company that can be trusted by you and has a proven track record with shipping classic cars safely. To do this, there are a few simple steps to take that will help ensure that you not only find rates that won’t break the bank but will also be safe and secure for your vehicle while it is being moved from one location to another.

  • Do Your Research

When it comes to finding a trustworthy classic car shipper you are going to have to take your time to carefully research companies that interest you. You essentially have to get an education of sorts about the auto transport industry when you need to find a reliable company. This means that you need to find customer reviews online as well as check with professional organizations that can provide valid information about the company. Every company out there is going to say they are the best, but when it comes down to it, listening to the facts as well as previous customers can really go a long way when it comes to separating the best from those that just claim to be. Once you have narrowed your search down to a few companies, check with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to make sure that the company is registered with the DOT and has valid insurance and a safe driving record. Also ask upfront to see if the company offers enclosed transport for classics and other vintage or expensive vehicles. Enclosed transport will prevent the car from coming into contact with any damaging elements during shipment and will be best to providing a safe shipping environment. If they do not offer enclosed shipping options, you may want to request to have the car top-loaded on the open carrier where it will be safer during shipment than loading on the bottom. Both top-loading and enclosed are going to cost more than regular open transport but are well-advised for classics, vintage cars and trucks and expensive luxury model vehicles.

  • Carrier Communication

Ask as many questions as possible when you call to get a quote for service. You should really hire a company only if they have been in operation at least 2-5 years or longer and if they can adequately answer your questions in a professional manner. Ask for references from former and current customers and make sure they know what they are talking about when it comes to handling classic cars. While most auto transport companies handle modern vehicles daily, it is very important to hire one that specializes in classic and vintage cars when you need to have your own shipped. While damage rarely happens during professional auto transport, the companies that specialize in these cars will know how to keep them safest during shipment. If you have made a decision and hired a company to move the car for you, be sure to stay in touch with them after everything has been booked. Doing this will help keep you up to date on the time frame for pickup and well as delivery of the car.

  • Preparing Your Car

One of the most important things about preparing a car, especially a classic car for transport is going to be making sure there is valid insurance coverage during shipment. Before you even hire a reputable classic car transport company, you need to ask them to show their proof of insurance to you. This is very important as many companies will claim to have insurance coverage but there are times when it may not be valid. Your job is going to be verification by checking the insurance certificate or contacting the FMCSA to check validity. Most carriers offer anywhere from $50,000 in insurance to more than $100,000 to cover the vehicles that they haul. For classic car owners, you will most likely want to make sure you have the maximum amount of insurance possible during shipment to protect your car. Aside from having the company insurance to protect the car during transport, you may also want to contact your private auto insurance carrier to make sure that your private auto policy will also cover the car while it is being transported. Once you have taken care of the insurance coverage, be sure to physically prepare the car as well. This includes having it washed and taking all personal items out. There should be nothing loose on the outside including spoilers, ground effects and other items that can fall off during shipment. Convertible tops need to be securely placed down and latched down so they will not fly up or off while being shipped. The fuel needs to be lowered to less than a half tank and unless you have already discussed moving an inoperable car with the shipper, it should be in good running condition for the driver to drive it onto the carrier to transport it to the new location. All cars, especially classics and highly valuable or vintage cars, should be photographed before they are loaded and detailed notes should be taken to show where there may be physical damage on the car before it is moved. These photos should be filed away until the car has been delivered so you will have them to compare the overall condition of the car when it arrives.

Professional auto transport is the best way to move a classic car when you buy one or when you just need to relocate one to a new address for any other reason. Hiring the right auto transport company will be very important when it comes to maintaining low stress and peace of mind when the car is moving from one location to the other. It will also, and most importantly, be the key to ensuring that your classic car maintains its overall value and beauty as it is shipped from one place to another.