How to Ship a Classic Car When Relocating

How to Ship a Classic Car When Relocating

As a classic car owner you most likely know that hiring a professional car shipping company is very important when you need to move and take your classic dream car with you. A reputable company is going to be a vital instrument in getting the car moved from one are to another safely in order to maintain the overall value and beauty of the car that you own.

Those that love classic cars are well aware of the fact that a classic is not simply a car at all. Instead, it is a valuable investment into your future or the future of your heirs. Classic car owners have the chance to own a little piece of history and when you are able to do that, it is a dream come true and something that you want to protect at all costs.

shipping a classic car

Which Carrier Should You Use?

A very important aspect of car shipping when it comes to moving as classic car is going to be making a decision on the type of carrier that it used during shipment. While some people may choose to haul a classic on a trailer behind their own truck, this is really not a very safe option and can cause damage to the truck as well as be very expensive due to cost of maintenance that will need to be taken care of on the truck and also fuel cost that will increase due to hauling a heavy car. Be sure to ask the transport agent if any seasonal discounts or other discounts may be available that could save a little money on shipping your car.


The safest ways to move a car are with the following carriers:

  • Open Carrier: An open carrier is generally safe to use with all types of motor vehicles, even classic and collectible cars and trucks. It is the least expensive option and is simple to use because cars are driven onto the carrier, or lifted if they are inoperable, and then secured in place and relocated. Some open carriers can only carry one or two vehicles at a time while others are multi-carriers and can haul many cars at once. Auto dealerships and manufacturers use these carriers to move shipments to sale and it is a safe mode of transport. Although safe, one thing about open transport is the fact that the cars on board are exposed to the elements including weather and road debris and can become damaged if anything flies into them. If you decide to use an open carrier to move your classic, it is wise to request to have the car top-loaded so it will avoid as much contact as possible with other cars on the truck.


  • Enclosed Carrier: When you opt to use an enclosed carrier, you should know that this is the most secure way to move a classic or collectible car to or from any location and any distance. All sides of an enclosed carrier are sealed and will not allow any chance of road debris or inclement weather to come into contact with the car inside. This means that the car is nestled safe and sound inside during shipment. Enclosed transport is generally going to cost more than open transport but when it comes to safe shipping for a valuable car, it just does not get better than enclosed.



Getting the Car Ready

You most likely already have plenty of pictures of your classic car, but before it is loaded for shipment to during the move, it is very important that detailed pictures be taken of all surface areas. You will want to file the pictures away and hold onto them until the car has been delivered.

You will also need to get the car physically ready by taking care of the following:

  • The car should be clean and all personal items need to be removed. You can leave a spare tire and tools to change the tire in the truck. While this may not be an issue with most classic cars, it is something that needs to be mentioned as it is very important during professional auto transport because the company is only allowed to haul the car and not personal items per DOT regulations.


  • The company insurance needs to be verified to ensure that it is valid as well as enough to cover the value of the car. When dealing with a classic, you will also want to make sure your own private insurance policy will be in effect during the journey.


  • There should only be enough fuel in the car for the driver to be able to load and unload during transport. Usually, a quarter tank will suffice.


  • Get a hard copy of all paperwork and documentation of the transport before the car is loaded. Check the Bill of Lading carefully and sign it only if you agree with everything on it when the driver has it filled out.


  • If the car is inoperable you must discuss this with the company agent before the truck is sent to pick it up. A carrier with a winch must be dispatched in order to lift the car on and off of the truck and if this is not discussed ahead of time, it can delay your transport when they have to reschedule a new carrier.
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