How to Ship Your Classic Car

Guest Post by Jason Mueller

Purchasing a classic car can be a very exciting thing to do, especially if you’ve just found the car of your dreams and you want to get it home as quickly as possible to enjoy and show off to others. If you have always wanted a classic car but not sure what exactly fits your style then check out our museum to get some ideas. Amid all of the excitement over the new car, you may find yourself unnecessarily worrying about how you’re going to get it moved to your location. This holds true especially if you’re purchasing out of state, from a seller on eBay or another website or location that is far from home.

Whether the car can be driven or not should never even be an issue and it won’t be one as long as you hire a reputable auto transporter to move the car for you. Something you will find out quickly is that there are thousands of auto transport companies listed when you complete an online search. The majority are companies that transport everyday driving vehicles for people shipping across the United States. For a classic car, you really need to hire a company that has the experience necessary to transport classic and other vintage or specialty cars.

When you are planning to ship your classic car, it’s a good idea to keep a few important points in mind before you schedule auto transport services:

Do careful research of several companies before you book service. You should always try to check reviews online to see what others think about the company and also check to see what the company offers when it comes to service as well as pricing. Listen carefully when you speak to a company agent. This is important because you can usually tell the level of professionalism as well as experience the company has by the way an agent answers questions and provides information. Keep in mind that the way they speak to you during your initial call will most likely be the way they respond to you if a problem or other issue should arise once the car has been picked up.

If you contact a broker, they will be able to get rates and shipping information for hundreds of auto transporters at one time and you will be able to know which companies offer the best rates to go with their services. If you contact individual auto transport companies on your own, you should get at least five or more quotes in order to compare services with various companies. A low price always sounds great and is very enticing to take, but be aware that when it comes to auto transport, especially when you are shipping a valuable classic car, you need to choose a company based on the quality of services that are offered and never on the price alone. A qualified auto transporter has the knowledge and experience needed and will be able to get your classic car scheduled for shipment and can have it picked up and delivered safely with a professional driver. They also offer high quality services at excellent rates to all customers.

Choosing a Date
Once you have determined who will ship your classic car, you need to work with the company agent to determine when the car will be picked up. For some companies, especially brokers, it can take several days to get the car scheduled with a carrier. Auto transport companies that own their own trucks will usually be able to book the transport quicker as they know where their trucks are located and what their available dates for transport will be in your particular area. When it comes to auto transport, you need to try to be flexible with your calendar as car shipping times are never precise due to things like traffic, mandatory driver rest stops, other customers and even the weather. If you are shipping the car long distance the transport agent will usually provide a time period of roughly three days to let you have an idea of when the car will be picked up and the driver will usually call you within 24 hours of the date and time he will be to your car. If you are shipping locally, the company will usually be able to provide a more direct time frame.

If you have a precise budget for auto transport, be sure to let the company agent know upfront so they will able to cut out carriers that may exceed your overall budget. You will need to know prior to calling the company what type of transport carrier you want to use for your car. You can choose between open and enclosed transport and you should know the differences between the two.

Open Transport
This is the most common as well as inexpensive type of auto transport and is used by thousands of vehicle owners every day. Cars are exposed to the elements including weather, road debris and other people during shipment, but it is safe for all motor vehicles and can usually be booked quickly for local as well as nationwide transport.

Enclosed Transport
This is the best option for shipping an expensive classic car or one that needs to be ensured complete protection during shipment. Enclosed transport trucks are more expensive than open transport trucks but they offer an environment that is sealed and away from all weather, road debris and potential vandals along the way.

The best way to determine which will be best for your classic car will be to discuss the car and your options with the agent that you speak to. You know your car best and you need to ship based on what you know about your car and the level of protection you feel you need during shipment.

Get the Car Ready
Once you book auto transport, you need to do a few things to make sure the car is ready to go. If the car is in running condition, make sure the battery is charged, brakes are working well and that there is enough fuel to load and unload and the car. A quarter tank of gas is sufficient, and usually recommended, during auto transport.

Convertible tops need to be secured down and all removable accessories should be taken off so they will not fall off during transport. There should be no personal items, including paperwork, left inside the car during shipment.

Time/date stamped pictures should be taken when the driver arrives so you will have documented visual evidence of the condition of the car at the time it is loaded for delivery. Pay careful attention to the pre-delivery inspection and make sure everything is noted correctly on the Bill of Lading that the driver will provide to you. Damage is something that is possible during any type of transport, but keep in mind that damage seldom ever happens with professional auto transport. Once your car has been picked up, you can sit back and relax while the professionals handle the relocation. Most companies today offer GPS or other tracking incentives and you should be able to track your car so you will know where it is at all times during shipment.

Once the delivery has been made, you will have plenty of time to enjoy your classic car by restoring it or showing it off to friends and family or even at the popular car shows that are held around the country.

For more information on shipping classic cars or to get a free quote, visit