Classic cars and older vintage cars are relics that chronicle automotive history. Their value cannot be overstated. Not only are vintage, antique and classic cars a way to feel tangible connections to automotive engineering when it was in its infancy, but they still give us unsurpassed pleasure as we drive and enjoy them today.
Of course, if others are to enjoy these treasures, they must be shared. Often, sharing classic cars requires shipping them to and from car shows and competitions all over the country. To protect your classic or collector car from any damage, it makes sense to use specialty car transport services like the ones we offer at Ship a Car Direct.
Importance of Using a Classic Car Transporter
Transporting a classic or vintage car is always a potentially risky and troublesome undertaking. If you are new at this, and do not personally know a classic car transporter, make sure you choose a company that has experience shipping classic cars safely.
First, do not just randomly pick a trucking company off the internet to safely store and transport your car. Ship a Car Direct is experienced in arranging shipping for valuable pieces of automotive history like your classic car.
Also, be sure you know what you’re getting into and what kind of protection is offered. Some things to consider include:
Enclosed -- Make sure the transporter uses completely sealed trailers. Dirt and debris constantly fly up off the road surface. Your classic car’s exterior must be protected from the damage this can cause, which is why an enclosed car carrier is the universal choice of classic car enthusiasts.
Insured -- The hauler you choose must be bonded and insured against damage and loss. Inquire as to the coverage amounts and any unusual contingencies of their coverage.
Experience -- Nothing can be as reassuring as extensive experience when it comes to doing this important job. Experienced car shipping companies have a huge advantage that new transporters just cannot match. They know all the ways of making your precious cargo safe and secure.
Assurance -- If you are not absolutely comfortable with any detail the carrier shares, do not use them. Anything other than complete assurance from your hauler is simply not sufficient. For this reason, we take the time to discuss all aspects of shipping a vintage car so that you know what to expect and enjoy better peace of mind.
Essential Pre-shipping Steps
Take these essential measures before shipping your car:
- Snap some pics: Use a high-quality camera and take dated, time-stamped photos of every section of your car. Better yet, take a dated, time-stamped video of the car on the day of shipment using Ship A Car Direct’s FREE Damage App.
- Confirm your insurance coverage. Avoid the old “that coverage is not stated in your policy” gotcha.
- Confirm shipping details. Cover everything from how the car will be secured, the route taken and the ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival).
- Stacked Vehicles -- Ask if the hauler is going to be stacking vehicles. Require that yours be shipped on the top rack if the transporter does haul double-deck loads.
Preparing Your Classic Car for Shipment
- Go Over the Entire Vehicle -- Take your time and go over every inch of the vehicle inside and outside, the engine bay and underneath. Make sure the hood, doors and trunk open and close as they should. Make a list and check it off as you complete your thorough inspection.
- Exterior -- Pay special attention to the exterior features like trim, mirrors, hood ornaments and all other attached parts on the exterior. Carefully go over the condition of the exterior finish. Make note of any scratches or pre-existing paint job flaws. Inspect all chrome and their attachments looking for any loose or missing connector pins holding the chrome in place.
- Interior -- Visually inspect the complete interior. Start with the headliner, its overhead light and overall condition. Do the same for the seats and test their adjustment feature if they are so equipped. Check door handles, armrests, dash features and gauges.
- Undercarriage -- Carefully inspect the undercarriage. Check brake lines, cables, transmission case and oil pan condition. Make note of any pre-existing dents, scrapes or other damage.
- Start the Vehicle -- Start the vehicle, let it run and listen for any issues. Take it for a short test drive and check out its overall drivability. Check the steering, braking and handling.
You want to know every detail of the car’s overall condition first hand so you can be sure the vehicle was not damaged during transport.
Be there to meet the car upon its arrival, watch the unloading and inspect it immediately, in the presence of witnesses, as it is rolled off the hauler. Make note of any damages you see and bring them to the hauler’s attention right then and document them. Do not wait for hours or even days later to broach any damages.
Follow the steps above to enjoy sharing your automotive “time capsule” with all those who share the enjoyment that classic and vintage cars give. And when you’re ready to send your classic car to its next car show, contact us for a quote on car shipping that respects and protects your investment!
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.