Can I Ship A Non-Running Classic Car? Get All The Details

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Can I Ship A Non-Running Classic Car? Get All The Details
Can I Ship A Non-Running Classic Car? Get All The Details

If you have a classic car that’s not currently running and you’re moving across the country, have sold it, or need to transport it for any other reason, you may not be sure what your options are. In this blog from A-1 Auto Transport, we’ll discuss everything that you need to know about shipping a non-running classic car.

Can I Ship A Non-Running Classic Car?

Yes. It’s entirely possible to ship a non-running classic car. Whether your vehicle has mechanical issues, you don’t have the keys, or it’s been damaged and can’t roll, it can be loaded onto a truck and shipped across the country – or even internationally.

Naturally, however, shipping a non-running classic car is a more complex process than shipping a classic car that runs. Obviously, a running car is typically easier to load, since it can be driven directly into a trailer or onto a car carrier for transport via truck.

Because of this, you’ll usually pay a bit more to transport a non-running classic car, compared to a classic car that runs. The fact that your car is inoperable will make it more difficult to load and unload. 

How Will My Non-Running Classic Car Be Loaded Onto The Truck? 

Usually, you’ll have two options. If your car can roll, but simply cannot be driven because of missing keys or mechanical issues, it will be picked up by a tow truck using a winch. If your car is more severely damaged, a forklift or specialized roll-back tow truck may be needed.

  • Tow truck and winch – When your classic car is picked up, its wheels will be pointed straight ahead and the transmission will be put into neutral, allowing it to roll. Then, a tow truck will attach a winch to the winching point of your vehicle, and pull it onto the truck. Then, your car will be driven to the trucking terminal to be loaded onto a car carrier trailer, or to be placed into an enclosed trailer.
  • Forklift or roll-back tow truck – If your car will not roll due to serious damage, it may be loaded onto a tow truck with a forklift, or a roll-back tow truck may be used. Roll-back tow trucks have a flatbed that can slide back to contact the ground. Then, the car will be pulled onto the flatbed, which will be raised into position for transport.

Should I Choose An Open Car Carrier Or An Enclosed Trailer For My Classic Car? 

An open car carrier is usually a cheaper option, but your classic car will be exposed to the elements, so it’s not a great choice if you’re very concerned about the exterior of your car. In contrast, enclosed trailers are more expensive, but offer more protection.

As a rule, open car carriers are the best choice if you’re on a budget, but your car could be exposed to very minor damage from road debris like gravel. If your classic car is not running and its exterior needs repairs or already has a few dings or scratches, an open car carrier is likely the best option for you.

However, if your vehicle is very valuable or the bodywork is in mint condition, despite being inoperable, an enclosed trailer may be a better option. Enclosed car trailers can usually only carry a few cars, so you will pay more for the transportation of your non-running classic car, but this may be worth it for your peace of mind.

How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Non-Running Classic Car?

The average cost of shipping a classic car is between $500 to $1,500. You can usually expect a surcharge of at least $100 to be applied if your car doesn’t run. Some other factors may also influence this price – such as the total transportation distance, whether you choose open or closed trailer shipping, and whether or not you want residential last-mile delivery.

Wondering what goes into the cost of shipping your vehicle? Let’s take a deeper look at some of the costs associated with shipping a non-running classic car now. 

  • Shipping distance – Unsurprisingly, the total distance your car is shipped will have a big impact on how much it costs to transport. Shipping a car from New York City to Tampa, for instance, will be cheaper than shipping a car from Boston to Los Angeles.
  • Size & weight of vehicle – Larger classic cars may require more space and reduce the total number of vehicles that can be carried on a particular truck, so they will incur higher overall shipping rates. In contrast, smaller cars will usually be cheaper to ship.
  • Time of year – The summer months are typically when vehicle shipping demand peaks. During the busy season, you can expect to pay higher rates than you would in the winter, when demand is usually lower.
  • Required delivery time – If you need rush delivery or require a guaranteed delivery date for your car, you will typically have to pay more to transport your classic car.
  • Open vs. closed car carrier – As mentioned earlier, an open carrier is the more economical option, but it does not offer as much protection. Closed carriers are more expensive, but protect your classic car from the elements.
  • Last-mile pickup & delivery – If you want your car picked up from your home and delivered to a residential area, you’ll pay additional fees to your shipping company for this last-mile service.

Do I Need Insurance On A Non-Running Classic Car? 

Yes. It’s highly recommended that you have an appropriate classic car insurance policy on your vehicle. Even if it’s not running, your classic car is likely worth quite a bit of money – so insurance is a good way to protect your investment.

And while your auto transportation partner will have liability insurance to protect against damage incurred while moving your car, this may not compensate you for the entire value of your vehicle in the rare event that it’s damaged or destroyed.

Classic car insurance is different from traditional car insurance, too, so make sure you work with a well-known classic car insurer like Hagerty to discuss your options and purchase an insurance policy that’s appropriate for your non-running classic car before it’s transported. 

Get Help Shipping Your Non-Running Classic Car – Contact A-1 Auto Transport 

If you have a non-running classic car that you need to ship anywhere in the country – or even overseas – A-1 Auto Transport is here to help. We have an extensive network of logistics partners who will treat your vehicle with the care it deserves, and ensure that it reaches its destination on time.

To learn more and get a quote for shipping your non-running classic car, just contact A-1 Auto Transport online, or call us at (800) 452-2880. We can provide you with a quote right away.

Joe Webster
Written By:Joe Webster
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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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