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A Comprehensive Guide to Transporting Classic Cars

What's in this article?
  1. Types Of Classic Car Transport
  2. Domestic Classic Car Transport
  3. International Classic Car Transport
  4. Roro Shipping
  5. Container Shipping
  6. Air Freight
  7. How To Prepare Your Classic Car For Shipment
  8. Costs Of Shipping A Classic Car
  9. Factors Affecting Classic Car Shipping Costs
  10. A-1 Auto Transport A Safe Way To Ship Your Classic Car
A Comprehensive Guide to Transporting Classic Cars

Classic cars are beloved by many for their unique style, craftsmanship, and nostalgia. The vehicle's owner will tell you that it is more than just a car; it is an investment and a passion.

They often evoke memories of a simpler time, when life was less complicated, and the world seemed to move at a slower pace.

It is no surprise that the shipping process takes a more specialized approach than a regular car. These classic cars are usually transported for a car show, an auction, maintenance, or just to get from one place to another.

If you need to transport a classic car, you can trust that we will take every precaution to ensure that it arrives safely. We hope this guide will help you move your historic car without any hassle.

Types of Classic Car Transport

Shipping companies usually provide two main types of transport: open and enclosed carriers.

Open carriers are the most common type of classic car transport, offering a cost-effective solution for transporting your vehicle. However, open carriers do not provide much protection from the elements, such as rain, snow, dirt, and debris.

Enclosed carriers provide more protection for your classic car during transport. They are typically more expensive than open carriers but offer excellent protection from the elements and other potential hazards that can damage your vehicle during transit.

Enclosed carriers also provide additional security for your vehicle since a trailer or container during transit will completely surround it.


Domestic classic car transport

Enclosed auto transport is the ideal shipping option for classic car owners who want to ensure their vehicle stays safe and secure during transit.

This kind of transportation offers the most protection from damage caused by bad weather or road conditions. The shipping company brings your car into a trailer with hard or soft walls to keep it as safe as possible from the weather and any road debris.

The enclosed carrier shipping option also offers greater privacy than open carriers, which can be beneficial if you are transporting a rare or valuable classic car.

The added security and privacy offered by enclosed auto transport make it a more expensive option than open carriers. Still, it is worth it for those who want to guarantee their vehicle's safety during transit.

With this kind of shipping, you can be sure your classic car will get where it needs to go without any damage.

International classic car transport

Meanwhile, there are a few options for international classic car transport.

RORO shipping

RORO shipping is the most cost-effective way to transport a classic car internationally. This method involves loading the vehicle onto a ship and exposing it to the elements during transit. While this is the cheapest option, there is an increased risk of damage due to exposure to salt water, wind, and other environmental factors.

Container shipping

Container shipping is a more secure way of transporting a classic car overseas. The car is enclosed in a steel container that protects it from potential damage during transit. This method also allows for additional items, such as spare parts or tools, to be shipped with the car, making it more convenient for those who need them at their destination.

However, this method can be more expensive than RORO shipping due to the cost of the container and the additional fees associated with its use.

Air freight

Finally, air freight is the safest and quickest way to ship a classic car internationally, but it comes with a hefty price tag.

Air freight ensures that your vehicle arrives quickly and safely without any risk of damage due to environmental factors.

However, this method usually only applies to extremely valuable or rare classic cars due to its high cost.

How to Prepare Your Classic Car for Shipment

No matter which shipping option you choose, it's essential to ensure that you have properly prepared your classic car for transport. This preparation includes:

  • Making sure the vehicle is in good working condition, and all fluids are topped off
  • Disconnecting the battery and removing any loose items from the car
  • Cleaning the outside of the car so that dirt and debris don't build up while it's in transit
  • Taking photos of the car before loading it onto the carrier for documentation purposes
  • Ensuring that all paperwork is in order, including title, registration, and insurance

By doing these things, you can be sure your classic car will get where it needs to go without any damage.


Costs of Shipping a Classic Car

Classic car shipping costs can vary depending on a number of factors. These include the size and weight of the vehicle, the distance of transport, and the type of transport chosen. For example:

Shipping To/FromCostDistanceEstimated Time in Transit
New York, NY, to Boston, MA$540216 mi2-4 days
Dallas, TX to Memphis, TN$960463 mi2-4 days
Denver, CO to Dallas, TX$1280805 mi3-5 days
Los Angeles, CA, to Denver, CO$11501017 mi4-6 days
Denver, CO, to Columbus, OH$15301271 mi4-6 days
Phoenix, AZ, to Memphis, TN$14901430 mi4-6 days
Detroit, MI to Las Vegas, NV$12391999 mi5-7 days
New York, NY, to Phoenix, AZ$16702421 mi7-9 days
Seattle, WA, to Memphis, TN$20002303 mi6-8 days
Miami, FL, to Seattle, WA$20303320 mi7-9 days

* Prices and times are approximations. They can vary depending on the season and what type of classic car you are shipping.

Factors Affecting Classic Car Shipping Costs

Here are some other factors that can affect classic car shipping costs:

  • The pickup and delivery locations: longer distances will cost more than shorter ones
  • The time of year: prices tend to be higher during peak seasons, such as summer or winter holidays
  • The type of carrier: enclosed carriers are more expensive than open carriers due to their added security and privacy features
  • Insurance coverage: you may require additional insurance coverage for certain types of vehicles or shipments
  • Special services: these services, like fast shipping or door-to-door delivery, will add to your total cost

By understanding these factors, you can better estimate how much it will cost to ship your classic car.

A-1 Auto Transport: A Safe Way to Ship Your Classic Car

Our services are available for anyone needing classic car transport, be it for an auto show, a private collector of vintage or exotic automobiles, or a museum.

With the expertise and professionalism that antique car enthusiasts need, our extensive carrier network of delivery routes covers all 50 states.


Here's why our clients consider us a trustworthy auto transport company:

  • Transport for older model vehicles that are completely enclosed
  • A trusted transport company with 25 years of experience as an auto transporter
  • Shift-resistant transport carriers
  • Air-cushioned suspension
  • Exotic car transport
  • Excellent service that customers love and the most reliable carriers in the industry
  • Insurance coverage is included in every quote (fully insured auto transport is available).
  • Classic car shipping to all 50 states
  • Door-to-door car shipping service
  • Free quotes, competitive prices, and discounts for first-time shippers
  • The best classic car rates in the business and the lowest average cost

Ready to transport your beloved car with A-1 Auto Transport? Call us at 1-888-230-9493 now to learn more about our trusted car shipping services and our amazing discounts.

You can also estimate the price of shipping your car across the country using our free online quote calculator.

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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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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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