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On The Road Again: A Guide to Shipping Your Classic Car To An International Auto Show

Published by Joe Webster.

What's in this article?
  1. Baby, you can drive my car…(but not too far)
  2. Knowledge and length of experience
  3. Knowing what to look for in auto show car shipping professionals
  4. Consider the type of shipping you need for your classic auto
  5. Don’t skimp on insurance
  6. Registering and licensing
  7. The condition of your vehicle
  8. Shipping Costs
  9. Working out how much it costs to ship a classic automobile
  10. Shipping Internationally
  11. How to prepare your automobile for classic car shipping
  12. When your car arrives
On The Road Again: A Guide to Shipping Your Classic Car To An International Auto Show

Your classic automobile is your pride and joy and one of the most honored possessions you treasure. One of life's great pleasures is to keep it roadworthy, cleaned regularly, and ready to rock and roll.

It doesn’t matter where it was purchased from - an auction room, showroom or even handed down through the family or from a collector, you’ll have put the hard work in to make it look (and run) like a dream.

Of course, you want to show it off to your friends and family, but what about the other classic car geeks you know and love? Getting together with other collectors and knowledgeable enthusiasts gives you the opportunity to not only show off your auto but to gain experience and insight into how other people take care of their most prized possession too. Spending time with others who have the same passion as you can be truly life-affirming.

A classic auto show is a great chance to show how much your car shines and it gives you the chance to chat and connect with other like-minded folks. Have you ever thought about showing it off at an international auto show - and what that might entail? Well, fear not - here’s a guide to everything you’ll need to know about making your car roadworthy for the trip, the costs you can expect and the best ways to travel and transport a classic car if you don’t want to drive it long-distance.

Baby, you can drive my car…(but not too far)

Although classic car shows present great opportunities to show off your pride and joy you might be concerned about driving it long distances (or indeed taking it out of the country).

Older cars can be less fuel efficient and they aren’t always up to being driven at high speeds over hundreds of miles. So, if you’re considering driving yourself to an international auto show somewhere this means you’ll have to factor in lots of pit stops and overnight stays - which can be costly.

These aren’t the only issues, you may have worries about being involved in an accident or breaking down en route, which can make the journey less than pleasant, adding to your stress.

What are your options to ensure you and your precious cargo make it to your chosen international auto show in one piece? Well, you could place your faith and trust in an auto shipping company to help you achieve your goal. They’ve got the requisite knowledge and expertise to make sure that your car will reach its destination in prime condition. Here’s what to look for when choosing.


Knowledge and length of experience

Look to find an auto shipping company that has plenty of years of experience and comes recommended by other classic car enthusiasts. You need to know your car will be in safe hands and that the crew dealing with it have the right skills and knowledge to deal with every possible outcome when preparing a car for long-distance shipping.

Knowing what to look for in auto show car shipping professionals

Where in the world do you need to ship your car to? No matter the length of the journey you’ll want your car to arrive in absolute pristine condition and looking ‘shipping container’ fresh!

Take note of the following ideas when choosing an auto show shipping company (it’s also worth noting that these points also stand if you’re simply shipping a classic auto to your home for the first time, from the place you purchased it)

Consider the type of shipping you need for your classic auto

Carefully consider the type of shipping you need for your car (and what you can afford), but bear in mind that it’s often best to opt for enclosed car transportation as a favored method.

Long-distance travel, unpredictable roads, and inclement weather can often mean paint and metal work on cars of any type can become tarnished, chipped, or look dull. Sun, sand, and salt cause corrosion and fading.

Choosing enclosed car shipping will mean your car looks perfectly pristine at the car show by protecting it from road debris, and the weather and offers a higher degree of protection against theft.

Don’t skimp on insurance

If your car is being shipped by experts then the risk of any damage should be minimal. However, you must always make sure that the company you choose has a high level of insurance ‘just in case’.

Accidents can still happen and while they’re less likely if you use professionals, it’s not 100% guaranteed. Confirm you’re insured, confirm they’re insured, and make sure all parties are happy before you commit. Here are some ball-park figures on what a company should be insured for:

  • Open car carriers must be insured up to a minimum of $150,000.
  • Enclosed carriers require a minimum of $250,000.
  • Classic car transport specialists must have coverage that ranges between $500,000 to multi-million USD.

Working with an experienced company will reduce any risks on both sides.


Registering and licensing

Auto transportation companies must be registered and approved - ask around other classic car enthusiasts who might be able to recommend a reliable company. For instance, companies based in the USA must carry the following:

It does sound obvious, but some people forget to read customer reviews on Google Business, Yelp, etc, too. People will leave reviews - good and bad, so gen yourself up and be armed with all the right knowledge and recommendations.

The condition of your vehicle

The actual condition of your motor is an important consideration when shipping your classic car to an international auto show. First of all, this will determine how your car needs to be loaded onto the truck/shipping container. Be honest and detail everything relevant to the condition of your car when talking to your chosen company - they can then arrange the right equipment. The following points are worth noting:

  • If your classic car is still drivable it can be driven onto the truck.
  • If it isn’t driveable but can be steered and its brakes work, it can be pushed onto the truck.
  • If the battery is dead, but you know it can be driven, it can be jump-started.
  • If your car doesn’t start because of mechanical issues a carrier can use a winch to carefully roll the car onto the trailer.
  • In some instances, (but rarely) a forklift can be used to help load a car onto a truck.

Shipping Costs

Shipping costs are a considered financial purchase, and enclosed transportation does cost more than open car carriers do - but it’s perfectly possible to find decent and reasonable rates from reputable companies.

Open car shipping isn’t always the best choice for folks with pristine classic cars, it can be up to forty percent cheaper and although there are risks, which would be discussed with you - they are still quite small.

Working out how much it costs to ship a classic automobile

Working out how much it will cost you to ship a classic car to an auto show always depends on quite a number of factors, so think about the following list when making your decision:

  • Make and model of vehicle
  • Type and size of vehicle
  • Type of shipping (open or enclosed)
  • Collection and delivery destinations
  • Current economic factors (fuel price)
  • Tolls and taxes
  • Weather conditions at home, on the road, and at the final destination

Working out all of the above should give you an estimate of what to expect, cost-wise when considering shipping your car to an international automobile show.


Shipping Internationally

Perhaps you want to attend a classic car show in Britain, Europe, or Australia. The international market is always open and showing your car off in other countries is always a great chance to explore other cultures, speak to people from diverse backgrounds, and learn about other car makers in foreign climes!

Many car shipping companies can arrange transport from your home to the appropriate international air or sea port. There you can then arrange international shipping, depending on the type of transport you select. Transport such as roll-on roll-off is still a very popular choice for people attending international auto shows and it’s worth inquiring about.

Don’t forget to arrange car transportation from the overseas port it’s arriving at to the location of the auto show once your car arrives there, too.

How to prepare your automobile for classic car shipping

The next step is to ensure that you prepare your classic auto thoroughly for its journey. Here’s a handy go-to checklist of everything you need to contemplate to make sure your pride and joy is tip-top for its travels.

  • Remove all of your personal belongings and anything with personal details from the inside and outside of your car.
  • Double-check the trunk and the passenger compartment to make sure there is nothing of value/weight or personal value in the car.
  • Reduce your fuel tank to a quarter full - this might mean taking the car on a few journeys to get it run down. Low fuel is better in a car being shipped as it reduces the load. You should only need about a quarter of a tank to load and unload your car and get to a filling station.
  • Fix any leaks or issues with the mechanics of your car promptly.
  • Wash your car from top to bottom and valet it thoroughly. This will allow you to spot any marks or paintwork flaws hidden by dirt. It’ll also mean it only needs a more cursory clean once it arrives at its destination and has been unloaded.
  • Document the condition of your vehicle prior to shipping by taking notes and photographs so you’re aware of the condition it's in before it’s taken away. Your car should arrive in exactly the same condition when it arrives at its destination and in the event of an accident or mishap you need to be able to prove the condition it was in when it left your care.
  • Prior to loading your car, you should be asked to sign a condition report to ensure you’re happy with the car’s condition and that it accurately reflects how the shipping company views it, and how you do too.

When your car arrives

When your car arrives at its destination, inspect it closely to make sure it is in the same pristine condition as it was when it left you. If there is any damage this should be recorded and reported straight away. Contact the auto shipping company immediately in the event this occurs. Chances of any damage and risks of accidents are low, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t occur.

This guide serves as a handy checklist of all the things you should think about and need to evaluate when you’ve decided to ship a classic automobile to an international car show.

It can be one of the most exciting and fulfilling hobbies to undertake and the joy of showing off your treasured classic car with other like-minded enthusiasts is one that can’t be underestimated.

Making sure you do it the right way, using a trusted company that knows and understands how classic cars function and the care and precision needed to treat them when they’re being transported is extremely important.

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Joe Webster always knew the auto transport industry would be a great career option. And with decades of experience, Joe is now an established consultant for A1 Auto Transport.

Joe was born in Santa Cruz, California. During high school, Joe worked as a mechanic; a job continued to work part-time during his bachelor's degree.

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435 Division Street
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NO. 17858N
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3401 E Randol Mill Rd,
Arlington, TX 76011
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ABC Worldwide LLC
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Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
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6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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