What is the Hot Rod Auto Transport?
There are many reasons people choose to ship their vehicle with a professional hot rod auto transport company. Among these, we count:
- Relocation to a new military base;
- Buying a vehicle from another country;
- Services involving automobile auction shipping;
- Moving to a new home along with your vehicle;
- Being relocated for a new job;
- Buying a vacation condo;
- Seasonal departures to warmer areas of the country;
- Buying or selling a vehicle online;
- A collector transporting vehicles.
Expenses Made When Driving a Hot Rod Across Country
Choosing to drive your hot rod instead of hiring a hot rod auto transport company can be quite costly. The following are the most common expenses you should expect if you plan on transporting your vehicle across the country by driving it:
- Hotels: The normal cost per night in a hotel can be around $200. Depending on how many days it takes for you to drive your Hot Rod to its new destination, you should take into consideration hotel fees as well.
- Fuel: This is another major expense you will need to account for. You can calculate how much it will cost you using Google Maps and a calculator.
- Food and drinks: You will need to eat at least 3 meals a day during your trip, especially since you’ll be fatigued from driving. This can cost you between $50-$100/day depending on the number of travelers and choice of restaurant.
- Wearing/tearing your vehicle: Driving your Hot Rod from one end of the country to the other will increase its mileage, so it may require expensive inspection and service afterwards. Put aside another $100 for maintaining your vehicle.
- Mechanical problems: A flat tire is not a serious problem in most cases, but if your automobile breaks down in the middle of nowhere, things can get complicated. Your car will have to be towed to the nearest automobile repair service, which may charge more than you’re accustomed to, since they’re the only option for solving such problems.
Before deciding on a hot rod auto transport service to deliver your vehicle, there are a few basic things you should take into consideration:
- Reasons: It’s a common myth that shipping companies can be used only when buying or selling an automobile. People use this service for all kinds of reasons. They are useful when moving to a new home, to haul your hot rod to an event or show or even to multiple events in a row.
- Costs: Costs vary depending on several factors, such as distance and vehicle weight. The shipping company can give you an accurate assessment prior to transportation.
- Size, miles and route: The hot rod auto transport price does not change based on the value of your vehicle, but on the vehicle’s size, the miles it will have to be transported across and the route it will take.
Larger automobiles occupy more space, so the company can transport less of them at a time. This raises the transportation price as does the route your carrier will have to take. Often travelled routes increase the carrier’s chances of finding more automobiles to haul, so the price of transporting your vehicle is lower. When the vehicle must be carried to a state or area where no other vehicle needs shipping, it is considered a single purpose run, raising the price of the haul.
- Time: Hot rod hauling normally takes between 7 and 10 days, but it can change due to weather, location and other circumstances.
- Waiting drivers: Sometimes, when people want hot rod auto transport to shows and events, they may ask the driver to wait for them until the event is finished. If you want the driver to wait for you until the event ends, rendering him incapable of taking care of other pickup jobs while waiting, he will have to stay on standby until you are finished. Because of this, the company will usually charge you a waiting fee each day to cover his down time.
- Carriers and brokers: It’s important to inquire whether the company you’re planning on moving your hot rod is a broker or a carrier. A broker sells shipping requests to carriers who do the actual hauling. Hot rod auto transport companies advise you avoid brokers, since they can offer your vehicle to low quality shippers or even to multiple transport services before reaching its final destination. Every time the vehicle loads in a different truck or goes to another carrier, the chances of damage and the time of arrival increase exponentially.
- Terminals vs. Door to Door: Another trap you can fall into when picking a shipping company is transporting their hot rod with the help of terminals. Door to Door transport implies your automobile will be transported from the place it was shipped from to its destination without stopping. However, if the shipping company uses terminals where you leave the automobile to be picked up by a truck, there are certain risks you should consider. Sometimes, the facilities are not secure, being open parking lots instead. Reliable Carriers should have indoor terminals, guarded units and temperature control.
- Closed vs. Open Shipping: While some people don’t mind their hot rod auto transport being done in an open trailer, others want it to be protected and covered. Inquire about the type of trailer the company uses. This affects transport cost as well.
- Liability insurance and cargo insurance: Your automobile is considered cargo, so make sure you use a hot rod auto transport company that has cargo insurance. If the shipping company had liability insurance only, it may not be covered completely in the case of an accident.
- Deductibles and limits to insurance: You may want to find out how much the shipping service insurance actually covers in case of an accident. Also, inquire if you’re supposed to pay a part of the deductible, and if that is the case, how much?
- Value upon Appraisal: Ask a reputable appraiser to check out your vehicle, so you’ll have proof in case of a problem. Unfortunately, if your car costs $100,000 upon purchase but it appraises for only $50,000, it will be insured for only that amount.
- Time of delivery: Sometimes, the driver will not be able to give you an exact drop off time until the last 24 hours of your vehicle’s delivery. Your shipper will often give you a 2-3 day window for your hot rod auto transport, but the exact time and date cannot be given in advance.
- Location of delivery: Carriers can sometimes be 100 feet long, so choose your drop off location carefully. Avoid twisty roads with 2 lanes, since they lack the required space. Occupied parking lots and freeway shoulders are also undesirable. They’re large enough, but are dangerous, and the process is slowed down due to crowds gathering to see the cars unload.
- Honesty: Be upfront regarding your hot rod auto transport. Shipping companies can accommodate special circumstances and extras if you’ve notified them in advance. However, they may reject your vehicle if it arrives with extra wheels or other unplanned surprises.
- Extras when hauling: If you have a Porsche or other such small vehicle, you won’t have to pay for extra wheels or other similar items. However, if you’re shipping an SUV, the weight and size of the car may prevent a full load to be hauled, causing the price to rise accordingly.
- Car inventory: You can save money when shipping extras by placing them inside the automobile. However, before filling the interior completely, make sure the driver is able to load and unload your vehicle without impediment. Also, make sure to make an inventory of all extra items in case something goes missing during transportation.
- Working vs. defective vehicles: If your vehicle cannot be driven, inform the carrier in advance, so they may bring a rig with a winch. The winching fee is about $100.
- Tracking: There are companies who allow you to track your shipment as a standard, while others offer it as an option. This is a great way to check on the state of your hot rod auto transport across the U.S.
- Things to avoid: The majority of hot rod auto transport companies cannot carry barrels of oil, fuel or race fuel. To transport these along with your car, you need special permission, and it’s usually better left to other transportation options.
Written By:Joe Webster
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.