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How do I prepare my classic car for shipping?

Published by Joe Webster.

What's in this article?
  1. Importance of Proper Preparation
  2. Detailed Preparation Steps
  3. Choosing a Reliable Shipping Company
  4. Preparing for Pickup and Delivery
  5. Conclusion
How do I prepare my classic car for shipping?

Are you pondering over the question, "How do I prepare my classic car for shipping?" It's a valid concern, especially when dealing with a vehicle that's not just a means of transportation but a cherished piece of history. Preparing your classic car for shipping involves more than just handing over the keys to a car shipping company. It's about ensuring that every inch of your classic vehicle is ready for the journey ahead. This means giving it a thorough clean, meticulously documenting its current state, securing any loose parts, checking the vital fluids and tire pressure, and choosing a classic car transport service that understands the value of your prized possession. With the right steps, you can rest assured that your classic car will arrive at its destination just as it left: pristine and valuable.


Importance of Proper Preparation

Classic cars are more than just vehicles; they are treasures that embody history, craftsmanship, and the personal memories of their owners. This is why the question, "How do I prepare my classic car for shipping?" is so crucial. Proper preparation is the key to preserving the integrity and value of your classic vehicle during transport. Without it, your vehicle is vulnerable to potential damage from vibrations, shifting, or exposure to the elements, turning what should be a straightforward process into a risky endeavor.

Choosing a reputable auto transport company is the first step in safeguarding your investment. A company that specializes in classic car transport services will understand the nuances of handling such precious cargo. They will offer options like enclosed transport to shield your vehicle from the weather and prying eyes. Moreover, a thorough preparation process ensures that any pre-existing condition of your classic car is well-documented, making it easier to prove if the shipping company is at fault for any damage.

Additionally, verifying the insurance coverage of the shipping company is non-negotiable. It's your safety net, ensuring that if the unforeseen happens, you are covered. Remember, the goal is not just to ship a classic car but to deliver your piece of history safely and securely to its new destination.

Detailed Preparation Steps

Preparing your classic car for shipping is a meticulous process that demands attention to detail. Here's how you can ensure your classic vehicle is ready for its journey:

  1. Cleaning and Detailing: Begin by giving your classic car a thorough clean, both inside and out. This isn't just about making it look good; it's about removing any dirt or grime that could potentially cause damage during transport. A clean car also makes it easier to spot any existing dings, scratches, or issues that you'll want to document before shipping.
  2. Documenting the Car's Condition: Take clear, high-quality photos of your classic car from various angles, and note any existing damage or peculiarities. This step is crucial as it provides a baseline to compare against when your car arrives at its destination. Ensure that the shipping company acknowledges this documentation.
  3. Securing Loose Parts and Accessories: Vibrations and movement during transport can cause loose parts to become even looser, leading to damage. Secure or remove any aftermarket modifications, custom parts, or loose items inside the car. If you have a convertible, make sure the top is securely fastened to protect the interior from dust and moisture.
  4. Mechanical Checkup: Even though your classic car will be transported and not driven, it's important to ensure it's in good mechanical condition. Check the battery, ensure the tires are properly inflated, and top up all fluids. If your car is not in running condition, inform the classic car transport service beforehand as this may affect the shipping method and cost.
  5. Fuel and Fluids: Reduce the fuel in your tank to about a quarter full. This reduces weight and minimizes the risk of leaks during transport. Also, check for any fluid leaks and have them repaired. Leaking fluids can not only damage your classic car but also the shipping company's equipment and other vehicles being transported.
  6. Choosing the Right Shipping Method: When you ship a classic car, choosing the right shipping method is paramount. Enclosed transport offers the most protection from road debris, weather, and potential theft. While it may be more expensive than open transport, the added protection is often worth the cost for high-value vehicles like classic cars. Discuss with your reputable auto transport company the best option for your specific needs.
  7. Insurance Coverage: Ensure that the shipping company's insurance coverage is comprehensive and that it covers the full value of your classic car. Don't hesitate to ask for proof of insurance and understand what is covered and what isn't. In the rare event that your car is damaged during transport, having the right insurance coverage will provide peace of mind and financial protection.

By following these detailed steps, you can rest assured that your classic car is well-prepared for shipping. Remember, the key is to choose a reputable auto transport company that specializes in classic cars and understands the unique needs of transporting such valuable vehicles. With the right preparation and the right partner, you can ensure that your classic car arrives at its destination safely and securely, ready for you to enjoy.


Choosing a Reliable Shipping Company

Selecting the right car shipping company is a pivotal decision for classic car owners. The safety and condition of your classic car depend largely on the expertise and reliability of the auto transport company you choose. When shipping classic cars, it's not just about moving a vehicle; it's about handling a piece of history with care and respect.

Start by researching companies with experience shipping classic cars. Look for reviews and testimonials from other classic car owners to gauge the company's reputation and service quality. A reputable auto transport company will be transparent about their services, offering clear communication and detailed information about their shipping process.

Insurance coverage is a critical aspect to consider. Ensure that the company offers comprehensive insurance that covers any potential damages during transport. Don't hesitate to ask for the specifics of the coverage and understand the process of filing a claim, should it be necessary.

Additionally, the right auto transport company will be knowledgeable about the regulations and requirements of your destination country if you're shipping internationally. This includes customs procedures, taxes, and any other documentation needed to ensure a smooth transition across borders.

In summary, choosing a company that offers reliable auto transport services, understands the nuances of shipping classic vehicles, and provides robust insurance coverage is essential for the peace of mind of classic car owners.

Preparing for Pickup and Delivery

The final steps in preparing your classic car for transport involve the logistics of pickup and delivery. On the day of pickup, ensure that the area around your vehicle is clear and accessible for the transport truck. Remove all personal belongings from your car to prevent loss or damage, as these are typically not covered by the shipping company's insurance.

Have all necessary documentation ready, including your identification, registration, insurance papers, and any required paperwork for the destination country if you're shipping internationally. This will help avoid any delays or complications during the transport process.

Upon delivery, inspect your classic car thoroughly. Compare its condition to the documentation and photographs taken before shipping. If there are any discrepancies or signs of damage, note them immediately and report them to the shipping company. Understanding the company's policy for handling claims and damages beforehand will streamline this process.

Remember, the success of shipping classic cars lies not only in the preparation but also in the attention to detail at every step of the journey, from the moment your classic vehicle is picked up to its arrival at the destination.



Preparing your classic car for shipping is a comprehensive process that demands attention, care, and the right partnership with a reputable auto transport company. From the initial cleaning and documentation to choosing the right shipping method and preparing for pickup and delivery, each step plays a crucial role in ensuring the safe transport of your classic vehicle.

As a classic car owner, understanding the importance of each of these steps and partnering with an auto transport company that has experience shipping classic cars will provide the assurance that your prized possession is in good hands. Remember, the journey of your classic car to its new destination is as important as its history, so choose wisely and prepare meticulously.

Ready to ensure your classic car's journey is as timeless as the vehicle itself? Contact A1 Auto Transport today for unparalleled expertise and experience in classic car shipping. Get a personalized quote, learn more about our dedicated services, or schedule your shipment, and let us steer your classic treasure safely to its next destination.

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

CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
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
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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