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How does classic car shipping work?

Published by Joe Webster.

What's in this article?
  1. Understanding Classic Car Shipping
  2. Types of Classic Car Shipping Services
  3. Key Considerations in Classic Car Shipping
  4. Preparing Your Classic Car for Shipping
  5. The Classic Car Shipping Process
  6. Choosing the Right Classic Car Shipping Company
  7. Conclusion
How does classic car shipping work?

Have you ever wondered, "How does classic car shipping work?" Transporting a classic car isn't just about moving an automobile from point A to point B; it's about handling a piece of history with utmost care and precision. Classic car shipping is a specialized service designed to protect and preserve vehicles that represent a significant investment, both financially and sentimentally. Whether you're a collector, an enthusiast, or someone who's recently acquired a vintage gem, understanding the nuances of classic car transport services is crucial.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll navigate through the ins and outs of classic car shipping, from preparing your prized possession for transport to choosing the right shipping company. Our aim is to provide you with the knowledge and confidence to ensure your classic car's journey is as smooth and secure as the vehicle itself. So, buckle up as we embark on this detailed journey into the world of classic car transportation.


Understanding Classic Car Shipping

Classic car shipping is a tailored service, specifically designed to meet the unique needs of transporting valuable and often irreplaceable vehicles. Unlike standard auto transport, classic car transport involves meticulous handling, advanced security measures, and insurance coverage that befits the value of these automotive treasures.

Types of Classic Car Shipping Services:

  • Enclosed Auto Transport: This is the preferred choice for most classic car owners. Enclosed auto transport provides a secure, sheltered environment, protecting your classic car from weather elements, dust, and road debris. Although this option comes with higher classic car shipping costs, the peace of mind and added security it offers make it a worthwhile investment.
  • Open Transport: A more economical option, open transport exposes vehicles to the elements and is less secure than enclosed transport. While it's a viable option for standard vehicles, for classic cars, it's generally recommended only for short distances or when enclosed auto transport options are not available.

Key Considerations in Classic Car Shipping:

  • Insurance Coverage: Ensuring your classic car is covered by a comprehensive insurance policy during transport is paramount. Verify the shipping company's insurance credentials and understand what is covered under their policy. It's often advisable to consider additional insurance for added peace of mind.
  • Shipping Time Frames: Classic car transport can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on the distance and the specifics of the service chosen. Planning ahead and understanding the time frames involved can help manage expectations and ensure a smooth shipping process.

Preparing Your Classic Car for Shipping

Before your classic car embarks on its journey, proper preparation is key to ensuring its safe arrival. Here's how you can prepare your classic or antique car for transport:

  1. Clean Your Car: A thorough wash not only makes your car look great but also allows for a more accurate inspection before shipping. Dirt and dust can sometimes hide scratches or dents, so having your car clean provides a clear view of its condition.
  2. Remove Personal Items: Personal belongings are not covered by the transporter's insurance. Removing valuables and personal items from your classic car also reduces the risk of theft or damage during transit.
  3. Document the Car's Condition: Take detailed photos and notes of your car's current condition. This includes any existing scratches, dents, or mechanical issues. Having this information documented can be crucial if you need to file an insurance claim.
  4. Mechanical Preparations: If your classic car is in running condition, ensure the battery is charged, the tires are properly inflated, and the fluids are at adequate levels. If your car is not operable, inform the transport company ahead of time as they may need special equipment to move it.
  5. Secure Loose Parts: Make sure that any loose parts or specialty items, like spoilers or mirrors, are secured or removed if possible. This prevents them from being damaged or causing damage during transport.
  6. Prepare Necessary Documentation: Have all necessary documents, such as registration, insurance, and proof of ownership, readily available. The transport company may require these documents before they take possession of your classic car.

By following these steps, you can rest assured that your classic car is well-prepared for a safe and secure journey to its new destination.


The Classic Car Shipping Process

The process of shipping a classic car involves several meticulous steps to ensure your vehicle arrives at its destination safely and securely. Understanding these steps can provide classic car owners with peace of mind and clarity on what to expect when they choose to transport a classic car.

  • Pickup and Inspection: The journey begins with the pickup of your classic car. A representative from the car shipping company will arrive to collect your vehicle. This is where a thorough inspection takes place, documenting the condition of your car to ensure any pre-existing conditions are noted. It's crucial for both the owner and the shipping company to agree on the vehicle's state before it's loaded onto the carrier.
  • In-Transit Care: Once your classic car is securely loaded, the real journey begins. Classic car transport companies understand the value and significance of your vehicle. They employ experienced drivers and use state-of-the-art equipment to monitor and safeguard your car throughout the transit. Whether it's a domestic journey or heading to a destination country, every measure is taken to ensure your classic car is handled with the utmost care.
  • Delivery and Post-Delivery Inspection: Upon arrival at the destination, your classic car is carefully offloaded. A post-delivery inspection is conducted, often in the presence of the owner, to ensure the car arrives in the same condition as it left. This is the time to compare the state of the vehicle against the initial inspection report. Any discrepancies should be noted and reported to the car shipping service immediately.

Choosing the Right Classic Car Shipping Company

Selecting the right classic car transport company is a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. With the right choice, you can ship a classic car with confidence, knowing it's in good hands.

  • Research and Reviews: Start by researching potential classic car transport companies. Look for reviews and testimonials from other classic car enthusiasts. Their experiences can provide valuable insights into the reliability and quality of service offered by the company.
  • Experience and Expertise: The company's experience in handling classic cars is crucial. Classic car transport requires a different set of skills and knowledge compared to standard car shipping. Companies that specialize in classic cars are more likely to understand the nuances and care these vehicles require.
  • Cost Considerations: While cost is an important factor, it shouldn't be the sole deciding factor. Classic car shipping costs can vary based on the level of service, the type of transport (enclosed or open), and the distance to the destination country. Ensure you understand what's included in the quote and that there are no hidden fees.


Transporting a classic car is a task that demands expertise, care, and attention to detail. From preparing your vehicle for transport to choosing the right classic car transport company, each step plays a crucial role in ensuring your prized possession arrives safely at its destination. Whether you're a seasoned classic car owner or new to the world of antique vehicles, understanding the intricacies of classic car shipping can make all the difference. Trust in a reputable car shipping company, and you can rest assured that your classic car is in the best hands.

Ready to transport your classic car with confidence? Choose A1 Auto Transport, the trusted experts in safe and secure vehicle shipping. Contact us today to experience unparalleled service and peace of mind. Your classic treasure deserves the best – let A1 Auto Transport deliver it.

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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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