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How long does it take to ship a classic car?

Published by Joe Webster.

What's in this article?
  1. Factors Influencing Shipping Time
  2. Preparing Your Classic Car for Transport
  3. Choosing the Right Shipping Company
  4. Understanding the Shipping Process
  5. Tips for a Smooth Shipping Experience
  6. Conclusion
How long does it take to ship a classic car?

Shipping a classic car is not just about moving an asset; it's about transporting a piece of history and passion. Understanding the intricacies of this process, especially the duration, is crucial for owners who value their prized possessions. The question, "How long does it take to ship a classic car?" is more than just a query; it's a concern rooted in the love for one's vehicle. This article aims to shed light on this topic, offering insights into the factors that influence shipping times and tips for ensuring a smooth transport experience. Whether you're working with a car shipping company for the first time or are a seasoned collector, knowing the timeline and what affects it can make the difference in planning a successful shipment of your classic car.

Shipping a classic car across the country with an auto transport company might take longer than a regional delivery. Typically, coast-to-coast shipments can take up to 1-2 weeks, while shorter, regional transports might be completed within 1-4 days. It's crucial to communicate with your chosen auto transport company to get a more accurate timeline based on your particular needs and circumstances.

Remember, while speed is important, the safety and integrity of your classic car during the shipment are paramount. Reputable car shipping companies prioritize this, ensuring your vehicle arrives at its destination in the same condition it was picked up.


Factors Influencing Shipping Time

Several key factors can influence the time it takes to ship a classic car. Understanding these can help you set realistic expectations and plan accordingly.

  • Distance: The mileage between the pickup and delivery points is a primary factor. Naturally, longer distances require more time, especially if the route traverses through multiple states or across the country. Auto transport companies calculate the estimated delivery time by considering the total miles and the routes taken.
  • Transport Type: The choice between open and enclosed transport can impact the timeline. Enclosed transport, often preferred for classic cars due to the protection it offers, might take a bit longer to arrange due to its less frequent scheduling compared to open transport.
  • Route: The commonality of the route also plays a role. Major routes between large cities are often quicker due to higher frequency of shipments. However, if your classic car needs to be shipped to or from a remote or less accessible area, it might add to the transport time.
  • Seasonality: The time of the year can significantly affect auto transport. Peak seasons, like summer and the snowbird season in winter, can see a surge in demand for car shipping services. This high demand can lead to longer wait times. Additionally, adverse weather conditions during winter can slow down transport times for safety reasons.

Understanding these factors can help you anticipate the time it might take to ship your classic car. While auto transport companies strive to provide accurate estimates, being aware of these variables can help you manage your expectations and plan more effectively for your car shipment. Remember, a reputable car shipping company will always aim to balance speed with the safety and care your classic car deserves.

Preparing Your Classic Car for Transport

Before your classic car embarks on its journey, proper preparation is key to ensuring a smooth transport. Start with a thorough inspection. Document its current condition with photos and notes, focusing on any existing damage. This will be crucial for comparison upon delivery.

Next, handle the necessary documentation. Ensure you have the title, registration, and insurance documents ready. Most car shipping companies will require these to process your shipment.

Remove personal items from your vehicle. Not only do they add unnecessary weight, but items left inside are typically not covered by the carrier's insurance. Also, perform basic maintenance checks. Ensure the car is operable, with adequate fluid levels and properly inflated tires. This will aid the car carrier in loading and unloading your vehicle.

Lastly, secure or remove any loose parts or specialty items like spoilers, antennas, or mirrors. Enclosed transport offers additional protection, but it's still wise to minimize the risk of damage. By following these steps, you ensure that your classic car is ready for a safe and efficient transport.

Choosing the Right Shipping Company

Selecting the right shipping company is crucial for the safe and timely delivery of your classic car. A1 Auto Transport stands out in the industry, offering a blend of experience, reliability, and specialized services for classic cars. When evaluating auto transport companies, consider the following:

  • Experience with Classic Cars: A1 Auto Transport understands the unique needs of classic cars. Their expertise in handling these valuable vehicles ensures that your car receives the care it deserves, whether it's on an enclosed transport or a standard car carrier.
  • Insurance: Adequate insurance coverage is non-negotiable. A1 Auto Transport provides comprehensive insurance options, giving you peace of mind throughout the shipping process.
  • Reviews and Reputation: Research the company's reputation. A1 Auto Transport boasts positive reviews and testimonials, reflecting their commitment to customer satisfaction and reliable service.
  • Cost vs. Service: While cost is a factor, it shouldn't be the only consideration. A1 Auto Transport offers competitive pricing without compromising on the quality of service, ensuring that your classic car is in good hands.

Understanding the Shipping Process

Understanding the shipping process can demystify the journey your classic car will undertake. Here's what you can expect:

  • Pickup: The process begins with the pickup of your vehicle. A professional car carrier from your chosen auto transport company will arrive at the agreed-upon location. They will conduct a final inspection and load your car onto the carrier, whether it's an open or enclosed transport.
  • In-Transit: Once your car is on its way, the shipping route and destination country play a role in the car shipping delivery time. Most car shipping companies offer tracking options, allowing you to monitor your vehicle's journey. This transparency ensures you're informed every step of the way.
  • Delivery: Upon arrival at the destination, your vehicle will undergo another inspection to ensure it's in the same condition as when it was picked up. This is the time to verify any discrepancies and ensure everything is in order.

Throughout this process, communication is key. Stay in touch with your auto transport company to receive updates and provide any necessary information promptly. Understanding these steps and maintaining open communication will contribute to a stress-free shipping experience for your classic car.

Tips for a Smooth Shipping Experience

Ensuring a smooth shipping experience for your classic car involves more than just choosing a reputable car transport company. Here are some tips to guide you through the car shipping process:

  • Communication: Clear and consistent communication with your auto shipping company is vital. Don't hesitate to ask questions or express concerns. A reliable company will keep you informed about the car shipping time frame and any changes that may occur.
  • Flexibility: While having a preferred delivery date is understandable, being flexible can sometimes lead to a quicker and more cost-effective shipping experience. Auto shipping companies may offer more favorable rates or faster delivery if you're open to adjusting your schedule.
  • Documentation: Keep all documents related to your car shipment well-organized. This includes contracts, insurance papers, and inspection reports. Having these documents readily available can streamline the process and resolve any issues that may arise.

By following these tips, you can contribute to a seamless transport process, ensuring that your classic car arrives at its destination safely and on time.


Understanding the factors that influence the car shipping time frame, preparing your vehicle correctly, choosing a trustworthy auto shipping company, and knowing what to expect during the car shipping process are crucial steps in ensuring the safe and timely delivery of your classic car. By following the guidelines and tips provided, you can navigate the complexities of auto transport with confidence. Remember, the key to a successful car shipment lies in careful planning, clear communication, and choosing a car transport company that values your vehicle as much as you do.

Ready to ship your classic car with confidence? Choose A1 Auto Transport for a seamless, secure, and timely delivery. Trust our expertise and commitment to excellence. Contact us today to schedule your shipment and experience the peace of mind that comes with the best in auto transport!

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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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