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How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Classic Car?

Published by Joe Webster.

How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Classic Car?

When it comes to classic car shipping, the stakes are high. These timeless beauties are not just vehicles; they are treasured investments that evoke a sense of history and nostalgia. Understanding how much it costs to ship a classic car is crucial for classic car owners who value the safety and preservation of their prized possessions. The process of classic car transport involves more than just moving an automobile from point A to point B. It's about ensuring that your classic vehicle reaches its destination in the same impeccable condition it was in before the journey. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the nuances of classic car transport, providing you with detailed insights into the costs and considerations involved in shipping your classic car. Whether you're a seasoned collector or a new enthusiast, this article is your go-to resource for all things related to classic car shipping.

Direct Answer to the Question

The question, "How much does it cost to ship a classic car?" does not have a one-size-fits-all answer. The cost of shipping a classic car can vary widely, typically ranging from $500 to $2,000 for domestic transport. However, this is a broad estimate, and the actual cost can be influenced by a multitude of factors that make each shipping scenario unique. Factors such as the distance of transport, the type of shipping service chosen, and the specific needs of your classic vehicle play a significant role in determining the final cost. For instance, opting for an enclosed transport service, which offers the highest level of protection for your classic car, will generally be more expensive than choosing an open transport option. Additionally, the condition of your classic car, whether it's operable or inoperable, and the ease of access to the pickup and delivery locations can also impact the price. It's important to consider these variables when budgeting for classic car transport services.

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Factors Influencing Shipping Costs

Several key factors influence the cost of shipping a classic car. Understanding these factors can help classic car owners make informed decisions when selecting a classic car transport service.

  • Distance: The distance between the pickup and delivery locations is one of the primary factors affecting the cost. Generally, the longer the distance, the higher the cost. However, it should be noted that the cost per mile decreases as the total distance increases. This means that shipping your classic car across the country might offer more value per mile compared to shorter trips.
  • Transport Type: The choice between open and enclosed transport significantly impacts the cost. Enclosed transport offers the most protection, shielding your classic vehicle from the elements and potential road debris. This premium service comes at a higher price but is often considered a worthwhile investment for classic cars. Open transport, on the other hand, is more cost-effective and is a good option for classic car owners working with a tighter budget.
  • Car Condition: The operational status of your classic car also plays a role in the cost. An operable classic car is easier and less costly to load and unload, whereas an inoperable vehicle requires additional equipment and labor, increasing the overall cost.
  • Location Accessibility: The pickup and delivery locations can influence the cost as well. Locations that are easily accessible by auto transport companies, such as major cities or locations near major highways, typically result in lower costs. Conversely, shipping to or from remote or difficult-to-access areas can increase the cost due to the additional time and resources needed to deliver the vehicle safely.

By considering these factors, classic car owners can gain a clearer understanding of the potential costs involved in classic car shipping. It's always recommended to discuss your specific needs and preferences with reputable auto transport companies to receive a more accurate quote for your classic car transport service. Remember, while cost is an important consideration, ensuring the safe and secure transport of your classic vehicle should always be the top priority.

Additional Costs and Considerations

When planning to ship a car, especially a classic or antique car, it's essential to be aware of additional costs and considerations that can affect the overall car shipping cost. These factors ensure the safety and security of your vehicle during transit but can influence the final bill.

  • Insurance: While classic auto transport companies provide basic insurance, it may not cover the full value of a classic or antique car. It's advisable to opt for additional insurance coverage to protect your investment fully. This added protection can increase the shipping cost but offers peace of mind.
  • Seasonality: The time of year can significantly impact car shipping rates. Demand for shipping services typically increases during the summer and before the winter holidays, potentially raising the average vehicle shipping cost. Planning your shipment during off-peak seasons can help save money on car shipping costs.
  • Expedited Shipping: If you need your classic car shipped quickly, expedited shipping services are available. However, this convenience comes at a premium, increasing the overall car shipping cost. It's a valuable service for those with time-sensitive shipping needs but is an additional cost to consider.

Being aware of these additional costs and considerations allows classic car owners to budget more accurately for the total classic car shipping costs. While some may opt for cheap car shipping options, keep in mind that the safety and security of your classic or antique car should not be compromised. Discussing these factors with your car shipping company can provide clarity and help you make informed decisions about the services you choose.

Classic Car Shipping Estimate

Preparing Your Classic Car for Shipping

Proper preparation is crucial to ensure the safe and secure transport of your classic car. By following these steps, you can help minimize the risk of damage and ensure a smooth shipping process.

  • Documentation: Before shipping your classic car, gather all necessary documents. This includes registration, insurance papers, and a list of any mechanical issues or operational instructions. Providing this information to the car transport company ensures they are well-informed about your vehicle.
  • Physical Preparation: Clean your classic or antique car thoroughly before transport. A clean car makes it easier to spot any dings, scratches, or damage that might occur during shipping. Remove personal items and any loose parts or accessories that could be damaged or cause damage during transit. Ensure the gas tank is only about a quarter full to reduce weight and minimize safety risks.
  • Mechanical Preparation: Ensure your classic car is in good mechanical condition. Check and top off all fluids, ensure the battery is charged and secure, and verify that the tires are properly inflated. Inform the car shipping company of any mechanical quirks or issues that could affect the loading and unloading process.

Taking these steps not only helps protect your classic car during transport but also aids the car shipping company in providing the best possible service. A well-prepared vehicle ensures a smoother shipping process and helps avoid additional fees or delays.

Choosing the Right Shipping Company

Selecting the right car shipping company is paramount when transporting your classic car. The right company ensures your vehicle is handled with care and arrives safely at its destination. Here are key factors to consider when choosing a classic auto transport service:

  • Reputation and Reviews: Research potential car shipping companies thoroughly. Look for companies with positive reviews and testimonials, especially from classic or antique car owners. A company's reputation can give you insight into their level of service and customer satisfaction.
  • Experience with Classic Cars: Choose a company that specializes in or has extensive experience with classic car transport. These companies understand the unique needs and value of classic cars and are more likely to offer the specialized services, such as enclosed shipping, that these vehicles require.
  • Cost Transparency: Understand the car shipping costs upfront. A reputable car shipping company will provide a detailed quote, explaining the shipping cost and any additional fees. Be wary of companies that offer cheap car shipping rates but hide additional costs. Ask about car shipping discounts, but ensure they don't compromise the quality of service.
  • Enclosed Shipping: For classic cars, enclosed shipping is often the best option. It offers protection from the elements and road debris. While enclosed shipping may increase the open car shipping cost, the added protection is invaluable for preserving your classic car's condition.

Choosing the right car transport company involves balancing cost, service quality, and the specific needs of your classic car. Take the time to research and select a company that offers the experience, service options, and transparency to provide peace of mind throughout the shipping process.

Classic Car Shipping Rates


Choosing the right auto transport company to ship classic cars is a decision that requires careful consideration. Understanding the factors that influence shipping costs, preparing your vintage vehicle for transport, and selecting a company with a solid reputation in the auto transport industry are key steps in ensuring a successful shipping experience. Remember, the cheapest option may not always be the best when it comes to shipping classic cars. Investing in quality service, especially options like enclosed shipping, can ultimately save you from potential costs and stress, ensuring your classic vehicle arrives safely and securely at its 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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