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How to ship a classic car from Los Angeles without damaging it?

Published by Joe Webster.

How to ship a classic car from Los Angeles without damaging it?

Shipping a classic car is not just about moving an automobile from one place to another; it's about safely transporting a piece of automotive history. For classic car owners, the vehicle is often a prized possession that embodies both sentimental value and significant investment. In the sprawling cityscape of Los Angeles, the question of "how to ship a classic car from Los Angeles without damaging it" is particularly pertinent. Ensuring the safety of these venerable vehicles during transport requires meticulous planning, careful handling, and the right choice of auto transport services.


Understanding Classic Car Shipping

Classic car shipping is a specialized service offered by auto transport companies to address the unique needs of transporting vintage and antique vehicles. Unlike standard car shipping, classic car transport involves additional precautions to protect the vehicle's integrity, aesthetics, and value. These cars are not merely old vehicles; they are treasures that have survived decades and are often irreplaceable. Therefore, choosing the right type of transport is crucial.

The first step in ensuring the safe delivery of your classic car is selecting the most appropriate transport method. There are generally two main options: open and enclosed transport. For classic cars, enclosed transport is typically the best choice. Enclosed auto transport offers a secure environment that shields the vehicle from external elements such as dirt, dust, weather, and road debris, which are common concerns when shipping a classic car. Although enclosed transport might come at a higher cost, the investment is well worth it for the added protection it provides. Understanding these options and their implications on car shipping cost is essential for any classic car owner preparing for transport.

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Pre-Transport Preparation

Initial Assessment and Documentation

Before entrusting your classic car to a car shipping company, it is vital to conduct a thorough assessment of the vehicle. This inspection should document the car’s current condition, noting any existing damage, special concerns, or unique features. Photographs should be taken from multiple angles to capture an accurate representation of the car's state before it is handed over to the auto transport company. This documentation will be crucial in the event of a dispute about damage caused during transportation.

Preparing Your Classic Car for Transport

Preparing your classic car for transport involves more than just a quick wash. Start by cleaning the interior and exterior thoroughly; a clean car will allow for quicker and more accurate inspections at both ends of the transport. Ensure that the car’s fluids are at adequate levels, but not too full to account for changes in pressure and temperature during transport. Disconnect the battery to prevent any electrical issues and secure or remove any loose items or specialty parts that might shift or sustain damage on the road. These steps will help minimize the risk of damage and ensure that your classic car arrives in the same condition it left Los Angeles.

choosing the Right Shipping Company

Criteria for Selecting a Transport Company

When selecting a car shipping company for your classic car, consider the following essential criteria:

  • Specialization in Classic Cars: Ensure the company has experience and specializes in classic car transport services. This expertise indicates a deeper understanding of the unique needs and precautions these vehicles require.
  • Reputation and Reviews: Research the company’s reputation online. Look for customer reviews and testimonials, especially those related to classic cars, to gauge the quality of their service.
  • Insurance Coverage: Verify that the auto transport company offers adequate insurance coverage. Insurance for classic car shipping should cover the full value of the car in case of any damages during transit.
  • License and Certification: Check that the company is licensed and certified by relevant transport authorities. This ensures that they meet standard regulations and industry requirements.

To further refine your selection, ask potential transporters the following questions:

  • What type of insurance coverage do you offer for classic cars?
  • Can you provide references or case studies of previous classic car shipments?
  • What measures do you take to ensure the safety and security of classic cars during transit?
  • How do you handle unexpected issues or delays during transport?

The Shipping Process

Loading and Securing the Classic Car

Proper loading and securing are critical to ensure the safety of your classic car during transport. Here’s how reputable companies manage this process:

  • Use of Hydraulic Lifts: For loading, top-quality car shipping services use hydraulic lifts to avoid any stress on the vehicle’s mechanical parts.
  • Proper Positioning: The car is positioned within the enclosed transport in a manner that balances the weight and prevents any movement.
  • Secure Tying: Soft straps are typically used over the tires or axles to secure the car without damaging the paint or body.

Monitoring the Transport

Monitoring your classic car during transit is crucial for peace of mind. Here’s what to expect:

  • GPS Tracking: Many Los Angeles auto transport companies provide GPS tracking, allowing you to monitor the progress of the transport in real-time.
  • Regular Updates: Expect regular updates from the transport company, either via email or phone, keeping you informed of your car’s status and any issues.

Post-Transport: Receiving Your Classic Car

Once your classic car reaches its destination, follow these steps:

  • Thorough Inspection: Conduct a detailed inspection of the car immediately upon delivery, comparing its condition against the pre-transport documentation.
  • Report Discrepancies: If any discrepancies or damages are found, report them immediately to the car shipping company to initiate any insurance claims.
  • Post-Transport Maintenance Tips: After receiving your classic car, consider these maintenance tips to ensure it remains in top condition:
  • Check Fluid Levels: Recheck all fluid levels to ensure they are at appropriate levels after the transport.
  • Battery Reconnection and Checkup: Reconnect and check the battery if it was disconnected, and ensure all electrical systems are functioning as expected.

Following these steps will help ensure that your classic car is transported safely from Los Angeles, preserving its condition and value.



Shipping a classic car from Los Angeles requires careful consideration of many factors to ensure the vehicle arrives at its destination without damage. By choosing the right car shipping company, preparing the car thoroughly, and understanding the shipping process, you can significantly reduce the risks associated with transport. Remember to select a company with ample experience in classic car transport, adequate insurance coverage, and positive customer feedback to handle your precious cargo. Whether your journey is from the bustling streets of Los Angeles to another part of California or across the country, taking these steps will help ensure that your classic car arrives safely, allowing you to enjoy its beauty and history for years to come.

Ready to ship your classic car with confidence? Contact A1 Auto Transport today! Our expert team specializes in safe, secure, and reliable classic car shipping from Los Angeles. Trust us to deliver your vehicle without a scratch. Call now or visit our website to get your free quote!

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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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There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them... Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport.

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We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

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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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