Whether it is a good old Lamborghini or a collector’s Bentley, classic cars have their own place in the hearts of automobile enthusiasts. Jaguar, Mustang, Corvette, Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, and Bentley are some of the most iconic names in this line, but they are miles away from covering the whole picture.
If it’s old and unique enough, it’s a classic!
They come in all shapes, colors, and sizes, from muscle cars to sedans to sports racers, but they are rare. Thus even a single scratch can ruin them for you. This is exactly what a car enthusiast worries about when deciding on shipping their classic vehicle interstate.
In this guide, we’ll show you how you can ship your classic car without worries.
Let’s get started!
Find a licensed interstate automobile transport company
Your endeavors start here. You need to hook up with a reputed and licensed interstate automobile mover for your classic care. Of course, the cost of their services and their work history with clients (with similar demands) will be a huge factor.
Also, be sure to verify the licensure of any auto transport company that you come across. You can simply log onto the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website, and there, all you have to do is input the DOT (Department of Transportation) number for verification.
When you first start, you’ll probably end up with tons of names. All you have to do is narrow down your choice based on customer reviews, the validity of the interstate moving license, and the cost of services. Once that is done, choosing one should be easier.
At A1 Auto Transport, we have been in this business for years now, licensed and insured, and our clients only have good things to say about us!
Understand the costs beforehand
You’ll have to work out the costs before you sign the deal, while the exact sum varies from case to case. Generally, a four-door vehicle will cost you around $600-$1,000 to ship domestically. However, the cost will be higher, around $800-$1,100, for bigger vehicles.
Of course, this is a generalization. The exact cost for shipping your vehicle will depend on several factors such as:
- Size & weight of the vehicle
- The make and model of your vehicle (for a classic, the rates will be slightly higher)
- Distance to be traveled
- Transport option opted for (open-air is cheaper than closed air)
- The time of the year; summers are usually very busy for auto transport companies. Thus their rates are higher at the time
Be sure to get multiple quotes for your case and then compare them before you finalize your decision.
Get insured before you move your car
Does your insurance policy cover your car for any damages that might occur during the transportation process? You can’t be doubtful about this. You need a clear answer. Contact your insurance provider and check if your car is covered for such damages.
Better yet, you can get a representative from the selected auto transport company to approach your insurance provider and do the talking for you.
Some auto transport companies have insurance coverage of their own as well, be sure to seek clarification about the coverage and policies in this regard.
Remove all valuables
This is a pretty straightforward point. When you’re shipping your car long distance, you’d want to make sure that none of your possessions are inside. The transportation company will bear no responsibility for the safety of any items left behind. That’s your duty.
Have enough gas, but no more than that
For transport, you’ll need to ensure that your car has just the right amount of gas in it, but no more than that. A general rule of the thumb is to fill up the car’s gas tank by ¼ or a quarter of its full capacity.
Avoid leaving the tank bone-dry since that will create problems for you.
But the same is also true for fully filling the tank, which will simply raise the total weight of your shipment and thus the shipment cost.
Have your car inspected
Next, you must get an expert on board, unless you’re an expert yourself, and have them thoroughly inspect your vehicle. Tire air pressure, belts, gaskets, vehicle health, and other details must be scrutinized.
Record the state of the car
Then you can do a little inspection of your own too, but this will be more superficial, i.e., your job is to find any dents, scratches, and other marks on your vehicle, even the tiniest ones. This way, you’ll be able to record the state of your car (note it down) and be able to compare it when you receive it at your new place in your shipment.
You should also photograph every angle of your ride for more tangible evidence in case your car is damaged somehow during the shipment.
Take off any removable parts
If your ride has some ornate objects that come off, it is best that you do take them off before you ship your vehicle. You should have your vehicle in its base form, stripped of all removable ornamentation before you ship it to avoid any damage to the same.
Choose a mode of transportation based on your budget
The biggest factor affecting the cost of your car shipment will be the mode of transport for your vehicle. You can choose between open-air carriers and enclosed carriers. Based on the value and sentimental importance of classic cars, we would recommend the latter, but you can assess the merits and limitations of both options yourself:
Open Air Carriers: These on-road carriers can often be seen on the roads. They usually house about ten cars in one go, fastened tightly with the platform underneath. The platform is broken into two sections: upper and lower, and both carry the same number of vehicles. Of the two options, open-air transport is not only cheaper but also more readily available. However, the biggest drawback is that since the vehicles are not covered, they are exposed to the harms of weather and whatnot. Plus, since there are around ten vehicles per carrier, there will be several stops, as many as nine, before it shows up at your place. But considering the smaller price tag, this will be a better option for those running on a limited budget.
Enclosed Carriers: This is the land equivalent of container shipping. The car, in this case, is completely encapsulated. Therefore, your vehicle will be safeguarded against any damage due to weather or anything else in the open which would’ve otherwise caused issues. At the same time, this added protection warrants a bigger price tag. By our estimates, at A1 Auto Transport, the cost may hike by as much as $0.50 per mile! Thus only go for this option if you’re certain that you’ll be able to afford the bill. But of course, for classic cars that have a higher market value and are usually a matter of pride for their owners, enclosed carrier transport is a much more viable option.
Get your car delivered to your doorstep
For interstate/domestic vehicle transport, you will most likely receive your vehicle at your doorstep, so this stage should not be a trouble at all. Of course, in case of unexpected delays, the transport company may deliver your vehicle at a central hub near your delivery point instead (for open-air carriers), so be sure that you ask them specifically for door-to-door transport.
These are the steps that you need to take if you are looking to ship your classic car.