Repairing an exotic vehicle can be highly expensive, even if the damage is minor. Because of this, owners usually go the extra length to protect their vehicles during transportation.
If you’re shipping your exotic car for the first time and you don’t know how to best ensure its safety, the following article is a good starting point. However, you should also discuss your concerns with your auto shipping broker, since he/she will be more qualified to assist you.
Preparing the vehicle
During the preparatory phase, there are a number of things you can do to decrease safety hazards for your car.
- You can take out all mobile objects and tightly secure items you can’t remove. Doing so will ensure these items won’t hit the car’s interior during transport.
- You can remove unnecessary fuel from the tank to lower the chances of a fire. In general, shippers recommend leaving a quarter of the tank full.
- You can take your car to a mechanic and put it through an inspection. If there are leaking fluids or undetected malfunctions, it’s vital that you fix them early.
- Finally, you can thoroughly research your shipping service provider to make sure you’re dealing with an experienced and reliable company.
Safe transportation over land
Your transport company will most likely offer either an enclosed or an open shipping service. If safety is your highest priority, always opt for an enclosed carrier. Furthermore, pick a hard side enclosed carrier.
The difference lies in the degree of protection the truck offers against outside factors. An open carrier will transport your exotic vehicle with almost no protection against bad weather, flying objects, animals, etc. A soft enclosed carrier will be safer, but your car may still be damaged by a sufficiently large object or during an accident.
Only with a hard side enclosed auto carrier can the transport company guarantee your car will not be disturbed by the elements. As an additional benefit, the hard shell will also protect your vehicle from thieves and vandals.
Safe transportation over oceans and seas
International auto shipments are more difficult than local ones for 2 main reasons: dealing with customs and having to take the car over water.
The second problem is almost always solved with a ship. Airplanes are much too expensive to book for shipping an object as large and heavy as a car.
When thinking what vessel to use, you should consider whether you want your car to be moved within a container or using the RoRo method.
You can dedicate an entire container to your vehicle, strap it down securely, and ship it anywhere in the world. However, because it will be treated like all other containers in a system that highly values speed, there’s a risk of mishandling which can damage the car within.
On the other hand, through the RoRo method, your car will be shipped alongside hundreds of others on a specialized vessel created with this purpose in mind. The ship’s crew will do everything in their power to keep the cargo safe.
However, due to various reasons, there is a 3% damage rate on most vessels for the vehicles being carried. These damages are usually scratches or bumps, but if you value your car, you’ll probably want to avoid those as well.
In general, both the RoRo method and Container shipping have their own benefits and drawbacks. However, if you value safety, most companies and clients will recommend container shipping.
Human error is a factor in any system where people are involved. Since the crew of RoRo vessels is just as prone to making mistakes as container ship workers, the second option is better in terms of safety.
Auto transport companies will offer different levels of service according to price and various options. For example, terminal to terminal transport will be cheaper but less convenient than door to door services.
In general, if you’re interested in increasing safety measures for your exotic vehicles, it’s best to go for the pricier options. Every company should offer a premium service that includes enclosed transportation, regular updates, and a higher insurance limit.
However, you can customize the transport in any way you like. Some measures, like door to door transportation may make the transport simpler, but it doesn’t add anything to your car’s level of safety. So, if you want to protect your vehicle but not overspend, make sure you ask what each option entails and pick only those that affect safety.
Special measures and equipment
Not all vehicles can be picked up the same. If your exotic car is close to the ground, then special equipment may be needed to drive it onto the truck. For example, the ramp will need to be much longer, so the underside of the car isn’t scratched.
If you’re using a container, then the strapping equipment will need to be adjusted for your car’s measurements. A professional should be in charge of securing your vehicle, since any slight movements may make it hit the inner walls of the container.
If all else fails and an accident does occur, then you can only rely on your insurance to recuperate your losses. Your auto transport company will back up your transport with their own insurance policy, but you should check how much it actually covers.
In most cases, if there is a serious accident, you won’t be able to recuperate your car’s full value with the shipper’s insurance alone. If you want to be fully covered, you can either search for a company that offers more insurance, or use a 3rd party service.
Some transport companies offer premium services with much higher insurance limits. But, to get full insurance, you’ll likely have to contact a separate insurance company.