Submitted by Valerie Krhoda on 06/07/17
From the 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra, the 1961 Jaguar E-type to the 1969 Maserati Ghibli 4.7 and the Ferrari Dino 246 GT; these are vintage and classic cars we only see in James Bond movies. And if one were to request shipping to Kenya, where I am, then that’s another question.
And if one were to request shipping to Kenya, where I am, then that’s another question.
Vintage and classic cars are renowned all over the world and are considered collectible items. Far from them being good looking, the question of transporting them to a country like Kenya can be a headache.
The process begins in identifying a good auto transport dealer with a good reputation and good
deliverables on cost, the method of transportation, timing and state of the vehicle on delivery. There are companies that specifically provide classic car transport and shipping services as well as delivery of the vehicle to your doorstep.
One must carry out the necessary due diligence into the company and its transport system as this is a classic car we are dealing with. Transporters in the US, for example, need to be registered with the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation.
If they aren’t, it’s a red flag already.
There are a myriad of companies in the business of transportation and shipping of classic vehicles so it’s important that thorough research be done. All companies and transport entities should be registered in their various jurisdictions and be licensed to transport or ship vehicles.
Some companies require that you pay a deposit before the vehicle is transported or shipped as
the case may be. Others may require payment on delivery. You will need to consider your budget and make the necessary decisions. Never pay the full price before delivery of the vehicle to you.
Worth noting is that as the customer, you will need to inform the transport or shipping company if your vehicle can be driven or if it is in a state of disrepair. Companies may charge extra for the extra task of moving the vehicle. If you are shipping the vehicle with extra or spare parts, then that may be an added cost as well. This is worth looking into to determine the full costing.
It is important that the vehicle be insured before transport in case of any mishaps. It is also
imperative that the vehicle is inspected by yourself or someone you can trust and a company
representative before it is transported. This is to note the state of the car in case of any damage
during transportation. One can go the extra mile and take pictures of the vehicle before transport.
Let the transport company send you a copy of their insurance policy to ensure the liability
coverage on cargo. This also reduces your risk factor as the customer.
Whilst one will have the option of having an open or closed trailer or container, it’s vital that one considers the cost and benefit factor of the same.
Most companies will have you sign a shipping contract. It is important that you read it carefully
and understand it. You can always get the assistance of an attorney if there is any question on
interpretation. Contract review being my area of expertise, I would advise that one read the finer details of the contract so as to ascertain the parameters of the deal and enforcement of the contract in case the deal goes south.
The question of timing is another factor. How long will it take to transport the vehicle? Some
companies require a minimum of up to six vehicles before they can transport your collectible item to you. This is worth looking into in the grander scheme of things.
Make sure to remove any personal or loose items from the vehicle. It is usually recommended
that some fuel is put in the car; half the tank or less, to avoid any extra cost. It is also important
to have the battery reared to go. Having a running vehicle generally, reduces the cost.
There are ships built specifically to transport wheeled vehicles. Again it is important to look into the nature of the shipping; will the vehicle be in a closed container or will it be exposed to the elements?
One can reduce costs by sharing a container between two vehicles. When transporting via a
container, the shipping company may permit shipment of other items as long as they fit in the
container; so that is an added bonus. One will also need the necessary marine insurance when
shipping a vehicle to maintain coverage during the entire process.
One must also investigate the local processes of importation of a vehicle to ascertain that the
vehicle will be accepted into the country. One must liaise with the relevant authorities at the
country of destination to ensure that the vehicle goes through the proper procedures for
One must keep in mind the various duties and taxes to be paid on arrival to clear the vehicle.
Some countries will have very specific rules of what type of vehicles can be brought into the
country and different regulations on entry of the vehicle into the country. In Kenya, for example, there is a ban on importation of vehicles that are more than eight years old. This is an attempt by the government to reduce pollution by unroadworthy vehicles. Obviously, this does not take into consideration the importation of classic and vintage cars that may be in perfectly good working condition that will be used as collectible items.
One person has broached the idea of shipping the vehicles as dismantled parts, as this may not
be considered as a vehicle.
All this coupled with great customer service will give you a smooth transportation process.
Shipping need not be a tedious exercise.
Once the vehicle arrives, then you can inspect it before accepting delivery. If there are any
problems then you can contact the shipping company for rectification or claim for damages.
Once the vehicle is in Kenya, there are various events to take your vehicle out to such as the Africa Concours d’elegance held annually in Nairobi.
Have a safe shipment!
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