As an exotic vehicle owner, you might be presented with a situation that involves the need to transport your exotic auto to another location. That location could be across a couple of states, or it could be across the country. Whether you're relocating for work, retirement, or sending your car off for display at a car show, keeping your vehicle safe in transit is of the utmost importance.
Minor damages on an exotic vehicle can result in a steep repair price tag. If you're choosing to hire someone to transport your vehicle, you want to have your vehicle arrive the same way it was sent out.
To understand how your vehicle will be kept safe during transit, you'll need to have an understanding of the different types of vehicle transport services available and what they offer customers.
Let's start with services you should avoid when looking to ship your exotic vehicle.
Why Should I Not Hire a Personal Driver?
There are individuals out there that offer people the service of personally driving their car to the desired location. Is this a good idea? Probably not. The main issue with hiring a personal driver to transport an exotic vehicle is trust. The idea of trusting a person you don't know to drive long distances alone with your car isn't a settling prospect.
It's recommended that people looking to transport their cars long distances look into companies with a positive track record for providing the service they're looking to attain.
While personal drivers are less frequently used, open-carrier transport is the most commonly utilized form of auto transport.
Here's why you should avoid open-carrier transport services when it comes to moving your exotic vehicle.
Why Shouldn't I Use Open-Carrier Transport for My Exotic Vehicle?
Open-carrier transport is pretty straightforward and self-explanatory. Instead of enclosing your vehicle during transit, open-carrier transports load and secure your car onto a hauler exposed to outdoor elements. Since your exotic vehicle would be susceptible to damages from outdoor factors such as weather, dirt, and stray objects, it's recommended that you veer away from open-carrier transport. If you own a low clearance vehicle, you want to steer away from open-carrier transport as these carriers utilize a steep ramp to load your car.
The danger in these steep ramps is the risk of scraping your car's undercarriage due to the ramp's incline. While open-carrier transport is the most commonly used method to transport vehicles, owners of exotic cars should look elsewhere.
Next, we're going to look at one method of auto transport that can end up working quite well for transporting your exotic vehicle.
What Is Enclosed Auto Transport?
Enclosed auto transport is the opposite of open-carrier transport in that your car is completely covered during its route. Fully protecting your vehicle during transport eliminates the opportunity for damages from bad weather and other hazards. Since you're getting a higher level of protection than open-carrier transport, enclosed auto transport will cost you more.
If you enlist the help of an enclosed auto transport service, your car will be loaded onto the carrier with other vehicles. When it comes to loading your vehicle onto the carrier, enclosed auto transport services are far more superior than open-carrier services.
It doesn't matter if your car contains a low clearance when being loaded onto an enclosed carrier. Instead of accelerating up steep ramps, enclosed auto carriers use hydraulic lift gates that mimic an elevator with their ability to raise evenly and lower vehicles. The result is more control and a seamless experience of transferring your vehicle from the liftgate to the carrier.
If you like the sounds of enclosed auto transport, but want an even more exclusive transport service, consider looking into single car enclosed transport.
What Is Single Car Enclosed Transport?
Single car enclosed transport is the same as enclosed transport except that your car won't be moved with other vehicles. One perk associated with having your car travel by itself is a faster delivery rate. Suppose your vehicle is traveling with other vehicles. In that case, it's natural that the transit process will take longer as the driver has to manage other deliveries along the route to your car's destination.
Keep in mind that single car enclosed transport is more difficult to book than standard enclosed auto transport. Standard enclosed auto transport is in higher demand as a service, so fewer drivers are available for single-car enclosed transport. If you make plans far in advance, you should be able to line something up for your exotic vehicle.
Before we get into how exotic vehicles are kept safe during transit, we will cover one last method for shipping exotic cars:
Air freight shipping.
What Is Air Freight Shipping?
Air Freight shipping utilizes an aircraft to transport your vehicle. If you own an exotic car, you may want to look into air freight shipping, as this is the quickest and most protective way to move a vehicle. Air Freight shipping is the most expensive way to move a car, but owners of exotic cars most commonly use these services. While your car most likely won't be the only vehicle onboard the plane, aircraft can only carry so many vehicles due to weight regulations, so even if your vehicle is traveling with some company, it won't be a lot.
Since there are more flights available than drivers transporting vehicles on the ground, air freight shipping provides customers with accelerated delivery rates.
Your vehicle will be safer on an aircraft compared to any other type of auto transport service due to the high level of security controls in airports. If you're looking at moving an exotic car overseas, air freight shipping becomes even more attractive as a transit option.
Now that we've recommended enclosed auto transport and air freight shipping for exotic vehicles, let's take a closer look at how cars are kept safe during transit.
How Are Vehicles Kept Safe During Enclosed Transport?
Enclosed auto transport carriers usually hold up to eight vehicles. Once your car is loaded onto a carrier via a method such as a hydraulic gate, your vehicle will be fastened with nylon straps or wheel nets. Some companies use chains to secure vehicles. Avoid chains at all costs as chains can put too much strain on your car and cause damage.
Nylon straps are typically placed over the tires to avoid damaging the vehicle's rims.
You should now have enough information to decide on which auto transport service is right for your exotic vehicle along with some helpful context as to how your car will be kept safe.
Let's end with some tips to prepare your vehicle for transport.
How Do I Prepare My Vehicle for Transport?
When prepping your vehicle for transport, it's essential that you gather your car's documents, wash your vehicle, have a thorough inspection, remove personal items, perform any needed maintenance, and lock your vehicle.
Here's a rundown of vehicle documents you should gather:
- Copy of your driver's license
- Vehicle registration
- Proof of ownership
Cleaning your vehicle both inside and out will help you perform a more thorough inspection as any marks or damages to your car will be evident. After you evaluate your vehicle for damages, take notes on the car's condition so you can spot any damages that might've occurred during the vehicle's travels.
Removing personal items from your vehicle is vital as things left in your car won't be insured during travel. The only things you should keep in your vehicle are emergency tools such as jacks, a spare tire, etc.
Performing necessary maintenance on a car is essential as cars that aren't in excellent condition result in a higher transport fee. There might be an instance where you think your car is working fine, but an inspection might reveal otherwise. If your vehicle happens to leak during transit, you'll risk getting fluid on other vehicles in a standard enclosed transport scenario.
Whether you decide to use air freight shipping or enclosed auto transport to move your exotic vehicle, the protection and professionalism that these services offer will ensure your car is kept safe during its travels.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.