Transporting a vehicle over a long distance such as during an interstate move is a nerve-wracking experience. It is even more tragic when you are shipping a classic sports car or other valuable vehicle. In addition to the cost, such automobiles often have sentimental value that makes them irreplaceable.
Or maybe you have purchased a collector vehicle long distance, such as over the Internet. Some sellers may not have contact with a reliable auto transport service and you are on your own when it comes to finding a way to get that car to you.
Start with an experienced car shipping company
It's hard to find an auto transport company through word of mouth. Although car shipping is growing in popularity, it is still something new to the average person. There are a few things to look for when shopping for the right shipper.
– Experienced only: You want a shipper who not only has been in business a long time but has extended practice in shipping classic vehicles. For companies just starting out, let them learn on someone else's cheaper vehicle. Your car serves only experienced shippers.
– Check the insurance: Ask about the shipper's insurance in the unofficial event your vehicle is damaged in transit.
– Type of trailer: Optimally you want your auto transported in a closed trailer to protect it from the elements, road hazards, vandalism, and theft. If the car is to be shipped on an open trailer, make sure it will be shipped on the top rack.
– Straight-through or storage: Again, in a perfect world your car will be picked up at the door and delivered immediately to its destination. Some shippers take cars to a storage yard until they have enough vehicles headed in the right direction. While the car is being stored it is out of your control and could be damaged or stolen.
Prepare the car for transport
There are some basic steps to prepare for car shipping. These are a good idea for any vehicle but are vital for an expensive or collectible car.
– Wash and inspect: Carefully document any damage to the vehicle before shipping. Take pictures so you have an unbiased record of the car's condition
– Remove personal items: Many classic cars have aftermarket additions that can be removed for transport. Anything that can be easily removed should be so nothing gets lost or stolen.
– Have 1/4 tank of gas: There needs to be a little gas in the tank just to get the vehicle on and off the trailer, but too much is a safety hazard. If your car does not operate, obviously you do not need gas, but there will be an extra charge for winching your vehicle on and off the trailer.
For the owner of a classic car, shipping is like putting your child on an airplane alone. By using a reputable shipper and taking some basic precautions, both you and your baby will survive the experience.