For classic car owners (or soon to be), finding somebody that will ship their classic vehicle quickly, safely and securely is what’s most important
The choice to find a safe and reliable classic car transportation company is your most important step. Many classics are rare, have original paint, or very fragile. An auto transport company needs to have the knowledge and experience to ship your classic car.
You already know it’s a priceless piece. Even if that value is decided by you and your own sentiment for that vehicle. And the last thing you would want is for it to be damaged in any way. If you ever find yourself having to ship it from one place to another, how do you go about transporting it as safely as possible?
You will certainly have to give the shipping process a little more thought than you would an ordinary car. Here are some of the things that you might want to keep in mind:
You will be trusting this company with your prized possession. Your choice at this point will determine whether or not your classic car reaches its destination in the same condition it was in at the starting point.
In your search for a shipping company, chances are you’ll come across a variety of carriers that differ in age, size, and type of service. All these differences make the selection process a little more complicated. It doesn’t help that some shippers in the industry don’t have a problem running shoddy businesses because they’re just on the transporting business bandwagon for the booming profitability. Luckily, there are guidelines you can follow when choosing a classic car transporter to ensure hassle-free shipping.
When choosing a shipping company for your classic car, you want to go with an established company that has been in the industry. Established companies are more likely to have experts that know just how to take care of your car during the shipping, and they’re also more likely to have the equipment needed for the loading and strapping of your classic car. It might also be a good idea to go with a company that specializes in the shipping of classic cars than those which deal with a broader range of vehicles.
Spend some time doing research on the reputation of a company before you decide to hand over your car. Transporting companies are required by law to be registered with the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA has a website where you can review a company’s safety record and background information. Look up the registration number of a company there. If you don’t find the company at all, cross it off your shortlist. If you see a long list of safety complaints on the website against a company, keep your classic car as far away from it as possible.
You can also use word-of-mouth based reviews found on classic car forums and publications. Scour the internet to see what other classic car owners are saying about a particular shipping company before you choose it.
While some companies are more expensive than others, you never want to base your choice on price alone. The safety of your classic car should be most important in your decision. Besides, if a company is charging you a surprisingly low amount for the shipping, chances are their shipping methods are questionable.
Remember that if you don’t want to go through the trouble of choosing a shipping company yourself, you can always choose to use an auto transport broker. This is a company that you can pay to look for the most suitable classic car transportation options for you. Just make sure to choose a broker that has the same priorities as you, knows the special needs of a classic car, and will communicate with you honestly.
Usually, classics require specific shipping methods to ensure that they incur no damage during the transport. For example certain track classics have low hanging oil pans subframes. Spend some time making sure you and your carrier are on the same page regarding these requirements.
You want to make sure that your carrier will use the correct kind of shipping for your car. Although it’s the more expensive option compared to open transport, enclosed transport is better for your classic car because it’s safer. Your car will be protected from road debris and weather damage during the transport. Sometimes it’s even smarter to go with a company that offers climate controlled cargo trailer where your car will be transported in the perfect weather conditions required for its safety.
You may also want to go with the non-stacking trailer option. Otherwise, if your car is placed below another car that happens to have a leak, oil could drip onto your car and damage it. And in case your car is not in running condition when being transported, you probably should go through the trouble of making sure that your shipping company will have the proper loading equipment that will not cause damage to the car.
In addition, there are a number of smaller details that make a world of difference to how your car reaches its destination. For instance, experts recommend that classic cars be shipped in shift resistant transport carriers to minimize swaying during the transport. They also advise that it’s best for a classic car to be strapped down using nylon strips to prevent damage to the chassis. Your trucker may be able to use wooden blocks or a pallet underneath your car as well so it can be lifted without damage.
Make sure to give your trucker written instruction for any additional requirements that your specific classic car may need.
The legal requirement for all auto transporting companies, including those that specialize in classic car transportation, is that they have cargo insurance. But the policies may differ from company to company.
For instance, if the value of your car is at $100 000 or more, and you’re transporting it with an ordinary auto transporter, you may be hitting their insurance limit already. They will not be able to cover your car fully in the case of damage or loss.
On the other hand, if you go with a shipping company that specializes in classic car transportation, you may find that they have much higher coverage with their insurance policy. Classic car transporters usually have insurance to the value of $500 000 to $5 million.
Whatever the case, it’s a good idea to ask for a shipping company’s Certificate of Insurance and to read the certificate attentively so you understand the policies. Remember that if your car’s value is more than what the shipping company is insured for, you may be able to ask them to take out special insurance for your car.
In addition to the value of the insurance involved, you also want to check with your shipping company about what kinds of damages are covered. Some carriers will only have insurance that covers damages due to negligence, not unforeseen circumstances. In the event that your car is damaged due to weather conditions that could not have been predicted, you might find yourself having to take care of the repairs and restorations yourself.
Take some time to understand the coverage of the auto insurance you’re registered with as well. If you happen to be contracted with an insurance company that specifically deals with classic car insurance, they may have special coverage options for your classic car. They may not only cover damages during transportation, but they may also have specifications on damages more likely to happen to your car by virtue of it being a classic.
Before dropping your car off at the shipping company, you want to make sure that you perform any maintenance or fixing that may affect the shipping process. Fix any leakage problems that could damage the cars placed below yours. Check the lights, wiring, brakes, and tires to ensure they are all in working order. If you’re going to declare your car as operable, make sure your battery is charged and your engine is running.
You also want to inspect your car thoroughly before trusting it to the shippers. That way, you and the shipping company will be on the same page should any damage occur during the transportation. Make sure every scratch or dent is accounted for. Take pictures of the interior and the exterior of your car if possible.
Loose items inside the car may cause damage to it during the shipping. So it’s a good idea to remove any personal items inside the car, especially if they have sharp edges that could scratch the car.
If your car has any loose add-on or specialized parts, you want to make sure that these are secured. Add-on parts like custom spoilers and low aprons may cause difficulty while loading.
Be sure to evaluate your car properly if you’re able to be present at the destination once it’s is delivered. If your car is shipped to a restoration shop or a new buyer, you can instruct them to conduct a thorough inspection on delivery. If there are any damages, note them on the bill of lading before signing it so you can process claims later. You probably don’t want to add to your already packed restoration bill.
Shipping a prized possession like your classic car doesn’t have to cause you anxiety. Keep the above tips in mind and you will have your valuable car at its next destination without much frustration.
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Want to ship your vehicle for your next auto show or meet? Whether it be a a rally, club meet or other venue there are carriers available that can do this quickly and safely. If you organize a bulk transport, it can save a ton of money.