You've found the "perfect" classic car and you've discovered
it's either across the country or even in another part of the world. How do you
get it home? Do you drive it or have it shipped? Who can you trust to ship it to you safely? Read on.
Even though it sounds like fun, driving a classic car for a long
distance is not always wise. Being older it can has a potential for mechanical
problems and because most parts suppliers don't stock parts for older cars
anymore it can leave you stranded days waiting for a part if that were to
happen. We have sold cars to people that have driven across country successfully
but it takes a special person to be able to take on anything that can come up.
Of course driving across country can also take some time and many of us can't
get away in our busy schedules long enough to enjoy that kind of an adventure
For the rest of us, we've put together a guide to assist you
with the task of finding the right kind of shipping for your car.
There are several types of shipping to consider, do you want an enclosed carrier
or open? The time of the year can play a role in that decision as well as the
value and quality of the car your having shipped. If your shipping
internationally you will need to find a freight forwarder that ships car via
A very important thing to remember - is the classic car your
having shipped coming from a warm area to a cold climate in the winter? If it
is, make sure you ask the person your buying the car from to make sure it has
the proper amount of anti-freeze in it so there are no costly surprises when it
arrives at your home and it's 10 below 0. You have to realize the person in the
warm climate won't always have the coolant to the level needed in the coldest areas
of the world.
Types of carriers - the two basic types of auto
transporters are open and enclosed, open can look like the type you've probably
seen many times on the highway, the enclosed look more like a traditional semi
trailer only they have a big ramp enclosing the back.
The open carriers are perfect for transporting most
classic cars, they are very safe and basically being exposed to the same kind of
conditions they normally would every day on the road. Convertibles can also be
shipped this way and they typically top load them to prevent and fluids from
dripping on the tops and staining them.
Enclosed carriers offer protection from the elements during
shipping as well as having a different way of loading that is suited to cars
that are lower to the ground. If your having a high end collector car, a lowered
street rod or a Ferrari shipped this is your best choice. The enclosed transport
has virtually no angled ramp to drive up on so it makes it a perfect choice for
anything with low clearance.
Either type you choose should be bonded and insured for more
than your car is worth, it is always wise to ask about their coverage's. We all
know price is important in anything we do today, sometimes the lowest price
carrier isn't always the best choice. Remember that these transports get a lot
of use and a 10 year old truck can have 1,000,000 or more miles on it, an older
truck is likely to have breakdowns and possibly cause you frustration and
problems with delivering your car in a timely manor. The companies with newer
equipment will cost a little more but may be an option if you are needing the
car quicker or just want peace of mind.
Other considerations - ask if the truck that picks up you
car will be the one delivering it to the destination. Several carriers use a
terminals in the trip across country, they load originally and may drop your car
off at one or more terminals on it's voyage across country. We have had bad
experiences shipping cross country with that type of transport in the past, you
just don't know what can happen on those times when it's on and off the truck.
Of course, if your shipping Internationally or even into Canada, your car will
have to be on and off a transport at least one time before it reaches you and
we've never had an issue with that process.
International shipping - probably the most important part
of your process is what types of documentation will be needed to import a
classic car into your country. No matter what type of vehicle your shipped out
of the US will NEED a title for the car to be released by customs on this end.
Of course the car will have to be brought to the port, some of the freight
companies have local contacts for that leg of the journey. Ask, if they don't,
you may have to arrange shipping yourself to get your car to the port. Find out what types of vehicles are allowed, and know what you need to clear
customs when it arrives in your country. We know from experience that a car
needs to be free of plant and insect material, or pretty darn clean in other
words, if being shipped to Australia for example. Nothing worse than a car sitting at your
dock that you can't take home.
When booking a container to ship overseas, ask what type of
container your car will be shipped in and what type of items are allowed in the
vehicle. We know that many people shipping a car outside the US are wanting to
get any parts they need or just maintainance items to be sent along so you will
have them with the car. We know it's a lot cheaper than having them shipped one
by one later on and some countries consider them as part of the car for duties
but some shippers have restrictions as to the types and locations of extra
Classic vehicle shipping companies- Central Valley
Classics doesn't endorse any of these shipping sources over another, nor do we
list them in any particular order. These are simply provided as a list of
companies that do specialize in classic car, hot rod, street rod, collectible
car and specialty car shipping for you to compare.
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