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Wilson's Auto Restoration Blog

Why You Need to Get Your Classic Car Repaired Before You Ship it

The different types of car shipping

Shipping any type of classic or vintage car can be a bit of a scary thought. Someone else will be responsible for the safety of your classic ride for hundreds or even thousands of miles out on the road. However, you have nothing to worry about for two main reasons: car shipping companies only allow trained professionals to get your car where it is going and, on the rare occasion damage does occur, you will be covered by the auto transporter’s insurance.

In addition to that, you can actually choose from different methods of shipping your vehicle and some of those methods will offer even more protection. Regular car shipping is referred to as “open-air shipping” because your vehicle will be transported on a car carrier with two decks that are not covered by walls or a roof and are exposed to outdoor elements. Over ninety five percent of these shipments get to their destination without a scratch. But a small percentage of them experience minor damage from weather, tree branches, or rocks/pebbles kicking up from the road.

Thankfully, enclosed car shipping also exists. This is when you ship your car on a carrier that does have walls and a roof covering the cars. Shipping on one of these carriers will cost some extra money (Approximately $200 – $500 extra depending on the shipment) but it will put your mind at ease and keep your vintage car safe.

Finally, you can also consider having your car “top-loaded”. This means you can pay an extra hundred bucks or so to ensure that your car is placed on the top deck of the carrier. Believe it or not, many enclosed carriers also make use of a lower deck and top deck of cars. If your car is on the lower deck, there is a very remote possibility that fluid such as oil from the car above could leak onto yours. You will be covered by the car shipping insurance, but your car will likely need to be in the shop for a bit. Top-loading will completely prevent this.

Why your car needs to be running properly in order to ship

Your car must be in drivable shape when you ship it. This is simply because the car needs to be driven onto and off of the auto carrier. If something is preventing the vehicle from running properly, your shipment may need to be cancelled. After that, if your car is still not running right, you might have to book your shipment as “inoperable” which means a special car carrier with a winch will need to come out and transport your car.

This will be more expensive because these carriers are much more rare. This will cost an extra three plus hundred dollars depending on the size of the car and the availability of carriers at that particular time. A safe bet to avoid inoperable shipping would be taking your car into the shop for a quick checkup before your shipment.

How you can easily prepare for your shipment

Getting ready for any car shipment is not difficult at all. For your classic car shipment, getting ready will not be any different unless you feel like taking a few extra steps. Typically, the first thing you will need to do is make sure that you or someone over eighteen years of age will be available to release the car to the auto carrier driver when they arrive to pick it up. You will need to do the same to receive the car when they drop it off. All this will require is that you (or the person you trust) is there with valid photo identification.

Next, you will need to make sure that your car does not have more than a quarter tank of gas but enough gas so that the driver can drive it onto and off of the auto carrier. Finally, you must make sure the exterior of the car is completely clean because your driver will conduct a visual inspection for preexisting damage before they start transporting it.

In terms of extra steps that you can take to prepare for shipping a vintage automobile, you can get a dash cam set to record during the entire shipping process, get the car waxed with sealant for an extra layer of protection and/or you can remove any and all personal belongings from the car because they will not be covered by the car shipping insurance if they are lost or damaged during transit.

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