You may find yourself in a situation where you need to get your classic car to another location, and driving it there isn’t really an option for you. Perhaps you have an opportunity to purchase your classic dream car from another province or from our neighbours to the south. Maybe you need to transport your car to a show you’ll be participating in or you’re shipping your car for servicing or repairs.
Whatever the reason, you’ve invested time and money into your classic car and you want to make sure you’ve taken every precaution to protect your investment.
Keep these 9 tips in mind to help you protect your car during transport:
1. Do your research
It’s your passion. Just as you wouldn’t just let anyone drive it, don’t trust just anyone to transport it. Doing a little research prior to choosing a company to ship your classic car can save you and your wallet from heartache down the road.
A sure-fire way to find reliable transporters is to ask other professionals in the industry. Reach out to local auction companies, classic car restorers, car club members and other collectors about their experiences and preferences. Don’t be shy to ask about things they would look out for or would’ve done differently when they last transported a vehicle. Wisdom often comes through experience.
When you see insurance, you immediately think, “Of course!”, but many risk their vehicle’s well-being by only opting for the transporter’s insurance. Although not a bad idea, their policies are usually designed to protect the transporter, not the vehicle being transported. Or at least not in the way you would surely like.
Make sure to call your insurance broker and verify the coverage to ensure your classic car will be protected during transport. This will cover you in the off chance something unfortunate happens and the transport company’s insurance doesn’t cover damage or loss.
3. Write it down
It’s your car, not theirs. Provide written instructions for anything you wish to be respected concerning your vehicle, its transport and storage. It’s also a good idea to mention any particularities about your vehicle.
4. Go with enclosed transport
We recommend opting for enclosed car shipping. It just makes sense given the risk that something could go wrong going the open transport route, due to the unpredictability of weather and road conditions. After all, no one needs the extra headache and potential cost of having a rock kicked up on the highway, which chips the original paint job or cracks the windshield.
Closed transport is simply safer and more convenient while not being cost prohibitive.
Before you send her off, some things to think about…
Take a moment with your vintage beauty to take a digital archive of its condition (inside and out). They should be detailed enough to be able to prove if damage occurred during transport.
If your transporter doesn’t tell you, you shouldn’t be shipping your vehicle with a full tank of gas. All you need is enough to get it on, off and to the gas station when you pick it up at its destination. Aim for an eighth of a tank, a quarter at most.
7. Understand the journey, not just the destination
Coordinating where the transporter will pick up the vehicle is the easy part of the process, but once your vehicle is loaded and fading into the distance, you may realize the details weren’t exactly clear. The reason it’s important to have transparency about your delivery route is not just peace of mind.
It’s important to know whether the transporter is offering a true door to door service or whether they’ll be unloading your vehicle in an area you’re not overly happy with. A location such as a non-sheltered commercial area with high volume traffic kicking up dirt, dust and rocks while your classic car waits to be claimed.
Don’t be afraid to make requests about how and where your classic car is delivered and stored, which leads into the next point…
8. Inspect your vehicle upon delivery
If your car will eventually be transported back to you or you’re meeting it at its destination, be sure to completely evaluate the vehicle and check for any damages before accepting it.
9. Remember those written instructions you provided earlier?
Yes, they’re professionals, they’ve done this countless times and their expertise should be respected. However, this is your car, not theirs. So, ensure the driver has a copy of the instructions you provided to the transport company. If they don’t, have a copy handy for them and don’t forget to have them sign off on it.