How To Ship Antique And Classic Cars | Important Tip

CitizenShipper CitizenShipper · Updated: March 8, 2023 / Published: March 9, 2021

Love corvettes? Have a soft spot for Mustangs? Or perhaps you’ve always wanted to own a Trabant? 

If you love classic cars you probably spend at least some hours per week searching online for your dream vehicle. If you are lucky enough to find and purchase your dream whip you will need to organize it to be shipped to you. This can be a very stressful and expensive process and requires a special approach to meet the unique needs of classic cars. To mitigate this and make shipping your classic or antique car we have prepared a guide to help you ship your antique or classic car as smoothly as possible. 

Speak to your shipping before you commit

The first task is to find a shipper that specializes in shipping antique and classic cars. A shipper with experience will understand the special needs of your vehicle and have the right equipment to move your vehicle safely. Ask your shipper if they ever moved your exact vehicle or something similar. Ask to see evidence of any recent moves and ensure they are properly certified to be a transporter. If they need to cross state lines they may need to have several types of certification. 

Choose your transport type

As with most car shipping, you will be able to choose open or enclosed transport. Open transport means your vehicle will be loaded onto a truck or trailer with no canopy. A closed trailer has a canvas or metal cover that completely encloses the vehicle. The closed option will likely be more expensive but will definitely provide better protection against weather conditions. If you choose an open option, it would be advisable to request your car is covered by either a canvas or removable wrapping to protect against stone chips, dust. 

Many vintage car transporters recommend using non-stacking trailers as oil may drip from cars on the upper deck and damage the ones below. Depending on the size of the truck or trailer of your shipper you may need to provide weight information about your vehicle so they can ensure they are legally below any weight limitations. This information may be sourced from the person you are buying the car off, your local car club may also be able to help by getting a similar model weighed. 

Insurance and accident cover

It’s absolutely crucial your car has insurance before it starts its journey. You can speak to your existing provider and check what option they will give you. Alternatively, your shipper may be able to offer comprehensive coverage within their quoted price. Make sure the policy is clear and that you can claim for any damage sustained during transport. 

Overall price

It is best to get several quotes from several different types of shipping companies. There are many ways to get your classic car moved across the country. A large shipping company will likely have the experience and equipment requires, but be prepared for impersonal customer service. Another option is to use a shipping marketplace provider such as CitizenShipper. All you need to do is post the details of your shipping requirements. For example, the model of your car, where it’s starting, and where it needs to go. A highly experienced shipper will then contact you with quotes for the job. This gives you a great position to review many shippers at once using the CitizenShipper platform. You can also contact them securely and safely over the CitizenShipper website. The marketplace model keeps the price competitive while bringing the best shippers in your area to your attention. 

Check that the quoted price includes the entire journey including gas, any tolls, or additional equipment. 

Preparing your car

Once you have a date set for your car’s move, it’s important to prepare your vehicle for the journey. If you are buying a car in another state or from a distant location, you may not be able to do these jobs yourself. Ask the seller or the shipper to go over this checklist. 

  • Dropdown antennas.
  • Ensure all windows are closed
  • Cover car with large canvases or cloth
  • Use soft tie-downs when securing to the truck or trailers to avoid scratches on the paint and other damage.

Know the route

For peace of mind discuss the route of your antique or unique car with your shipper. If you elected for an uncovered trailer, you will definitely want them to avoid gravel roads. CitizenShipper allows you to stay in touch with your shipper the entire journey so you can know exactly where your dream machine is as it approaches you. 

Welcome your new car home

Finally, the day is here, your longed-for dream antique car is coming home. This is a great day to celebrate. But before you get too excited, give your car a thorough inspection to ensure it hasn’t sustained any damage on the journey. It would pay to have very good photos taken before the journey to compare to afterward. The only thinking left to do is to leave an honest and complete review of your shipper. 

Enjoy your new car!