Whether you’re preparing for a long move or purchasing the car of your dreams from someone across the country, it’s important to carefully research the car shipping process. Shipping your car will keep the mileage low and protect your vehicle from the elements along the way.
When investigating this task, it’s important to look at all the variables. Here are five tips for shipping your specialty car.
Find the Right Shipper
Don’t look for the cheapest shipping option when shipping a vehicle; look for someone with experience and invest in the extras. This is crucial when shipping a specialty car. Take time to find a shipper who has experience providing white glove services and knows how to handle exotic and classic cars properly.
When looking at shipping a specialty car, you should expect to pay more than you would for a regular vehicle that’s getting loaded on an open-air truck and taken somewhere else. Look for recommendations from others who have been through the process before and choose wisely.
Soft vs. Hard Enclosure
When having your car shipped, it’s also important to think about whether you use a soft or hard enclosure. A soft enclosure is similar to an open air transport truck, but with heavy canvas attached. This canvas doesn’t close entirely but protects your vehicle from flying rocks, weather, etc. At worst, your vehicle might get a bit dusty from the small gaps between the canvas curtains. This is often a more economical option, as multiple vehicles can be shipped at once.
A hard enclosure is an airtight transport truck that often houses one to six vehicles, carefully wrapped and kept on lockdown for the duration of the trip. This is often more expensive, and ideal for luxury vehicles.
Triple Check the Insurance
One of the most important parts of the car shipping process is checking all of the insurance policies that will affect your coverage. You’ll want to ensure that your vehicle is covered for transport and that there is no small print anywhere indicating otherwise.
Additionally, you’ll want to check and ensure your shipper has adequate insurance in place. Consider that they won’t just require enough to cover damages to your vehicle; they’ll need enough to cover damages to all vehicles on the shipment.
You’ll also want to take the time to understand what your shipper will cover. Damages sometimes occur even with the best shipping companies. Are they willing to pay for scratches incurred during the loading process? What if a flying rock somehow gets through the canvas? Ask questions to better understand what’s covered before settling on a provider.
Allocate Extra Time
Moving boxes is a challenging process. Moving cars is a whole other ballgame. If you’re moving, make sure your vehicle is ready to go well in advance. It’s estimated that shipping a vehicle can take anywhere from three to eight weeks, depending on your destination. If you’re shipping internationally, you can expect additional time with customs and import fees (which is another important consideration).
If you have a deadline, you’ll need to plan your vehicle shipping well in advance. Make sure someone is available to see it off and that someone can receive it on the other end, whether that’s you or a trusted associate.
Inspect and Photograph the Vehicle
Before loading the vehicle to be shipped, have a mechanic inspect for broken lines or damages and provide a detailed report. Furthermore, it’s helpful to have well-taken photographs of the vehicle from different angles to accurately document the body before shipping. Both of these steps will make it easier to submit a claim if something goes awry.
Work with an experienced, recommended shipping company, and they’ll be able to walk you through the shipping process. However, having some basic knowledge to rely on can help you ensure that you’re choosing the right company to handle your specialty car.