Best Practices for Classic Car Shipping

Shipping classic cars requires special care to ensure they are protected throughout the transportation process. Following a few essential tips can help ensure your vintage car’s safety and protect its value.

First, make sure your vehicle is operable. Also, remove any personal items and ensure that convertible tops are up and locked.

1. Keep it Clean

Whether you’re transporting your classic car for an upcoming show or just for storage, it is important to keep it clean. After all, your collector vehicle is a prized possession that you have invested much time, money, and energy into restoring or maintaining. Handing it over to an auto shipping company can feel like taking a leap of faith – and you definitely want to be sure that your vehicle is protected during its shipment.

While the majority of your prep work for car shipping can be done in advance, it is always a good idea to give your classic car a once-over before you ship it off. This is a good time to check for any minor repairs that may be needed and to make sure all fluids are topped off, especially antifreeze. Keeping the fluids in your classic car at the proper levels is crucial because if they aren’t, it could cause damage to your engine block.

Additionally, you will want to make sure that the battery is disconnected and a detailed list of any personal belongings and other items in the car is made. You should also prepare your non-running classic car for transport by ensuring that it rolls, steers, and brakes and making sure to document its condition with photographs. Finally, be sure to research the car shipping routes and regulations that may apply along your route.

You will also want to consider the fuel that you use to power your classic car while it’s in storage. Basic unleaded works just fine for most everyday vehicles, but if you’re shipping a classic car that requires special attention, ethanol-free gas might be better. This is commonly referred to as recreational gas and can be purchased at many local hardware stores.

You should also make sure that your classic car is insured during its shipment. This is a great way to ensure that any damage or unforeseen circumstances are covered during transit and that you will be reimbursed for any loss. When selecting a car shipping company to insure your classic car, be sure to ask for a copy of their insurance policy and verify their coverage.

2. Protect it from the Elements

As you well know, classic cars don’t just get you from point A to point B. These beauties transcend transportation; they are a form of art and an object of beauty that deserves to be protected from the elements. This is particularly important when storing your car long-term, such as for the winter. If left exposed to the elements, even for a short time, your classic can degrade much faster than your modern car. Fortunately, a little pre-storage planning can prevent this.

First and foremost, make sure that your classic is parked in a garage or other covered storage space. Leaving your car out in the elements can be damaging to it both structurally and cosmetically. The sun’s UV rays can fade the paint, and moisture from snow or rain can seep in through cracks and crevices in the bodywork. Moisture can also cause corrosion of the metal parts, so it’s important to take steps to protect your classic from the weather.

If you can’t afford a garage, be sure to wash and wax your car before putting it in storage. It’s also a good idea to wash the concrete floor of your garage or storage shed with a degreaser and then cover it with a plastic vapor barrier. This will prevent moisture from soaking into the concrete and rusting the car. You should also drain the fuel tank and add a stabilizer before storing your car. This will prevent oxidation and help to keep the fuel tank from rusting.

Lastly, be sure to remove any personal items from the car before you ship it. This will not only help reduce the risk of theft, but it will also help to lower the shipping costs since car shipping companies are not liable for any personal belongings that may be lost during shipment. Similarly, if your vehicle has an audio system or removable emblems, be sure to remove them as well. It is also a good idea to leave the fuel tank only a quarter full so that it will not be a hazard for shipping companies.

3. Protect it from the Weather

When it comes to classic cars, the weather can be one of the most damaging elements. Salt from the roads, direct sunlight, and humidity all accelerate the corrosion of metal components. This is a problem for all cars, but it’s especially critical for classics that lack modern protective coatings.

A good way to protect your car is by washing it thoroughly before storing it. Then, wax it to protect the paint job. If possible, park it in a garage or enclosed storage area to keep it safe from rain and snow.

For long-term storage, starting your car once a month is important to lubricate the engine and help avoid corrosion. However, you should not drive it if there’s rain, sleet, or ice in the forecast.

It’s also a good idea to remove personal items from the vehicle before shipping it. Loose objects can cause damage to your car during the transport process, particularly if you’re using an open carrier truck for international shipping. Enclosed auto transport takes better care of your car, but you should still remove anything that could get lost or damaged during transportation.

When you’re ready to ship your classic car, choose a reputable company with a proven track record of protecting vehicles. They’ll be able to recommend the best shipping method and ensure your car is delivered in top condition.

Shipping your classic car is a big step, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. By following these simple tips, you can rest assured that your car will be safe and sound when it arrives at its destination.

What’s more, by protecting your classic car from the elements and the weather, you can be confident that it will be in pristine condition when you take it out for its first cruise of the year.

Peter James Insurance works with the global ocean conservation organization Pristine Seas, whose mission is to protect and preserve the world’s marine ecosystems. The organization has a team of scientists, filmmakers, conservationists, and communications experts working together to protect the planet’s most beautiful and threatened marine environments.

4. Keep it Safe

Classic cars are prized possessions of most owners and are an investment that is worth protecting during every step of the process. Whether you are transporting your classic car to participate in a local car show, shipping it to another state, or even purchasing a vehicle from abroad, the right auto shipping company will ensure that it arrives at its new destination in pristine condition. With proper planning, communication, documentation, protection measures, and insurance coverage in place, classic car transport is a simple and stress-free process.

When looking for a classic car shipping company, make sure that you take the time to read reviews and compare pricing. It is also important to choose a company that specializes in handling classic cars, as not all companies can accommodate the unique needs of these older and more delicate vehicles. Choosing a company that offers special handling charges and services can help reduce the likelihood of your classic car being damaged during transit.

Additionally, you will want to be sure that the company you select has a good reputation in the industry and complies with all regulatory agencies, such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You should also ask about their insurance policy and inspect the carrier that will be used to transport your vehicle. If possible, opt for an enclosed carrier instead of open transportation, as this will protect your car from road debris, dust, and rain.

Prior to the day of pickup, it is a good idea to remove all personal belongings from your classic car. Likewise, it is best to leave the fuel tank at about a quarter full. This will help to prevent your car from getting stranded in the event of an unforeseen roadside emergency or weather delay. Lastly, be sure to disconnect the battery and make sure that the car’s lights are turned off. Finally, be sure that you have the contact information of your car transporter and any other relevant parties in case there are any issues during the shipping process. Also, it is a good idea to take pictures of your vehicle before it is loaded onto the carrier in case you need to document any existing damage for the purpose of filing a claim.

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