How to Choose a Classic Car Transportation Company
If you have to ship your classic car for any reason, make sure you choose a transport company that actually specializes in this type of vehicle. But while this service is not exactly rare to find, how do you know which of the many providers is to be trusted?
The best way to start is by asking those around you – friends, family members, colleagues, etc. Some good sources of information include big auction companies, car restorers and other collectors. Again, you need to hire a classic vehicle specialist, if only to ensure that any damages are prevented, especially to the chassis. And if you truly want this service to be high-quality, don’t base your decision strictly on price. Reputable carriers usually have similar cost structures and if you find an unusually low offer, that is probably a bad sign. One of the easiest ways to assess a transport service is to find out how long they’ve been in the car shipment industry. You can also research their safety and insurance status at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website.
One of the choices you should make when using this service is whether you want it transported in an enclosed trailer or an open one. Unless you’re planning to restore your vehicle, you should go for closed transport, which is more expensive, considering this service comes with reduced risk of damage. And remember that most open trailers don’t have a winch for non-running vehicles, and there are some carriers that charge ridiculously high fees for unserviceable cars. In any case, make sure all the fees are laid out to you upfront before you move forward.
In terms of insurance, a carrier is only liable for its own acts of negligence and not for unforeseeable acts of nature. Therefore, make sure your car has agreed value coverage from a collector car insurance company before you get it shipped.
Remember as well that vehicle transport is not scheduled on a regular basis in contrast to airplane or train travel. Each time an order is placed for this service, the dispatcher has to gather a specific number of cars before getting on with the transport. Depending on the time of year and your location, this can take up to several weeks. The moment you learn of an impending storm, start calling those shipment companies that you have shortlisted in advance. In that case, a smaller local company may be best for you and will be be able to get you in immediately. It’s also smart to consider two or three different carriers and compare their reviews and ratings, prices, etc.before making a choice.