Whether you’re headed to a car show or moving across the country, you might need to ship your classic car at some point. And since you’ve invested plenty of money and time, keeping your car safe is of incredible importance during shipping.

Here’s how to protect your classic car when shipping it.

1. Choose Your Shipper Carefully

Shipping a car across the country or even a couple of states away is a major endeavor, and you shouldn’t trust just any company to move your car.

Take the time to really investigate different companies. One of the best ways to do this is to reach out to members of classic car clubs, classic car restorers, and anyone else familiar with the hobby. You can also read online reviews, but it’s wise to reach out to people in the real world to get the full picture.

2. Go with Enclosed Transport

Most auto shippers let you choose open transport (where cars are transported on a trailer exposed to the elements) or enclosed transport (where the car is in a completely enclosed trailer). As you can likely tell, enclosed transport comes with much fewer risks for damage.

With open transport, there’s always the risk of a wayward rock or piece of road debris flying up and hitting your car. That can lead to dings, scratches, and even cracked windshields. 

And if theft or vandalism are concerns, enclosed transport keeps your car much safer than open transport does. Enclosed transport is more expensive than open transport, but it’s worth it for the extra protection your car will get!

3. Get Your Own Insurance

Every reputable car shipper carries its own insurance in case a vehicle is damaged in transit. The shipper’s insurance might cover you completely in the event of damage. But since classic cars are major investments that are hard to replace, it’s wise to also invest in your own insurance for the trip. Shipper’s insurance is mostly there to protect the shipper, so it’s worth spending a little extra to make sure your car is really protected.

It’s possible that your existing insurance coverage will cover the vehicle during transport, but it’s a good idea to call and check before your car makes the trip.

4. Understand Delivery Details

When it comes to protecting your classic car, being thorough is a must. Make sure you understand how your car will be delivered. Most classic car owners prefer door-to-door delivery. This is where they pick up the car at your residence and drop it off exactly where you need it to be.

However, depending on the shipper and your exact circumstances, a shipper might need to drop the car somewhere nearby. If this happens, make sure the drop-off point is safe. After all, you don’t want to expose the car to rocks and dust in a large parking lot or to vandalism in a high-crime area. Make sure you talk to your shipper about the drop-off before your car makes the trip.

5. Consider a Vehicle Wrap

Not all vehicle shippers allow wraps or covers. In most cases, covers are not allowed on open-transport carriers because the wind will usually blow them off. But when it comes to enclosed transport, covers may be allowed.

A wrap or cover may not be 100% necessary in this situation. However, if your car is in a large enclosed trailer, it can protect your vehicle from dripping fluids from vehicles above it. It also can protect the car from dirt, rocks, and other environmental conditions during loading and unloading.

6. Take Pictures Beforehand

Reputable auto shippers are very careful, so damage isn’t likely to occur. But before you hand off your car to a shipper, make sure you take photos to thoroughly document its interior and exterior conditions. 

If any damage does occur during transport, you will need these photos to prove that the damage happened during transport and not before the trip. When your vehicle is delivered, inspect it closely to make sure it looks just like the photos.


Shipping a classic car is enough to make anyone a little apprehensive. But with some care and preparation, your car should arrive unscathed at its new destination!

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