Risks of Shipping Classic Cars in the USA

Risks of Shipping Classic Cars in the USA
Published on May 23, 2022 at 12:39 pm GMT

Most classic car owners value their precious vehicles greatly; why wouldn’t they when it costs a fortune to buy a collectible car and take care of it! There will be a time when the owners need to transport their vehicles, and the last thing they want to happen is to find some damage when they receive them.

Auto transport companies offer professional services and insurance coverage for damage related to the shipping process. However, this article will introduce vintage vehicle owners to all the risks associated with shipping classic cars in the USA.

Booking an Unsuitable Transport Method

Auto transport companies offer two primary vehicle shipping services: open transport and enclosed transport. Each technique can be used in specific circumstances. However, the latter is the best choice for shipping classic cars since it provides complete protection to the vehicles on board. Read more about When to Choose Enclosed Auto Transport.

Cars transported via open trailers are exposed to external elements; they may get dirty in dusty weather or rainy days, and even worse, they may be at risk of actual damage due to road hazards. Anyway, if you choose this method, read about How to Protect your Classic Car While It’s on Open Trailers.

Failing to Choose a Reliable Auto Transport Company

There are many things to say about how essential it is to hire a trustworthy company to prevent potential damage.


The auto transport company must be licensed by the transport department and assigned an MC number to operate legally. Suppose the company isn’t licensed, or their MC number was invalid. In that case, it’s more likely the company is not trustworthy for shipping classic cars because they don’t follow the safety and insurance regulations set by FMCSA. 

The tools and equipment

The equipment used in the transporting process differs from one company to another; trailers and trucks’ models aren’t the same everywhere. Enclosed trailers are often provided with a hydraulic lift that can go down to the ground allowing horizontal load for the vehicles; the lift guarantees a safe load for all vehicles, especially the low-clearance types.

The tools used to secure vehicles can put them in danger. Sometimes, chains are used to keep the car steady, which might cause some damage, especially if it’s warped closely to the car’s body. Auto transport companies specializing in shipping classic cars use nylon straps to secure the vehicles and prevent damage. 

Auto-transport team 

A professional team is also an essential factor to consider when choosing the shipping company since they will be in direct contact with the transported vehicles; drivers, for example, play a prominent role in protecting shipped cars.

If the trailer driver is skilled enough, they will reduce the chances of an accident. Most accidents occur because of driving mistakes, like exceeding speed limits, driving too closely to others, narrow focus, and fatigue.

You can check online reviews about auto-transport companies to learn more about their teams and how professional they are. Tempus Logix has over a thousand reviews from satisfied clients across the United States. A record that’s good enough to state how professional and trustworthy the company is.


Shipping classic cars often impose additional costs to ensure the vehicle is safe and the transportation process is risk-free. Although everyone wants that for their vehicles, whether collectible or not, the insurance and equipment might differ for classic cars.

Collectible car owners often hire an enclosed transport service that is quite expensive compared with open auto transport. However, the cost varies from one company to another because the complementary services differ, and the quality may not be the same.

Before deciding what company to go with, it is recommended to evaluate the quote and measure whether it is compatible with the provided service or not. It helps avoid paying an extra fee for shipping classic cars when it is possible to get a similar service or even a better one for the same price. 

Payment methods

As for the payment method, auto transport companies offer their clients multiple payment choices, including credit cards, cashier’s checks, and debit cards. Companies that are only allowed to pay the fees via wire transfer can’t be genuinely trusted since this method is challenging to trace compared to other available options. Hence, shipping classic cars with an untrusted company means a risk of losing the transportation money or, worse, the vehicle itself.  

The Risks Related to Improper Pre-Shipping Preparation

Not all risks are related to what others have to do with the transportation process; The classic car owner is responsible for the vehicle’s safety as much as the auto transport company. So, before shipping classic carsthere are a few things to avoid:

Keeping the personal belongings inside the car: One of the mistakes no one wants to make is forgetting to remove personal and valuable items before shipping; these belongings may get stolen or damaged during the transportation process. Moreover, the company insurance doesn’t cover this sort of damage, and therefore they won’t be responsible for it.

Shipping classic cars without documenting their current condition: Auto transport companies will only pay for proven damage due to the shipping process. The car owner must document every single detail and submit it to the company so they can compare the car’s arrival condition with recorded documents.


Shipping classic cars involve various types of risks. That is why the owners must be cautious when choosing a reliable company. They should prepare the vehicles the best they can before the shipping to ensure the safety of their valuable collectible cars.

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