Shipping an exotic or classic car is different than transporting a typical sedan. Here are answers to 6 common questions people have when transporting high-end vehicles.
1. How do I prepare my exotic car for shipping?
Proper preparation is key to ensuring your exotic car arrives safely at its destination. Here are some tips:
- Drain fluids like gas, oil, transmission fluid, coolant and windshield wiper fluid to minimize leaks during transit.
- Remove loose items from the interior and trunk that could rattle or break loose.
- Inflate tires to the proper pressure listed in the owner’s manual.
- Cover plastic, chrome or any shiny exterior pieces to prevent scratches.
- Apply protective wrap or bracing to the front and rear bumpers.
- Disconnect or secure the battery to prevent draining during transit.
- Park brake must fully engaged and transmission in neutral or park.
Proper preparation takes time but significantly reduces the risk of damage in transit. Communicate any custom needs to the shipper as well.
2. What types of carriers transport exotic cars?
There are mainly two types of carriers that specialize in exotic car shipping:
Enclosed Auto Transport
An enclosed car hauler provides maximum protection from elements. Vehicles are driven into and secured inside a closed trailer with climate/humidity control. This is recommended for high-value exotic cars and offers security from weather, debris, and prying eyes.
Open Car Carrier
On an open carrier, vehicles are tied down on the open deck of a truck trailer exposed to elements. While less expensive, cars are more susceptible to road grime and wear from weather. To minimize exposure, request a covered drop frame or use clear bracing between vehicles.
Reputable transport companies will have experience shipping luxury marques gently over long distances.
3. What documents are required for exotic car shipping?
To safely transport a vehicle across state lines, the following documentation is typically needed:
- Original title and registration – ensure both owners’ names match exactly.
- Signed/notarized title if changing ownership during transit.
- Proof of insurance for full coverage during transport.
- Driver’s license for proof of ownership identification.
- Signed contract/bill of lading form the transport carrier.
Photocopies should be kept in case originals get lost. Customs forms may also be needed for international shipments. Promptly providing complete paperwork helps streamline the process.
4. How much does exotic car shipping cost?
Exotic car shipping rates vary based on several factors:
|Impact on Rate
|Higher value = higher rates for full coverage
|Enclosed is more expensive than open carrier
|Longer distance increases fuel/tolls for truck
|Time of year
|Summer/holiday demand increases rates
On average, plan to spend $2-5 per mile depending on the vehicle and exact transport needs. Get quotes from 3-4 carriers to compare rates and services.
5. How long does exotic car shipping take?
Transit times for exotic car shipping vary based on pickup/delivery locations and the carrier’s route. Below are some general estimates:
- Cross-country shuttle: 5-10 business days
- Coast to coast drives: 7-14 business days
- Multi-state trips: 3-7 business days
- Regional/next state moves: 1-3 business days
Being flexible with delivery windows and selecting an established carrier can help ensure shipping schedules. Real-time tracking also provides eta updates during transit.
6. What risks are involved in exotic car shipping?
While reputable transport companies take great care, there are inherent risks to consider:
- Road accidents and breakdowns can delay delivery
- Theft is highly unlikely but still a concern for very valuable cars
- Weather damage from hail, fallen branches or flooding
- Minor cosmetic damage from road debris on open carriers
- Mechanical issues from vehicle sitting idle for many days
Purchasing optional insurance is smart for high-end machines. Read transport contracts carefully regarding liability clauses too. With proper preparation and by choosing experienced carriers, the risks of exotic car shipping can minimized.
Relocating an exotic car across country requires planning but opens up new roads and experiences with your prized ride. Safe travels!