Find the best classic car transport services
Opt for enclosed shipping to protect your prized vehicle
You don’t want to gamble with the condition of your classic car. Extreme heat or cold can damage temperature-sensitive materials, finishes and adhesives on these cars; for this reason, climate-controlled, enclosed transport rather than open transport is ideal for moving your classic car. This transport method also protects against rocks, mud and other road debris.
If you have a strong sentimental attachment to or financial investment in your classic car, not just any auto transport company will do. Our top picks include companies that offer enclosed transport and are fully licensed by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). Our picks for the best classic car transporters today are:
Our favorite classic car transporters
To select our top picks, we looked at transporters and brokers that have a history of shipping classic cars and that offer enclosed transport and straightforward tracking. All companies listed have received positive feedback from customers via online reviews and ratings.
Sherpa offers both open and enclosed shipping. Sherpa’s quotes are backed by its Price Lock Promise, which ensures the estimate you get is the final price you pay. You can also opt to ship your classic car door to door, which makes pickup and drop-off easy.
Sherpa has a wide range of pickup and delivery locations within the contiguous U.S., so it’s generally a good choice even if you live in a rural or remote location. Sherpa does not, however, deliver to Alaska, Hawaii or locations outside the U.S.
- What we like
- Sherpa’s Clean Car Guarantee means you get a complimentary car wash within seven days of delivery. You’ll just need to provide Sherpa with your bill of lading and car wash receipt, and Sherpa will then reimburse you up to $20. Sherpa also offers extra discounts to military members and repeat customers.
- What reviewers say
- Overall, Sherpa has received highly positive reviews from our readers, with lots of praise for its prices and customer service. Cassandra from Gilbert, Arizona, said: “Setting up the transport with Sherpa was easy. I was also surprised with the pricing. The driver was good. I would recommend them to somebody else.”
- $300 car rental reimbursement
- Expedited shipping
- Motorcycle and boat transport available
eShip offers both open and enclosed transport, and expedited shipping for classic cars is also available for an additional fee.
- What we like
- eShip’s Platinum Protection Plan covers the cost of all repairs in case your vehicle sustains damage during transport, and the carrier lacks comprehensive insurance. The plan also reimburses you for up to $300 of rental car costs if your classic car arrives more than 48 hours after its committed arrival time (unless the delay is due to weather or a breakdown of the transport truck). eShip is also able to ship classic cars internationally.
- What reviewers say
- Judging by reviews left on our site, many of eShip’s customers seem to appreciate the company’s timeliness, flexibility and customer service. Johnny from Daly City, California, wrote: “Great experience overall! Was contacted immediately about options and received a quote promptly. Carolyn was responsive and easy to work with. The times and dates were flexible and convenient, and the online updates were welcome. The car arrived earlier than expected and was in great condition. Would highly recommend!”
- Direct contact info for hauler
- Dedicated compliance department
- Transparent pricing for enclosed transport
Montway is a broker with more than 15,000 carriers nationwide. The company has a history of supporting classic, luxury and brand-new vehicle transports, and it recommends its enclosed transport services for classic cars worth $50,000 or more.
It can provide door-to-door service, legal and safety standards permitting. Although Montway cannot fulfill international shipments, it can transport a vehicle to or from a U.S. port.
- What we like
- When you ship with Montway, you’ll have access to your hauler’s contact information, allowing you to stay up to date about your vehicle’s journey. Montway’s compliance team ensures all its carriers meet required insurance standards.
- What reviewers say
- Montway customers who left reviews on ConsumerAffairs generally seem happy with the company’s service and transport speed. Ken from Mableton, Georgia, said: “All deadlines were met in timely manner. Car was in same condition as when I made purchase. Delivery driver was also adequate. Would definitely recommend to friends in need.”
- Mobile tracking feature
- Ship with Confidence Guarantee
- Bid-based matching to carriers
uShip is a marketplace that connects people who want something shipped with haulers who have extra truck space. To use uShip, you simply list your transport job, compare shipping bids and select a carrier to work with. The uShip app gives you access to tracking and real-time updates related to your vehicle’s pickup and delivery. Updates can also be sent to your mobile device via push notifications.
- What we like
- uShip’s cargo insurance is backed by Lloyd’s of London, and the company advertises a straightforward claims process. Its Ship with Confidence Guarantee compensates customers with up to $500 in the event of damage or loss.
- What reviewers say
- A number of reviewers on our site liked uShip carriers’ prices and effective communication. Allison of Pflugerville, Texas, said about their experience: “I was happy with the bids I got and ended up with the perfect situation to deliver my trailer. I was sent daily updates and pictures, and I know Wil and Mary took great care of their charge. I would definitely recommend uShip.”
Classic car transport cost
A number of factors influence the cost of shipping a classic car, including its make, model, size, weight, the season you’re shipping in and the distance it needs to travel. A greater shipping distance will yield a lower cost per mile.
The cost to ship a classic car with open transport typically starts at around $0.50 per mile for distances of 2,500 miles or more. However, the cost can reach around $3.40 per mile for enclosed transport at a distance of 100 miles or less. Many auto transport companies offer a cost calculator to give you a rough cost estimate for shipping your car.
Keep in mind that although enclosed auto transport typically costs 50% more than open-air shipping, it’s generally worth the cost to ensure your classic car is fully protected.
» CALCULATE: Cost of shipping a car
What to look for in a classic car transport service
It’s important to look for a shipping company that has experience with classic car transport. The best enclosed car transport companies will have a long history of transporting classic cars; the last thing you want is an inexperienced carrier that attempts to cram as many cars as possible onto one truck.
Working with a company that has a track record of transporting classic cars gives you more peace of mind than using a new company or one that has only done open-air hauling.
You’ll also want to validate the company’s safety record by looking it up in the USDOT’s Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) System.
» MORE: Open vs. enclosed car shipping
There are a few other important items to consider when choosing an auto transporter:
- Proof of insurance
- The carriers that an auto transport company works with should be able to provide proof of insurance when asked. You can also verify this on the USDOT’s website. Find out what damage the insurance covers and if the carrier or broker offers any no-damage guarantees.
- Options for door-to-door delivery service
- This option will save you the hassle of traveling to a terminal to pick up your classic car. Door-to-door service may not be possible if you live in certain remote areas that a transport truck can’t safely access.
- Expedited delivery options
- Sometimes important dates sneak up on you, and you have to get your car somewhere quickly. Many auto transport companies offer expedited shipping for an additional fee.
- Ability to communicate with the carrier
- You should be able to communicate easily with and receive transit updates from the carrier. It’s essential that you’re satisfied with the level of customer service you receive.
- GPS order tracking
- Another feature to look for is GPS order tracking. This lets you check the location of your classic car with a website or mobile app.
- A reasonable enclosed auto transport quote
- Obtain quotes from multiple transport companies to ensure you’re getting a fair price. But be wary of any shipping quote that’s considerably lower than the other quotes you’ve received. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- A clear claims process
- In the unlikely event that your vehicle is damaged in the shipping process, you want to be able to file a claim quickly. A good auto transport broker will be able to help you with this.
How to ship a classic car
Use our classic car shipping checklist to ensure you don’t forget anything important:
- Make sure your insurance is up to date. The carrier you work with should have adequate insurance to cover any damage your car might sustain during transport. But it’s nonetheless a good idea to confirm that your vehicle’s comprehensive and collision coverages are active prior to shipping. These coverages can kick in if your carrier turns out to be uninsured or underinsured.
- Request enclosed car shipping quotes from several companies. It’s important to ask several companies for quotes to help you determine the best price for shipping your car. Make sure to ask about enclosed shipping. Shipping a classic car isn’t cheap; if a company gives you a remarkably low quote, it’s best to research the company’s past customer reviews thoroughly before you work with it. It’s better to pay a bit extra to ensure your car arrives safely and on time.
- Choose a company and select a shipping window. Keep in mind that a number of variables can influence the delivery date for your vehicle (weather, road conditions, carrier availability, etc.), so auto transporters usually don’t guarantee a specific arrival date. Your car will instead be scheduled to arrive within a multi-day window of time.
- Prepare your classic car to be shipped. This includes washing the car and checking with an experienced mechanic to make sure the car is ready for transport. Also, remove your valuables from the car and fill it with about a quarter of a tank of gas.
- Document the vehicle’s condition. Take photos of the vehicle’s exterior and note any pre-existing damage. This gives you evidence of the car’s prior condition in case it’s damaged during transportation.
- Perform a vehicle inspection at the time of pickup with the driver. You will have to fill out a bill of lading when the carrier receives and delivers your vehicle. Don’t sign off on the bill of lading unless the car is in the same shape it was in before you shipped it.
» MORE: How to ship a car
How long will it take to ship my classic car?
You can expect it to take anywhere from a few days to two weeks from the time your car is picked up to when it’s delivered to its destination. International car shipping may take longer. A large portion of the time it takes to ship a classic car may be taken up by the period when the hauler waits to fill its truck with cars before shipping.
What if my classic car is inoperable?
If you’re transporting an inoperable vehicle, look for a transporter that has specialty carriers, equipment, tools and expertise to load and unload your vehicle safely. For a non-running vehicle that can still roll, your carrier can use a winch for loading and unloading. If the car is extremely damaged and incapable of rolling, it may require a forklift. In either case, expect to pay fees for the special equipment and extra time it takes to ship an inoperable vehicle.
What if I want to transport multiple classic cars?
Some classic car transport services specialize in moving fleets. If you’re a collector of classic cars and want to transport multiple vehicles to a car show in another state, you may want to look for an enclosed auto transport company that offers volume pricing.
Should I ship my car open or enclosed?
We recommend enclosed transport for classic cars. Open transport is cheaper, but enclosed transport provides additional protection for your vehicle. If you do wish to ship your car via open transport, ask if the carrier can guarantee placement on top, which may reduce the risk of potential damage.
Is it safe to ship a classic car?
Yes, it is generally considered safe to ship a classic car, and it’s a convenient alternative to driving your vehicle long distances. While damage to your vehicle is possible during transport, it is unlikely. A good auto transporter will have insurance in place and a fair claims process to cover any damage that occurs.
Whether you’re buying a classic car and need it delivered to your home, you’re moving or you need to transport your vehicle temporarily for a car show or other event, you have a few options when choosing a reliable classic car transporter.
We recommend looking for a service that offers enclosed transport, has a history of shipping classic cars and provides upfront tracking and insurance information. Keeping these things in mind as you gather quotes should lead you to a quality auto transporter that will ship your classic car with care.
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