Contributed by Max at MIG Auto Transport in Jacksonville
So you finally finished restoring that classic car that’s been sitting in your garage and you want to take it to the soonest show possible? Well if that show isn’t in town you might want to use an auto transport company to ship the car to the show. Shipping for a car show requires a little bit more attention to the details and planning than a regular car shipment. Scheduling is the most important aspect because the car needs to arrive at a very specific time or there won’t be a point in shipping at all and the car usually needs to be shipped right back after the show. Following these steps will make things go as smoothly as possible.
The first step in the process is finding a reliable company to ship the car. Do not just pick the cheapest company, even if they promise they will get the car there on time. This can be a recipe for disaster. Check reviews BEFORE requesting a quote from any company you find and, if possible, finding a company where the car show is based is ideal because they can store the car before or after the show. It isn’t necessary though.
Once you’ve picked a company make it very clear to them why you are shipping the car and when it needs to arrive. Make sure they know about all of the unique features of operating the car if there are any and if your car is very exotic or customized make sure the company knows exactly what they are shipping. You don’t want a last minute cancellation because the driver can’t fit your vehicle on his truck. You will also need to decide between an open or enclosed trailer. Enclosed transport is more expensive but more secure. My rule of thumb is anything worth more than $100,000 should go on an enclosed trailer but if you have a particularly special car that isn’t worth that much enclosed may still be the way to go.
If it is in your budget the best way to make sure the car is there on time is to have it shipped before the show and stored for a few days. Some car shows may even have a car storing option, just ask the event coordinators to find out. If not, a terminal is also a possibility. A terminal is a storage or towing company that can keep the car safely at their location. Ask the transport company what the cost would be. A towing company can ship it out the rest of the way on the day of the show or you can drive it from their location. We recommend this for distances of more than 500 miles. Drivers have to deal with weather, traffic, and other customers and the longer the distance the more chance for a driver to get delayed.
After the show is over have a back up plan if a different truck is taking the car back. You don’t want to leave your car in the middle of nowhere so have your transport company line up a terminal just in case. Buying or renting a truck and trailer is also an option. While it is less expensive it also riskier and more time consuming. If something happens when a transporter is moving your car they have insurance that can cover the damages. If something happens while you are shipping it there is no insurance and you could damage more than just the car if it falls off on the highway. If you do decide to do it yourself make sure it is something you are comfortable with and that you are extremely careful!