Transporting your old car requires some advance planning and consideration of the best options based on your specific needs and vehicle. Here are the key steps to safely move an antique or classic car over land.
Hiring a Specialty Transport Company
For long distances, the safest option is usually to hire a company that specializes in transporting classic vehicles. These professionals have:
- Enclosed trailers designed for cars with climate/humidity control
- Skilled drivers trained in securing rare/valuable vehicles
- Insurance to cover damages that may occur in transit
Be sure to get references from others who have used the company before and check reviews online. Ask about security measures and tracking capabilities during transport. Professional transport typically costs $0.5-1 per mile depending on vehicle size and destination.
Planning the Transport Route
A good transport company will work with you to plan the most direct route and schedule delivery for optimal driving conditions (e.g. avoiding rush hours, overnight stays in secured lots). They may suggest minor detours to reduce total miles or avoid ongoing roadwork/construction zones.
Preparing Your Vehicle for Transport
Proper preparation protects your car and makes loading/unloading go smoothly. Drain fluids, secure/remove loose items, and disconnect battery cables to prevent accidental discharge. Pad sharp edges or protrusions likely to snag covers or straps. Apply protective wrap to paint as needed.
Driving Yourself in an Open Trailer
For shorter trips under 500 miles, towing yourself can save money over a transport service. But it requires the right equipment, skills, and preparations:
Selecting a Trailer
An open, dual-axle utility trailer with steel mesh sides, rear ramp, and straps down the length of the vehicle works best. Measure height/width clearances for local roads. Trailers must meet legal requirements for tow vehicle/hitch capacity.
Securing the Vehicle Properly
|Wheel chocks front and back
|Ratchet straps over chassis rails
|Bungee cords or strap across open doors
Avoid straps over paint or soft-top convertibles. Test for rattles before highway speed. Bring tools/spares in tow vehicle in case straps need adjustment.
Checking Trailer and Tow Vehicle
Inspect lights, brakes, bearings and have braking system synchronized by a mechanic. Load vehicle securely yet balanced. Do a test drive to confirm handling. Bring spare tire for trailer and know how to change it. Tow below posted limits for your state.
Hiring Transport Help
For trips 500-1,000 miles, consider split costs with a friend also moving a vehicle long distance. Look for transport/hauling companies rated by auto clubs or car clubs familiar with classic vehicles.
Ensure drivers are experienced, trucks/trailers rated for higher-value vehicles. Agree on insurance coverage amounts in case of any incidents. Schedule a meet-up halfway for driver rotation or to check on your vehicle.
Communicate location/ETA regularly when on the road. Consider adding GPS tracking to give peace of mind during transit. Have transport terms in writing to avoid misunderstandings.
Planning for the Future
As vehicles age, future transport needs to shows, auctions and repairs should be factored into ownership costs and ease. Lift kits or dollies may help load low-riders without damage. Store records of all moves to track mileage/condition over the decades.
With care and the right transportation method for each trip, you can enjoy your classic car for many miles to come while also keeping it safely on the road.