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Ship a Car


hi, Shipped my spitfire from ca to ny. cost 500-600.
It was a open carrier. They burned the clutch somewhat
putting it on top of the carrier, not a job i would like
to do. Other than the clutch wear, no problems and i
would do it again.


Jedi Trainee
Try to go with a company that will ship it "door to door".
By that I mean "they" pick up the car, and "they" deliver it to your door. A lot of shippers have a network where they drive a little ways, and they meet another carrier somewhere. They take the car off the first truck and put it on the 2nd truck. Then that 2nd truck will take the car a little ways, and then they move the car to another truck, and so on, and so on.
That way the drivers don't have travel as much. They get to stay closer to home base.
That way of shipping usually costs less.

That sounded good to me.

Unfortunatley,... by the time they got my Lincoln Town Car to my house the passenger side quarter panel had been smashed. Naturally, all of the different drivers said it was like that when they got the car. Naturally, the Car Dealer the car originated from said "the car was perfect when it left thier lot".
So I end up holding the bag.
So from now on I'll only use companies that ship from "Door to Door". They should not need to touch the car once it's on the truck until they reach the final destination.
Too many cooks(or drivers) spoil the soup,...or quarter panel,...whichever the case may be.

I suppose it kinda depends on the car in question. If it's a beat up parts car, who really cares if it get's a few new dents. However if it's a pristine classic, you better be real careful who handles it for you.


Jedi Warrior
/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gifWhere are you shipping to and from? I get from Co. to Mi. a couple times a year and have 40' car hauler. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif


Jedi Warrior
This was my experience shipping a convertible Stag for a club member (he arranged the shipper) from Colorado to New Jersey:
The trucking company came to the road running past my development. First they were delayed a week due to weather in the Colorado mountains on the interstate and the driver had no tire chains to drive his truck over the passes. When he did finally arrive I drove the Stag 1/4 mile from my house to the rear of the transporter. The driver loaded it smoking the clutch (first mistake), but it was loaded without other damage. First attempt in loading he had not secured one of the ramps and it shot our from under the rear wheels, no damage though (second mistake). I had to show him where to place hooks and chains or he would have distroyed the suspension (third mistake). The whole thing was videoed for proof of condition while it was being loaded.
When it arrived in New Jersey it was in a different position, completely filthy and loaded with water with a burned out starter circuit so the car could not be started and driven off the transport (fourth mistake).
I think it cost $700 for that distance and two weeks estimated transit time. It arrived in about that time.
Fortunately the new owner was planning restoration work on the engine and other areas including soft top and more.

Learned experience and recommendation: If the car is running and any type of good to excellent condition, I would recommend a more professional fully enclosed transport that works exclusively with classic cars.
The professionals will photograph all sides and note conditions, carry full replacement and damage insurance. The classic carriers will also get it loaded in the enclosed trailer, then cover it with a cover which is something you can not do in an open transport unless you shrink wrap it which is not possible unless the driver is not going to move the car after it is loaded. It might cost another couple of hundred bucks but in the long run the car will arrive just as it was when it went into the trailer and your experience will be well worth it.


James, give Randy Forbes a shout. He had his Healey shipped from Fla. to Toledo last year by a pro outfit.
Where are you shipping to/from?
Regardless of the method used, I would strongly recommend lots of photos, videos, etc, and signed statements by the driver(s) regarding condition at each end.

Bob Buxbaum

Jedi Hopeful
I have shipped vehicles twice. The first time was a TR8 from Minneapolis to s.e. Virginia. It went smoothly. The second time was the same TR8, a GT6 and my wifes mini van. The cars arrived on time once they actually got picked up!! In both cases these were outfits that swore they used their own transporters and in both cases the haulers were subcontractors.

1) Most of these outfits simply are NOT honest in what they are claiming.
2) In almost every way YOU are responsible for whatever happens to your vehicles.
3) The prices you will be quoted will vary SO widely you will be left bewildered by the choices.
4) This business is a sellers market. There are more vehicles to be hauled then there are haulers.
5) Depending on the distance it can be a very economical way of moving your car. Depending on how YOU are getting from point A to point B it may be worthwhile to rent a trailer and do it yourself (if you have the tow vehicle).

So, that didn't help much at all!!! So tell us what it is, where it is coming from and going to, etc.

Choices for finding these outfits are a Google search for "vehicle haulers", contact executive relocation companies, contact some of your local marque car clubs and hot rod clubs and see who they know of. If you're near a major interstate that sees a lot of commercial traffic go to the nearest BIG truck stop and you'll see car haulers full of tagged vehicles. THESE are the guys that do the work THEY know how it works. Ask THEM how to check out the haulers.

Hope some of this actually helps. It will take a lot of research to help insure that you have a car show up on time, undamaged, and at the price that was quoted.

James in Michigan

Senior Member
Wow- Great information ! Your experiences are all quite interesting and helpful. Am moving it to DC area. But maybe now instead of using a car hauler, I'll just disassemble it and UPS it piece by piece....

Geo Hahn

Country flag
I have shipped the cars across country many times w/o major problems but I may have been lucky. Certainly getting a set-up where it isn't moved on & off along the way is much better. Last time I went with a broker because time was of the essence (hauler had to meet the container ship in Long Beach port) but if I had had plenty of time I would have used:

Tymberly Auto Transport in N.C. Tim & Kim are a husband & wife owner/operator car hauling team with (at that time) one truck/trailer doing the whole thing. I spoke with them by phone (1-800-340-3387) and felt they knew what they were doing. Again, in the end I wasn't able to wait until they were traveling in the part of the country where I needed them, but since you are east coast bound and if you have the luxury of time you might look into it.

Of course for really secure handling, esp top-end cars, enclosed transport such as Passport is the wya to go -- but at a higher price than some care to pay.


Senior Member
I've been following this post with interest as one day my Dad may sell his car and we could need to ship it. It sounds like there is a lot of room for improvement in the shipping business. I guess these companies make money when they ship multiple cars and every step you get away from the initial person you contact, there is less care taken with the car. Are open carriers common/cheaper and therefore more widely used? I would imagine that individuals with cars in the 100k value range would want a covered truck to transport their cars. One, to reduce any debris damage and two, to prevent vandalism. Is the cost a lot higher for a covered truck? I also wonder if this is a business that an individual with some common sense and an interest in unique cars could make a decent living at. For example, if a guy were to go out and purchase a covered 18 wheeler and set up some local contacts to develop a business rep.

Bob Buxbaum

Jedi Hopeful

You understand VERY well. Most carriers are open and cheaper. Covered carriers do carry more valuable cars.

As with all businesses, any venture done well can make money. A covered 18 wheeler just isn't cheap, and would require a lot of business to just break even. Starting with a smaller rig (3 car trailer in back of an F450, or equivalent) will get you exposed to the business. If it doesn't work out, the rig, or it's two pieces, can be easily sold off. Keep in mind, this all becomes interstate commerce and you would need the proper paperwork including a CDL (commercial drivers license), ICC books, and plenty more to run a business.

Talk about a wet blanket!!


Jedi Warrior
/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/devilgrin.gifOr you can be obnoxious and just buy your own rig, https://evilallianceracing.com/ipw-web/gallery/eVil-start/P1010233 https://evilallianceracing.com/ipw-web/gallery/The-Nightmare-Begins/Image037 Hehehe, register it in your name and not a buisiness and no CDL is required!(I strongly disagree with the last statement) I actually have a CDL, but I bought the trailer not to make money but to haul multiple cars to Fla. to got racing every year. Like I mentioned before, if any of you guys ever pick up a project car out west, I'd be more than happy to haul it east as far as Mi. Of course, no $100k trailer queens welcome here. If I were payin' for shipping a car, I'd probably only going with an enclosed hauler. Of course on that note, my next hauler is probably going to be an enclosed one. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/devilgrin.gif


Senior Member
Thanks for the responses. I agree that to get a business like that started would require some cash, time for training, and some good contacts for customers. I don't have a CDL or the knowledge to look at vehicles to purchase, but I could learn more about both. Good idea about starting smaller with an F450 and a trailer.
Now for some off-topic info...
I am at a point in my life where a new career looks appealing due to some health issues. I was a middle school teacher until ulcerative colitis made life miserable and I left my career. I recently had surgery and my life should be better once I am completely healed. Starting my own business has always been appealing and a job where I could set the schedule looks good. I've always enjoyed driving and when I lived in San Antonio I would hop in my toyota truck and drive for about 29 hours until I reached NY state. So, combining the small business with vehicle transport still seems interesting to me.


Jedi Knight
Country flag
Aloha James,

When I moved from Rhode Island to Hawaii, I arranged to have my TF shipped trough the moving company that was shipping my household goods. In 1990 it cost about $2000 as I recall. About half of that covered the ocean transit. Although the car arrived dirty, with a dead battery and a torn up tonneau cover I was able to drive it home from the harbor. Matson, the ocean shipper charged the battery, gave me a car wash and covered my claim to have a new tonneau made.

Safety Fast,


Jedi Knight
I bought my TR6 recently in Halifax Nova Scotia (that's Eastern seaboard Canada)and shipped it out here to Alberta about 3000+ miles by a Canadian auto hauler L.Hansens Forwarding.
The road hauled it to Montreal, put it on a closed railway to Calgary and road hauled it to Edmonton.
Other than being pretty dirty at the end it came with no mishaps in spite of all the loading/reloading, took 11days.
Wasn't cheap though, about $1500Canadian ($1150 US)
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