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How to Ship a Luxury Vehicle

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Shipping your vehicle is always a stressful situation. If you paid top dollar for a luxury vehicle, chances are you want the best protection for it, no matter what the cost. Shipping luxury vehicles requires more money and more attention to detail than standard auto shipping. Here is what to do when your car is your prized possession and you need to ship it.

Is your car a luxury vehicle?

It is hard to define luxury. There are many cars that market themselves as luxury vehicles. Sports cars, restored vintage vehicles, certain high value brands, and even race-ready vehicles can all carry the term.

Basically, if you paid top dollar for your car, in your opinion, it is a luxury vehicle. Luxury means that some aspect of the vehicle, whether it is aesthetic, reputation, or performance based, causes it to be much more expensive than what a typical functional vehicle would be.

Preparing your luxury car for shipping

Before you can ship your vehicle, you need to prepare your vehicle for the inspection and shipping processes. Here are some things to do to your luxury car before you ship it:
  • Empty your vehicle completely. You are not allowed to ship cars with loose items inside them for insurance reasons
  • Clean the outside of your car. During inspection, clean cars can reveal damage and exhaust issues more easily
  • Leave only about a quarter tank of gas before shipping. Full tanks can spill, but a little gas may be necessary to drive the car short distances during or after shipping
  • Remove or secure any loose articles like antennas
  • Get your vehicle serviced and make sure it is in proper working condition

Shipping options

Generally speaking, you would want to spend more money for the higher cost, higher protection service options if you are shipping a luxury vehicle. Still, you may decide that your luxury vehicle does not need the top luxury shipping method. You probably are never going to choose to simply have someone drive it to the destination, however, so we will only focus on true shipping options.

Domestic shipping

Cheaper option- Open air shipping
. This form of shipping involves hauling your car onto the trailer of a truck and driving it to the destination in open air. Your luxury vehicle will be subject to typical weather and wind conditions that highway driving entails, but your car is safely secured to the truck and probably won't be damaged unless there is an accident or extremely severe weather.

Luxury Option- Enclosed shipping. This type of shipping still involves being towed by a truck, but you car is secured inside an enclosed container. This means your car can be climate controlled and sheltered from wind, snow, sleet, hail, and rain. It also offers a bit more protection should there be an accident with the truck, but no container is invincible.

Overseas shipping

Cheaper option: Roll-on roll-off. This service is named after how your vehicle will be loaded on and off the cargo deck of a shipping vessel. This is why a little bit of gas and a functioning vehicle may be necessary for shipping. After your car is rolled or driven on deck, it is strapped in the cargo deck for the duration of the shipment. It is exposed to the deck atmosphere but not the outside weather.

Luxury option:Container shipping: 
With this service, your vehicle is secured on blocks in its own individual container. Your vehicle will not have to be driven and is loaded and enclosed within a container for the whole shipment process. This adds another layer of security to your shipment.

The most luxurious way to ship both domestically and overseas: Air Shipping. This is very similar to enclosed shipping except instead of putting the vehicle container in a boat, it is put in a charter plane and flown to its destination. This can be the quickest and safest way to ship your luxury vehicle, but it comes with a hefty price-tag. The whole process could cost close to $20,000.

Hiring an auto shipping company for your luxury vehicle

Of course, your vehicle is only safe if you hire a reliable shipping company to handle your luxury car. Look for shippers who are certified and offer good insurance. Your existing car insurance probably won't cover the shipping process, so be sure to ask the shippers about their insurance plans and the claims policy.

Check out our list of auto movers and compare multiple companies. Be sure to screen them thoroughly before choosing which company to trust with your luxury vehicle.

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on July 25, 2014 - Moving Expert
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