You’ve finally found it—your dream vehicle! The perfect classic car that you’ve been looking for forever. Maybe it’s even one of these hard-to-find classic beauties.

Unfortunately, at this point, it’s a perfect, non-running vehicle. How will you get this non-running car to your garage, home, or any other destination if you can’t drive it?

Can you even ship a non-working car?

The easy answer to this is yes, you can! All you need to transport a non-running car is to hire a shipping company with the proper specialized equipment.

Shipping with specialized equipment will cost more. Why? When shipping a car that functions properly, it’s easy to drive the vehicle on and off the transport trailer.  However, if the car doesn’t move as designed or is unsafe to operate in any way, you need specialized equipment that fewer transport companies carry.

Keep reading as we explain the ins and outs of shipping a non-working or non-running vehicle.

What is a Non-Working Car?

If your car doesn’t run at all, it is a non-running car. (That one was easy!)

However, if your car runs but isn’t safe to operate, it too might be considered a non-running car by shipping companies. Here’s a little visual to show what transportation specialists would treat as a non-running car and the type of equipment required to move it.

Does Your Car Have to Work to Be Shipped infographic

When it comes to a unique or classic car, even if it runs, it still may require other specialty equipment, like a liftgate; however, that only works with operable vehicles.

Why Does it Cost More to Ship a Classic Car that Doesn’t Run?

There are 3 main reasons for the higher cost:

  1. The use of specialty equipment requires drivers with specialized training to safely handle the different procedures and equipment.
  1. The safest way to ship a classic car (whether it runs or not) is to use enclosed shipping, protecting the vehicle from dangers like road debris and harsh weather. Because enclosed transports carry fewer vehicles and use more gas, this form of shipping always costs more, but it’s worth it. 
  2. The winches required to load an inoperable classic car do not come standard on most auto transport trucks. Open transport wedge trailers that have winches are not standard.

Should I Try to Fix it Before Shipping?

Some fixes (like new brakes, steering, or tires) will make it easier to load your vehicle onto a transport trailer. If that’s all that’s wrong, it could be a little cheaper than paying for the extra equipment necessary.

Still, remember that it’s always wise to consider enclosed shipping when transporting a classic, antique, or custom car. If the vehicle doesn’t need the specialized equipment, scheduling will be slightly more straightforward, but you still may want to invest in the extra protection and White Glove service that comes with enclosed carrier shipping.

Hire Experts in Transporting Classic Cars (Running or Not)

Ultimately, it comes down to researching shipping companies before hiring anyone to ship a classic car that doesn’t run. You want to look for a company that:

  • has the right equipment (including winches and trailers) to accommodate your classic car
  • has experienced drivers trained to work with the specialized equipment 
  • has an excellent track record shipping all kinds of vehicles in a timely and safe manner
  • gets lots of excellent customer reviews
  • answers all of your questions and provides price transparency, including any specialized needs required for your non-functioning vehicle. (You must tell your shipping agent everything they need to know about your classic car and its challenges so they can organize the proper solution.) 
  • has excellent customer service available 24/7 by email, phone, or chat
  • loves classic cars as much as you do!

Before selecting a company to ship your vehicle, be sure to do your research. Get quotes from 5 or 6 companies. If any of the quoted prices seem too good to be true, it probably is. When it comes to a non-running classic car, the cheapest company isn’t always the best choice - and in our experience, it rarely is.

At ShipLux, we always love helping people ship classic and antique vehicles. Explore our services, get a guaranteed transparent shipping quote, and once your research has convinced you we’re the best, we’ll be ready to ship your non-running classic car.