It’s easy to assume auto transport is all the same, regardless of the condition of the vehicle. But if the vehicle is inoperable, car shipping just got a little more interesting. It doesn’t have to be challenging for you, but it’s important to understand the differences and why being upfront about the operational condition of your car can make a big difference.
Shipping a Non-Running Car
One of the first things to determine when planning to ship a non-running car is why your car is not running or considered non-operational. After all, if the motor starts, it’s technically “running.” But if the brakes have failed or it has collision damage that prevents the wheels from rolling, it’s still “non-operational.”
- Is it inoperable because of a dead battery or flat tires? Those are usually easy fixes that will be cheaper than paying the difference for transport or waiting on a transport truck that can accommodate a non-running car. Consider repairing and restoring the vehicle to operational condition.
- Are you missing the key or is the engine not running but the wheels still turn? You’ll need a transport carrier with a winch.
- If your vehicle was in a collision or otherwise cannot be safely rolled onto the transport carrier, a tow truck or forklift may be required.
How to Transport a Car That Doesn’t Run
It could be, however, that you’re transporting a recently bought or sold classic vehicle that needs restoration or is in the process of being repaired, either the body or under the hood. Regardless of why it’s not running, there are things to consider, including the type of transport. Even with non-running vehicles, you still need to decide between open and enclosed transport. For most cars that don’t run, open transport will still be the best option. Even with the added non-op fee, it will be more affordable than enclosed transport. And unless you are shipping a classic or expensive vehicle, enclosed probably just doesn’t make sense financially or time-wise. After all, you’ll have to await an available enclosed carrier with additional modifications to ship the non-running vehicle. Regardless of how you ship it, with the carriers vetted and used by Direct Express Auto Transport, your vehicle will still be safely loaded and secured, even if it’s inoperable.
Inoperable Car Shipping Cost
Before you book your auto transport of a non-running car to another city in the lower 48, it’s important to know the cost. It costs, on average, about $100 more than a running, fully operational vehicle. The same factors that go into an operative vehicle are still at play with a non-op car:
- Starting point
- Open or Enclosed
- Vehicle size and dimensions
- Time of year
But there’s a couple of other costs to factor in. The first is the cost of your time. Because of the relative scarcity of transport carriers equipped with winches or other methods of loading non-running vehicles, it will likely take longer to have your vehicle assigned to a carrier, picked up, and delivered to its destination. If time is of the essence, it may be faster to repair your vehicle, if possible, and ship traditionally.
There’s another cost to consider. If you decide to chance it and are not forthcoming with the condition of your non-running car, you could subject yourself to significant fees. This is especially true if the carrier that arrives to transport your vehicle is not equipped to load and unload it. Likely, you’ll wind up with a very irate driver who made a wasted trip…and your non-running car in exactly the same spot.
Do everyone a favor and click the box or notify the customer service representative of the condition of your car. You’ll end up with an accurate quote and a much more pleasant experience.