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7 Tips for Shipping a Non-Running Car


Estimated reading time: 6 minutes 

Auto transport companies ship a wide range of vehicles, ranging in size, make, and model. Big or small, pickup truck or convertible, most car shipping companies will be able to ship it for you. 

But, what about shipping a non-running car? A non-running car requires special equipment to load and unload it on the trailer, and not all companies have that equipment or the manpower to offer such a service. 

However, here at SGT Auto Transport, we can quickly and easily arrange non-running car shipping if you need it. To ensure you get the possible service and it goes smoothly without any issues, we’ve decided to write this post. 

By the time you get to the end, you’ll have all the information you need and understand the process much better. 

What do we mean by a non-running car?

Non-running car is rather a broad description, so let’s start by explaining exactly what we mean. 

A non-running car is a car that doesn’t run or it’s not safe to drive. A number of things could have happened to the car to make it non-running. For example, it could have been involved in a collision. On the other hand, it might also be a classic car that’s being restored to its former glory. 

Shipping non-running cars is not too different from ordinary car shipping, but there are some extra steps and details you need to be aware of. Here are some tips to help with the process. 

How to transport a non-running car - Useful tips

Here are some top tips you’ll find useful if you ever need to ship a non-running car.

1. Know what’s wrong with your car

You know your car’s not running, but the auto transport provider will need some more information. Find out what exactly is wrong with your car because the nature of the problem determines how a carrier will safely move your vehicle. 

Let’s explain a little further. If your car’s engine won’t start, but the steering and brakes are operational, the carrier should be able to use a winch. 

However, if you can’t use the brakes, steer, or roll the car, loading it onto a trailer is more complicated. They’ll likely have to load it onto a flatbed truck using a forklift. As you can probably understand, the bigger the challenges, the higher the cost. 

When you know what’s wrong with your car from the beginning, you can share this information with the carrier. They can get all the right equipment for loading and unloading your car and give you an accurate price. 

2. Book ahead of time

A certain amount of careful planning goes into providing a reliable auto transport service. But it’s not just the carrier who needs to make preparations. You have some to make as well. Booking ahead of time gives you the opportunity to prepare and also ensures you get the best possible transport rate and pick-up and drop-off times that suit your schedule. 

3. Do your research

When you want to transport a non-running car, you want to get the best deal possible. This will mean doing some research if you want to find the right auto transport company. Not all auto transport companies are the same. Some are better than others. You want to look for a company that offers affordable rates, has friendly customer service, and provides the service you need. 

4. Contact the company

Once you’ve decided on a few different auto transport companies, our advice is to get in touch with a representative of the company to make certain they can provide transport for a non-running car. Not all car shipping companies are willing to provide such a service or have the right equipment. 

5. Compare pricing

Most auto transport companies offer an online quote form. You’ll find our online quote calculator here on this website. All you have to do is fill in some basic information and you’ll receive your free quote almost instantly. There is the option to choose whether you’re shipping a running or non-running car, so make sure you pick the right one. 

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6. Choose the right auto transport option

The next tip relates to the type of auto transport for shipping your non-running car. There are generally two options: open car shipping and enclosed auto transport. 

Open car shipping

If you choose open car shipping, your car will be loaded onto an open trailer using a winch. Different types of winches might be used, but they will be either hand-cranked or manual. Your inoperable car is pulled onto the trailer using a chain. Keep in mind that open car shipping doesn’t protect your car from the weather and road debris. 

Enclosed auto transport

With enclosed auto transport, cars are generally loaded onto an enclosed trailer using a liftgate. Liftgates are especially useful for transporting low clearance vehicles as there is less risk of damage to the car. Choose enclosed auto transport and your car will be completely protected from the weather and various dirt and debris. 

7. Prepare your car for shipping

There is a small amount of preparation you need to take care of before you ship your car. The most important is to secure any loose parts or remove them from the vehicle. You should also remove any personal belongings from inside your car. Generally, auto transport providers are not responsible for any lost or damaged personal items. 

If you’re ready to make arrangements to ship your non-running car, our shipping advisors would love to hear from you. Call (864) 546-5038 or use Live Chat to secure your booking. 


Do cars get damaged in shipping?

Yes, cars can get damaged in shipping, but if you choose a reliable and trustworthy auto transport company, the chance of it happening is very low. 

Can you ship a non-running car from Hawaii?

Yes, it is possible to ship a non-running car from Hawaii but the same rules apply as shipping an inoperable car overland in the US. You have to check that the car shipping company is willing to ship your non-running car, and has the experience and the equipment to provide the best service. 

Currently, the company we use for shipments to Hawaii doesn’t accept inoperable cars. 

Can you ship a car that doesn’t start?

Yes, you can ship a car that doesn’t start, as long as the carrier has the expertise and necessary equipment. 

How do you transport a dead car?

You can transport a dead car using open or enclosed auto transport. Which option is best for you depends on your budget and your car. Open auto transport is the cheapest option, but your car will be exposed to the elements. With enclosed auto transport, your car is shipping in an enclosed trailer which means it’s completely protected. However, enclosed car shipping costs around 30% to 40% more.

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