How to Transport a Non-Operational Vehicle?

Under regular circumstances, operational cars can be easily driven onto and off carriers. However, when dealing with non-operational vehicles that cannot be driven onto the carrier, the standard approach involves using a winch or loading with a liftgate.

In cases where your car won't start, a winch becomes essential for pulling it onto the carrier. Conversely, if your car is severely damaged, preventing it from rolling, braking, or steering, a winch alone won't suffice. In such instances, your vehicle needs to be lifted using a liftgate or forklift.

Pro Tip: For the safest transportation of classic or exotic cars, consider using an enclosed carrier. While a pricier option, it provides protection from weather, road debris, and potential damage, making it a sensible choice given the financial and sentimental value of such vehicles.

Understanding a Non-Operational Car

As the term implies, a non-operational car is one that either refuses to start or cannot be safely driven onto or off a car carrier due to structural issues. Mechanical failure resulting from collision damage is a common reason for a non-operational status. However, not all non-operational vehicles are simply broken-down cars; even a classic car that has been restored and purchased from a seller in another state can fall under this category.

Is Shipping a Non-Operational Car More Costly?

Winches and lift gates, not standard equipment for most car carriers, are necessary additions when dealing with non-operational cars. This leads to the fact that not all auto transport companies are equipped to handle non-operational vehicles. Additionally, the unique challenges associated with non-operational cars mean that drivers must be trained to manage the various procedures and equipment involved in their transportation.

These factors typically result in higher shipping costs for non-operational vehicles compared to their operational counterparts. On average, the cost of transporting a non-operational car over a short distance is typically an additional $25-$50, while for longer distances, the additional cost could be up to an average of $150. Your quoted price will also depend on factors such as your vehicle's make and model, transportation distance, pickup and delivery locations, and the type of carrier.

How to Transport a Car That Doesn't Run

Arranging car transport services for a non-operational car follows a similar process to that of a running vehicle. However, transporting a car that cannot be turned on or driven requires a bit more research and preparation. Here are the steps to follow:

Selecting the Right Auto Transport Company for Non-Operational Vehicles

To ensure the safe and timely transport of your non-operational vehicle, choose an auto transport company with:

- Years of experience in safely moving non-operational cars

- Carriers equipped with the necessary tools for accommodating your specific vehicle

- Positive reviews and recommendations

Pro Tip: When seeking competitive bids, it's advisable to contact multiple auto transport companies. However, opting for the cheapest option may not be the best idea, especially when transporting valuable classic or exotic cars.

Informing the Company About Your Car's Condition

Before transport, communicate your car's condition to the auto transport company. Whether it doesn't roll, has additional parts, or is a track car, providing this information ensures an accurate quote and guarantees that the right carrier with the appropriate equipment is dispatched, preventing delays or unforeseen fees.

Seeking Reliable Car Transportation Services?

At, we possess the expertise and nationwide coverage to handle the shipment of your non-operational or inoperable car. Regardless of its make, model, or size, we can transport it anywhere in the country. Inform us of your car's issues, and we'll ensure the right carrier is assigned at the right rate.

Contact us at 239-273-4649 or complete our online form to receive your complimentary car shipping quotes.


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