Shipping A Non-Running Vehicle: Some Things You Need To Know

Tow truck delivers the damaged vehicle

Most of us know what a hassle it is to move a car if it breaks down in the middle of the road. Now imagine that you need to ship a car that is not running. We are not saying that you can’t ship it — it’s just a bit trickier and may be more expensive if you want to ship a non-running vehicle.

What is a Non-Running Vehicle?

There are a lot of non-running vehicles, and they aren’t just broken down cars. Therefore, it is important to know what a non-running vehicle is so that you know beforehand what to expect when you ship it.

Any vehicle that does not start or cannot move using its own power is considered to be a non-running vehicle. In regular cases, your vehicle will be loaded and unloaded by the driver driving your car into or out of a truck. This is a quick and convenient way to move your vehicle and does not require anything but a standard driver’s license. With this method, it takes your car mover much less time and effort to load and unload the vehicle, and hence, it is much cheaper.

Having said that, there are a few other things that can categorize a vehicle as a non-running one, or make it costlier to move than your regular vehicle.

One of these things is that the vehicle is not steerable. If you have removed the steering wheel from your car or taken out the linkages, it can be a bit of a problem to load or unload this car. Vehicles like these are usually lifted on and off the carrier with the help of a forklift or a winch.

Hence, non-running vehicles are those vehicles that cannot start, steer, brake, or roll.

Since a non-running vehicle requires extra work to load and unload a vehicle, oftentimes, it is a bit more expensive. If you want to avoid paying this price, you should try getting your vehicle up and moving, if that can be done.

The auto transportation industry is experienced in picking up, shipping, and dropping all kinds of vehicles. No matter what kind of car you need to be shipped, just inform the service beforehand so that they can get you the right carrier at the right price.

How Do Car Shipping Companies Transport a Non-Running Vehicle?

In most cases, non-running vehicles can easily be shipped on the same open-plan carriers that regular vehicles are moved on. Open carriers are the industry standard, and your non-running vehicle is just the same size and weight as a regular car  — except that it cannot be driven. So it shouldn’t be a surprise if your auto shipping company tells you an open carrier would be best suited to transport your vehicle.

However, the method used to load and unload the vehicle from the open carrier is different from the method used to load and unload running cars.

If Your Car Does Not Start: If your vehicle cannot start, but everything else is fine with it, usually all you need to shift it inside the carrier is a winch. A winch is a special piece of equipment that can be easily hooked up to the car, and it drags the vehicle into the carrier as the driver steers it.

If Your Car Does Not Roll: If your car can start but does not roll, a winch alone would not be able to do the job of getting it into the carrier. A car may be unable to roll if its tires have been removed, are locked, or if the vehicle is on blocks. If this is the case, your car will need to be lifted by a forklift, which can limit your options for carriers. Therefore, we recommend that you should equip your cars with wheels so that it can at least roll, even if it doesn’t start.

If Your Car Cannot Brake: If your car does not have brakes, it can also be pretty tricky to load it. Most drivers will be wary of a vehicle that cannot stop by itself as it can be a huge safety risk. A car without brakes cannot stop, so even if you drive it into the carrier, it will only come to a halt if it hits the wall of the carrier, bump into the car in front of it, or roll off the platform altogether. Obviously, you don’t want any of that to happen since it can be very damaging to your (and others’) property. So, it is best to equip your car with brakes before you decide to ship it.

If Your Car Cannot Steer: If you are unable to steer your car, you may not be able to avoid obstacles in your path and risk causing harm to your car and to the driver in it. Therefore, it is best to get your car into steering shape before you decide to transport it.

Why Is Transporting a Non-Running Vehicle More Expensive?

Car shipping for non-running vehicles may be more expensive due to several reasons. The simplest answer is that they require more effort and equipment to load and unload. So the extra work the driver has to put in to get your car into and out of the carrier is the major factor that can influence your shipping quote.

Depending on the car transporting company, you may have to pay $150 to $200 more for vehicles that don’t run. Additionally, they will most likely need a winch to help them onto an off the truck. The use of additional equipment will likely add more cost to your shipping bill.

For vehicles that don’t have a steering wheel, brakes, or tires, you will need to get a forklift, which usually costs a bit more than simple winches. This type of loading and unloading method is pretty common, and forklifts are often seen getting vehicles in and out of trucks easily.

However, not all car movers can operate a forklift. Some of the companies will waive the extra charges if you have someone else load and unload your vehicle into the truck. However, you will need to pay the forklift operator that you hired to get the job done, so you might not be saving any money at all.

Can You Ship a Vehicle Without an Engine or Chassis?

A car without an engine or a chassis will weigh much less, and hence, it may cost you less to deliver it. However, the absence of an engine or chassis will not change its size, and it will take the full space inside the truck. So depending on the company, you may not be able to save much money on it either.

Since vehicles without an engine are light, they are pretty easy to load and unload. If your car still has its tires, brakes, and steering wheel; it can still roll, brake, and steer, even if it doesn’t have an engine. If it can’t, you may incur an added cost to get it loaded.

Cars without chassis are trickier since they cannot brake, steer, or roll. But they are quite light, which may keep the cost-per-mile down if they are shipped through a standard carrier. However, cars that only have the body and nothing else can’t be winched to trucks and securing them can be challenging too. That is why most of these cars and transported by a flatbed hauler, which may charge a bit less for them as the weight is low.

If you have a non-running vehicle, it is best to first speak with a representative of the auto transport company and apprise them of the entire situation. This can help you understand what your car needs and how much it will cost you beforehand.