How to Ship a Camaro (and Why You Should)

Posted by at 17 July 2018, at 23 : 44 PM

How to Ship a Camaro (and Why You Should)

You’ve found the perfect Camaro. You’ve been searching for it for months. Now, finally, it’s within reach. It’s the right year, the right condition – and most importantly, the right price.

There’s just one problem.

It’s halfway across the country!

Chasing the car (or Camaro) of your dreams can be a challenge, particularly if you’re on the hunt for a specific and rare combination of model, year and styling. It’s not uncommon to find someone selling the car that you’re after, hundreds or even thousands of miles away. This presents obvious logistical challenges, and unless you’re planning to drive out, load it up, then tow it back – you’ll probably need to make some other arrangements.

Problems You’ll Face

It may be tempting to drive your new Camaro back home, but this is problematic for a number of reasons. First, you’ll probably have to register and insure the car in the state where it was purchased – to be on the safe side during the drive home. Second, you’ll be putting miles and wear & tear on a car that might be as much a showpiece as a daily driver.

If a tire blows out, or a fan belt snaps, or something far worse happens on the way back – you’ll also be on the hook for addressing that problem. If you have the misfortune of breaking down in the middle of nowhere, you might spend hours or even days handling what might be a minor issue closer to home.

It’s generally a good idea to leave transport to the professionals. Not only do you save yourself days of preparation and driving – which will require you to pay for your own gas, meals and lodging – you also avoid the risk of potential breakdowns or other damage en route to your destination. This is true whether you’re trying to get a Camaro you’ve just purchased back home, or if you’re moving and need to ensure your car’s safety (while also handling all the other challenges of a long-distance relocation).

Professional Transport

Professional auto transporters, like nationwide shipping company A-1 Auto Transport, will cover all of the costs involved. Gas, repairs (to the transport vehicle, not yours – as your Camaro will be safely secured), food, lodging and so on are all part of the flat fee generally quoted for point-to-point overland transport. Longer journeys, such as from Arizona to North Carolina, or Ohio to Texas, quickly start to look like more reasonable options when you consider the risks, the ancillary costs and the amount of time you’ll invest in trying to do it yourself.

For example, A-1 Auto Transport has quoted the shipment of a car from Akron, Ohio to Laredo, Texas – a 1,617 mile trip – at $711 (which is just $0.44 per mile). How much would you have to spend to do it yourself?

Cost To Drive It Yourself

A modern Camaro gets about 30 MPG on the highway and requires premium gas – which has been creeping higher lately and is currently about $3.40 per gallon (2). You’ll wind up paying about $180 just to gas up your Camaro from Akron to Laredo.

Even if you drive an average of 90 miles per hour, which will make the likelihood of getting a speeding ticket quite high, you’ll still be on the road for 18 hours. If you stop every four hours to eat, you’ll need to buy at least four meals – which will probably run you anywhere from $40 to $100 depending on your budget. Unless you’ve got superhuman stamina and plan to drive without rest, you’ll also probably pull over at a hotel or motel somewhere along the way, and that’ll add another $40 to $80 to your costs.

Gas, food, and lodging have already added up to $260 to $360 in costs. If you had to fly to Akron to pick up the car, you’ve got the cost of a plane ticket, the cost of an Uber from the airport to the vehicle, and possibly the costs of another meal somewhere between the airport in Texas and the airport in Ohio.

Conservatively, you’ll be looking at another $300 in one-way flight costs, since neither Laredo nor Akron host hub airports where ticket prices will be lower. Even without the Uber ride, you’re looking at more than $500 in costs just to handle the transport of your new Camaro on your own.

Time It’ll Take To Drive It Yourself

What about the costs of your time? Many people overlook this, but the value of your time is important. In the time you spent going to get your new Camaro and driving it back, you can’t work, you can’t spend time with your family and you can’t hang out with friends. You can’t really do anything productive, except drive your Camaro from Point A to Point B.

If you spend five hours flying to Akron, sixteen hours driving back to Laredo, eight hours sleeping, and four hours eating or refueling – you’ve invested 33 hours of your own time into transporting your car. Since you’ve already spent $560 or more in direct costs (saving only about $150 off the cost of transport from A-1), you’re valuing your own time at roughly $4.55 per hour. That’s below minimum wage. You could mow your neighbor’s lawn and make more than that per hour.

So when you take the time to really crunch the numbers, it just doesn’t make sense to drive your Camaro long distances yourself. It’s far better and more cost-effective to let the pros take care of transporting it instead.

How to Ship a Camaro (and Why You Should)

Variables and Your Shipment

You should keep in mind that shipping costs can be higher for classic Camaros, due to the extra precautions a shipper may need to take, in order to secure and insure the vehicle. However, classic Camaros need professional transport even more keenly than modern ones do – as it’ll be harder to repair a vintage Camaro on the road or recover from hundreds of miles of wear and tear added to a showpiece vehicle.

You should always talk to your shipping company before making a decision, as there are a range of variables which can impact the cost of transport. An experienced company will be able to walk you through the options and costs, to ensure safe and timely transport of your Camaro at any budget.

This is even more critical in the rare event that you need to transport your Camaro internationally, or even to or from Hawaii and the mainland U.S. Overseas vehicle transport is usually handled with special enclosed auto transport containers, or with roll-on roll-off (RoRo) ships that allow vehicles to literally drive into and out of the storage holds.

Your Camaro is important to you, so leave it in the hands of the professionals. Transport costs are very reasonable, and your Camaro will be well-protected by commercial insurance and by the skills of experienced drivers using the right equipment. It might cost a bit more up front, but when you consider all that you’re giving up by trying to do it yourself – hiring a professional transport company just makes good financial sense.

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