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What is the best way to ship your car?


If you’re moving across the country or relocating to another continent, chances are you want to ship your favorite vehicle to your new home. Whether you’re unwilling to part with your prized vintage wheels or simply prefer the comfort of your own SUV over a rental when taking an extended vacation, there are plenty of methods to get your car from A to B, from road carriers to container ships and professional drivers to private jet charter specialist automotive solutions.

The type of vehicle you drive, the distance you need to ship it and your flexibility with timings all play a role in deciding on the best way to ship your car. Here’s a look at some of the options available and what to consider.

Professional driver

If you need to relocate your vehicle to another part of the country as opposed to another part of the world, hiring a professional driver to drive it there for you may be a good option. Many companies specializing in this service employ skilled drivers and offer door-to-door pick-up and delivery services arranged around your schedule. However, if you want to avoid clocking up miles on your classic car, an off-wheels transportation method could be more suitable.

Road carriers

A delivery truck transports a load of cars along a highway
A delivery truck transports a load of cars along a highway

Road carriers can be a good alternative for those who want to ship their vehicle without clocking up hundreds of miles. These companies generally act as brokers who handle the contractual details with the actual carrier. The bulk of their business often comes from dealerships, so brokers may aim to prioritize clients with bigger contracts and leave private customers with a lower level of service. Furthermore, it can be challenging to find a carrier that lines up with your schedule.

Another thing to be aware of is that there are more opportunities for things to go wrong on the road than during a short flight, for example. Aside from occasional mechanical breakdowns, road accidents are much more common than aircraft incidents. Open carriers also pose the risk of physical damage to the vehicle through exposure to the elements and your car could be left unattended at times during rest stops along the route.

Sea freight

There are plenty of sea freight companies that specialize in loading and consolidating automobiles in containers. These companies usually offer the convenience of domestic or international door-to-door, port-to-port or door-to-port services, while handling the intricacies of customs where necessary. When evaluating sea freight companies, we recommend doing a bit of research. Every country has different vehicle import regulations, so it’s important to find out how long the company has been in business and whether they have experience in shipping to your destination country. They should be willing to provide references for recent shipments and answer your questions without hesitation.

Depending on the departure and destination ports, sea shipments typically take two weeks or more to complete. You may find an aviation shipment to be a better option, especially if time is limited.

Hire a cargo plane from a private charter company

If you’re on a tight deadline, the most efficient method for transporting your vehicle is undoubtedly a cargo aircraft. Transporting heavy cargo via air is a challenging procedure, so make sure the charter company you pick has the right credentials.

With over 25 years’ experience in cargo freight service for the automotive industry, backed by a global infrastructure, Air Charter Service offers the highest level of service. We’re a global leader in private jet charters and cargo freight, so you can rest assured we’ll get your vehicle to your chosen destination on time and with the utmost care.

We have access to over 50,000 aircraft, which allows us to source the most efficient solution for your cargo, whether you require a small jet for an urgent package or a large airliner for outsize cargo. Our account managers undergo intensive hands-on training, which includes spending time on the tarmac so they understand all aspects of managing a cargo flight from start to finish. By applying our detailed knowledge of logistics, cargo aircraft technology and loading abilities, ACS can arrange your vehicle to be transported quickly and securely, whether it’s a motorcycle, sports car, speciality or collector’s item, luxury car or SUV.

We also pride ourselves in catering to our customers’ every need and applying attention to detail in every aspect of the process, such as placing strapping to avoid damage to a wooden chassis or using low-approach ramp angles to load low-wheelbase supercars.

We know moving a vehicle to another country or continent can be a daunting task, but with our world-class service, it doesn’t have to be. Our team of experts will get your cargo from one point to the next as efficiently as possible, with minimum effort required from your side. However, in order to know what to expect it’s important to understand certain aspects of air freight that are sometimes misunderstood.

3 Common misconceptions about air freight

Cars line up in front of a cargo freighter preparing to load in a harbour
Cars line up in front of a cargo freighter preparing to load in a harbour

Transit times for private jet charters and cargo freight shipments are the same

While getting from New York to London may take only seven hours on a passenger flight, it’s unrealistic to expect your air cargo shipment to take the same amount of time. With a cargo shipment, you need to take into consideration customs, transportation to and from the departure and arrival airports, routing and extreme weather, all of which could add a significant amount of extra time to the trip.

Turnaround times are the same all year round

Demand for air cargo shipments isn’t equal throughout the year. During November, for example, there is a huge demand for cargo freight ahead of the holiday shopping season. Being aware of these periods will give you a good idea of what to expect and ensure you aren’t disappointed when you have to wait a little longer than usual for your delivery.

You don’t need to be contactable once the cargo is en route to its destination

Any small issue or lack of information could cause delays of up to a few days. These issues need to be resolved immediately, which means that the air freight company needs to know who to talk to and where to reach them in case of an emergency or unforeseen challenges.

Here’s what you can expect when leaving your valuable cargo in our capable hands

  • Most efficient aircraft: With access to 50,000 aircraft, we will always source the right aircraft for your cargo, with no wastage and no unnecessary charges.
  • Global coverage: We have an international network of offices, each with in-depth knowledge of the local facilities. So no matter where your cargo needs to go or where it’s from, we have you covered.
  • Expertise: Each one of our charter experts undergoes rigorous training and spends time on the ground so they understand exactly what it takes to manage your cargo flight successfully from start to finish.
  • Your own flight representative: One of our charter experts on the ground will make sure that all aspects of your cargo charter run smoothly, keeping you updated throughout the process.
  • Cost efficiency: Our buying power and reputation allow us to find you the best cargo charter prices, ensuring you always receive the most cost-effective solution.
  • Personal account manager: We assign a dedicated charter expert to your cargo flight, who is available to assist you with any requirements you may have at any time.
  • An end destination closer to you: With access to more airports, we’re able to ensure that your vehicle will arrives as close as possible to its final destination.

Air Charter Service makes sure all our cargo gets the white-glove treatment, from pick-up to delivery. Contact us now if you’re in need of a reliable and trusted air cargo service that will ensure your vehicle gets to its destination in speed and style.

  • DEDICATED ACCOUNT MANAGERS
  • NO OBLIGATION
  • 25 YEARS EXPERIENCE
  • AVAILABLE 24/7