let a pro do it…and I do mean a PRO
Ok, Polly, you have convinced me to bite the bullet and pay to have the car hauled. While this is a better idea in most cases if you cannot drive your new acquisition home, there are still some things to consider. First, if you have purchased your pre-owned vehicle from an off-lot (not Porsche) dealership, or even on-lot, those guys have access to car haulers, often enclosed for sports car companies, that they know are licensed, bonded, insured, and reputable. They usually also get way better rates than you can negotiate for most hauls. Talk to them first. If, however, you have purchased from a private party, you probably will have to end up finding and negotiating a car hauler on your own.
The #1 thing to do on hiring any private car carrier is do your due diligence, period. And do it thoroughly. Car haulers are just as able to have a website popped up as anyone else, and say just about anything. The first thing is do not even bother with a standard transport search, because if you are as busy earning a living to pay for that baby as I am, you do not have the time for the dozens of sales calls you will get (to say nothing of the robos) if you ask for a basic quote. Search for “exotic” or “enclosed” auto transport. That will eliminate a lot of headaches, but make certain to still look closely at their sites, reviews, and other information. If there is a local Porsche club, 911 Association, or other group that has been down that path before, ask. They will tell you quickly whom they recommend, how expensive they are, and if they really do white glove your car. You should expect to pay about $1.50-$2.00 per mile under 500 miles, and as low as around $1.50-$1 per mile on a coast to coast run if there are no big time constraints or other issues such as difficult unloading or loading situations. If the Porsche is a project car, the price will vary, but you may be able to utilize exposed transport, saving some expense.
When you do call for quotes (and get several and let them know you are getting competitive quotes), ask for references, photos of their equipment, and details of how they protect sports cars on the haul. Make certain they do not farm out (subcontract) the hauls, because it does happen! Make extra certain how they pick up, make sure it is a drive on load (do not assume…yes, I know, but still, do not assume), is there a scheduled pick up time, and how they drop off and is it scheduled and make it clear the vehicle must be inspected for a sign off. Never pay in full in advance, you are asking for trouble, unless it is a highly reputable, recommended company with a spotless reputation. Find out if they haul one, two, or tier-decked cars at the same time. It is very important to ask questions and if you do not get answers and proof meeting your needs, go on to the next hauler. Scheduling in advance saves money, as occasionally does utilizing a reputable freight broker company like U-Ship. You can never be too careful but you can be too trusting and too cheap, neither of which ends well when you are shipping an expensive sports car.
As a reminder, if you do decide to ship, make certain that any and all removable items are out of the car. Keep track of who and how many keys are out. Photograph the car inside and out thoroughly in front of the transport driver, and let the company know you are doing it. Make sure they are insured for damages to your vehicle, licensed, and bonded if necessary, and let your insurance company know it is being transported. And most of all, make sure you are available to walk and inspect it thoroughly upon receipt. The best option is to find a company that specializes in enclosed, covered sports and collectible car transport. Are they more expensive? Yes, usually by as much as $500-$1000. For heaven’s sake, you just paid high five digits for the car…make sure it arrives safely at your door, intact, so you can immediately enjoy the new thrill of meeting your dream goal and can take it out for a spin.