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How vehicle modifications affect car shipping costs

How vehicle modifications affect car shipping costs

There is nothing sweeter than making a car truly unique by customizing certain aspects of it. But new rims and flashy paint color are not the only things you can change. Enthusiasts would often go after car body modifications that can turn a regular ride into a monster machine.

1959 Cadillac Roadster

However, with awesome mods come different shipping costs. Do you want to get your improved car to a show? Maybe you just want it transported across the country? Whatever the case, there are a few things to know about shipping modified cars. Let’s explore how it works.

What are the different types of car modifications?

Auto transport prices vary based on different factors. This is why it is important to understand which types of vehicle tuning and modifications can have an effect on the car shipping cost.

– The first major mod type has to do with changes to the size and weight of the vehicle. Think oversized bumpers, wider tires, huge spoilers, and the like.

– The second type is a bit more subtle, but crucial nonetheless. These are mods that make the vehicle difficult to load on a regular car carrier. We will talk more about each of these further in the article.

Not all types of car tuning will have an effect on car shipping costs. A custom audio system or decals on your vehicle should not be a concern for you. Lighter adjustments (such as tactile decoration) are fine too. As long as the mods do not fall within the broad categories above, you are clear.

How do weight modifications affect shipping costs?

Some modifications are heavy and increase the weight of the vehicle substantially. For example, heavy-duty bumpers with wrenches are made of metal and weigh a lot. But even if the bumpers are lighter, a set of them, along with a heavy spoiler could also render the vehicle heavier. Since heavier cars require more power (i.e. gas) to get transported, it has to be reflected in the shipping costs.

shipping modified vehicles
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How does the size of the vehicle affect the shipping cost?

Modifications that increase the size of your vehicle may also affect the price of transport. Most carriers transport multiple vehicles at once. Logically, the more vehicles a carrier can take the more efficient the transport, and the more profit he makes. So, a car that takes the spot of two vehicles, for instance, and requires the carrier to accept fewer vehicles for transport will be more expensive to ship.

Let’s take length modifications, for example. If they are excessive the car will have to take two spots on the carrier, which drives the cost up. However, such mods are not common, so if the vehicle is not too long, to begin with, you will likely not have a problem with length.

Corsia Logistics shipping Mini Peterbilt

Then come height modifications. Certain tunings can raise the vehicle above 7 feet. At that point, you will be charged for two spots, because of certain DOT limits and regulations. Also, for vehicles that are way too tall, there may be a need for a dedicated trailer.

Height modifications are a common challenge when shipping off-road vehicles that are equipped with huge tires and have a raised suspension.

The last way modifications affect the size of your vehicle is by increasing its width. This is the most difficult case of all. A carrier trailer cannot be made wider than it is, so if a car cannot fit on it that would require a special type of cargo trailer such as a flatbed for heavy-duty shipping.

That is not all, though. The trucker will also have to get a one-time permit from DOT for transporting your vehicle. Due to all these factors, the cost to haul a wider vehicle is higher and the waiting time for finding such a carrier might be a bit longer than usual. The same challenges are also present for very tall vehicles.

Do modifications that make vehicles lighter affect the cost of shipping?

Some sports and racing cars are designed to be much lighter in order to benefit as much as possible from their powerful engines. However, some people take it one step further and shed a few pounds more from their car.

Such modifications usually include the removal of unnecessary seats and gadgets. It is also possible that the whole interior is stripped clean, and then only the essentials are installed. This includes a light metal frame, a new steering wheel, and only a single seat that is specifically designed for racing.

With all that in mind, you may wonder whether lighter vehicles will have lower car shipping fees. The simple answer is no. Since the majority of cars will be heavier than the one described above, the carrier will have no incentive to take a vehicle for a lower price and will charge you a standard shipping fee.

Modifications that make loading difficult

sports car shipping


Size and weight modifications affect the price in an obvious way. However, the situation is not as clear for adjustments and tuning which render a vehicle difficult to load on the truck. In such a case the price increases because a different service will be required.

For instance, to ship a luxury sports car or one whose suspension was lowered, you may run into clearance problems. Cars with the ground clearance of less than 3-4 inches cannot be loaded on a regular trailer. Instead, your shipper will need to use one that has a lift gate.

The thing is that most trailers with lift gates are the enclosed ones. And enclosed auto transport carriers comprise only 10% of all the carriers in the US. Additionally, not all enclosed trailers have a lift gate. A special request for one has to be made. That means you will need to wait a bit longer to find a spot on such a trailer and the price will be higher.

Are you ready to ship your vehicle?

If you need to ship your modified car, Corsia Logistics is always ready to help. We understand that these vehicles are unique and transporting them requires skills and expertise – we’ve got both. Our professional staff will provide you with all the necessary information and offer a free customized quote.

Ready to get started? Call or chat with us to discuss your options, receive a price, and book your shipment.

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