What is a non-running vehicle?
A non-running or inoperable vehicle is a term used in the auto transport industry for any vehicle that can’t be driven on and off the car carrier safely and effectively on its own power. You may know already that the primary method of loading and unloading vehicles is driving them on/off the carrier. A vehicle is considered inoperable when it does not start and can’t be moved under its own power. Sounds pretty clear: a car with no engine or severely damaged vehicle. Yes, but not exactly.
We consider a car inoperable if there is no key and we can’t start it to drive it onto the trailer.
A vehicle that starts but has flat tires is also considered non-running.
A vehicle that starts, has good tires, but no brakes, is also labeled as INOP by auto transporters.
As you can see, the definition of a non-running vehicle is much broader than you might have thought.
Note: A car with a dead battery usually would be considered non-operable. However, transporters often carry a set of jumper cables for occasional jump starts. If the car fails to start regardless or jumper cables are not immediately available, your vehicle will be labeled as inoperable, which means the price to ship it goes up.
Before you ship an inoperable car
It often makes sense to fix the car, if possible, before shipping it, as this will reduce the cost of transportation.
If you don’t have a key to start the car – order a copy.
If the only issue is a dead battery, look into replacing it. The cost of a new battery runs between $50 and $120 for an average brand, while a premium battery will cost between $90 and $200.
Flat tire(s)? The answer is rather simple – look into getting a new set of wheels for your car.
Depending on what classifies your vehicle as inoperable it may be cheaper and faster to transport it if you can get in a driving condition. If repair before shipping is not feasible, then you’ll have to go through with shipping a non-running car.
Shipping a non-running car
EMV Transportation can transport your vehicle as long as it has four wheels, rolls, steers, and brakes. You have to make sure to inform us whether the car is inoperable and has any problems starting and moving under its own power. Based on your information we will give you a customized auto transport quote. As frustrating as it may be, not all carriers carry equipment necessary to transport non-running vehicles.
The price to haul an inoperable vehicle is usually higher than the rate for a running car.