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How Transporting Inoperable Cars Work

Transporting Inoperable Cars

Transporting Inop Cars: What You Need to Know

Transporting inoperable (inop) cars can be a challenging task, but with the right expertise and equipment, it can be done smoothly and efficiently. At Amerigo Auto Transport, we specialize in shipping vehicles of all conditions, including those that are not in running order. This blog will cover what it takes to transport inop cars, common issues these vehicles face, the methods we use, and why inoperable vehicles often cost more to ship.

What Makes a Car Inoperable?

A car is considered inoperable if it cannot be driven onto a transport truck under its own power. This can be due to a variety of reasons, including:

  • Engine Problems: The car won’t start or run due to engine failure or mechanical issues.
  • Transmission Issues: The vehicle cannot move because of transmission problems.
  • Electrical Failures: Battery issues or other electrical malfunctions prevent the car from starting.
  • Accident Damage: Severe damage from an accident that makes the car unsafe to drive.
  • Flat Tires or Missing Wheels: The car cannot roll due to flat or missing tires.

Common Inop Car Issues

Inoperable cars often face the following issues:

  • Battery Failure: Dead or faulty batteries are a common issue, especially in cars that have been sitting idle for long periods.
  • Fluid Leaks: Leaks from oil, coolant, or transmission fluid can render a car inoperable.
  • Brake Problems: Faulty brakes can prevent a car from being safely driven onto a transport truck.
  • Electrical System Failures: Issues with the car’s electrical system, such as faulty wiring or blown fuses, can cause the car to be non-functional.

How We Transport Inop Cars

Transporting inoperable vehicles requires specialized equipment and procedures to ensure safe and damage-free shipping. At Amerigo Auto Transport, we use the following methods:

Electric Winch

An electric winch is an essential tool for loading inop cars onto our transport trucks. Here’s how it works:

  1. Positioning the Vehicle: The inoperable car is positioned in front of the transport truck’s loading ramp.
  2. Attaching the Winch: The winch cable is securely attached to the car’s frame or a designated towing point.
  3. Pulling the Vehicle: The electric winch is activated, carefully pulling the car onto the truck’s ramp and into place.

The use of an electric winch ensures that the car is loaded smoothly without causing any additional damage.

Additional Considerations for Inop Car Transport

Mechanical Uncertainty

If your vehicle has mechanical problems and you are unsure whether it will run for long or has ongoing issues, it’s best to transport it as an inoperable vehicle. This precaution helps avoid further damage during loading and unloading. Our team is trained to handle such vehicles with care, ensuring they are transported safely.

Higher Costs for Inoperable Vehicles

Shipping an inoperable vehicle typically costs more than shipping a running vehicle. The additional labor involved in loading and unloading, as well as the need for specialized equipment like electric winches, contributes to the higher cost. This additional effort ensures that your vehicle is handled with the utmost care, minimizing the risk of damage during transport.

Vehicle Condition Requirements

It’s important to note that we do not ship vehicle shells or chassis without wheels. For a car to be transported, it must have all four wheels intact. This requirement ensures that the vehicle can be safely loaded and secured on our transport trucks.


Transporting inoperable cars requires a specialized approach to ensure safe and efficient delivery. At Amerigo Auto Transport, we have the expertise and equipment to handle these challenging transports. Whether your vehicle has mechanical issues, electrical failures, or damage from an accident, we can get it to its destination safely. Remember, if you’re unsure about your car’s ability to run or it has significant issues, it’s best to transport it as an inoperable vehicle to avoid further damage. Contact us today to learn more about our inop car transport services and get a quote for your vehicle.

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