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Transport Policy

Auto Transport Mode Policy Based on Vehicle Age, Value and Condition

The “Auto Transport Mode Policy” as described below, can have an effect on the quoted/booked pricing, transport mode and provided insurance. This policy is based on the vehicle age, value, condition and the month of shipping. MVS Canada and our agents reserve the right to request more information regarding a vehicle prior to or after booking in order to determine if the vehicle can be safely transported.

Vehicle Year Breakdown

Vehicles that are running and in good condition may have access to all modes of transport (enclosed truck, open truck, and train) depending on the shipping route with the following exceptions, rules and insurance limits:

Vehicle AgeModeSummer (Apr 15th – Oct 31st)Winter (Nov 1st – Apr 14th)
AnyEnclosed TruckEnclosed Truck option is available for vehicles of any age year-round and includes comprehensive insurance. Enclosed trucking can also move some vehicles that are inoperable but can roll.
≥ 6 years
(≥ 2016)
TrainMVS and Shipper CP Rail will not be liable for any loss or damage to a vehicle which is older than six (6) years; determined by Car Year Date (CYD). It’s recommended that you have your own insurance on the vehicle.
15 – 20 years
(2007 – 2002)
Open TruckMust have a valid safety inspection or recently inspected and deemed to be safe and drivable by a licensed mechanic if a driving service will be used at any point in the shipment.
≥ 20 years
(≥ 2002)
Open TruckVehicle is only insured for major damages over $5000 and complete loss.
21 – 25 years
(2001 – 1997)
Open Truck / TrainPossible to ship by open truck or train at the customer’s own risk.1Open truck or train modes are not available due to climate stresses on vehicles that may cause it to become inoperable.
≥ 26 years
(≥ 1996)
Enclosed Truck1Only mode available for this age of vehicle is enclosed trailer. Vehicle will be insured comprehensively.
  • Exceptions: Vehicles in good working condition that are not project vehicles or show/investment vehicles may be allowed to be shipped by open truck or train all year round on a case-by-case basis. To request for for an exception, the customer will need to provide the following details to MVS when requesting a quote:
    • Vehicle purpose/state
    • Mechanical condition
    • Vehicle value
    • Odometer reading
    • Photos of the exterior and interior
    • Dimensions (if vehicle is modified from stock)
    • Ground clearance (if less than 6 inches)

Vehicle Condition & Purpose Definitions



The vehicle can start and drive under its own power. It is mechanically sound, does not leak fluids and is safe.


The vehicle cannot start or function under its own power or it is damaged and has leaking fluids or parts hanging loose.

If a vehicle becomes a non-runner (cannot start under its own power), the standard modes of transportation are unable to ship the vehicle.

These modes of transport are not equipped with winches or booster packs capable of loading/unloading the vehicle or charging the battery to get it running. If the vehicle becomes non-running at any point during a shipment using the standard modes, it will no longer be able to proceed with that mode to the final destination and extra fees will be incurred—the enclosed mode may be able to ship it for the remainder of the route.

If a vehicle’s condition is unknown, it will be considered a non-runner. Copart or salvage vehicles are classified as non-runners due to the condition or past history of the vehicle.


Restoration Project

The vehicle is in a state of disrepair, needing work done to it and potentially has loose or missing parts that would pose safety issues while transporting on an open truck or train.

Insured and Mechanically Sound Daily Driver

The vehicle has been inspected and deemed to be safe to drive daily and has been insured for such usage. It is capable of starting and operating at optimum temperature multiple times a day with no faults. The brakes are in good working condition.

Commercial/Dealer/Auction Owned Vehicle

Vehicle is operable but state and condition could be unknown.

Shipping Requirements Explanation

Time Frame

Non-enclosed truck methods of shipping include open truck and enclosed train shipping, also known as standard or conventional modes of transportation.

These modes require vehicles to wait at outdoor terminals exposed to the changes in temperature and weather while waiting for the next available mode of transport to pick it up. Vehicles are loaded using moderate-to-steep angle metal ramps which can accumulate snow and/or ice in the winter months which pose problems for vehicles with rear-wheel drive or not equipped with the appropriate tires.

For these reasons, the following types and/or conditions of vehicles are advised and sometimes required to be shipped by enclosed trucks which are designed to deal with these vehicles:

  • Rear-drive front-engine sports cars
  • Vehicles 20 years and older
  • Poor condition vehicles
  • Slicks, summer, or unsafe all-season, or winter tires installed
  • High-value vehicles

If a vehicle is unable to safely be driven up or down a loading ramp, the standard modes of transportation cannot ship the vehicle and extra costs may be incurred for time lost. A vehicle could be deemed “unsafe for loading” because they are high-powered sports cars or rear-wheel front-engine, have summer tires or poor quality all-season tires installed, or the vehicle engine, drive-train, or clutch has been modified increasing the horsepower and/or torque. To limit the chance of the vehicle not being shipped on the standard modes of transport, the customer is asked to notify us of any modifications prior to booking the shipment.

Rear-Drive Front-Engine

Rear-drive front-engine sports cars lack the correct weight/downforce over the driving tires which pose issues when driving up steep inclines in snowy or icy conditions. These types of vehicles also typically have more horsepower or torque than standard passenger vehicles which makes it harder to load in reduced-traction scenarios.

On top of the lack of traction produced by weight distribution and the increased horsepower and/or torque, some sports cars do not have winter tires installed which limits the traction that can be generated between the cold road or wet ramps and the rubber of the tires.

These factors lead to an increased chance of the vehicle kicking out and sliding off the loading ramps, posing a danger to the driver as well as damaging the vehicle and the loading equipment.

Most enclosed trucks have level lift gates that raise the vehicle to the correct height and therefore it is recommended—or required—that they be shipped with the enclosed truck method.

These factors lead to an increased chance of the vehicle kicking out and sliding off the loading ramps

Inclement weather and changes in temperature cause increased stress on these parts and leads to an elevated risk of systems failure

Vehicle Age

Vehicles 20 years and older tend to have lost crucial starting power required in colder weather which make them more susceptible to not starting after waiting for lengthy periods at outdoor terminals. Over the years gaskets will break down, hoses will deteriorate, and electrical connections corrode or fray wreaking havoc on the primary functions of the vehicle. Inclement weather and changes in temperature cause increased stress on these parts and leads to an elevated risk of systems failure, which means the standard modes of transportation cannot be used to ship the vehicle.

If you ship by enclosed truck, the vehicle will be stored inside while it waits for the truck, rather than sitting outside for long periods of time while it waits for the next available mode to ship it. This keeps the vehicle and its parts warmer, reducing the chance of failure.

Poor Condition

Vehicles with poor conditions, defined as rough idling, old batteries near the end of their life, and various other factors which would make it harder to function in cold weather for extended durations. These vehicles pose a greater risk of becoming non-runners, which the standard modes of transport are unequipped to deal with.

Most enclosed trucks have lift gates that the vehicle could be rolled onto rather than steep ramps that it needs to drive up under its own power. If the vehicle becomes a non-runner before pick up, please notify us so that we can make sure an enclosed truck with a lift gate is dispatched to pick up the vehicle.

Rough idling, old batteries near the end of their life, and various other factors

Tires must also be able to hold air in all temperatures encountered in the Canadian seasons

Unsafe Tires

Unsafe tires are classified as tires having little-to-no tread (all types of tires included), slicks / racing tires, or summer/all-season tires in temperatures less than 7°C. All of these tires struggle to generate the traction required to drive the steep inclines of the loading ramps used for open truck and train transportation. All tires must also be able to hold air in all temperatures encountered in the Canadian seasons.

If your vehicle has unsafe tires installed, please fix or change them before shipping; all modes of transportation require good traction on their loading surfaces. Enclosed trucks with lift gates have the benefit of loading on a level surface but they still need to have traction to stop the vehicle inside the trailer.

Vehicle Value

Every mode of transportation has its own specific insurance coverage. The standard modes have limited coverage whereas the enclosed trucks have comprehensive coverage. Depending on the value of the vehicle, the standard modes may not be able to transport your vehicle for safety or legal concerns. If a vehicle is shipped on a mode of transport with insurance coverage less than the value of the vehicle and a catastrophic event happens that writes off the vehicle, the insurance company will only pay out a portion of the vehicle’s value.

Each mode and average carrier insurance coverage:

  • Enclosed truck: > $100,000 vehicle value
  • Train/Open Truck: < $100,000 vehicle value

Depending on the value of the vehicle, the standard modes may not be able to transport the vehicle for safety or legal concerns

This document and the information contained in it is designed solely as a reference guide to help determine the best mode of transport for each vehicle and is subject to change. It does not supersede the Terms & Conditions signed at the time of booking.

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