Once you have decided to ship your car to a new location, the next step is to prepare it before the journey. The transport company you choose will likely provide you with a list of its expectations, but we’ve collected a few of the general rules that everyone should remember.
Clean Your Vehicle
Clean your car thoroughly inside and out prior to transport. You will go through a detailed inspection with your auto transport representative before and after shipping, so the cleaner your car is the easier it will be to spot any nicks, scratches or dents before and after your vehicle is transported.
Complete a Self-inspection of Your Vehicle
Once you’ve cleaned your car, take the time to carefully look it over before the transport service your hired arrives to pick it up. They will conduct an inspection with you prior to transport, but it is good to be prepared with your own list of any known problems. Take pictures of your car from different angles for further proof of its condition before shipping.
Remove All Personal Objects
Clean out all the miscellaneous objects you normally store in your car, including ice scrapers, garage openers, CDs, phone chargers, etc. These are considered personal property and are not covered under your transporter’s insurance if they are damaged or lost.
Disable Your Car Alarm
Make sure your car alarm is turned off so it doesn’t go off during shipping.
Empty Your Gas Tank
Shipping companies partially base their prices on the weight of your car, and they want it to weigh as little as possible. To help reduce weight, the gas tank should have a minimum of fuel, but never have more than ¼ of a tank before being shipped.
Remove Exterior Items
If you have added spoilers, ground affects or other after-factory enhancements to the outside of your car, you will need to remove them before shipping. Some shipping companies will transport vehicles with these modifications, but you can expect to pay more. Also, remember to turn in mirrors and lower your antenna.
Perform Routine Maintenance
Before loading your car on the trailer, make sure your battery is charged, tires are inflated, and that any oil or transmission leaks have been taken care of. Raise the top on your convertible to avoid incidental damage to your car’s interior.
Check on Other Requirements
As we mentioned before, individual auto transport companies may have stipulations besides what is mentioned on this list. To make sure you don’t miss anything, ask your transporter for a clear list of their expectations and requirements. As long as you adhere to their guidelines your vehicle should be delivered safely, efficiently, and with no unexpected surprises.