How to Prepare Your Car for Shipping

October 6, 2017 / Posted in Moving Basics
Eva Johnson

Digital nomad born in New York but currently living online, Eva knows everything there is to know about packing and moving.

Are you planning to relocate miles away from your current home? If so, then you might be wondering what to do with your vehicle. How to prepare your car for shipping is one of the crucial questions when it comes to long-distance vehicle transport. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you carry out this task easily.

white mercedes car in garage
If you want to prepare a vehicle for shipping, there are certain steps you should take

If you’re wondering “how do I prepare my car for shipping,” you should first check whether the car is clean inside and out. Then, check all the lights and tires, and make sure that all of the fluids in the car are at their correct levels. It’s a good idea to take photos of the car from various angles so you have a record of its condition before shipping with an auto transport company. Next, remove any valuables and finally, it’s important to disconnect and disable anything that runs on electricity like stereo systems or alarms.

Simple Steps on How to Prepare Your Car for Shipping With a Car Shipping Company

When packing is at its peak,  you are probably overwhelmed by all the tasks related to your move from Los Angeles to Austin. You will need to find the best long-distance moving services, schedule the date, and figure out a relocation budget, so thinking about transporting cars from state to state might be simply too much.

However, you shouldn’t ignore the process of transporting your car and leave it for the last minute. Although it may look tedious and complicated, it only requires some basic planning and patience. It’s essential to pay attention to all the details because that’s the only way to have your beloved four-wheeler safely delivered to your new address in one of the best places to live in California for young adults.

cars stacked on open trailer
Make sure to hire reliable movers on time

How to Prepare a Car for Shipping the Right Way – Check Auto Insurance in Case of Damage

If the car shipping company providing you with auto transport services is reliable and legitimate, they should have the proper paperwork and important documents proving their liability and cargo insurance. It would help if you asked for proof in case of an unlikely event of accident. Another thing to consider when moving to a new state is that you should call your own insurance company and check with them whether you have relocation coverage for transport.

a person signing a contract
Check with your insurance provider if the coverage is sufficient to cover any material damage

Wash Your Vehicle and Have a Final Visual Inspection Before Auto Transport

Make sure to give your vehicle a good wash before any action occurs. After cleaning the exterior, take a few minutes to inspect the scratches, dents, paint chips, or discoloration on the body of your vehicle. It is necessary to do this before shipping your car cross country because accidents may happen (though rarely) during transport. Ensure that this is a high priority on your moving-to-another-state checklist.

Photograph the Vehicle to Avoid an Unpleasant Scenario With the Long-Distance Movers

If you’ve noticed scratches or dents, take photos of them before shipping. This is a good way to be sure which ones already existed, and which happened during the trip. Since these records are yours, a smart idea is to mark them on the bill of lading – a document issued by a carrier to confirm receipt of cargo for shipment. By doing it this way, your auto transport company won’t be able to dispute any new damage.

black car parked on the beach road
Wash your automobile before moving and try to spot some scrapes or signs of damage

Remove After-Market Products Before You Hand the Vehicle Over to the Cross-Country Movers

If your car has replacement parts and add-ons that were not part of the original design, like a DVD player, GPS system, custom stereo, or spoiler kit, you should move the electronics and everything else out of the vehicle. That will decrease the chance of theft or damage when transporting your car across state borders.


Do a Maintenance Check and Hand Over a Functioning Vehicle to the Long-Distance Moving Company

If your car is inoperable, that should be noted before the transportation day. An operable vehicle, however, mustn’t have any problems or leaks. Inform your carrier about any possible defects so that they could carry out necessary preparations ahead of time. You can do some minor repairs on your vehicle before shipping it, as well as taking some basic maintenance steps, such as:

  • Checking all fluids and topping them off
  • Adjusting tire pressure
  • Providing full battery charge
  • Monitoring and recording the mileage

Leave the Gas Tank a Quarter Full

Make sure your gas tank is only a quarter full – otherwise, it will add unnecessary weight to your car and the trailer while they are moved to another state. Besides, your car will be driven only when loading it on and off the transport truck. That means additional gas is not necessary, and it will only pose a fire hazard.

Disable All Car Alarms Before the Relocation

If your car has a custom alarm system, you should remove or disable it. Why is this important? When your car is on the carrier, the driver must be focused on the road, and if the alarm goes off, it has to be disabled somehow. That equals an unnecessary distraction for the driver and slows down the whole auto transportation process, so it will take much longer to ship the vehicle. Also, it can expose the relocation truck to needless danger and potential accidents.

black car parked near the park
Take car of any mechanical irregularities before the moving day

Deactivate Toll Tags Prior to Shipping With an Auto Transport Company

During the transport, you’re not going to need automatic parking passes and toll tags, so the best solution is to remove them. If you leave them on, the toll tag may pick up fees each time your carrier passes through a toll lane. In the end, it may cost you a lot, especially if you’re moving from California to Florida.

a white car on a open road
For safe shipment, alarms and toll tags should be disabled

Car Transport Should Be Hassle-Free and Custom-Tailored

If you are transporting your vehicle for the first time, then you would surely want to know how to do it right. After you’ve completed the first step and prepared your machine for transport, it’s time to decide who will transport your car. Keep in mind that your prized possession should be entrusted to a skilled and reliable auto shipping company.

If you choose professionals that will meet all your needs, you can expect successful and hassle-free auto transport. Also, the trained carrier knows what type of car transport is the most suitable for your budget and the make and model of the vehicle. They will provide you not only with exceptional long-distance moving services, but also support and help from the beginning until the end of the shipment. In the end, the only thing you should take upon yourself is to transfer your driver’s license through your new state’s DMV portal.


What Steps Should I Take To Prepare My Car for Shipping?

Before shipping your car, there are a few steps you should take to make sure your vehicle arrives safely at its destination. First, it’s important to clean the interior and exterior of the car, making sure all dirt and debris are removed from its surface. You should also check the oil, transmission fluid, coolant levels, and tire pressure to ensure that all parts are in good condition. Then you’ll want to disconnect any electronics such as stereos, GPS units, and other after-market accessories. Finally, before loading your car onto the carrier make sure to document it with pictures both inside and out because this will let you know if any damage occurred while in transit.

How Do I Prepare My Car for an Open Transport Carrier?

Preparing your car for an open transport carrier is slightly more involved than sending it via a closed trailer. First, you’ll want to remove any loose items from the exterior of the vehicle like antennas and mud flaps and make sure that any additional exterior accessories are secured tightly. Additionally, you should check the oil, transmission fluid, coolant levels, and tire pressure to ensure that all parts are in optimal condition. An important step is also to document the car with pictures both inside and out because this way if there is any damage incurred during transit you’ll have proof of what the car originally looked like. Finally, before loading your car onto the carrier make sure all windows are rolled up and doors are locked securely – this will help protect your vehicle while in transit and keep it secure along its journey.

How Do I Prepare My Car for an Enclosed Transport Carrier?

Preparing your car for an enclosed transport carrier is fairly straightforward, however, there are still a few steps you should take to make sure your vehicle arrives safely and securely. Start by cleaning the interior and exterior of the car thoroughly – this will help prevent any dirt or debris from making its way into the trailer, which can damage other vehicles inside. You should also check the oil, transmission fluid, coolant levels, and tire pressure to ensure that all parts are in good condition. Make sure to remove any loose items from the exterior of your car such as spare tires or antennas as well. Finally, before loading your car onto the carrier make sure all windows are rolled up and doors are locked securely to ensure that your vehicle remains safe while in transit.

What Should I Do to Protect My Car During Transport?

Protecting your car during transport is essential to ensure it arrives in good condition. To ensure your car remains safe, here are some important steps to take before loading it onto a transport carrier:

  • Remove any loose objects from the exterior of your vehicle, such as antennas and mud flaps. If you have additional exterior accessories, make sure they are secured tightly.
  • Check the oil, transmission fluid, coolant levels, and tire pressure to make sure all parts are in optimal condition.
  • Document the car with pictures both inside and out – this will provide proof of the car’s condition prior to transport if there is any damage occurring during transit.
  • Ensure all windows are rolled up and doors are locked securely before loading your car onto the carrier. This will help protect your vehicle while it is being transported.

It’s also a good idea to check with your auto transport company ahead of time to confirm that they have insurance coverage in case something does happen during transport that damages your vehicle. Taking these simple but important steps can help ensure your car arrives safely at its destination without any damage or issues along the way.

What Documents Do I Need to Provide for Car Shipping?

When it comes to shipping your car, having the proper paperwork is essential for verifying ownership and ensuring the safety of your vehicle during transport. Documents such as a driver’s license, registration, title or lien paperwork, bill of lading, and insurance coverage should all be prepared ahead of time to make sure everything goes according to plan when it’s time to ship your vehicle. This will help save you both time and money in the long run so that you can have a hassle-free experience.

How Do I Prepare My Car for an International Move?

Preparing your car for an international move requires careful consideration and planning. Make sure to have your car serviced ahead of time and make sure all the required documents are valid and up-to-date: registration, insurance paperwork, bill of lading, title or lien paperwork, and any other paperwork your destination country requires. Also, it would be wise to get the car inspected before the ship leaves port to prevent any issues from occurring during transit. Finally, keep in mind that you’ll need a few spare tires and fuel to make it through customs once your car arrives at its destination. By following these steps, you can ensure that your car is ready for an international move and will arrive safe and sound.

What Should I Consider When Choosing a Car Shipping Company?

When it comes to choosing a car shipping company, there are a few key factors to consider. First, you’ll want to make sure that the company is reputable and has experience in shipping cars both domestically and internationally. Read up on customer reviews or ask for referrals from people you trust. Second, you’ll need to compare rates from different companies to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck. Make sure to check for any hidden fees or additional costs because some companies may require payment for additional insurance or any other extra services. Lastly, always look into the safety protocols enforced by the company in order to ensure that your car will remain secure throughout its journey.

How Do I Clean My Car for Shipping?

Start by giving your car a thorough vacuum and pay special attention to the seats and upholstery for any small items or debris. You’ll also want to do a deep scrub on the exterior of the car – use soap, water, and some elbow grease to remove any dirt or grime from the frame and tires. Once the exterior is complete, give the interior another once-over with a damp cloth. Don’t forget to wipe down all surfaces including door panels, floor mats, and dashboards.

Next, be sure to check underneath your vehicle for any large pieces of debris or dirt that may have been collected during normal wear and tear. If necessary take it to a service station or auto shop so they can give it professional detailing. Lastly, don’t forget to empty out all compartments inside your car. Things like spare tires and tools will need to be stored separately in advance since they cannot be shipped with the car itself.

What Should I Do With Personal Items in My Car During Shipping?

When shipping a car, it’s important to remember that all personal items must be removed prior to transport. Any possessions you have inside the car cannot be shipped with it and should always be stored elsewhere. This means taking out any electronics, furniture, bags, clothing or shoes, large items like spare tires or tools, and anything else that may not be part of the car itself. Anything left behind can get lost or damaged during transit and some shippers may even reject your car if they find that there are too many items inside of it.

In order to make sure nothing gets left behind in your vehicle, it can be helpful to create a checklist of all items that need to be removed beforehand. Once everything is taken care of and put into storage for later use, seal off all compartments inside the car (like glove boxes and side pockets) with duct tape in case anything falls out during its travels. You may also want to leave a note clearly visible on the dashboard in order to easily identify your car when it arrives at its destination – this could include your name or contact info as well as any additional instructions you’d like the driver to follow.

How Do I Prepare My Car for Shipping if It Is Inoperable?

The first thing to do is check with your shipper as to what their specific requirements are for inoperable cars because some may accept them and some may not, so it’s best to be informed in advance. If the shipper does accept inoperable vehicles, you’ll want to prepare your car for transit by ensuring that all fluids are empty from the engine and transmission, any loose parts have been removed or secured downright, and the battery has been completely disconnected.

Be sure to also unbolt any unnecessary items such as hubcaps or cargo racks if possible – these can become a hazard during transport and should be taken off prior to delivery. Additionally, double-check with your shipper on how they prefer the wheels of an inoperable car to be secured. Most will require either straps or chains depending on their equipment and preferences. Finally, any personal items that you left inside the car must be removed before shipping, and this includes anything from electronics and furniture to spare tires and tools. Remember to store all possessions separately until after the car is delivered safely to its destination.

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