If you intend to ship your car anywhere within the United States or across international borders, it’s important to make sure the vehicle is appropriately prepared for the trip.
Since there is little or nothing you can do while the car is in transit, your best bet is to make sure the car is in good condition before the trip.
Odds are the auto transport company you hire will give you tips on how to prepare your car for a long distance trip or a short distance trip. But regardless of their guidelines, here are ten tips for preparing your car for auto transport:
How to prepare your car for auto transport
1. Keep Extra Keys
When your car is picked by the auto transport company you hire, they will need keys to drive it on and off the truck. As such, make sure you have an extra set of key for your car.
But if you don’t have any, try to get them before the shipping day. It wouldn’t be smart to give the trucker the only set of keys you have.
2. Remove Personal items
Don’t forget to remove all your personal items from your car before handing it over to the auto transport company. Check for items such as jewelries, electronic devices, keys, phones and important documents such as driver’s license and insurance licenses.
3. Wash your car
Once you know your “First Available Shipping Date”, consider washing your car on that day.
Washing and cleaning the interior and exterior of your car will give you the chance to inspect it.
You may observe some scratches, dents or damages you haven’t seen before and fix them before shipping.
Also, at the point of delivery, it is easy to observe dents and scratches on a clean car. Check you car carefully before pick up.
4. Check for Leaks
The auto transport company you hire can hold you liable for any fluid leak that causes damage to other cars or any other item on the shipping truck.
Before handing your car to auto shippers, check it to make sure it’s not leaking fluids from any of its parts, especially parts that requires fluid to function appropriately.
5. Remove Detachable parts
Don’t leave the loose parts of your car hanging loosely. Consider taking off loose parts such as the antenna to prevent any damage while the car is in transit. Wrap parts that cannot be detached with protective covering to prevent scratches or damage while in transit.
6. Leave Minimal Gas
Less fuel implies your car will weigh less. Consider keeping only ¼ gallon fuel in the gas tank. Too much fuel in the gas tank can cause leaks while in transit. The shippers only need to drive your car during loading and unloading. A quarter tank of gas should be sufficient.
7. Check Battery
Make sure the battery of your car is working appropriately. If you observe that your car’s battery is not so good, consider fixing or replacing it prior to the shipping day.
This is especially important when it’s time to drive the car off the truck.
The auto transport company may request an extra fee if your car failed to start up when the shippers wants to roll it off.
8. Disable Anti-theft devices
If you have any anti-theft devices on your car, you’ll have to disable it. Anti-theft devices can prevent access into your car, while the alarm can startle the driver during the journey.
9. Seal all Tears and Openings
If you own a convertible top, you’ll have to take extra precautions to make sure roads dust, moisture, and debris are prevented from getting in the car. If there are any rips or tears, try and seal them with duct tape or electric tape. If any windows are cracked try doing the same so the interior remains secure. Make sure you shut all the doors and windows.
10. Take photos of existing damage
In any type of moving, a camera is your best friend. If there is any dent or scratches on your car, consider taking clear pictures of them and make a brief description too.
These photos will serve as evidence if you observe more damages on your car.
Keep the photos safely and make sure they are with you at the point of delivery so you can check your car for any additional damages.
If you’re planning to ship your car anywhere in the United States, MoverJunction.com can connect you to licensed and BBB rated auto transport companies. Also, you can get up to six free auto transport quotes online so you can compare prices and pick the best option.