12 Ways to Prepare Your Car for Shipping across the Country

Brantley Kendall

09 Mar 2023 1 year ago

Shipping your car across long distances can seem like the hardest task to be done. But it can be easier if you choose the right shipping company to help you through every step in the process. The major reason why shipping your car across the country seems tedious is that you need to prepare your car before you decide to ship it. It is necessary to take it seriously as your car would be crossing borders and multiple check posts so you must steer clear of any issue throughout the shipping journey.

What exactly is an auto transport service?

Auto transport services are companies that specialize in safely and securely transporting vehicles from one place to another. They typically offer door-to-door services, meaning they will pick up your vehicle from your home or business and deliver it to your destination. The service provider will handle all of the necessary paperwork and transport the car in a specially designed vehicle transport trailer. Depending on the type of service you choose, you may be able to track the progress of your shipment online or receive updates via text or email. Additionally, many auto transport services offer insurance coverage for their services, so you can rest assured that your vehicle will arrive safely.

When to hire an auto transport service depends on your particular needs. If you’re moving to a new city or state, an auto transport service can be a great option to save time and money on moving your vehicle. It’s also a good choice if you’re shipping a car to a friend or family member, or if you’re taking a long road trip and need to have your car delivered to your destination. Whatever your reasons for needing an auto transport service, it’s important to make sure you research your options and select a reputable service provider.

Why prepare your car for shipping?

It is essential to go through the right preparation for shipping your car. Let us tell you why you should get it right.

  • Safety of your car

If you clean your car well and follow all the steps to prepare your car for shipping then it ensures better safety during transit.

  • Security of your car

Trailer trucks travel through various types of routes, some are very dark and lonely which may threaten your car but if the car is properly locked and checked, there are no chances of any losses during transit.

  • Stress-free experience

Before shipping your car, you should always follow every part of the preparation so that you are not worried about anything till you get your car’s delivery at the destination.

12 steps to prepare your car for shipping across the country

Since we know how important it is to prepare your car for long-distance car shipping, let’s understand the complete checklist for shipping your car across the country.

  1. Clean Your Car

Get your car properly washed and deeply cleaned from the inside. This comes off as a very basic tip for shipping but it is actually necessary. Rinse off your car with a hose, starting from the top and working your way down. Make sure to rinse off any dirt and debris that may be stuck to the car.

A clean car will clearly help you notice any scratches or dents on your car’s body. If dust settles over the car, any friction during loading can cause scratches that might affect the overall appearance of your car. When you get your car delivered to the destination, it will be easy for you to spot any damage or loss before signing the final papers that verify your car’s delivery. 

  1. Inspect Your Car

Once the car is washed, clearly inspect your car from the inside out. Check all the parts properly, and get a closer look at the car’s hood, dashboard, and all the glasses. A closer inspection will only help you understand the current condition of your car. 

Check the engine for any fluid leaks or damage, and inspect the brakes, tires, and other components for wear or damage. You also need to check the battery for any signs of wear or damage. Make sure it is securely fastened and that all connections are tight.

  1. Document the Condition of Your Car

As you inspect the condition of your car, document it all. Note the reading on the odometer and if there are any marks on the car, make a note of everything to avoid any misunderstanding during the delivery of your car.

Here are a few more tips:

  • Make a list of any existing defects, such as broken windows, scratches, dents, etc.
  • Make a detailed list of all accessories, such as a spare tire, jack, etc.
  • Ensure that all lights and electronics are in working order.
  • Have a certified mechanic inspect the car and provide a written report.
  • Provide any additional documentation, such as a vehicle history report, that may be requested by the auto transport service provider.
  1. Remove Personal Belongings

Any shipping company always suggests that it is wise to remove all of your personal belongings as it may increase the weight of your car. Another reason is that the items within the car are not covered under the insurance offered by the car shipping company. As the cars are being transported across the country, at state borders, the shipment often goes through a quick check so it is recommended to keep your car devoid of anything that links it to you. To avoid situations of theft during transit, remove all personal belongings from the car. 

  1. Disable the Alarm and toll tags

Every car usually has an alarm system to protect it against theft or unauthorized access, but before shipping, any shipping company would tell you to disable the alarms as while loading and unloading the car, no carrier would wish to handle an alarm that doesn’t go off.

When your car is in transit, it won’t have to pay the tolls but sometimes due to the car’s position on the trailer, the tag might get active, so be safe by deactivating it before giving your car away for shipping.

  1. Check for Leaks

It is always a wise choice to get your car checked by a mechanic to get a complete report of your car before you give it away from shipping across the country. Get the engine checked and look for any leakages, if possible get these repaired or if not then, inform the carrier in advance about the situation so that he can figure out a way to tackle this situation.

  1. Check the Battery

While your mechanic is at it, get the car’s battery checked. See if it is in good condition and well-kept. You do not want your car to not turn on when you are ready to use it after delivery. So ensure in advance that your car is in good condition inside and out.

  1. Check the Tires

Check the condition of your car’s tires. If the tubes look worn out, then consider replacing them with new tubes so that your car is in perfect driving condition when you get it delivered to your given address in a new state.

  1. Empty the Gas Tank

 The cost of shipping depends on the size as well as the weight of the vehicle you are shipping, so make sure that your car’s gas tank is not full, just keep it at 1/4th size of the tank, so that you have enough fuel to reach the nearest gas station upon delivery at your new place.

  1. Take Photos of Your Car

It is easy for us to miss out on something with our naked eyes, but when you have pictures of your car after getting it washed; it is easier to compare it upon delivery of your car. Take pictures from all sides, and click even the interiors. It will just help you to cross-check everything once you get your car at the destination.

If there are any signs of damage or mishap, you can easily claim insurance coverage wherein these images will work as evidence to prove your side of the story.

  1. Choose a Reliable Car Shipping Company

Half of your stress will go away when you pick a good and reliable auto shipping company for long-distance shipping. Check for a company’s credibility by going through its license and registration with the Department of Transportation (DOT). Once you are satisfied with its legitimacy, then look for online reviews for understanding the shipping experience of past customers so that you know you can rely on the company with shipping your car across the country. 

  1. Select the Right Shipping Method

When shipping over long distances, it is advised to pick an enclosed transport method, so that your car is protected from any external conditions like sunlight, dust, dirt, and debris. With the enclosed shipping type, be rest assured as these carriers are very experienced and you can have a guaranteed good experience.

In a nutshell, it is important to not miss any step in preparing your car to ship across the country. It is definitely a long process but if you follow it right, you will have a seamless auto-shipping experience. Do understand every step in detail and if you still find it tough then get in touch with our team, we will make the process simpler for you by helping you through it.

The process of shipping your car might seem very daunting but fret not when you have a company like us to simplify it for you.

Tips to hire the right company to transport your vehicle

If you’re looking to ship your car from one state to another, you need to make sure you hire the right company for the job. Choosing the wrong company can lead to costly delays and damaged vehicles, not to mention the stress of dealing with the situation. That’s why it’s essential to do your research and make sure you’re hiring the right company to transport your vehicle. Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision and hire the perfect company for your needs.  

1. Check references: Before hiring a car transport company, make sure to check the references and reviews of the company. Ask the company to provide references of customers they have served in the past and read the reviews of their services online.

2. Get quotes: Get quotes from multiple car transport companies to compare their services and costs. Make sure to ask for any additional fees or charges that may be associated with the service.

3. Research company history: Research the company’s history and background to make sure it has a good reputation and is experienced in auto transportation.

4. Ask about insurance coverage: Make sure to ask the company about their insurance coverage for the car during transportation.

5. Ask about delivery time: Ask the company about their estimated delivery time for the vehicle.

6. Inquire about tracking: Make sure to ask the company about the tracking system they use for their vehicles during transportation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why should I prepare my car for shipping?

It is important to prepare your car for shipping so that you can compare your car’s condition upon delivery.

What are the key steps involved in preparing my car for shipping?

You should go through our 12-step process to prepare your car for shipping.

What should I check during a car inspection before shipping?

During the inspection, you should look for any dents, leakages, or marks in your car so that you can either get it repaired or notify the problem to carrier in advance.

Can I leave personal belongings in my car during shipping?

No, it is not recommended to leave your personal belongings in the car during shipping.

How can I ensure my car is safe and secure during transport?

You can ensure the safety of your car during transport by following all the steps to prepare your car for transport and selecting a reliable auto shipping company for having a seamless experience.

Is my car insured during transport?

Yes, a good and reputable shipping company offers you insurance during transit.

How much does it cost to ship a car across the country?

The average cost can be between $500 to $1500 or more, subject to many factors in consideration.

What documents do I need to provide to the car shipping company?

You must share a copy of the RC (Certificate of registration), the car’s active insurance papers, a copy of your driving license, and an original PUC certificate.

How do I choose a reliable car shipping company?

Look for a company’s registration details under the Department of Transportation (DOT), reviews by past customers, and insurance coverage offered by the company.

What is the best shipping method for my car?

It depends on various factors. There are two methods – open and enclosed. You can choose the one that suits your needs and fits your budget.

Brantley Kendall