So you’ve done your research and found the company to ship your car, what’s next? Now it’s time to prepare your vehicle for transport. Preparation of your auto is fundamental in ensuring a smooth car transport experience for you and for our carriers. With proper preparation you minimize the risk of damage to your auto and prevent any additional costs that may occur. We’ve put together the following information and advice to prepare your auto for transport.
Get Your Vehicle Ready for Shipping
No one knows your vehicle better than you. You’re the first to know about any scratches, dings and dents on your car when they happen. Noting all pre-existing damage on your auto will make it easier for you and carrier to identify new damage on your auto if it may occur.
- Wash Vehicle: Thoroughly washing your vehicle’s exterior gives you and driver a better visual of any pre-existing damage.
- Record Damage: Take notes of pre-existing damage for your records. Later you will share and compare your notes with driver.
- Take Pictures: Get pictures (with dates) of pre-existing damage. You can also take pictures of your car from different angles if you wish.
- Get Driver Acknowledgement: Share your notes of pre-existing damage with driver. Have driver acknowledge damage on his bill of lading/inspection report.
No Personal Items Allowed During Transport
By law, auto transport companies are not authorized to transport any personal or household items in vehicles they’re shipping. Although some carriers make the exception of allowing under 100 lbs of items confined in the trunk space, placing personal objects in your car is completely up to your discretion.
Before you fill your auto with items consider the following:
- Items Are Not Insured: Your vehicle is fully insured bumper to bumper against any negligent damage once it’s on our carrier; however, personal items in your vehicle are not.
- Damage to Items May Occur: Autos are not completely motionless while in transport. There is small scale movement on the car that could be forceful enough to damage sensible items.
- Carrier Can Deny Transport: If carriers feel an auto is not ready for transport because of personal items in the vehicle, carriers can choose not to take vehicle.
Other items we strongly recommend removing are:
- After Market Items: Unless your vehicle is equipped with these items, we suggest removing custom car stereos, sound systems, TV’s, DVD players, GPS systems etc.
- Antennas: Remove or fully retract antennas.
- Toll Passes: Carriers transit through numerous tolls as they make their way to delivery. Avoid toll charges by shutting off or removing toll passes from your car.
Operable Condition for Loading and Unloading
During transport cars are loaded and unloaded various times from the carrier. This is normal procedure to accommodate the other autos on the carrier and distribute their weight accordingly. Unless you and our transport specialist discussed inoperable vehicle transport before hand, all vehicles must be operable and remain operable while in transit which means autos must be able to come on and off the carrier on its own power.
A mechanical inspection of the following items should be performed:
- Breaks: Vehicle must have a fully functioning break system including emergency break.
- Battery: Batteries must have a full charge and remain charged. If you’ve had previous battery issues we ask that you replace battery.
- Ignition: If there’s a process or trick to starting up your car communicate those instructions to the driver.
- Gas: Due to safety and weight restrictions we ask for gas tank to be no more than 1/4 full.
- Tires: Tires need to be fully inflated and must roll.
- Fluids: Top off all vehicle fluids such as motor oil, transmission fluid and coolant. Check for any fluid leaks. Fluids could leak onto other cars on the carrier and as a result damage their exterior paint.