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How to Document the Condition of Your Car Before Shipping it to a Buyer


Shipping a car can be a convenient way to get it from one place to another but there are several things to consider before turning your car over to a third party. In the process of washing the car, removing valuables, and taking care of insurance, it’s easy to overlook one very important part of your car’s preparation. You may forget to look over your car and document it’s condition prior to handing it over to the shipping company. This is an extremely important step because it could lead to major expenses if your car appears damaged when it arrives with the new buyer. Here are a few things you can do to avoid any confusion upon the delivery of your vehicle. 

Wash Your Car Thoroughly

It is absolutely necessary to give your car a good clean inside and out before shipping it. This will allow you to clearly see any dings, dents, or scratches that might be on your vehicle. Make sure you clean the inside just as well by shampooing carpets and cleaning inside every crevice. This will help to remove any stains and will ensure your car’s interior is in tip-top shape. 

Take Photographs of Your Vehicle

Prior to handing your car over to the shipping company, you should take photographs of every part of your vehicle. Should damage occur during transport, these photographs will serve as proof that the damage was not present prior to shipment. Make sure to take close-ups of all sides of the vehicle as well as underneath the car and under the hood. You also want to take pictures of the interior of the vehicle just in case. If possible, use a time-stamped photo to prove that the pictures were taken prior to shipment. Ship a Car Direct provides customers with a user-friendly mobile app to walk you through the pictures and provides a time and location stamp so you’re always prepared. 

Take the Car to a Mechanic

Before shipping your vehicle, it is also a good idea to have the car inspected by a mechanic. The mechanic will be able to provide written documentation of the vehicle’s operating condition in addition to its physical condition. This will provide proof that your car was operating correctly prior to shipment.

Ask the Shipping Company to Document the Car’s Condition

Most reputable shipping companies will also document the car’s condition before they ship it but you want to ask for this service just in case. You also want to make sure the shipping company provides you with a written copy of the paperwork so you can be sure they don’t change anything in order to protect themselves. Make sure the condition paperwork is signed by both yourself and the shipping company. 

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