You have done your research and found a reputable shipping company to transport your vehicle. Now, it’s time to make sure your vehicle is prepped and ready to go. You may not know that shipping a car involves more than just dropping it off and picking it up. There are certain things you need to do to make sure your vehicle is ready for shipment. Follow these steps to properly prep your vehicle for safe, secure shipment.
Wash the Exterior
This may seem counterintuitive, given that your car will likely get dirty during transport, but it is a very important step in the preparation of your vehicle. A spotless exterior is necessary so you can easily see any scratches, dents, dings, or discoloration on your vehicle. Since dirt and dust can hide these marks, it is important that your car is clean for your visual inspection.
Complete a Visual Inspection
Now that your car is clean, you can inspect it for any existing damage. Walk around your vehicle and make note of any scratches, dents, dings, paint marks, or any other damage. You should also take photographs of your vehicle to serve as proof of its condition prior to shipment. Though it is unlikely that your vehicle will get damaged during transport, you will still need a record of your vehicle's condition so you can note any new damage.
Take Care of Any Necessary Maintenance
Before having your car shipped, you should take care of a few general maintenance tasks. These include:
- Checking the fluids in your vehicle (brake, coolant, oil, power steering fluid, washer)
- Check the battery to make sure it is fully charged
- Check for proper tire pressure
- Empty the gas tank to no more than ¼ full
Remove Exterior Accessories
You will want to remove any exterior accessories prior to shipment. This includes all removable parts such as bike racks, luggage racks, ski racks, retractable antennas or custom spoilers. These extras are more susceptible to damage so protect your car and your expensive accessories by removing them before shipment.
Remove Personal Items
It is not recommended to pack items in your car when shipping it. Not only does this add weight to your car which could result in higher fees, but it also increases your risk of theft. For these reasons, most auto transport companies prohibit customers from shipping personal belongings inside their vehicle. Remove all personal items including charging cables, water bottles, GPS devices, sunglasses, personal paperwork, coins, any other junk.