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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to Your Car Moving Questions
The hardest thing for people researching car moving companies to understand is that the prices they are getting are not hard and fast gaurantees, but rather ESTIMATES of what one company thinks it will take to get a vehicle moved promptly versus another company's opinion of what it will take. Don't be fooled, there are not carriers committed to take your vehicle at these quoted prices, the company you choose will still have to get to work getting a carrier to commit to move it at the price they quote you.
Your total price breaks down into two parts, the broker's fee (or 'deposit' as everyone calls it) and the carriers fee (your COD amount) Make no mistake about this, EVERYONE YOU ARE GETTING SALES CALLS FROM IS GOING TO BROKER YOUR MOVE. In this industry, there are brokers who try to fool you into thinking that they are the actual carriers and there are an equal amount of carriers who sell themselves on the fact that they have a truck or two but are not being honest about the fact that they broker out 90% of the orders they book. Here is a quick easy way to tell, if a company takes an up front fee, whether they call it a deposit or any other name, they are a broker. Carriers do not take any payment until the vehicle is delivered.
In our opinion, you are crazy to do so. Have you ever been paid up front for the work that you perform for your employer? Why would you pay a fee up front when there are reliable and trustworthy companies like ours that won't ask for it until we provide you with your carriers details?
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will be between one and two weeks. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.