It is important to remember that less than 5% of vehicles transported sustain any measurable damage.
Knowing what steps to take to prepare your car for shipping will go a long way towards easing some of the stress that is involved with relocating. Minimize the risk associated with transporting your vehicle by knowing how to prepare a car for transport.
Prepare your car for transport
Though your car will be driven minimally during the transport process, it should nonetheless be in good driving condition. Mechanical issues can cause unforeseen delays and damages, we
suggest you perform or have a maintenance check done before shipping. We suggest at the least:
- Thoroughly wash your car, inside and out
- Check for and document any pre-existing damage
- Make a written record of any chips, dents, scratches or other cosmetic damage
- Disconnect/disarm all alarm systems
- Remove or deactivate any toll tags or parking passes on your car. If left in your vehicle these items could be charged continually on the way to the destination
- Remove all antennas, unless they can be fully retracted
- Remove garage door openers, gate openers and keyless entry
- Remove custom products (i.e. all non-permanent luggage, bike, ski racks, all exterior spare tires, grills, and car covers)
- Remove personal belongings, except for standard vehicle items, such as a jack and spare tire
- Make sure the battery is secure in the mounting bracket and has a full charge
- Make sure brakes are working, including emergency brake if manual transmission
- Ensure that the tires are properly inflated.
- Top off all fluids in the car
- Ensure that driver’s side door and window in proper working condition;
- No less than ¼-tank of gas, but no more than a ½-tank of fuel. An almost-empty tank will save weight and help keep your shipment moving along quickly.
- Keep an eye on the vehicle for a few weeks prior to shipment. If there are any leaks or mechanical problems, make sure the driver knows. Vehicles with leaks should never be placed on the top rack of a multi-car carrier because they can drip on the vehicles below
- Document mechanical problems and write down any special steps needed to drive your car on and off the trailer (including problems starting or stopping your car). Give these instructions to your driver.
*** Federal law prohibits the shipment of plants, hazardous materials, and firearms. ***
Your vehicle maybe be inspected, loaded and unloaded while being transported. Remember to remove all personal items from the interior of your car, including the trunk/back compartment.
An automotive transporter’s insurance will not cover any personal items inside your vehicle. These items may shift during transport and cause immense damage to your vehicle. You will be
held liable if your items cause damage to another vehicle or the transport truck. Furthermore, these items will add to the weight of the vehicle, which may impact the price. It is the
transporter’s responsibility to deliver your vehicle, not to move your personal items. In addition, vehicle transporters are not licensed to transfer goods, so doing this could result in
Prepare for on and off loading
Take pictures of the car (time stamped are best) from several angles as well as close-up shots of any pre-existing damage. Prepare your car to be loaded on and off your car transporter’s
truck or trailer to help them ship your car with ease.The driver will need one set of ALL keys for the vehicle. A vehicle shipping inspection will be performed at both the pickup and delivery
locations. You, or your auto transport representative, must be present at both times to confirm and sign the bill of lading and condition report.Remember, the better you prepare your car for
shipment, the more likely it will arrive on time and without damage. If you have a convertible, make sure the top is secured as thoroughly as possible to avoid damage from air, debris, or
moisture. If you cannot secure the top,add extra protection with a wind-resistant tarp. Fold back your mirrors and retract the antenna. Any specialty items, like fog lights, ground effects or
spoilers should be secured or removed. Finally, turn off or disable your car alarm. If you cannot disable the alarm, provide detailed, written instructions for the driver on how to turn off the
alarm in case it is triggered. Vehicle must have at least four inches (4”) of ground clearance, unless otherwise notated.
Shipping your vehicle within the U.S.A. can be a smooth relocation experience from start to finish only if you know what steps to take to prepare your car for transport.
MJC Auto Transport