Most auto transport companies will require that you do some preparation in advance to the vehicle being picked up for shipping. Through surveying auto shipping industry leaders we have come up with the following general guide on what to do to prepare your vehicle for shipping :
Preparing your vehicle for shipment
- An inspection will be performed prior to shipment. You or a designate must be present for the inspection and will be required to sign the bill of lading and a vehicle condition report, both at the point of origin and the destination. It is in your best interest that you be at this inspection yourself.
- The vehicle needs to be clean. You do not need to pay hundreds of dollars to have your vehicle detailed however it does need to be clean enough so that the physical inspection can be conducted thoroughly on the day of shipping.
- The vehicle needs to be operable. Some companies will move inoperable vehicles however they will charge extra for this service.
- It is a good idea to have the vehicle serviced prior to shipping.
- The vehicle should be free from any fluid leaks.
- Ensure you have a complete set of keys available to hand over on shipping day.
- All personal belongings need to be removed from the vehicle prior to shipping. It is against the law for any vehicle carrier to accept a vehicle with personal items inside. The shipping company may also refuse to accept your vehicle if there are any personal items left inside. If there is any loss or damage to these items or your vehicle as a result of these items being in the vehicle, the shipping is not liable. If you insist on keeping personal items in the vehicle keep them out of sight and in a secure location in the car so they do not shift about in transit.
- Remove any car cover or spare tire covers you may have in your vehicle however you can keep the spare tire and jack in the care.
- Hazardous materials cannot be transported in this manner. This is the law.
- Roof racks or other non-permanent items must also be removed.
- If you are moving to an area with a different climate you may want to prepare your vehicle in advance. You may want to add coolant or other fluids or even have your vehicles air conditioning and heating system serviced.
- The alarm system in your vehicle must be disabled or disconnected. In the past when vehicles were shipped with an active alarm system the vehicles arrived at their destination with dead batteries as the alarm kept being activated in transit.
- As a general rule, prepare to have less than half tank of gas in your car on the day of shipping.
- All antennas must be removed or fully retracted