Car shipping preparation is important. Failure to make the proper arrangements can increase the chances of damages and other mishaps. To get your car from one destination to another, a reputable auto transport agency will require you to perform a series of preparations ahead of time. Below, we will take a closer look at the things a domestic auto transport company will expect you to do to ready your car for shipping. There’s no reason why your experience shouldn’t go smoothly; the key is to have everything in proper order.
Transport Vehicle Inspection: Clean Out Your Car
Before having your car shipped by a vehicle transport company, remove absolutely everything you possibly can from inside it. Having loose items bouncing around inside your car during the transport process heightens the chances for damages and other problems considerably. Furthermore, presenting a clean, clutter-free car for your transport vehicle inspection will make everything go more smoothly and quickly. A clean car makes it that much easier to notice dents, scratches or stains during the auto transport preparation inspection you will go through with a rep from your transport car company. If there is any damage to your car glass, consider having it fixed before shipping.
Remove Non-Permanent Car Attachments
Part of preparing cars for shipping is removing excess items from your vehicle, which includes racks for transporting bikes, luggage, skis, guns, or other equipment. This equipment can get in the way of vehicle shipping, and can also result in added weight, which will increase your transport costs and may cause your original quote to be invalidated. Your antennae, rear spoilers, grill covers, exterior spare tires, and all car covers are included in “non-permanent attachments,” so make sure to take those off too! Removing high or low hanging items like these ensures that simply driving your truck or car up or down a ramp won’t cause damage. You will also want to remove any non-permanent CD players, radios or stereos, car phones, garage door openers, and an EZ Pass, if you have one.
If your truck has a canopy or a cap, make sure it is bolted to the truck. Otherwise, remove any non-permanent truck caps and canopies to lower your shipping weight if you can. The same goes for camper shells.
Get A Tune-Up Before Hiring a Transport Vehicle Company
Make sure that your car is in top condition as an integral part of any car shipping preparation. Ask a trusted mechanic to look it over carefully so that you have an independent opinion other than the inspection that the company mandates. Your car is probably going on quite a journey if you are hiring a vehicle shipping agency, so it makes sense to cover all of your bases. The last thing that you need after getting your car back from the transport company is to discover a major problem that could have been prevented with a proper tune-up.
Don’t forget to charge your battery. A full battery securely mounted in your car should be ensured as part of preparing a car for shipping. This will allow your transport car company to start your car without problems.
If your car engine has oil, transmission, or other fluid leaks, it can impact your car and others negatively during transport. Make sure that all the obvious fluid leaks have been taken care of before you drop your car off or have it picked up.
Disable Your Car Alarm
You may have to disconnect your car alarm if it does not have a reliable disabling device; having your car alarm triggered during shipping is not only extremely annoying, but it may result in higher charges and issues with your transport car company later on, not to mention a dead battery.
Have the Correct Amount of Fuel Left in the Gas Tank
The vast majority of car shipping companies recommend leaving just a 1/4 tank of gas in a vehicle before having it picked up for car transport. A quarter tank of gas will allow your transport car company to move your car onto their truck at its pickup point and then off again. Not to mention, having more gas in your tank will mean your car is heavier, which can increase the cost of shipping.
Pay Attention to the Transport Vehicle Bill of Lading
As your car gets readied for its journey, you should be presented with a bill of lading by the car shipping company. This bill of lading should be signed by the transport driver and yourself. Make sure that the proper signatures are in place on the bill of lading before releasing the car. This not only protects them – it protects you, too.
Go Over the Transport Vehicle Legalities Carefully
When negotiating, you will eventually be handed contracts and various types of terms and conditions. Don’t scan these documents quickly; be sure to look them over very carefully. If there is something that is ambiguous, ask questions! Also, any reputable agency should be more than happy to explain things in greater detail for you.
Secure the Proper Insurance Through the Transport Vehicle Company
Even if you have a full coverage auto insurance policy, you should ask the shipping company about the extended coverage they may offer. If the auto shipping agency offers extra coverage, sign up for it. It’s one more way to ensure that you don’t incur any losses through the transport process – and it can afford you with a lot of peace of mind, too.
Include a Full Set of Keys
The driver will require access to your ignition, glove box, and car trunk. Make sure that you leave all these keys with your transporter to avoid having difficulties should he or she need to access these parts of your car.
While car shipping preparation does take a bit of work, the benefit is that you can have worry less about the safety of your car as it is transported to a new destination.