You’ve wisely decided to ask an auto transport company to ship your car to your new home’s location. You may think you can just leave the car as it is and hand the keys to the car shipping company. But – wait! — there are things a few things you’ll need to do to get your car ready for transport.

Take a look below for six steps to preparing your car for shipping.

  1. 1. You can’t use the car to ship other items.

    This includes items in the trunk. We know you’re disappointed, but the weight of your car does affect cost of shipping. In addition, the car probably will be moved from its transport trailer more than once during its journey, so the car may be left unlocked at times, which leaves your personal possessions at risk for theft. It’s wise, therefore, to make sure that all valuables that can be removed like custom stereos/radios, CDs, video/DVD players, televisions, GPS systems, etc. are removed from the car. Leave nothing in the car you wouldn’t want to lose.

    2. Check the car for pre-existing damage

    Wash the car and then look for chips, dents, scratches, etc. Document any damage you find. Take pictures of dents, scratches, etc. and also write them down. Be sure to take pictures of the vehicle from different angles. Place dates on the documentation and make sure the shipping company representative notes the damage you record.

    3. Remove toll tags/transponders and parking passes.

    Transponders especially are valuable and could be targeted by thieves. What’s more, if your car is shipped on an exposed carrier, the transponder could activate when the shipping trailer/truck goes through toll booths. What an unwelcome bill that would be!

    4. Ask your mechanic to inspect brakes, fluids, the battery, etc.

    Fix any leaks. Inflate tires. If the car continues to have leaks or issues, make sure the shipping company knows about them.

    5. Preparation for the car being loaded on the truck/trailer.
    1. Lower the antenna and fold in the side mirrors.
    2. Have a convertible? Secure the top as thoroughly as you can.
    3. Disable your car alarm. If you can’t, provide the transporter with clear, detailed instructions on how to do so.
    6. Keep only about a quarter tank of gas in the car.

Once your car is delivered/you pick it up after transport, bring your photos and damage records with you and compare the car carefully. (Chances are the car will be very dirty on the outside unless the transport company washes the car prior to final delivery.) Check the inside and outside of the car for scratches, dents, upholstery tears, etc.

If you do find issues, file an insurance claim immediately. If the carrier was in an accident during transport and your vehicle suffered damage, the shipping company should have an accident report to give you. Ask for the accident report if it’s not automatically given to you.

Ship a Car, Inc. successfully has transported tens of thousands of vehicles large and small, as indicated by our ‘A’ rating with the Better Business Bureau and our 4.9-star rating with our customers. We can ship your car across the country or across the county. Give us a call at 866-821-4555 to learn more.