Preparing Your Car for Shipping
Do you need to ship your car but don’t know where to start? Fear not, you’re not alone!
First, decide on the date and locations that you would like to ship your car to and from. Next fill out our quick form and get quotes from some of the best transporters in the country. After you choose the auto shipper that best meets your needs, prepare your car to be shipped.
Most auto transport companies have standard requirements, but make sure to find out what your particular transport company requires.
The government – as in the U.S. Department of Transportation – requires a full set of keys to be given to the auto transport driver. There should be a key for each lock. That may be two or three keys depending on how many your car requires. Most common are the ignition and trunk but some vehicles also have a glove box key. So you may need to make a new set of keys if you don’t have an extra one. It’s always good to keep a set and give the spare to the car shipping company.
Make sure the gas tank is not completely full or empty. Your car won’t be driven much, so you don’t need to have the added weight of a full tank, but it could cause a serious problem if the tank is dry and the shipper can’t move the vehicle on or off of the transport. Most auto transporters say that right at 1/4^th of a tank is ideal.
Oh, and turn off any alarms that are part of the car. It’s a good idea to give alarm instructions to the vehicle shipping company. You don’t want their drivers to get trapped with a screaming car and no way to stop the noise, or a dead battery when your car is delivered to you.
The rest of car shipping preparation is mostly common sense. First, remove anything that could fall off or get knocked off. For many cars and trucks, remove any removable antennae and place it in your trunk. You may want to label it and tape it down in case the shipping company must open your trunk. The same applies to any CB or cell phone antennae that you may have.
Next, remove any racks that are not original to the car. For instance, luggage racks, bike racks and ski racks should be taken off and put inside the car. If your truck has a canopy or a cap, make sure it is bolted to the truck. Also, remove any low hanging items. This includes such things as fairing, air dams and spoilers. If you do these things, you're making sure that simply driving your truck or car up or down a ramp won't cause damage.
Another good idea is to clean your vehicle. If your car is clean it will be easier to identify any pre-existing marks or dings, as well as any that may occur during shipping. You will be asked to do an inspection with the transport driver before and after transport. If there is any damage to your car glass, consider having it fixed before shipping.
With the right car shipping quotes and some simple preparations, both you and your car will be ready to go when the time comes! Happy shipping!