Whether you are moving to a new city or buying a vehicle online, car shipping companies can safely and easily transport your vehicle to any location. Car shipping is the perfect solution for conveniently transporting your car a long distance without adding additional mileage, wear, and tear. You can even have your car picked up directly from your home and shipped right to your doorstep at your new location. In order to ensure a safe and pleasant shipping experience, there are a few things you should do to prepare your car for transport.
1.Gather Your Vehicle’s Documents
Before you hand your car over to the auto transporter, they will need proof that the car belongs to you. In order to avoid delays and last-minute searches for important documents, you should gather the necessary paperwork in advance.
-Vehicle registration information
-Proof of insurance
-Bill of sale or other proof of ownership
-Original vehicle title
2.Wash Your Car
It may seem counterintuitive to wash your car before shipping it, but it’s actually a very important step. That’s because dirt, mud, and dust can make it difficult to see dings and scratches and you will want to make note of any imperfections prior to shipment. This will help you to catch any new damage that could occur during shipment.
3. Take Pictures of Your Car
In addition to noting any existing damage in your own records, you also want to take time-stamped photographs of your vehicle’s entire exterior. Be sure to look for any pre-existing dents, scratches, or dings. These images may be used in the event that you notice new damage upon delivery of your vehicle and the transport company denies such damage.
4. Take Care of General Maintenance
Prior to transporting your vehicle, you want to take care of any general maintenance issues such as an oil change, tire rotation, or checking fluid levels. You also want to make sure the battery is fully charged and check the tire pressure to make sure they are not over or under inflated.
5. Ensure Low Fuel
You want to make sure you have no more than ¼ tank of gas in your car prior to transport. More fuel can add an additional safety hazard and can also make your vehicle heavier. Additional weight can add to the cost of shipping, so always leave less fuel in your tank when preparing to ship it.
6. Remove Personal Items
Clean out the interior of your vehicle, including the trunk and remove all personal items. This includes things like air fresheners, spare change, phone chargers, jewelry, GPS systems, and anything else you may have in your vehicle. You don’t want items to get damaged or stolen during transport, so it’s best to take everything out of your vehicle.
7. Remove Custom Accessories
Things like custom spoilers, rims, additional lights, luggage racks, bike racks, or other accessories could break during transport due to their odd size. Be sure to remove these custom parts before loading your vehicle onto the truck.
8. Lock Your Car
Your car will be driven onto the trailer for loading but then you are free to lock the vehicle. Don’t forget this step, as this provides additional protection against theft.
9. Sign the Bill of Lading
Once your car is prepped and ready to go, it’s time to take care of the legal documentation. You or another responsible adult must be present at pick-up to complete a vehicle inspection and sign the Bill of Lading. This serves as a legal contract between you and the auto transport company and acts as a receipt for both parties.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.