If you are shipping your vehicle across the country for the first time, you’re probably asking some questions – what is the average cost to ship a car? how do I get prepared? After finding a reliable auto-transportation firm, you still have to prepare your automobile for shipping. While you can send the car off as is, follow the tips below to ensure that it arrives safe and damage-free.
The first step to having your car shipped across the state or country is making sure that it is clean with a good, thorough wash. Once you have a definite shipping date, wash your car before then. While cleaning the exterior, note existing dents or scratches and paint discoloration or chips.
Although it happens rarely, dings and scratches may occur during transportation, so you need to document already existing ones. The best way to find such damage is after cleaning the car.
After noting existing damages, document each dent, paint chip and scratch by taking photos with date stamps. The photos are for record-keeping purposes, so make sure that they are clear.
Further, you can include the photos as part of a written record, so your transport firm or carrier will not dispute new scratches or dents. During pick up, have the photos ready so you mark them on the bill of lading.
Remove Valuable Items
Reduce chances of theft while shipping the car by removing custom products and add-ons like GPS systems, custom stereos, and DVD players. In addition, remove toll tags and parking passes. Leaving a toll tag on your vehicle will likely see you pay fees for every toll your vehicle goes by.
If there is a custom alarm system installed in your car, disable it or remove it completely. In case the alarm goes off during transportation, your trucker is allowed to turn it off using any means.
Secure or Remove Loose Parts
In preparation for the cross-country move, make sure that you either remove or tighten loose parts on your vehicle’s exterior. One thing you should consider removing is the antenna and placing it in the trunk or you can simply retract it. Fold side-view mirrors inwards and remove custom spoiler so they don’t get damaged during the journey.
If your car is not operational, make sure that it is noted while booking space. For operational cars, keep track of any leaks or mechanical issues. Inform your trucker of any mechanical issues with your car as they may cause delays or even damage other cars.
Check and ensure that all fluids are topped off, tires properly inflated, and that the car is transported with a full battery charge. Document any mechanical issues your car may have as well as mileage readings.
Empty the Gas Tank
Before transporting your vehicle, make sure that the gas tank is only a quarter-way full. Fuel is quite heavy, so it can add a lot of extra weight. This might cause problems to your shipper at the weigh station. Your car will not be driven apart from loading on and off the truck; therefore, additional gas is not required.
Have Extra Keys
Once the trucker picks your car, they will need keys for driving it on and off a truck. The last thing you want to do is give a trucker the only pair of car keys you have, so get an extra key set.
The tips above can be extremely helpful when shipping your car across the state or country. The steps ensure that your vehicle gets to its new home as safely as possible and reduce the risk of damage.