Are you preparing to have your car shipped? Not sure how you should prepare your favorite vehicle for auto transport?
According to research, 14 percent of moves by Americans in 2019 were across state lines while about 4 percent moved outside of the country. Many Americans prefer to keep their cars when they move. Fortunately, there are some great auto transport and shipping companies that can help.
If you’ve decided to hire an auto transport shipping company, you need to make sure that you prepare your vehicle first. Here’s how you can get your vehicle ready for transport.
Gather Vehicle Ownership Documents
One of the first things that you should do when preparing to transport your favorite vehicle is to gather paperwork. You’ll need to prove car ownership and should have your vehicle registration, proof of insurance, the original vehicle title, a bill of sale, and an ID available.
Gathering all of these documents will help you ensure that the auto transporter will accept your vehicle for transport.
If you’re shipping a car overseas, remember that there will be extra paperwork requirements as well. You’ll also need to pay import duties and taxes.
While there’s a lot of prep work to do to prepare your car for transport, there are a lot of reasons why it’s usually a great choice. If you’re still not sure what the main reasons to use an auto transport company are, you may want to learn more here.
Wash Your Car’s Exterior
Before having your car transported, you should also wash the exterior of your vehicle. Washing the exterior of your vehicle will allow you to easily spot any existing scratches and dings and will help you spot any new damage that occurs during transit as well.
In addition to this, you may want to clean the interior as well. Doing so can help you feel more satisfied with your vehicle once you have it in your new location.
Remove Personal Belongings
Before shipping your car, you should also make sure to remove any personal items that are inside. Especially make sure that you get anything expensive out of the vehicle such as GPS devices. Personal items likely won’t be insured during transit by the transportation company.
Removing personal items will make it less likely that anything will get lost, damaged, or stolen during transit. You’ll also prevent items from getting tossed around while your vehicle is in motion.
Keep Your Vehicle Maintained
To prepare your car for transport, you should also perform some car maintenance.
Check all of the fluids in your vehicle including oil, coolant, power steering fluid, washer fluid, and brake fluid. You should ensure that there aren’t any leaks so that your car won’t be leaking fluid all over the transport vehicle when in motion. You should also check the tire pressure and ensure that the battery is fully charged.
Your car should be in working order since it will need to be driven on and off of a transport truck. You’ll need to tell the car shipping company if it’s inoperable.
Inspect Your Vehicle
Before a shipping company picks up your vehicle, it’s essential that you visually inspect it.
You need to make sure to document any signs of damage that your vehicle has before it’s shipped. Take photographs of anything that you notice. If there are any dents, scratches, chipped paint, or discoloration, make a note of it.
Regardless of whether there is currently any damage, however, you should be sure to take photographs of your vehicle. If anything happens to your car while it’s being transported, photographs will allow you to prove that the damage occurred in transit rather than beforehand.
Keep Your Gas Tank Close to Empty
It’s also a good idea to empty your gas tank significantly before you transport your car.
When shipping your car, you’ll be paying for the extra weight that is in your gas tank. Because of this, it’s best to leave your tank at about a quarter of the way full. This will help you ensure that you won’t have to pay more for car transportation than necessary.
However, be sure that you leave enough gas for your car to be driven off and on the transport vehicle.
Remove Exterior Accessories
When shipping a vehicle, it’s also important to remove or secure anything on the exterior of your vehicle that could become loose.
Extra exterior accessories such as bike racks, retractable antennas, and custom spoilers should be removed ahead of time. If these parts aren’t removed or kept secure, they could fall off while in transit or could get damaged.
It may not be absolutely necessary to remove these items before transit. However, you may be unpleasantly surprised to find that they have been damaged or lost if you don’t secure them or remove them ahead of time.
Get an Extra Set of Keys Ready
Since your car will be driven onto a transport vehicle, you should also give the auto transport company a set of your car keys. However, make sure that you don’t give them your only set.
If you don’t have a spare set of keys, consider making one before you ship your car. If the driver loses your only set of keys, it could lead to a lot of frustration later on.
You should also make sure that your vehicle is locked up before the driver departs. This will help to provide extra protection from theft while your vehicle is on its way from Point A to Point B.
Using These Tips When Hiring an Auto Transport Company
If you want to transport your vehicle a long distance, it can make a lot of sense to hire a professional auto transport company. However, you need to make sure that you prepare your vehicle thoroughly by getting documents ready, checking for damage, and removing personal items.
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