How to Prepare Your Car to Be Shipped

When you’re preparing to move across the country or abroad, there are many different items to pack up and transport to your new location. Although most items are easy to box up, there are some belongings that can be more challenging to take with you, which includes your car. If you plan to have it shipped, there are a few ways to prepare to have it loaded up by a car shipping company.

Collect the Car’s Documents

The car shipping company that you select will request the specific documents related to your vehicle, making it necessary to provide the proof of insurance, bill of sale, your ID, vehicle title, and vehicle registration information.  If you’re moving overseas, you’ll need additional documents that include your payment of import duties and taxes.

Remove Your Personal Belongings

Although you may trust the car shipping company you hire, you don’t know the different types of people who will have contact with your vehicle until it reaches its destination. Because those that are stored in the vehicle aren’t insured, it means you can risk losing the items without getting reimbursed. Make it a point to remove everything inside, including sunglasses, lip balm, insurance information, and charging cables. The items you can keep stored in the car include the emergency kit, spare tire, and jack. You can even leave the license plate on the front and back.

Don’t Fill Up the Gas Tank

Many people make the mistake of filling up their gas tank before the movers arrive to haul it away to ensure they can continue to drive the car once it arrives at their new home. Unfortunately, a full gas tank leads to extra weight on the car, which can increase the amount you pay to have it shipped. Only fill the tank with a quarter of gas to ensure you have enough to reach a gas station without making the car heavier.

Perform Routine Maintenance

Now is the time to perform routine maintenance on the car to ensure it’s safe to drive once you reunite with it. Knowing its condition will also allow you to discover any issues caused by the moving company if they don’t handle it well. Look for any leaks or mechanical issues that may be present. It’s also important to top off the fluids under the hood, which includes the coolant, washer, power steering, brake, and oil. If you discover any leaks or minor issues, hire a technician to perform the necessary repairs.

The tires should also have enough air, which means you should check the PSI. The battery should have a full charge, and you need to record the mileage during the pick-up and once it’s delivered to the new location.

Remove Accessories on the Car

Not only do you need to remove items in the vehicle, but it’s also important to take off accessories on the exterior. Take off ski and bike racks, custom spoilers, and luggage racks. The items can become damaged easily during the shipping process and even make them difficult to secure to the truck.

Communicate Any Damage

It’s important to put any damage on the car in writing to ensure the moving company is held accountable for any damage they cause as the car is transported. Make a note of scratches in the paint, dents, and even a crack in the windshield.

Knowing how to prepare your car to have it shipped is crucial to protecting your vehicle, as well as your pocketbook. It will make the process smooth and successful until it arrives at your new home.



Alex is the co-author of 100 Greatest Plays, 100 Greatest Cricketers, 100 Greatest Films and 100 Greatest Moments. He has written for a wide variety of publications including The Observer, The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail, The Guardian and The Telegraph.

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