Auto Transport & Car Transport Blog

Tips for Getting Your Car Ship-Ready

You’ve finally found the limited edition of your dream car. As luck would have it, you’re here, and it’s there. You could hire your college-age nephew to drive it to you over spring break but who knows how many of his fraternity buddies he’ll pick up along the way?

Besides, you don’t want any more miles on that vehicle than absolutely necessary. Having a carrier ship a car to you is a very logical option in this case. Here’s what you need to consider when getting your car ready to be shipped.

Choose Your Car Transporter Wisely

Many people who are getting ready to ship a vehicle for the first time are unsure where to start. So, do your research. When comparing car transporters, the first step is to get familiar with reviews of potential companies. Consider the type of carrier in which your vehicle may be traveling.

An open carrier will likely be a more moderately-priced option. However, it may not be the best option if you are concerned about your vehicle’s exposure to the elements. Once you select a car transporter, you may need to put down a small deposit to confirm your reservation.

Get Your Car Ready

Next, you’ll want to make sure your car is ship-ready. Have documentation prepared that catalogs any pre-existing damage with photographs and notes. This will help to identify the timing of any damage identified upon receipt of the vehicle. Many reputable businesses have a formal report that they use to log the vehicle’s condition prior to when they ship a vehicle and upon acceptance at the arrival destination.

Weight may be a factor, so you’ll want to do what you can to minimize the vehicle’s weight. Items including electronic devices such as portable GPS systems should be removed from the vehicle. Gas tanks don’t need to be full. Car alarms should be turned off. Convertible tops, loose after-market parts, and antennas should be secured. In short, anything susceptible to being lost or damaged should be removed.

Existing mechanical issues should be identified and communicated to the transporter. This way, no one has to worry about leaky vehicles transported on the upper level of an open trailer dripping oil on the vehicles below.

Decide How You Want Your Car Shipped

Many people opt to ship their vehicles using a multi-carrier mode of transportation. If you elect this method, be realistic about the time frame of your vehicle’s arrival. Think of multi-carriers like a train making local stops. Cars will be boarding and disembarking at various stops along the route. Some vehicle passengers may have to temporarily disembark and re-board in order to achieve optimal storage capacity.

As such, it is important that you are realistic about the estimated transport time, particularly if you need your vehicle to arrive by a specified date. Be sure that you build in a cushion of time around that estimate in case there are unexpected events that delay your vehicle’s arrival. This is particularly important if your vehicle is being delivered to a small town or isolated area.

When your vehicle arrives, don’t take shortcuts in reviewing your car for damage upon receipt. You may not have a large window of time to report incidents. Taking precautionary steps when you ship a vehicle should help ease your mind about the entire car transportation process.

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