Preparing Your Vehicle for Shipping

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When it’s time to move, transporting most of your possessions is pretty easy. You pack them in boxes, throw them on a truck, and away they go. Shipping your car works in a similar way (minus the box, of course), but there are certain things you should do to prepare your vehicle for shipping. In this article, you’ll find many of the things that should be included in preparing your vehicle for shipping.

The first preparation for shipping your vehicle should be to get its exterior cleaned. This might seem odd at first, after all if you ship it on an open trailer, it’s going to get dirty during the shipping anyway, right? Well, you’re not cleaning your car for the sake of having it clean. Rather, you’re cleaning your car so it’s easier to see. On the day you ship your car it will be inspecting and all dings, dents, cracks, chips, and all other external damages will be notated. These damages (even minor ones) are much easier to see on a clean car. Once the car has been shipped to its final destination, the list of pre-existing damage will be compared to how the car looks now that it’s been transported. Any additional damage that appears may very well be covered by the mover’s insurance. But without a clean car, it’ll be harder to tell what damages are new and which ones were there before the car was loaded onto the trailer.

Another step in preparing your vehicle for shipping is to get it serviced. Make sure the tires are inflated to their proper pressure, see to it that your oil and other fluid levels are at a good working amount, and be sure that your battery is well secured to it’s mounting bracket. If anything goes wrong with your car to make it no longer operational during travel, the moving company and driver may very well charge you extra for the additional effort to get the dead vehicle off the trailer. Avoid this by making sure everything works properly as you prepare your vehicle for shipping.

One thing you should NOT do as you prep your vehicle for shipping is filling the gas tank. More gas means more weight. Most vehicle moving companies don’t want you to have any more than a quarter tank of gas when they ship it. If they do accept it with more gas, they’ll end up charging you more money for it, as the fees are dependent on the type of car and how much it weighs.

Also, as you prepare your vehicle for shipping, you’ll want to get rid of anything that does not have to be there in order for the car to run. This includes both inside and outside the car. There should be no personal belongings inside the car. It’s actually against the law for a vehicle moving company to transport a vehicle that contains any personal belongings. Most of moving companies won’t even ship the car until everything is removed from inside. This includes not only possessions like CDs or boxed up items, but also your GPS unit, car phones, and tracking Ids. On the exterior, you can prepare your vehicle for shipping by removing any accessories like fog lights, spinners, spoilers and ground effects. You should also fold in your side mirrors if possible and either remove your antenna or put it down all the way if it’s the kind that telescopes. The more things that protrude from the surface of your vehicle, the higher the chances are of them getting snapped off or otherwise damaged.

Finally, in preparing your vehicle for shipping, disable any car alarm it may have. Having the alarm going off for the many miles of travel may very likely kill your car’s battery.

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