Prepare Your Vehicle For Shipping


Get up to speed on best practices on how to prepare a vehicle to ship. The steps are industry standard, so regardless of who ships your vehicle, you will be aware of what you need to do and be ready when having your car transported.

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auto transport checklist prepare to ship

Necessary Preparation – Steps

The process of making your car ready for shipping isn’t rocket science by any means, but not being aware of certain things and not properly preparing for when the carrier gets there is a sure way to delay you from getting your vehicle to its new destination. This guide will help you be ready so you can be aware of the best practices in making sure the process goes quickly and smoothly for you.

The following looks information is based on experience we’ve had with customers during transport. As the auto transport company we see a lot happen, so here you will find the most common situations that can cause some trouble down the line.


Coordinate Contacts, Addresses, People Involved.


First and foremost, confirm all contact information. Make sure you have accurate phone numbers, address, city, state, and zip code. If  you are leaving someone else responsible for the handing over of the vehicle or delivery, make sure you are well informed of their schedule, who you hired, and what they need to do. If you live in a newer area make sure you provide accurate information as some new developments aren’t mapped out and the driver may need to know the cross streets, for example.

If you won’t be at either the pickup location or th drop off, be sure to have someone that is ready and responsible to handle the task of releasing your vehicle to the carrier, or accepting at the delivery.  Many times delays are caused by someone not answering the phone, leaving for a mome.


Don’t Forget Inspections (Bill of Lading) Report


The bill of lading is a one of the most important documents in the whole process of auto transport. It has a diagram of your vehicle where the carrier at pickup will mark any existing damage or marks on the car at the moment they are getting it. It’s a good idea to do this walk-around with the driver as you will see what he is noting. They at this point will give you a copy of the bill of lading showing the condition of the car at the time of pickup. This is very important because this is the “before” snapshot of the vehicle’s condition and is the only document that can be used to claim any damage if it happened during transport. So you must keep a copy of this for comparison. When the carrier arrives, you will take the same steps of doing a walk-around with the driver. This one is even more important than the first, because you do not want the driver to miss any damage that occurred after the pickup. Any new makers, dings, etc (hopefully none!) must be noted on the Bill of Lading or they cannot be claimed.

If you are buying a car, or having another party handing over the vehicle, please make sure they are fully aware about how important it is to get the copy of that form.

No Items in the Vehicle

Many people believe that it would make sense if nobody is driving the car, that they can pack it full of items. This is actually the opposite due to laws affecting auto transporters. There is another type of shipping called the moving of “Household Goods”. An auto transport company cannot ship vehicles that have items in them because they are not licensed to do so. The reality of it is that most carriers will allow you a small amount of clothing items for example, no more than 100 lbs. Keep in mind that if you do decide to put anything, it should be limited to the trunk area and not be anything of value as there is no coverage for anything but vehicle damage.

Remove EZ-Pass, Sunpass, Disable Car Alarms

It’s happened many times that a customer had to call the expressway authority will bill Sunpass / EZ-Pass tolls because it is triggered when the carrier goes through a toll.  Be sure to remove these toll pass boxes and stickers before transport.  Also be sure to  disable your car alarm. Some are set to self-lock or self-arm after the vehicle sits for a little while and the key has left the vehicle. This can drain the battery and cause the driver to pull off to see which car it is in order to shut it off so to not cause a distraction to the carrier and other drivers traveling near the vehicle. Some alarms also will trigger a theft call. Be sure all this is turned off.

Need more information or ready for an instant quote? Call us 800-284-7177 or use our car shipping calculator today.


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