How do I prepare my car for shipping

Are you going to ship a car across the country? You’ve probably realized there are so many things you have to take care and also there are many ways to do all that. At first, you have to check and compare the reliability and reviews of the car shipping companies, before hiring one. Once you have fixed a shipping company of your choice; you have to prepare your car for shipping.

You can always send your car off as it is, but you should take more care as you are handling a valuable item. You have to ensure that you are doing everything for safe and damage-free transport and delivery.

Though the driver is responsible for transporting the car to its new home, you are responsible for preparing the automobile perfectly for smooth transport, before the driver arrives. Here, we have tried to outline every single step that needs to be taken care of before shipping day. Have a glance over these easy steps written below, for preparing your car hassle freely:

Table of Contents

1. Wash the exterior:

At first, you have to give your vehicle good squeaky clean from top to bottom. If you know your “First Available Shipping Date,” make sure that your car has been washed by that date.

2. Complete visual inspection:

Once your car is clean, walk around the car and give it a visual inspection for any dents, scratches, discolorations, or paint chips. It is important because it will help you later to discover if your car got damaged in any way within the process of shipping.

3. Photograph your car and the existing damages:

Take pictures of every scratch and damages your car have and also take pictures of your car from every angle. This picture will assist you in completing the condition report. The pictures will also act as extra insurance in case the car shipping company denies further new damage.

4. Carry out necessary car maintenance:

In the case of automobile transportation you have to take care of a few general car maintenance tasks, like:

  • Check the fluids in the car.
  • Make sure the vehicle has a fully charged battery.
  • Check the tire pressure and the weight on tires.
  • Mandatorily, empty the gas tank fully.

5. Secure the exterior of vehicle:

You must ensure the protection of the exterior of your car while transporting. Secure any removable part attached with your car like removable ski, bike and luggage racks. Also, don’t forget to retract antennas, and fold in side-view mirrors. Remember to remove custom spoilers, if there is any.

6. Remove personal and valuable items

Check the interior of your automobile; remove all personal items and driving license. Do not forget to grab items like your GPS, car charger, custom stereos, DVD players, etc.

7. Deactivate automatic parking passes or toll tags

Remove automatic parking passes and toll tags. If you forget your toll tag on your vehicle, it may collect the fees of every toll, it passes through. Save yourself unnecessary charges by removing it.

8. Keep an extra set of keys

Make sure that you have an extra set of every key necessary for your vehicle. Make a duplicate set of keys and give it to the trucker when they pick up your car to drive it on and off the truck.


All the above-enlisted steps you must follow to safely move your vehicle cross country. This procedure will save your money as well as time; your vehicle will be perfectly ready to get delivered to its new destination. Hope, these tips will help you and facilitate an easy car shipping process.


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