How to Prepare Your Car for Shipping when Moving

If you are moving to a different state and do not want to drive your car there, you should look for a shipping company to move it. However, you cannot just hand over the keys to the shippers without preparing your car. Here are some tips to help you prepare your car for auto shipping:

Wash It

The first step in preparing your car for shipping is making sure that you wash the exterior thoroughly. You should also take it a step further and wash the inside of your car. This way, you will make sure that it is in good shape before you hand over the keys.

Inspect the Car

Once you get it clean, you should inspect your car for scratches, paint chips, and dents. Make sure that you take close up pictures of any defects no matter how tiny they are. Ensure that the date stamp on your photos is clear to avoid any confusion. When the shipper comes to get your car, you should mark the existing imperfections on the report that you will be given to sign.

Check the Fluids and Battery

You need to look for any visible fluid leaks and fix the ones that you can. If you cannot fix them on your own, call a mechanic to do it because there might be a bigger problem. Make sure that you check your car battery – is it fully charged and supported in the bracket? Failing to fix small issues might result in bigger ones later on.

Fill the Gas to ¼ Full

Your gas tank only needs to be a quarter way full because any more will add unnecessary weight to your vehicle. Since you will not be driving your car across states, you do not need any more fuel. Therefore, you can either siphon the excess or drive around to finish it.

Take Down Removable Parts

You need to take down any loose or removable parts from the exterior of your car. Doing so will ensure that they are not damaged in the shipping process. For instance, you should make sure that the antennas are retracted completely and fold the side view mirrors.

Remove Items inside the Car

Auto shipping insurance does not usually cover the theft of any items left inside the car. For this reason, you need to remove any personal belongings from your car to reduce the risk of theft, as well as the overall cost of shipping.

Disable the Alarm

If your vehicle has a custom alarm system, you should make sure that you disable it before handing the keys over to the shipping company. Car shipping is complicated enough without having your car alarm sounding the entire time. You also need to disable any toll tags and parking passes to avoid being charged along the way when you are not even driving.

Leave Standard Equipment Only

Before you hand over your car, make sure that you remove your things and leave behind only those that came with the car: emergency kits, spare tire, and jack. This way, you will make the car lighter and prevent theft.

Check the Insurance

Before the shippers arrive to take your car, you should check whether your car insurance is current and active. Even if you are moving to another state, your insurance needs to remain active until you change it.

Give away the Extra Set of Keys

Do not make the rookie mistake of giving away your only set of keys. If you do not have other keys for your car, you should have them made and give those to your shipper.