Preparing a Car for Transport
If you’re worried about your car being damaged in transport, relax! Less than 5% of vehicles transported are damaged in any measurable way. Fully preparing your car will help you lower the odds even more.
Inspect Your Car for Existing Damage
Check your vehicle thoroughly for any damage that is pre-existing. Be sure to document this damage as well. To do so:
- Clean the exterior of the automobile
- Create a record of dents, chips, cosmetic damage, and scratches
- Snap a few pictures of the car from different angles, as well as some close-up shots
- Date-stamp these records
- At the pickup point, make srue the transporter makes his own official record that matches yours
Remove All Belongings and Add-Ons
Remember that your car will be loaded, unloaded and inspected many times on its journey. Because of this, cars usually travel with unlocked doors. Remove EVERYTHING you can to decrease the risk of theft, including: DVD players, fog lights, GPS Systems, spoilers, custom stereos, ground effects, TVs, after-market video, detachable CD players, radio face plates, toll tags and parking passes. Transport these things separately– they are valuable, and will be targeted for theft.
You must remove all personal items from the car and trunk, as well. These items may be stolen or shift around, causing damage to your car. They may even cause damage to other cars, for which you will be responsible. Furthermore, these items add weight to the car, which can impact both the speed and price of service.
Prep for Transport
Your car will not be driven very much, but it should be drive-able. Inoperable cars can be transported, but the carrier should know ahead of time in order to make proper preparations. For all vehicles, mechanical issues can be the cause of damages and delays. To avoid this, perform routine maintenance before transporting your car.
- Ensure that the tires are inflated and the battery is fully charged
- Fill up all necessary fluids in the car
- Keep the gas tank between 1/4 and 1/8 full at pickup
- Look out for any mechanical problems or leaks in the weeks leading up to transport; if your car is leaking and you absolutely can not have it repaired, let the transporter know.
- Make a note of any special instructions that go along with your car, and give them to the driver
Prepare for loading
Make sure your car is ready to be loaded on and off the carrier’s truck or trailer. This will help them ship your car with ease. Remember, the better prepared your car is for shipment, the more likely it will arrive without damage and on time.
If you are shipping a convertible, secure the roof thoroughly avoid any possible damage from moisture, debris or air. Put up a wind-resistant tarp if you absolutely cannot secure the top.
Retract the antenna and fold back the rearview mirrors.
Lastly, don’t forget to disable the car’s alarm.