10 Tips to Prepare your Vehicle for Transport
Shipping your vehicle across long distances can be a headache. What should I do? Where do I start? To help answer your questions, we put together this simple guide to ensure you and your vehicle are ready for the transportation process. We make auto shipping easy.
#1:CLEAN YOUR VEHICLE
You want your vehicle to look its best for the journey. This means cleaning it inside and out. Washing your car will also expose any dents, scratches, or other forms of damage you’ll want to document before shipment.
Also, make sure loose items are removed from the vehicle’s interior. Unsecured objects can be tossed around in transit, possibly causing damage. This can include anything from air fresheners and change, to electronics and chargers, etc.
#2:INSPECT YOUR VEHICLE
Take note of any existing damage anywhere in or on your vehicle. For insurance, it is crucial to spot any irregularities before sending your vehicle off to be shipped. In addition to checking for exterior damage, make sure the tires have appropriate pressure and examine the vehicle’s undercarriage for leaks. Any significant leaks must be repaired prior to shipping.
The carrier will also perform an inspection upon picking up the vehicle. Communicate thoroughly with the driver to record any and all existing damage. You know your vehicle better than anyone else.
#3:REMOVE CUSTOM ACCESORIES
Custom accessories such as bike racks, ski racks and custom spoilers are a plus, but they are vulnerable to loss or damage if left on the vehicle during shipping. To avoid this, simply remove them prior to shipment.
#4:CHECK FOR FLUID LEAKS/ENGINE OR MECHANICAL ISSUES
Check for any fluid leaks and have them fixed prior to delivery. The driver does have the right to refuse delivery if he or she feels the leak is too bad for transport. If there is a minor leak that cannot be fixed, please notify the driver so they can make accommodations. Depending on the type of transport trailer, the driver might need to place your vehicle on the bottom, so that no fluids drip on to other vehicles that are being transported along the same route.
Same thing applies for any known engine or mechanical issues. Please notify the driver if there are any concerns or known problems with the vehicle. The carrier must be able to easily and safely get your vehicle on to the transport trailer.
If your vehicle becomes in-operable prior to pick up, please notify us or the carrier before pick up so accommodations can be made. Please keep in mind, in-operable vehicles do come with a higher price in order to be shipped.
#5:LEAVE GAS TANK 1/8 to 1/4 FULL
Unlike with car rental services, for us, it is actually important to leave your vehicle with a quarter-tank of gas or less. Too much fuel in the tank will add weight to the car. Your vehicle only needs enough gas to get on and off the trailer. Since the vehicle is not being driven, there is no need to worry about it containing sufficient fuel, but if the tank does have more than what we recommend please don't stress!
#6:CHECK THE RADIATOR, BATTERY AND TIRES
Check to make sure there is plenty of antifreeze in the radiator. Also, check to make sure the battery of your vehicle is fully charged. In the event the battery becomes dead, this will present a problem for the carrier and the vehicle will have to be jumped in order to move it on or off the transport trailer.
Damage to the wheels and tires caused by over-inflation or under-inflation can occur during transport. Therefore, it is important that you make sure there is sufficient air in all tires of the vehicle.
#7:DISABLE THE ALARM
Nobody should be entering your vehicle at any point in the shipment process. Ensure that the vehicle is locked upon being loaded onto the truck. However, the last thing the truck driver wants is for your car alarm to go off every time he hits a bump. Make sure any alarms are disabled.
#8:DEACTIVATE OR REMOVE TOLL TAGS
Although your vehicle will be traveling on a transport trailer, it's important you make sure to deactivate or remove any toll tags. This will avoid any unnecessary fees or expenses in case the carrier has to pass through a toll road.
#9:HAVE KEYS AVAILABLE FOR DRIVER
Please have all necessary keys to your vehicle ready for the driver at pick up. The carrier must be able to get in and out of your vehicle in order to transport it safely and efficiently.
If you have an older model vehicle that requires keys for things other than the ignition, please have those ready for the driver as well. These could be keys to open the gas tank, driver side door or even the glove compartment if necessary.
#10:HAVE INSURANCE ON YOUR VEHICLE
All of our carriers are licensed, insured and fully bonded. This being said, any damage done to your vehicle that is caused by the transporter/carrier, will be covered. Unfortunately, there are unforseen damages that can occur through natural causes or acts of God. Examples being hail, flooding, lightning, tornadoes, etc. In the event this occurs, your insurance will be responsible for coverage.
We recommend you make sure you have insurance on your vehicle prior to being transported. This way you can rest assured your vehicle will be transported safely. If you already have auto insurance, we suggest contacting your insurance company to make sure wether or not your policy applies during auto transport.
With Door-To-Door Auto Transport, the driver can pick the vehicle up directly from your home or another predetermined location, such as a business or commercial address. Depending on where you live or work, this option may be unavailable. Some neighborhoods are not accessible to our big trucks. Alternatively, you could drop off your vehicle at an agreed upon location between you and the carrier.
#12:DROP OFF DESTINATION
You will need to coordinate with the carrier regarding where to receive your newly transported vehicle. It is important that the agreed-upon location be accessible by a large truck. Locations may include large parking lots or wide streets. Inspect the vehicle with the driver and update the Bill Of Landing (or BOL) as necessary. This is the contract between you and the driver that will serve as your receipt for the transit.
#13:GIVE YOURSELF TIME
It is important to understand that vehicle shipping across the country takes time. It’s best to schedule your shipment as early as possible, as several variables may influence the length of the process. Below is a guide of the estimated delivery time windows:
IN-STATE DELIVERY: 1-3 Days.
UP TO 1000 MILES: 3-5 Days.
1000-1250 MILES: 4-5 Days.
1250-2000 MILES: 6-8 Days.
2000-3000 MILES: 7-9 Days.
3000 MILES AND ABOVE: 9-11 Days.
The health and safety of your vehicle are imperative. Weather and road conditions could affect the shipment time. Additionally, regulations prevent drivers from traveling too great a distance in a single day.