How Do You Prepare Your Car for Shipping?

Preparing Your Vehicles

You need to gather all the documents for your vehicle.  Make sure you wash your car.  Record and document any damages that your vehicle has.  Remove all your personal items from your vehicle.  Make sure to perform the necessary maintenance.  Do not ship with a full tank of gas.  Make sure you remove any accessories on the outside.  Lock the car and leave a copy with the shipper.  Sign the bill of landing.

Each of these steps is crucial for shipping your car.  Keep reading for further information on each of these areas.

What Documents Do You Need to Gather?

You will need your vehicle registration and proof of insurance.  The shipping company will require proof that the vehicle is yours through either a bill of sale or the title.  You will also need to provide identification through a passport or driver’s license.

Each of these documents is necessary for proving that you own the car.  The last thing a shipping company wants to do is ship a vehicle that has been stolen.  Therefore, it is essential to show who sold it to you or a title that shows you are the owner of the car.

You may think it is a little overboard when they require vehicle registration and proof of insurance.  For you to get vehicle registration, you will need evidence that the vehicle is yours.  This is to protect the shipping company.

Why Do You Need to Wash Your Car?

Washing your car has a couple purposes.  You will have a clean vehicle.  It will get all the dirt off the vehicle which will make it easier to see any damages that are in the car.  You will want to do this on the inside and outside of the vehicle.

It is like buying a new home.  You always want to start out with it clean and fresh.  However, the biggest reason is to get all the dirt off the car.  Most shipping companies will not ship your vehicle if it is dirty.

When you remove all foreign debris off the car, it allows you to move onto the next step as you can see all the scratches and damages.

What Damages Should You Document?

Once the car is washed, you can find any damages that are in your vehicle.  You will look for scratches, paint chips, scratches, and dents on the outside of your car.  On the inside of the vehicle, you will also note any damages such as torn seats, holes in the floorboards, etc.

You need to document these things.  My advice is to document everything and have it verified by the auto shipping company.  Have both parts sign the document, and you will ensure the shipping company has a copy of the paper with all the damages recorded.

The point behind recording this information is to make it easier to make a claim if there are any new damages after your car is shipped.  Things happen in transport that I cause more damage.  You must have your paperwork in order.  There is a saying, “if it is not in writing, it never happened.”

Why Do You Remove All Personal Items?

When shipping your car, the car is what is insured for damages or theft.  Therefore, your personal items such as sunglasses, GPS, televisions, etc. are not guaranteed.  Shipping companies will also very stick about personal items in the car.  They can be fined if they allow you to ship personal items in your vehicle.

If you insist on personal shipping items still, make sure they are locked in the trunk where they cannot be seen.  You will also want to remove any toll tags or parking passes.  If you leave your toll tag on your vehicle, think about what may happen.  You will get charged for every toll that truck drives through.

Things such as your jack, car license plate, emergency kits, and spare tire are not considered personal items.  These are items essential to the car in case of emergencies.  They can be left in the vehicle when shipping.

What Should You Look for When Performing Maintenance?

Shipping companies will not fix your car for you.  They need to be able to drive your vehicle on and off the truck.  If something happens and your vehicle does not run correctly, it cannot be shipped.  You should look for leaks, any mechanical issues, tire pressure, and back sure the fluids are topped off.

If you notice any issues with your car, you must fix them before shipping your vehicle.  Get those leaks fixed.  Ensure the tires are at the correct pressure.  Make sure all the fluids such as brake, oil, power steering, coolant, and washer fluids are all filled.

One thing most people forget is the mileage.  On your paperwork, record the mileage when you drop off your car.  Then record it when you pick up your vehicle.  There should not be much difference between the two numbers.  The only difference should be based on transport.

Why Should I Have Less Gas?

You are shipping your car and not diving it.  The extra gas will add to your weight that is being shipped.  In turn, that will add to the cost of shipping your car.  You should leave it at a quarter of a tank.  This will be enough to get you to the shipping port, let them move your car for transport, and get you to a gas station when you pick up your vehicle.

You will want to protect your car during transport.  A full take adds to more of a liability.  Besides, you are shipping your vehicle.  You do not need all that extra weight.

What is in the Bill of Landing?

There is some crucial information in the bill of landing.  It will have the location you are shipping from and its condition.  It will take about any maintenance issues your car may have.  It will include the place your vehicle is being shipped to.  It will also have the necessary information on a contract such as shippers’ responsibilities, liabilities, and insurance information.

One of the most important things you will do is signing the bill of landing.  This is essentially your contract with the shipping company.  You are signing over your car into their hands.  They will now be responsible for the safety of your vehicle.

You are now signing over your car.  You have prepared everything for shipping.  Do your final checks, do you have all the paperwork in order?  The bill of landing is your contract between you and the shipping company.

Take the time to read everything in the contract.  You do not want to be hit by any surprises.  Pay attention to the liability, insurance, and responsibility sections.  You will want to ask any questions you may have.  I advise having at least two or three questions prepared.

Before signing, make sure you have all your questions answered, and you feel comfortable about shipping your car with them.  The critical point is to make sure you read over everything in the contact and check it for accuracy.  You want to make sure everything you talked about in the shipping process is listed in the bill of landing.