shipping a car

Shipping a Car: 6 Tips on How to Prepare Your Vehicle for Transport

Shipping a car is no small task. However, experts recommend it as the preferred method of transporting a car if you’re moving over 500 miles. Whether you’re taking a vehicle across the country or just a few states over, it’s important to ensure your car arrives safely and in the same condition it left.

The most important part of that process? Properly prepare your car for transport. 

We understand how overwhelming this can be, so we’ve compiled our top tips to help remove some stress and ensure your road trip starts on the right foot. Read on for our six best tips for prepping your vehicle before having it shipped.

Shipping A Car: The Basics

Before we dive into some tips for shipping a car, how does shipping a car actually work? The process will vary from one business to the next. And it’ll vary depending on whether you work directly with a shipping company or a freight broker.

As we’re a freight broker helping you find the best transporters for your needs, the cross-country car shipping process at Luxy Transport starts with a simple request for a quote. If the quote meets your needs, all you have to do is get in touch and agree on the pickup time and drop-off location.

Then, a specialist from your chosen transport carrier will collect your car and securely load it onto their truck. They’ll provide you with their contact information and fill out a bill of lading, which is proof and a record of the shipment. Worried about staying up-to-date on where your car is at or how the move is going? Don’t be.

Thankfully, regular updates ensure you can stay informed about your car’s journey. On top of that, you’ll receive a notification when the car is almost at its destination, so you know when to pick it up and check for any damage.

How to Prepare a Car for Shipping

Before enjoying the ease of shipping a car with Luxy Transport, you must prepare a car for shipping. When transporting a vehicle, regardless of whether you’re moving it to Hawaii, Alaska, or just a state over, here are some tips to follow.

1. Exterior Photos

One of the best car shipping tips we give our customers is one that most overlook. Take exterior photos of your car before shipping. It’s a vital part of the process. It proves especially important in rare cases where damage could occur during shipping.

Quality is key, as you want to see all details clearly, from every angle. Get close enough to see scratches, dents, or defects. Don’t just take pictures of any existing damages, though. Take general photos of the vehicle at different angles for your records, so you have thorough coverage in case anything happens en route.

2. Interior Cleaning

Next (or before you take the photos), you’ll want to clean your car’s interior. This isn’t so it can look nice for the people transporting it. It’s so you can secure your belongings and avoid damage. Car transport trailers can get bouncy on the road, so it’s important to ensure that nothing inside can move around and cause damage to itself or the inside of the vehicle.

What should you focus on removing? Remove things like phone holders, GPS devices, or other loose items. Note that this will also help reduce burglaries or loss during transport.

3. Remove Accessories

Do you have a bike rack? Maybe you have luggage racks you use often. If you do, you’ll want to remove those before shipping a car. 

This includes removable ski and bike racks, retractable antennas, side-view mirrors, and custom spoilers. Leaving them on during transport is just asking for damage. For convertible owners, ensure the top is secured against all weather damage before you hand your car over for shipping.

4. General Maintenace

General maintenance is key when it comes to prepping your car for shipment. Ensuring the battery is in good condition, searching for any fluid leaks, and confirming the tire pressure is optimal can help ensure a smooth ride once you arrive at your new home.

These general maintenance steps are simple and easy to perform but also important. Neglecting general maintenance can lead to problems down the line that may be costly and inconvenient, so it pays off to make sure your car is ready for whatever journey lies ahead of it.

5. Deactivate Tags

Don’t forget to deactivate your toll tags and parking tags, too. This way, you can avoid any unforeseen and unwanted costs during shipment. If these items are left active, they could collect fees for every toll your vehicle passes. On top of the additional cost of the tolls, there will be charges for the removal or deactivation when the car arrives safely at its destination.

Not sure how to do this? Before transporting a vehicle, contact your tolling authority online, by phone, or in person. Request deactivation of the tag. Once deactivated, the tag will no longer be able to be used for tolls or any other service, nor can any associated account data be retrieved from it.

Just remember to reactive it or update it when the car reaches its destination!

6. Remove Gas

Finally, empty that gas tank a bit. A full tank of gas adds unwanted weight, and a lighter vehicle means it’s easier for the transporter to transport over long distances. Instead of fully emptying the tank, it’s best to remove up to ¼ of gas at most. This way, you won’t need to re-fill it before or after transport, and you will save money in the long run.

Get Help Transporting a Vehicle

Are you considering shipping a car? We can help. 

Luxy Transport has a reliable team of over-the-road experts specializing in auto transport services throughout the US. With us, you can rest assured that your vehicle is safe during transit, regardless of payload or size. We understand your need for trust and security and have outstanding customer service to provide you with the exact support your move requires.

Contact us today to get a quote for your vehicle’s transportation and get started on your journey knowing your car is in good hands.

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