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How to prepare your vehicle for shipping?

a bmw cleaned and ready for shipping.

Relocating over long distances is difficult and can get stressful. This is why you’ll need to plan your move in advance and hire top-quality long distance movers. Then, you’ll need to decide whether you’re driving your vehicle or shipping it to your new location. In most cases, it’s better to avoid driving your car far away when you can just send it there and take the plane. So, here are some tips and tricks you can use to prepare your vehicle for shipping. They’ll help you preserve your car and have it arrive in one piece!

Clean your vehicle

First things first! The most important task you can do when you prepare your car for shipping is to have it thoroughly cleaned.  We’re talking about scrubbing down every nook and cranny until your vehicle looks as clean as on the day it was made. The best solution is to hire someone to do this for you, but if you don’t want to hire people to do it, you can properly clean your car by yourself. This will help prepare your vehicle for shipping and ensure your car arrives ready to use as soon as you arrive at your location. Make sure you have the inside of your car cleaned thoroughly as well.

In some cases, people use their car as a temporary garbage bin. Even though this practice is not popular, there are still enough cases of it. So, if you have a habit of tossing the trash in your vehicle, make sure you empty all of it before you prepare your vehicle for shipping. Leaving things such as food or drinks can spell disaster for your vehicle’s interior. This is equally important if you’re driving your car to your new home. Make sure you know how to prepare your vehicle for a cross-country move.

A clean car interior.
Don’t forget to clean the inside of your car too!

Check the tires

Once your vehicle is sparkly clean it’s time for the inspection! Check out the tires first. You’ll need to make sure they’re neither over or underinflated. Either of these can cause a lot of trouble for your vehicle as well as the person transporting it. Make sure you check the pressure in all the tires of your vehicle. It’s better for them to be a little underinflated than overinflated. However, the pressure in all the tires should be the same before you ship your vehicle.

check tires when you prepare your vehicle for shipping.
Make sure you check all the tires.

Remove any custom accessories

If your car has spoilers, extra lights or wheel covers you should remove them before you ship your vehicle. Not only will these make your car or bike bulkier and heavier, but there’s a chance they’ll fall off and damage your vehicle. Finally, they make your car stand a mark for thieves. This is why no professional car transport services will let you ship your car with its accessories on.

Apart from this, you should also remove any toll/parking paying gadgets you might have in your vehicle. Since those are usually GPS based you might end up getting charged for each and every toll the shipping truck passes through. That would be one very expensive car shipment.

Cover your vehicle when you prepare it for shipping

This will help you protect your vehicle when you’re shipping it. In addition to this, it can be useful when you’re preparing your car or bike for storage. Adding an additional protective layer prevents the dust and grit from getting into your engine. Apart from this, it will prevent any nasty scratches on your vehicle.

A nice orange motorbike.
Covering your vehicle before shipping it is especially important for motorbikes.

Empty your vehicle

If you treat your car like an average American citizen, this means your vehicle will be full of your personal items. Make sure you take out all of your personal belongings from your vehicle to avoid them being lost, damaged or, God forbid, stolen. This will also help protect your car from getting damaged by a stray tennis racquet if the moving truck takes a sharp turn.

Have your vehicle fully inspected

It’s usually a good idea to let a third party look over your vehicle. This can prove very informative since that person may notice something you missed. The best people for the job are as follows:

  • a trusty mechanic – if you have one, this is the best choice.
  • the insurance agent – his examination might be mandatory if you want to get insurance for your vehicle.

In addition to all this, you can ask your movers for help. Experienced interstate movers will even help you prepare your vehicle for shipping, not only transport it.

A beautiful red car ready for inspection you should do when you prepare your car for shipping.
Before you ship your car, have a third party inspect it.

Other useful tips when you prepare your vehicle for shipping

Even though these are not the most important things to do when you’re getting your car ready for auto transport, you’ll still need to take care of these things. Checking them will make both your and your trucker’s lives easier! So, if you let us find the best moving company for your needs, you can keep yourself busy by doing these tasks.

  • Lock your car – seems a bit redundant to mention this, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget something so basic when you prepare your vehicle for shipment.
  • Disable the alarm – unless you want your car to beep while your movers are transporting it all the way across the country. This can be very annoying for the truck driver as well as for everyone who has to clear your car through customs.
  • Empty the fuel tank – since you’re not planning on driving your car but shipping it, you don’t need a tank full of gas. You can leave a bit of fuel to help you make it to the nearest gas station. However, even this isn’t necessary and your car will be a lot lighter with no gas in the tank.