Car for Shipping

If you’re planning to ship car across country or even overseas, be sure to make all the necessary preparations so your vehicle arrives in its pristine condition. While all the transporting actions are on a shipping company, you can still additionally prevent damage or other issues during transit. For example, leaving some loose items in your car might be okay for a few miles trip. But it’s not when you want to move your vehicle from the West Coast to the East Coast. In this article, we’ll talk about the five main steps to make your vehicle completely ready for any transportation.

Step 1: Clean your car

First of all, you should clean your car thoroughly before it’s loaded into a car transporter. This step is not just about keeping your car in good condition and helping to identify existing damage (which’s still very important). The clean state of your car also helps you avoid any issues with customs and quarantine inspections. Here’s advice on cleaning your car properly:

  • Start by washing your car’s exterior using soap and water. Make sure to clean the wheels and undercarriage as well.
  • Dry your car thoroughly with a clean towel or chamois.
  • Vacuum your car’s interior to remove any dirt or debris.
  • Wipe down the dashboard and other surfaces with a clean, damp cloth.
  • Clean the windows and mirrors with a glass cleaner.
  • Remove any personal items (including floor mats and seat covers) and clean them separately.

Step 2: Inspect your car for existing damage

So, your car looks clean now. It helps you inspect your car for any existing damage before shipping it. This step protects you from any disputes or claims that may arise during transit. If you don’t document existing damages, any damage that occurred during transit may also be claimed to be your fault. Here’s advice on inspecting your car thoroughly:

  • Don’t neglect cleaning your car to be able to spot any existing damage.
  • Inspect your car’s exterior carefully, looking for any dents, scratches, or other damage.
  • Check the mirrors, windows, and lights to ensure they are all functioning properly.
  • Open and close all doors and the trunk to ensure they are working correctly.
  • Look under the hood and check the engine for any leaks or other issues.
  • Inspect the wheels and tires to check their condition.
  • Check your car’s interior for any damage or stains, and make sure all electronics & other features are working as they should.

Step 3: Remove all personal belongings from the car

the car

Your car should not contain any personal belongings during shipping to avoid being damaged from the inside. We are talking about stuff like clothing, electronics, and other personal items that may be inside your car. Here are the three main reasons to remove all personal belongings:

  • Safety: Any loose items inside your car can become projectiles during transit, thus causing damage to the car.
  • Weight restrictions: A shipping company may have weight restrictions, so any extra weight from personal belongings results in additional fees.
  • Customs inspections: In some countries, customs inspections can be really rigorous. Any personal items left in your car might cause delays or even rejection at customs.

What exactly should you remove? Here’s advice on it:

  • Cleaning your car’s interior helps identify any forgotten items as well.
  • Remove all your stuff from the glove box, center console, and other storage areas.
  • Take out any floor mats or seat covers that may have personal items on them.
  • Check the trunk and remove any items that may be stored there.
  • Double-check all your car’s areas to make sure you haven’t missed any personal belongings.

Step 4: Document your car’s condition

Now, after your car is clean, free of personal stuff, and you have inspected its condition – you are ready to document it. Taking photos and notes of any existing damage will provide evidence in case of any issues during transit. Here’s advice on documenting your car’s condition before shipping:

  • Use your smartphone (or even a camera if available) to take clear photos of your car from all angles (both the interior and exterior).
  • Take close-up shots of any scratches, dents, or other damage you will find.
  • Write down notes about your car’s condition (with any existing damages or issues you have noticed).
  • Include the date & time of the inspection on your notes and photos.
  • Keep all documentation in a safe place, like a folder or email. Make sure you have easy access to it if needed.

Step 5: Secure loose items and prepare for transport

Let’s say you have already removed your personal belongings, which may potentially complicate the shipping. But what if you have some car parts or personal items that had to be transported along with your car? You can secure them to prevent damage during transportation. Here’s advice on securing loose items:

  • Remove any detachable parts: Any separable parts, like spoilers or antennas, should be removed before shipping. The goal is clear – eliminate even the slight possibility of damaging your car.
  • Secure items in the trunk: Any loose items (the ones you want to ship with your car) should be placed in the trunk and secured with straps or bungee cords so they don’t move during transit.
  • Secure items in the interior: If you decide to leave something in the interior, secure it in place using cargo nets or straps.
  • Close all windows and sunroof: Make sure all windows and the sunroof are completely closed to prevent any damage from debris.
  • Lower the antenna: If your car has an external antenna, you want to lower the contact area as much as possible.
  • Disable alarms: Disable any alarms or anti-theft systems in your car to prevent them from going off during transport.

Overall, it might just seem like there is a lot of work. But, in fact, it takes pretty little time for you. The main idea is to make your car clean, stuff-free and documented.

We hope you found this blog post on Preparing Your Car for Shipping: A Step-by-Step Guide useful. Be sure to check out our post on Step by Step Guide to Planning a Stress-free Car Shipping for more great tips!

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