1. Inspect Your Car. Make a thorough inspection of your car and note all existing dents, scratches, scrapes and all other surface marks and damages. When you turn your car over to the auto shipping company, they’ll ask you to sign the Bill of Lading, which shall contain a page for the current condition of your vehicle, including existing damages.
2. Don’t forget to inspect the top side of the car. The top side of your vehicle matters too, especially when you’re shipping your car in open vessels where the cars being shipped are piled each on top of the other. So, the top side may get some damages too such as oil and fluid leak stains, scratches and dents.
3. Make sure your car is working perfectly. Ensure all the mechanical parts are in good working condition. If it has problems like failure to start, spark plugs or battery problems, consider having them repaired first so as to avoid loading and unloading problems, otherwise just include instructions for the driver on how to make your car work right.
4. Remove all toll tags you have on your car. The last thing you want to happen is to get toll charges on your car from originating location to destination during the transport! Don’t forget to remove all parking passes you might have as well.
5. Remove interior custom parts and custom accessories. Strip your car of all items like stereos, DVD player, GPS system, monitors and many others. Remember that only the outer parts of your vehicle are noted in the Bill of Lading and any damages or lost parts and items inside your vehicle is not a liability of the car shipping company.
6. All exterior parts of your vehicle should be securely fastened. Remove all exterior accessories too like back-up cameras and the like. In addition, remember to fold back the mirrors of your vehicle as well.
7. Because cars being shipped by auto shippers are usually unlocked, you ought to remove all your valuable personal items. Don’t think about shipping some personal items you need in your new location together with your car. Aside from the possibility of them getting lost during transport, it could damage your interior or other vehicle when they slip out of the car during transit.
8. Leave your windows slightly open. Just a precautionary measure, since pressure may get in your car during transport, especially as elevation and temperature may change throughout the transit. If the windows are slightly opened, then there’s little chance of air pressure getting inside your vehicle.
9. For those with convertibles, cover the top portion of your car with a heavy cloth. Even though convertibles are usually loaded on top of the truck, it may still get dirty since open vessels do not have top coverings. Aside from dirt, you don’t want anything getting inside your convertible and possibly damaging your interiors.
10. Finally, disable your alarm system. Before turning your car over to the auto shipping company, remember to remove or disable your car alarm. In case you can’t remove it, leave instructions for the truck driver on how to disable the system for accidental set-offs.