After choosing a reputable auto transport company, it’s time to make sure that your car is ready to ship safely!

How do you prepare your car for transport? Well, you can always send your car as is, but this is your baby! You want to make sure that you take all the preliminary steps to ensure a safe, damage free transport. Read over the 5 steps listed in this article and you will be ready to properly ship your vehicle.

1 Wash your vehicle

The first step in preparing your vehicle for transport is to make sure that you thoroughly wash your car before your first available pickup date. Once the outside of your car has been washed please take a few minutes to inspect the following:

  • Pre-existing scratches and dents
  • Paint chips and discoloring

Although, not typical, scratches and dings can happen during transport, and are covered by insurance. You want to make sure that you take note of all pre-existing blemishes on your vehicle to make sure your truck driver marks them on the Bill of Lading(vehicle inspection report).

2 Take pictures of pre-existing damage

Once you have taken note of all of the pre-existing damage on your vehicle, please take pictures of each scratch, dent, chip, and blemish. Make sure that all pictures are time and date stamped.

If you are using a smartphone, pictures will be stamped with time and date. These photos will be used for your personal record.

These records will help prevent any disputes with the carrier throughout the shipping process. Please make sure to show your truck driver the pictures you took and make sure your records match the Bill of Lading (vehicle inspection report) on pickup.

3 Remove all valuables from your car

Reduce the risk of theft and damage during transit and while the carrier is stopped.

  • Remove valuable items from your car. These include, but are not limited to, radars, GPS systems, customer stereos, etc.
  • Please be sure to remove toll transponders from your vehicle before transport. It is likely that while in transit, your toll transponder will be charged if it is still in your vehicle.
  • You are allowed to have up to 100lbs of cargo inside the vehicle. All cargo must be secured, below the window level, and in the rear or trunk of the car, nothing behind the driver’s seat.
  • Personal items inside your vehicle are not covered by insurance. In the case a personal item inside the vehicle causes damage, that will not be covered through insurance. We recommend that you do not ship any valuable personal items in your vehicle.

Read on for more details on this at Insurance and Personal Items in the FAQ section if you have additional questions regarding this topic.

4 Secure or Remove Loose Parts

Please make sure are any loose parts on your vehicle are secured or removed during transport. If you have an antenna on your vehicle be sure to remove it or retract it. If you have custom parts on the exterior of your vehicle like a spoiler, consider removing it before pickup to avoid damage or loss during transit.

5 Maintenance check for auto transport

Something most people don’t give much thought to is to make sure that your gas tank is below half a tank, 1/4th of a tank is preferred. This reduces the amount of weight going on the trailer.

For anyone shipping an inoperable vehicle make sure your shipping agent is made aware of this during booking to accommodate specific needs for both pickup and delivery.

If your vehicle runs and drives, please make sure you let your truck driver know of any mechanical issues so they can be prepared at the time of pickup.

  • Record the mileage on your vehicle
  • Check for any leaks under the car and inform your truck driver
  • Inform your driver of any mechanical issues
  • Make sure your vehicle’s battery is charged
  • Make sure all tires are properly inflated

This list of steps may seem a bit long, but it will help ensure a safe and damage-free transport. Understanding the condition of your vehicle before transport will eliminate any disputes throughout the shipping process and help Guardian Auto Transport provide a smooth and delightful auto shipping experience.