Posted By : Vehicle Shipping Agent
How to Prepare Your Car for an Auto Transport Service
Are you preparing to have your car shipped and want to make sure it’s ready to go? Here’s how you can prepare your car for an auto transport service.
It’s too bad cars can’t yet fly or float on water. But even if they could, there are still plenty of reasons why people need to rely on an auto transport service.
Some people just don’t like traveling on the highways and would prefer a service transport their car. Others are moving overseas. Sometimes, the person moving is driving the truck from Florida to New York and doesn’t want to tow their car along.
No matter what your reason is for needing to transport your car, you’ll need to do some preparations first. Read on to learn the steps to take.
Wash Your Car
Before the auto transport service shows up, go ahead and wash the exterior of your car. You can then check your car to see if there’s any damage on the outside that’s noticeable.
Look for any scratches or dents. Check to see if there’s any discoloring or paint chipping. While it’s rare that damage occurs during shipping, it’s far easier to prove the damage came from the shipping company if you’re aware of any damage caused prior to the transportation.
Don’t forget to clean the inside of your car as well.
Remove items like loose change, electronics, and any corresponding cables or chargers. It’s that can shuffle around during transportation should also be removed.
Take Photos of Any Damage
If you notice any damage to your car, whether inside or out, take photos. This way, should something happen, you’ll easily be able to prove it is new damage.
Make it easier on yourself by including these photos with your written record. Have them ready so you can mark them on the Bill of Lading. The Bill of Lading is the inspection report your carrier will provide to you and you must sign.
Doing this will ensure that it will be far easier to deal with the auto transport’s insurance company. You already have the proof so there will be little room for them to refuse compensation.
Disable the Car Alarm
Don’t forget to disable the car alarm before the car transport company comes to pick it up. It would not be great to make an enemy of the driver who had to listen to your alarm going off for the entire duration.
Also, please be aware that if your alarm does go off during transportation, the driver does have a legal right to disable your alarm. By any means necessary.
Remove Personal Belongings
While most auto transport companies hire trustworthy and reliable employees, don’t assume your belongings will be safe. Remove all your personal belongings before they arrive.
You also don’t want to add any extra weight on to your car so that it’s considered a heavy haul load. It’s also especially wise to remove your personal belongings because not always will the car transportation company be able to leave your car in a space that’s 100% safe.
Besides the usual DVD players, GPS systems, and custom stereos that should be removed don’t forget that parking passes and toll tags should also be removed.
It’s entirely possible for your toll tag to pick up fees as it’s traveling. Save yourself some money by removing all tags until you retrieve your car.
Remove Loose Parts
Before your auto transport company arrives, either secure or remove any parts to the exterior that are loose. Your antenna should either be removed and placed in your trunk or completely retracted.
If you have a custom spoiler or other parts, consider removing them. You wouldn’t want them damaged or lost during the transport. Also, don’t forget to fold in your side-view mirrors.
If you’re transporting a convertible, ensure the top is completely secured. Otherwise, the convertible might be vulnerable to damage caused by weather.
Keep the Gas Low for Your Auto Transport
Most of the time, when your car is taking a trip, you want to fill up the car completely. When you’re using a car transport company, you only want your car to have about 1/4 of a tank of gas or less.
Your car isn’t being driven. However, having the car filled up with gas will make the car heavier. That adds weight to both the price of the shipment and on the car carrier.
Perform a Maintenance Check
Before the auto transport company arrives, perform your own maintenance check. Make sure your fluids have been topped off.
Check your tires to ensure they’re properly inflated. Having either under-inflated or over-inflated tires can cause damage to your car. While it’s most likely to happen while the car is being put on or taken off the truck, there’s no reason to risk damage to your car.
Look for any signs of leaks. If you do see a leak, get it fixed before the car carrier service arrives. Otherwise, if the leak is too big, they may refuse to ship it.
Ensure your vehicle has a full battery charge. You don’t want the car to be dead on arrival. If there are any mechanical issues, take notes. Give those notes to the driver so they take special care when taking the car on and off their truck.
Lastly, check the mileage and make a record of it.
Keep an Extra Set of Keys Handy
Do not give the auto transport driver your only set of keys. If something happens to them, you do not want to have to figure out what to do next.
Instead, locate your extra set of keys. If you do not have an extra set of keys, get a set made before the auto carrier company arrives.
Lock Your Car
Once you hand over your car to the carrier company, no one will need access to the inside of your car. Lock your car to prevent thieves from wanting to see if you left anything of value inside.
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