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Car Shipping Checklist

A Helpful List to Prepare Your Vehicle for Transport

Vehicle Preparation For Smooth Shipping

When relocating a vehicle, there are a few steps you can take to prepare your vehicle for shipment. By preparing your vehicle properly, it helps ensure that your shipment goes off as smooth as possible and can prevent any unexpected surprises during your relocation.

Helpful Tips For Your Transport

We’ve put together a list of helpful and good to know tips for you to follow to prepare your vehicle as best as possible prior to your ship date.

The Most Common Method of Vehicle Shipping

A few reasons why open car transport is our most popular service:

Steps to Prepare Your Vehicle for Shipment:

Cleaning your vehicle will ensure an accurate inspection can be completed.


Fluid Leaks

Make sure you don’t have any leaking fluids that may cause issues during transport.

Battery Charged

Ensure you have a fully charged battery, if not get a new one. You may run the risk of an additional fee for your vehicle being “inoperable”.

Tire Pressure

Check that your tires are completely inflated and that there aren’t any leaks so there won’t be issues unloading your vehicle upon delivery.

Alarms Disabled

If possible, disable all alarms that may cause issues for the transporter if triggered.

Toll Tags Removed

Make sure to remove or deactivate any toll devices to ensure you are not charged for tolls while your car is in transit.

Notable Issues

Inform the carrier if your vehicle has any specific issues with turning on or shifting gears. This will ensure the driver can easily load and unload your car on and off the truck.

Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the vehicle shipping process.
How much gas should I have in my car during transport?
You should have about a quarter of a tank of gas in your car at the time of shipment. This leaves enough for the car to be loaded and unloaded but doesn’t add much additional weight.
Where will my car be picked up and delivered?
The driver will get the car transporter as close to your door as he can legally and safely get. In most cases, the driver will be able to pickup and deliver directly at your door. Some cities may have restrictions on large trucks that prohibit them from driving into residential areas. Auto transport trucks are large and need lots of room to maneuver and turn around, so if access to the pickup or delivery location is restricted by narrow streets, low-hanging trees or tight turns, the driver may ask that you meet at a location nearby with a large parking lot, such as a grocery store.
What is top load service?
Top load service is when your car is placed on the higher deck or level of an open auto transport trailer. This is considered to be preferable to the bottom load because the cars on the lower deck are at risk of possibly having fluid from the cars above leak on them.
Can I ship a car from an auto auction?
Yes, many of our business clients require service from salvage auctions and other types of auto auctions. Each auction will have different requirements to release a vehicle and we’ll get all the necessary details from you at the time of booking. Please make sure the vehicle is fully paid and ready for release from the auction. Also be aware that if a vehicle is booked as operable but it turns out the vehicle is inoperable there will be additional cost and the original transporter may not be able to accommodate an inoperable vehicle.
How do I get my car ready for shipment?
Make sure your car has been completely clean, both inside and outside. This is particularlly important because this will help the driver conduct their inspection in order to assess any pre-existing damage on your vehicle. You will also want to make there are no additional personal items in the vehicle unless you intend to ship those with the vehicle (remember those items must total less than 75 pounds combined and kept below the window-line of the vehicle). Be sure to inform the driver of any special circumstances concerning the vehicle. Finally, make sure there is a quarter tank of gas in the car at the time it is picked up for shipment.
Can I ship a vehicle with low ground clearance?
Yes, however any vehicle with clearance lower than 4 inches will likely need to be shipped on an enclosed trailer with a lift gate. Low-clearance vehicles simply cannot be driven onto an open trailer because the car would risk bottoming out while being loaded onto the carrier.
Can I put personal items in my vehicle?
You may ship personal belongings inside of your car, the total weight of these items cannot be more than a hundred pounds and has to be left in the trunk or back seats (under the window line). Please note that personal belonging are not covered under insurance if they are reported as damaged or missing.
View all frequently asked questions

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