Does Your Chosen Car Shipping Company Have A Prep Process

A car is a valuable asset that you want to be protected when having it shipped, whether internationally, across the country or simply to another state. While it might appear to be a relatively straightforward process once you find a company to transport the vehicle, there’s likely more involved than anticipated.

A trusted and reliable transport business like Road Runner car shipping will expect you to get the vehicle road ready before they take custody for the trip. This way, once a company becomes responsible, they can transport without fear of damage and maintain a safe delivery.

The shipping company will load the vehicle onto a multi-vehicle trailer to transport it to your destination. It can be an anxiety-inducing prospect making it necessary to do your homework when searching for a credentialed company with a stellar reputation.

You can research the “Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration” for details on a business complaint history and confirm their license and insurance details. It’s wise to check into a few before committing to one specializing in vehicle transport with the best hauling practices.

What Does Your Car Shipping Company Expect When Preparing For Transport

Before transporting your car, a trusted, reliable shipping company will expect you to prepare the vehicle for the road.

Second to a home, an auto is likely the second most valuable asset a person has. That means you want to ensure the car arrives at its final destination safely and without damage. Find out how to ship your car overseas at

If a company doesn’t offer preparation instructions but instead agrees to take the car “as is,” they would be the wrong transport business to deal with. Some conditions most legitimate businesses have before shipping a vehicle include the following:

The car needs to be washed

A primary chore before transporting a car is to clean the auto thoroughly inside and out. The shipping company will provide you with the “available shipping date” so you can have it washed before that day. After cleaning, take the time to do an inspection for existing damages.

These can be scratches, dings or dents, discoloration, or paint chips. It’s rare, but getting a dent or scratch with the shipment is possible. You’ll be better able to find existent damage when the vehicle is clean. It’s important to then let the transport company know about the damage.

Photograph the damages you find 

While doing the inspection, take photos each time you find damage. Make sure there’s a time/date stamp on the picture of each chip, gash, ding, and on. You’ll have these for your documentation and can also offer these to the shipping company for their records.

If new damages were to occur during transport, the company could quickly rectify the situation without a need for a dispute or hassles for you. The company will also do an inspection report (Bill of Lading) that you need to sign, where you can also include your damages.

All valuable items should be removed

All valuable items should be removed

When transporting the vehicle, the priority is to get it there safely without damage, wear, and tear and to protect it. In saying that, the shipping company wants to ensure optimum safety by preventing the potential for damage, including theft.

That means you need to remove anything of value from the auto that could tempt the behavior. These items include any customizations like a stereo system, GPS navigation, DVD player, and add-ons.

The company advises toll tags and parking passes be removed since the car will likely be flagged with each toll the truck comes to. You’ll also want to disable alarms to avoid these going off in the shipping process. The driver has the right to “disable it by any means.”

Aside from valuables, you’ll want to remove any loose components on the vehicle’s exterior, like the antenna. The side view mirrors should be tucked in with any custom parts removed to avoid the possibility of damage or theft.

With convertibles, confirm the top is secure so there is no possible damage from weather conditions on the vehicle’s interior. Plus, the vehicle’s gas tank should only be “¼ full of fuel” to limit the weight. Go here to learn the mistakes people make when having vehicles transported.

Final Thought

When you pass over your keys to the car shipping company, these shouldn’t be your original or only set. Before the transport date, make sure to have a set of keys made; if you have a specialty key like a key fob, make a point of having the dealer get this ready for you.

These steps help to ensure that your auto is delivered to your destination as safely as possible. You can reduce the likelihood of damage and any potential for theft if you take the time to adequately prepare your car for its trip.