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Preparing Your Vehicle for Shipping: 5 Important Steps

Vehicle for shipping checklist

Prepare Your Vehicle for Shipping

Are you planning to have your vehicle shipped? To properly prepare your vehicle for shipping is essential to ensure a mode of safe and successful transport. Vehicle shipping requires that you check the fuel level, clean out the interior and exterior of your vehicle, disable any car alarm systems in place, and check the ride height settings. Follow this step-by-step guide to get your vehicle ready for shipping and make sure it reaches its destination without any problems.


Empty Fuel Gauge


Check the Vehicle’s Fuel Level

Before loading your vehicle onto the transport truck, make sure to check its fuel level. Most vehicle shipping carriers have a strict policy regarding fuel levels – the vehicle must have no more than a ¼ tank of fuel in it. Too much fuel could add unnecessary weight and increase the risk of a spill during transit. Most vehicle shipping carriers have weight restrictions in place, and a full tank of fuel can add unnecessary weight to the vehicle.

By requiring a quarter tank of fuel, the company can ensure that the vehicle is within the weight limits. In the event that the vehicle is damaged during transport, a full tank of fuel can lead to spillage or leakage. A quarter tank of fuel is less likely to cause this issue. Requiring a quarter tank of fuel also helps the vehicle shipping carrier save on fuel costs. Overall, the main reason why vehicle shipping carriers want only a quarter tank of fuel in the car is for safety and cost efficiency.


Clean Your Car Inside and Out

Before having your vehicle shipped, make sure it’s clean inside and out. Thoroughly vacuum the carpets, mats, and seats to remove dirt, sand, and debris. Clean windows, mirrors, headlights, and taillights too. Lastly, apply a coat of wax and polish to protect your vehicle’s body from rusting during transportation.

A clean car is less likely to have debris or objects that can cause damage to the car during transport. For example, if there is loose debris in or out of the car, it can fly around and potentially damage other vehicles during transport. Vehicle shipping carriers are responsible for any damage that occurs to the car during transport.

If the car is dirty and has debris inside or out, it may be more difficult to determine if any damage occurred during transport or if it was already present. A clean car is more visually appealing and can make a better impression on the vehicle for shipping carrier and the person receiving the car. A clean car is more hygienic and can prevent the spread of insects and rodents during transport. Cleaning the inside and outside your car prior to transport is an important step to ensure the safety, liability, presentation, and hygiene of the car during transport.


Disable Your Car Alarm

Before shipping, you must also disable your car alarm. It’s important to note that if your vehicle has an anti-theft stock alarm, you’ll need to have it temporarily disabled. To do this, contact your dealership and explain why you need the alarm disabled before handing over the keys for transport. The dealership will be able to provide you with instructions on how to disable your car alarm. A car alarm can be very loud and disruptive, especially when the car is being loaded onto the transport trailer.

This can be a distraction for the drivers and workers, and can also disturb the other vehicles on the trailer. The alarm system may be sensitive, and the vibrations and movement of loading and unloading the car could set it off. This could lead to damage to the alarm system or other parts of the car. A car alarm that is constantly going off may attract unwanted attention, and could potentially make the car a target for theft or vandalism. Turning off the car alarm helps to ensure the smooth and safe transport of the vehicle for shipping.


Check Ride Height Settings

Before handing over your vehicle for shipping, make sure that the ride height settings have been checked. It is especially relevant if you have a low-riding sports car or luxury vehicle with adjustable suspension. Ride height and running gear are important factors in loading, transporting, and unloading your vehicle, so it’s important that these are set correctly before transport.

Auto transport carriers want you to check the ride height settings on your car because it helps to ensure that your car is properly balanced and secure during transportation. If the ride height is set too low, it can cause the car to drag on the ground and potentially damage the undercarriage. If it is set too high, it can make the car more prone to tipping or rolling over during transport. By checking and adjusting the ride height before transport, you can help to prevent these potential issues and ensure that your car is transported safely.


A vehicle with a roof rack packed with luggage and a rear bike rack holding two bikes. Vehicle shipping.

Disconnect All Aftermarket Accessories

Once you are positive that the ride height settings are ready, it’s time to disconnect expensive aftermarket accessories such as a sound system, GPS tracker, or hands-free kit. Another good practice is to remove all custom parts and accessories that can be easily removed. Lastly, make sure to check whether any antennas on your vehicle can be collapsed down before shipping. By taking the time to do this now, you will save yourself time, money and stress in the long run!

Aftermarket accessories can add extra weight to a vehicle, which can affect the overall weight of the transport trailer and potentially increase fuel costs for the transport carrier. Removing aftermarket accessories can help prevent them from being damaged during transport. Some accessories may not be able to withstand the movement and vibration of the vehicle shipping trailer, which can result in damage or even breakage. Some aftermarket accessories, such as spoilers or ground effects, may extend beyond the dimensions of the vehicle and could potentially cause clearance issues on the transport trailer.

Auto transport carriers may require that aftermarket accessories be removed in order to be covered under their insurance policy. If an accessory is damaged during transport and is not covered under the policy, the owner may not be reimbursed for any damages. Overall, removing aftermarket accessories can help protect them from damage and make the transport process smoother and more efficient.


Get Ready to Ship Your Car

By taking extra precautions before shipping your vehicle, you can believe that your ride will arrive at its destination safely and securely. Vehicle for shipping allows you to move vehicles from any location – all it requires is professionalism and thorough preparation!


Get a free vehicle shipping quote today, and get started preparing for the move.


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