Preparing Your Car for Shipping

How to ship a car

How to Prepare a Car for Transport


First remove any racks that are not original to the car. For instance, luggage racks, bike racks and ski racks should be taken off and put inside the car. If your truck has a canopy or a cap, make sure it is bolted to the truck. Also, remove any low hanging items. This includes such things as fairing, air dams and spoilers. If you do these things, you're making sure that simply driving your truck or car up or down a ramp won't cause damage.


Another good idea is to clean your vehicle. If your car is clean it will be easier to identify any pre-existing marks or dings, as well as any that may occur during shipping. You will be asked to do an inspection with the transport driver before and after transport. If there is any damage to your car glass, consider having it fixed before shipping. With the right car shipping quotes and some simple preparations, both you and your car will be ready to go when the time comes! Happy shipping!

It is important to remember that less than 5% of vehicles transported sustain any measurable damage. Minimize the risk associated with transporting your vehicle by following the steps below.

Inspect Your Car Thoroughly for Existing Damage Before Shipping


Check for and document any pre-existing damage.
You can do this in a few easy steps:


Remove Custom Products and Personal Items

Your vehicle will be inspected, loaded and unloaded numerous times while being transported. For this reason, it will most likely travel unlocked. Decrease the risk of theft by removing custom stereos, after-market video and DVD players, TVs, GPS Systems, radio faceplates and detachable CD players. Ship these items separately.


Remember to remove all personal items from the interior of your car, including the trunk. An automotive transporter’s insurance will not cover any personal items inside your vehicle. These items may shift during transport and cause immense damage to your vehicle. You will be held liable if your items cause damage to another vehicle or the transport truck. Furthermore, these items will add to the weight of the vehicle, which will impact the price and speed of service.
uShip Automobile Shipping

Remove Toll Tags and Parking Passes

Remove or deactivate any toll tags or parking passes on your car. These items could be charged continually on the way to the destination. Furthermore, they are valuable and could be targeted for theft.

Prepare Your Car for Transport

Though your car will be driven minimally during the transport process, it should nonetheless be in good driving condition. According to Dean Xeros, inoperable vehicles can be shipped, but the transporter must know in advance so that they can make the proper preparations. For operable vehicles, mechanical issues can cause unforeseen delays and damages. Therefore, you should perform a maintenance check before shipping your car. Check out Dean’s list of preparations below:

Make sure the battery has a full charge and that the tires are properly inflated.

Top off all fluids in the car
Run down your gas tank to a quarter or eighth full. An almost-empty tank will save weight and help keep your shipment moving along quickly.

Keep an eye on the vehicle for a few weeks prior to shipment. If there are any leaks or mechanical problems make sure the driver knows. Vehicles with leaks should never be placed on the top rack of a multi-car carrier because they can drip on the vehicles below.

Document mechanical problems and write down any special steps needed to drive your car on and off the trailer (including problems starting or stopping your car). Give these instructions to your driver.


Prepare for on and off loading

Prepare your car to be loaded on and off your car transporter’s truck or trailer to help them ship your car with ease. Remember, the better you prepare your car for shipment, the more likely it will arrive on time and without damage.

If you have a convertible, make sure the top is secured as thoroughly as possible to avoid damage from air, debris, or moisture. If you cannot secure the top, add extra protection with a wind-resistant tarp.


Fold back your mirrors and retract the antenna. Any specialty items, like fog lights, ground effects or spoilers should be secured or removed.


Finally, turn off or disable your car alarm. If you cannot disable the alarm, provide detailed, written instructions for the driver on how to turn off the alarm in case it is triggered.