Preparing Your Car For Cross-Country Shipping: A Checklist

Whether relocating nationwide or simply to another state, shipping your car is essential to the moving process. You must select a shipment company, negotiate a pick-up window and prepare your vehicle for transport.

To avoid surprises and ensure that your car will reach its destination in good condition, look at our step-by-step guide: Preparing your vehicle for cross-country shipping: A checklist.

Wash the Exterior

Washing your car is not always easy — especially if you want to achieve that just-left-the-showroom shine. Before washing, remove any salt, grime, or elements of the road from the bodywork and wheel wells.

Having the right cleaning supplies will make this step much easier and faster. Invest in a quality wash mitt (sheepskin or microfiber) and a few sizeable chamois or microfiber drying towels to complete the job quicker and protect your car’s paint. Also, remember to wash the rearview mirrors and tires.

Clean the Interior

Whether you’re shipping car across country or to a different state, it is vital to clean the interior. It includes removing all personal items from your vehicle that could be stolen or damaged during transportation.

Additionally, taking pictures of any prior damage is a good idea. It will help you document any scratches, dents, or paint chips so that they can be included in the bill of lading or inspection report provided by the carrier.

During transport, your vehicle may be jostled around quite a bit. If personal items are left inside your car, they could get thrown around and cause additional damage.

Remove All Valuables

Leaving personal items in your car during shipping can increase the likelihood of getting damaged. It is particularly valid if those objects are not fastened. This step should include removing air fresheners, spare change, electronics, and any cables connected to the vehicle.

Other items you should remove from your car before shipping include bike racks, spoilers, and extra tires. Disabling the alarm is also good because it could irritate your driver and slow the delivery procedure.

Take Photos

Before you transport your car across the country, be sure it is in good condition. It is why it’s crucial to photograph your vehicle before giving it to the shipping firm.

These photos will help protect you in the rare case that your car is damaged during transport. Take multiple images from different angles to cover all areas of your vehicle.

Shipping your car cross-country is an excellent option for a long-distance move. It can save you money on hotels, meals, gas, mileage on your vehicle, and time away from work.

Check the Fuel Level

A full gas tank adds weight to your vehicle, and shipping companies prefer that cars have no more than a quarter fuel tank. Fuel also spills quickly and can damage the car.

Cross-country auto transport is any route that spans a large portion of the country, such as east to west or north to south. While this type of transport is more expensive than interstate car shipping, it can be more convenient and safer for your vehicle. Here are some tips to help you prepare your car for this type of transportation.

Remove Tires

Whether moving to the other side of the country or buying a classic car online, shipping your vehicle can be an affordable and convenient option. However, before you hand over your keys to the auto transport company, there are a few essential protocols that you should follow to ensure your car is ready for the journey.

Be sure to check the tires and remove any accessories, such as custom spoilers, which could get damaged during transit. Also, be sure to tighten up any loose hardware.

Check the Battery

Transporting a vehicle nationwide can be expensive, but doing it well ensures it will reach its destination in good shape. A reputable car shipping company offers services from open to enclosed auto transport and can provide competitive pricing.

Before the shipper picks up your car, ensure the battery is ultimately charged. It is also important to disable any alarms, as they may annoy the trucker. Keep the gas tank about a quarter full to save on fuel costs.

Remove the License Plates

When you hire an auto transport company for cross-country shipping, they inspect the vehicle before loading it onto their truck. You should be present at this inspection to document the car’s condition in case of any damages during transportation.

Preventative car maintenance can help you discover problems before they become bigger ones. For example, regularly checking your battery’s case, motor oil, and antifreeze levels will keep your vehicle running smoothly. Moreover, these steps can save you from having to pay for costly repairs in the future.

Remove the Child Safety Seat

Infant safety seats detach easily from the base and can click into strollers for transportation. They should be rear-facing until children outgrow the height and weight limits, usually at age 3.

Ensure your child’s coat fits over the harness straps after buckling in. The pinch test is an excellent way to check: Parents should not be able to grab excess webbing with their fingers.

Never install a child safety seat in front of an airbag-equipped car. Serious harm or even death may result from this. It can cause severe injury or death.

Remove Any Electronics

Cross-country shipping involves transporting a car across the country from one end to the other. It may include a route from the east coast to the west or north to south.

Preparing your vehicle for cross-country shipping is essential so it arrives at its new home as expected. To do this, wash your car thoroughly and remove any unnecessary attachments. You should also disable your alarm system to avoid annoying the truck driver and potentially causing damage during transport. You should also remove electronic devices like GPS systems or toll tags.

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