Three Pre-Shipping Steps That People Tend To Forget

CarsArrive | Auto shipping

When you're getting ready to ship a car, there are some things on your checklist that seem really, really obvious: make sure to remove valuables from the inside, make sure that the car shipping company has a set of keys to the car, make sure that there aren't any questionable and hazardous fluids leaking from the bottom -- those steps are easy to remember.

But there are a few things that far too many people forget about before handing their cars over to a professional vehicle transport service. Let’s look at three important things to prepare before dropping it off at the terminal or having the auto transport company pick it up at your doorstep.

Clean It

Remember to wash your car before dropping it off. Not only will you be able to avoid the certain embarrassment of dropping off a nasty mud-covered car, but you'll make it easier on the shipping service employees who have to conduct inspections on your car before moving it.

Keep in mind, a thorough inspection means that, if some sort of damage does occur during shipping, you'll be able to fix the damage through the car transport company's insurance policy. If your vehicle is too dirty at origin for a proper inspection, it may impact your standing in filing a claim. Otherwise, you may be on your own for dealing with any problems that happen in transit.

Use Up The Gas

Empty your gas tank at least below one-half full, and ideally about one-quarter full. Mostly, this step is to ensure that your car weighs as little as possible (you'd be surprised by how much a full tank of gas can weigh, especially when 10 different cars all have one). If your car is too heavy, it could throw off the balance of the entire carrier vehicle -- and will definitely increase traveling costs.

Get It Running

Finally, make sure that your car is operable. This seems pretty straightforward if you plan on driving your car to and from the designated pickup spot. Most importantly, that the car can will start, steer, brake and go in drive and reverse gears.

If you're shipping a new car or an antique car that hasn't been used in a while, it's easy to forget to check to confirm that everything is working. If your car isn't in working order, or could possibly stop working after you hand it over to the car shipping service, you'll probably end up with some extra fees (if your car can be transported at all).


Most car shipping companies have complete pre-shipment checklists available that pertain to the type of car you have and the shipment option you've chosen. That said, if you're feeling a bit anxious that you may have forgotten something, never hesitate to call up the company who will be transporting your vehicle and ask for a few extra tips. When it comes to shipping your car, it's always better to be on the safe side!

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