How to Prepare for Shipping Your Vehicle

Last Updated on February 5, 2024 by John Robinson

Moving vehicles from one location to another has been made quite easy all thanks to shipping companies. People can now easily relocate with everything that’s valuable to them. Similarly, clients can buy vehicles from overseas or from out of state and have it shipped to their desired destination. 

Why Move Your Vehicle with a Shipping Company

There are many reasons why it is preferable to use an auto transport company instead of driving the vehicle across state lines or over long distances.  Some of the reasons include:-

  1. Saving time
  2. Saving money from overall travel costs and repair of wear and tear on the car.
  3. Less stress and energy expended on planning and logistics for travelling.
  4. Reducing the mileage on the car thereby preserving the resale value. Check out this site for info on what affects the resale value of a car:

First timers to auto transport often encounter a number of issues mainly because they failed to prepare adequately. In this article, we will share some tips on how to prepare to ship your vehicle. 

How to Prepare Your Car for Shipping

So apart from getting quotes from as many service providers as possible and negotiating for the best offer, there are some other things you need to do. These tips are meant to help you have a hitch free experience with the shipment of your vehicle(s). Here are some tips:-

Choose the Appropriate Carrier tor Your Vehicle

There are two major ways of shipping vehicles and they are with enclosed or open carriers.  Enclosed carriers just as the name imply means that the vehicle will be put in a truck that’s totally covered. These enclose carriers have capacity to contain fewer vehicles than the open ones therefore it costs more to use it than the open carriers. 

The open carriers are kind of industry standard; they are the most widely used type of transport carriers. They are usually open semi-trucks that have the capacity to haul many cars most often on two levels. 

Open carriers are mostly used for moving regular vehicles while the enclosed carriers are used for high end sports cars or rare classics. So if you want to move a classic or very expensive vehicle, it is best you spring some extra dollars for an enclosed carrier. Also look out for the best vehicle shipping company while you are at it. You certainly want your priced possession delivered in pristine shape.

Clean the Vehicle

It wouldn’t do for you to leave your vehicle littered with all sorts; this is because it will make it harder for you to carry out inspections on the car before and after the trip. These inspections are compulsory to ascertain the condition of the automobile before haulage. Another check is carried out after delivery to be sure that there was no damage in transit. 

No one is asking you to wash and wax the car but at least keep things tidy so that any nicks and dents can be easily identified. It is important to note that some shippers will not agree to move a dirty and cluttered vehicle. 

Disable Alarm and Empty Out the Vehicle

Ensure that you disable the alarm and remove every moveable and personal item in the car. If you do not disable the alarm, the driver of the haulage vehicle has the right to try and turn it off by whatever means necessary. This means that the haulage service will not be liable for whatever damage happens to the car in the course of trying to put off the alarm. 

Similarly, cost of damage done to any accessories or personal item that you don’t remove before shipping the car will not be borne by the company. 

Ensure that You Inspect the Car Before and after Shipping 

Whether you drop off the car at the company premises or a driver comes to pick it up, ensure that you carry out an inspection that is witnessed by the driver. A bill of lading is then issued that attests to the condition of the car and confirms that the car has been picked up.  Click here for more info on bill of lading. 

When the car is delivered, ensure that you inspect it to be sure that there are no damages. If you notice any damage, point it out before you sign off on the delivery and make final payments. 


Shipping a vehicle is not something one should do haphazardly. You need to take out time to search and find the best haulage service provider to work with. After that you go ahead and prepare your car; this is in addition to whatever preparation the company will make. 

We have shared some tips in this article about what you should do before shipping out your car. Note that there are more things to do such as carrying out routine maintenance if necessary and emptying out your tank (to the minimum that can allow it to be driven for short distances).

John Robinson
John Robinson

Howdy! I’m John Robinson from Levittown, New York. I am a mechanical engineer for 15 years and already had an established car repair company. I developed a personal relationship with cars since I was a kid. I always love the sounds and smell emitted by a car or truck and even at construction machinery. Since then I have been married but my love for cars only grew.