Have you ever experienced the tedious process of moving to another city or state? If yes, then you fully understand how easy it is for things to get out of hand. When relocating, it is sometimes impossible to drive your car to the place you will soon call home. In these situations, it is best to allow a car transport company to ship your motor vehicle. All you have to do is call them, give them your location and a truck will come to pick up your car and deliver it to your preferred destination. Although these services try to ensure the safety of your vehicle while on transit, it is prudent to take personal measures for the same. Here are some of the ways to prepare your car for shipping.
Wash your car thoroughly before pickup
Have your car washed before it is picked up by the auto transport company. Dirt and dust can conceal any damage done while on transit. Cleaning your car will also reveal existing damage; scrapes, dents, and scratches are easily noticeable on a thoroughly cleaned car.
Again, remove any personal items inside the car and clear out the trunk. These include air fresheners, chargers and even loose change. The vehicle may be moved around during transport and these items could be tossed around and damage the car.
Remove the alarm systems and aftermarket upgrades
Alarms could be accidentally set off and significantly delay delivery of the car. To avoid such scenarios, car alarms should be unmounted. If it isn’t removable, disabling it will suffice. This also goes for mounted GPS devices, toll passes and any car upgrades that are detachable.
Do not fill up the tank
A full tank of gasoline will make the car unnecessarily heavier. Any additional weight increases the risk during transport. You should leave fuel just enough to get you to a gas station after picking up the car. Besides, your car is being shipped, not driven to you.
Check for leaks
Check the undercarriage for any leaks before it is loaded onto the truck. These should be fixed promptly. Most likely your car will be shipped with other vehicles. You also wouldn’t like to pick up your vehicle covered in transmission fluid.
Check tire pressure
Tires should be adequately inflated. If not, they pose as big a risk as they would on the road. Over-inflated or under-inflated tires can get your vehicle damaged especially during loading and unloading.
Secure any loose parts or openings
Any moving parts or those that can potentially come off while in transit should be properly fixed. Such parts can cause serious damage to the car and also pose the risk of impeding other drivers. Convertible tops and sunroofs should be properly mounted so that they do not open or detach. Side mirrors should be folded in and fragile parts should be covered by protective layers.
Make sure you have spare keys for the trucker
Your car may be loaded and offloaded onto several trucks along the delivery route. Some cars come with a spare set of keys while others do not. For the latter, make a spare copy well in advance.
Handing over the only set of keys is reckless and may end up costing you more than making a duplicate. In the event the key is misplaced or accidentally locked inside the car, you will still be able to pick up your car upon arrival.
Record existing damage on the vehicle
Unless brand new, every car has a little damage that can be attributed to weather exposure or other reasons. It is important to do this so as to avoid misunderstandings later on. Take many pictures of the car from as many angles as possible. Make sure to note down every scratch and dent. You should also write down the odometer reading.
Lock the car
Once you have finished preparing the car and done a rigorous inspection, you must ensure that you lock the car. This will reduce the chances of theft while it is being transported. The only person who should be able to access your vehicle should be a staff member of the car transport service. Even so, it should only be opened when loading and unloading.
Choose the best car transport service company for you
There are many companies that offer this service. Unfortunately, not every company is reliable. Ensure that you do due diligence before settling on a service. Also, it is important to note that there are different types of shipping options. Identify the best option for you and ensure to work with a reputable company. To get an idea of the various methods of shipping you can view here.
Confirm insurance details
You should first check with your car insurance company if you’re covered. Some insurance policies do not cover vehicles being transported. Seek clarification and avoid assumptions. If you are covered, make sure to get the exact details and find out if you have to produce any documentation from the shipping company.
You should also request to see a valid insurance certificate from the shipping company. Inquire about their policy and extent of their coverage. Find out if they’re liable for any damage and how their process for compensation is, in case of damage.
Inspect upon arrival
Even if your car seems to be in perfect condition at the time of delivery, make sure to inspect it completely before signing any delivery documents. Signing before inspection may relieve the shipping company of its liability to damage. Take out the pictures and notes you took and cross-reference them to the current state of the car. Make sure to check the interior and also start the engine.
Some of these steps may seem unnecessary and over the board but they may go a long way in saving you a lot of money in repairs plus issues with your shipping and insurance companies. Relocating is expensive and stressful as it is; take caution to save yourself from additional heartache.