Using auto transport to move your vehicle allows you to eliminate the hassle, cost and time spent driving the vehicle yourself. A dependable auto transport company can get your vehicle from your current city to your new one safely and efficiently.

One of the questions that frequently comes up for those new to auto transport is how to prepare a car for shipping. The following provides an overview of some of the major steps to take. These apply to any type of move, whether it’s across Florida or Texas or a long-distance move from Los Angeles to Texas.

9 Steps to Get Your Car Ready for Shipping

The following looks at 10 of the main steps involved in using auto transport. For more details, look at Direct Connect Auto Transport’s detailed checklist of things to do in preparation for transporting your car. 

Ensure Car Functions Properly

Your car must be drivable, or you may face additional fees and alternative transport methods. The driver’s side door and window both must work. Also, the vehicle requires working brakes and a functioning emergency brake if it’s a manual transmission. The battery also must sit securely in the mounting bracket and the vehicle cannot have fluid leaks.

Special Considerations for Transport

Classic cars may require special handling, as may any car made pre-1980. The vehicle size cannot exceed seven feet in height and requires four inches in ground clearance for safe loading and unloading. Advise the auto transport company in advance if you have made any special modifications to your vehicle (camper shell, 4×4 lift kit, etc.).

Contact Information and Keys

Have a phone number ready to give the auto transport company driver. Also, provide one set of all the keys that go with the vehicle.

Fuel the Vehicle

Before an auto transport company can load a vehicle, it should have at least a quarter tank of gas but not more than a half tank of gas.

Prepare For Inspection

Either you or someone your chosen representative must come in person to the pre-transport vehicle inspection. The vehicle should be clean. You must confirm the vehicle’s condition before it is loaded and transported, signing a bill of lading and a condition report. All vehicle condition exceptions are noted on the bill of lading.

Items to Remove

You should remove any radios, cassette decks, or CD players that are not built in, as well as spare tire covers, grill covers, or car covers. You should also take out any car phones, garage door openers, and E-Z toll tag passes. Either remove or fully retract antennas. You should disconnect all alarm systems by either disabling them or turning them off. 

Take Out Personal Items

You should remove all personal items. Common items include insurance and other paperwork, sunglasses, water bottles, coffee thermoses, and makeup.

Do Needed Maintenance

Before the day of transport, ensure that the car has the proper levels of engine coolant, transmission oil, and other fluids. Also, check tire pressure and battery charge. 

Unlawful Items

Auto transport companies cannot move vehicles that have living plants inside of them, any hazardous materials, or any firearms. They are all forbidden by law.

Once you have prepared your car for shipping and signed the bill of lading, it’s time to wave goodbye! When the vehicle arrives at your destination, you will do another inspection and then sign off on paperwork with the auto transport driver.