Review your vehicle mover quotes and call back the vehicle transport companies' during business hours to compare prices, services, and insurance. (Get your quotes for free by filling our out auto transport quote form.)
Be sure to keep an extra complete set of keys for yourself, in addition to the set that you give to your driver. This is a D.O.T requirement.
Clean the interior and exterior of your vehicle so that your vehicle can be properly inspected upon pick-up.
All personal possessions and property should be removed from the interior of the vehicle; they will not be insured during the transport process and may cause you to incur additional fees if the truck goes over its weight limit. Loose items in the vehicle could even cause damage to the interior of your vehicle. Even if you are just shipping a motorcycle, you need to ensure that all compartments and saddlebags are emptied out.
Add antifreeze to your vehicle if it is going to be shipped to or through somewhere that is cold.
Empty the gas from your tank; if you do not then you may be charged with extra fees, particularly if you are shipping your auto to Alaska or Hawaii. (They prefer it to be at least down to at least a quarter of a tank no matter where you are going.)
ALL antennas that do not retract must be taken off of the car before it can be transported.
Any alarm systems and radar detectors must be disabled so that they do not accidentally triggered during transport.
Fold in your mirrors.
Remove anything that is an accessory or may be sticking out of your car. Anything protruding from your car are likely to get snapped off or damaged. This includes, but is not limited to, fog lights, spoilers and CB antenna but please make sure to take off all other accessories as well.
Check all fluids and the tire pressure, as well as making sure that the battery is charged
Let the auto transporter know if there is anything odd or different about your vehicle so that they can properly handle your vehicle at all times. Often, you can just leave a note in the cab for them if this is easier for you.
Tell the car shipper if your vehicle is leaking any fluids.
If you have a convertible make sure that all holes in the top are sealed so that the interior does not get ruined and make sure that the top is secure so that it does not fly off or get damaged during transport. If you have further concerns or do not think you can meet these specifications then you should look into enclosed transportation.
If you have a boat then you must follow all of these regulations but also empty all of the water out of the boat and disconnect the batteries. For more information on how to prepare your boat and the boat shipping services we can offer, please visit our boat shipping page.
Be prepared to drive your vehicle to a terminal if you live in an area that is not easily accessible by large trucks. This often occurs if either the pick-up or drop off destination you specify is in a rural or congested down town area.
Check with the FMCSA. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration maintains a hotline (888) 368-7238 for consumers to check on a shipper's license and insurance records, as well as whether any complaints have been made about the company. Also, check out online what other customers are saying about the car shippers that you are thinking about using.
Be sure to specify on our vehicle shipping quote form if your vehicle is not in drivable condition, is over sized, or has any special modifications at the time of the quote.
Consider using an enclosed auto transport trailer to ensure that your custom, rare, or classic vehicle will not be exposed to the elements. If there is any concern at all about keeping your vehicle's exterior in pristine condition, an enclosed car shipping trailer may be worth the extra cost!
Check the regulations of the vehicle mover that you choose to work with because they may have further specifications or require less of you than what is listed here.
To learn everything about the car shipping process, beyond how you can prepare, please watch our Complete Car Shipping Guide Video.