March 22, 2024 Posted in Auto Transport
Maya Brown

Born in Atlanta, Maya has called many places home in her lifetime. She's a content writer and moving expert who loves to help people relocate smoothly.

Smooth Moves – Your Ultimate Guide on How to Prepare a Car for Shipping

Handing your prized ride for cross-country transport is certainly a leap of trust. It feels a bit like sending your kid off to camp for the first time – exciting yet slightly nerve-wracking. To make it as smooth as a Sunday drive, knowing how to prepare a car for shipping is critical. Let’s gear up and steer through the essential checkpoints, making sure your four-wheeler rolls off the transporter ready to cruise into its new chapter.

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With a bit of planning ahead, your favorite ride can join you for the journey

What Are the Options for Secure Vehicle Shipping When Moving Cross-Country?

Currently, there are almost 5,000 professional auto movers in the US alone, with almost 50,000 workers from different categories. Outlined by Tempus Logix, this data showcases how there’s a whole bustling market dedicated to getting your four-wheeled friend from A to B, especially when “B” is all the way across the country.

This means you’ve got plenty of options to transport your vehicle. There are a few of the possible routes, including booking an auto transport company or making it a road trip and driving yourself.

Auto carriers usually drive about 300 to 500 miles each day

Kill Two Birds With One Stone – Professional Long-Distance Movers Offer Auto Transport Too

When it’s time to move, and you find yourself knee-deep in a maze of boxes, adding your prized ride into the mix of your booked cross-country moving services is a smart move. Think about it – one long-distance moving company, one bill, and one less thing to worry about. Plus, dealing with a single point of contact throughout the whole ordeal can significantly reduce relocation stress, letting you focus on the excitement of what’s ahead.

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Choosing Car Shipping Services – How to Find the Right Team for the Job

Finding the right team for car shipping is like picking the perfect road trip buddy. It’s got to be someone you trust, who gets your needs, and who ideally knows all the best routes. Checking reviews and ratings online is always a good starting point.

Then, get quotes from a few different services to compare prices and find the best deal. Don’t forget to ask about the auto transport insurance coverage and check their license and registration with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to ensure they’re legit. That way, you’ll be able to find your perfect fit from the vast sea of cross-country moving companies out there.

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Long-distance moving services can handle your prized ride as well

Speeding Through the Basics – Open vs. Enclosed Trailers

Experienced professionals such as the Cross Country Moving Company offer two options when it comes to auto shipping – open and enclosed trailers. The first option is favored for its blend of efficient protection and cost-effectiveness. On the flip side, choosing an enclosed trailer offers top-tier safeguarding against the elements but for a higher price.

Ultimately, how much of your relocation budget will have to go towards this service depends not only on the type of trailer but also on the travel distance and your car’s make and model. You’ve also got two delivery options – door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal. The first one might cost a bit more, but it makes up for it with the added convenience it brings.

Why Is Preparing a Car for Shipping So Important?

Packing your car isn’t just about locking it up and sending it off on the road. For it to roll onto and off the transporter in the same shiny condition, some pre-shipping vehicle preparation needs to be done. This will ensure your four-wheeler is equipped to handle the journey ahead, minimizing the risk of delays, damages, or any last-minute surprises.

Moreover, a well-prepped ride speaks volumes to your chosen company about your expectations for care and handling. It sets a standard, making it clear that you’re entrusting them with a valuable part of your life. All in all, it’s a non-negotiable aspect of setting the stage for ultimate vehicle shipping safety.

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Give your four-wheeler some extra care - after all, it was a significant investment

How to Prepare a Car for Shipping – The Crucial Checkpoints You Need to Cruise Through

Transporting your whole life to a new state, four-wheeler included, comes with a mountain of tasks. Between packing efficiently and figuring out the logistics, you’ve got your plate full. But there’s no way going around it – you’ll need to do some things on your relocation checklist yourself.

Hiring cross-country movers can take a load off your shoulders, but there’s still some groundwork you should cover. This is especially true for your biggest and most prized possession – that four-wheeler in your driveway. Here are the most important tasks of this car shipping preparation process:

Start With Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Checks

Before entrusting your vehicle to the company you’re working with, a comprehensive check-up is essential. You’ll want to inspect tire pressure, fluid levels, and battery health, as well as ensure all lights are working.

For that added peace of mind, it’s best to have an experienced mechanic look over everything. That way, you’ll know it’s in peak condition for the journey ahead and that it will be ready for the streets of your new city as soon as you get there.

Clean Your Ride Inside Out

Rolling up your sleeves and giving your vehicle a good scrub might seem like adding another chore to your to-do list, but it’s a step you won’t want to skip. A clean four-wheeler provides a clearer view of any scratches, dings, or dents, making it easier to document its pre-shipping condition. Plus, it’s a nice courtesy to the transport team and ensures you’ll get your vehicle back looking respectable.

Remove Personal Belongings, Valuables, and Documentation

Clearing out your vehicle is a crucial security measure. It will protect what’s really important and also lighten the load on the way. From your favorite sunglasses in the glove compartment to that emergency $20 bill in the center console, remove anything that’s not bolted down. Important documents related to the vehicle should also be kept with you – just in case.

Disable Any Security Systems or Alarms

Deactivating any alarms or security systems is a step often overlooked until it’s too late. An alarm going off unexpectedly can cause unnecessary stress for the transport team and potentially delay the whole ordeal. Furthermore, it’s important for the crew to have access to the four-wheeler without the risk of triggering any security features, so make sure you don’t overlook this vital step.

Take Photographs for Insurance Purposes

Documenting your car’s condition through photographs before it’s loaded onto the truck provides a vital record for insurance purposes. This visual documentation creates a clear and indisputable reference point for the condition of your vehicle pre-transport, offering peace of mind and protection throughout the whole transportation process.

The Basics of Loading and Unloading for the Ultimate Safety of Your Prized Ride

Now that we’ve covered the most important tasks on your car shipping checklist, you’re probably curious about what happens next, right? Here’s a little insight into what you can expect once the moving day finally arrives:

  • Before loading, a thorough inspection is conducted, mirroring the prep work you’ve done,
  • Using specialized equipment, your four-wheeler will be securely loaded onto the carrier, whether it’s an open trailer or an enclosed one,
  • Depending on the transport type and your car’s specifics, it’ll be positioned in a way that balances the load and minimizes movement,
  • You’ll go over car shipping documentation with one of the team members to make sure both parties are on the same page,
  • Just before the final goodbye, one final check will be done to ensure everything is locked in place and ready to go.

How to Prepare for the Delivery at Your New Place

If you’ve opted for door-to-door delivery, you will need to make sure there’s ample space for the truck to safely park at your new residence. Clear any street or driveway obstructions that could complicate access. It’s also a good idea to double-check all your contact details with the company to avoid any last-minute communication hiccups.

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Make sure there's enough space - why risk damage once the journey is done?

Post-Shipping Vehicle Inspection Checklist – Making Sure Your Four-Wheeler Is All Set for the Road Ahead

And just like that, your precious ride is back on solid ground, fresh from its cross-country trek. But hold off on the urge to hit the open road immediately – there are a few critical checkpoints to hit before you and your four-wheeler are truly road-ready again:

  • Exterior inspection – walk around your vehicle and check for any new scratches, dents, or damages that might have occurred during transport,
  • Tire check – give your tires a once-over for any potential deflation or damage,
  • Fluid levels – pop the hood and check your oil, coolant, and other essential fluid levels,
  • Battery check – a quick start-up should do the trick,
  • Light check – flip on your headlights, brake lights, and turn signals to ensure they’re all functioning correctly,
  • Brake check – do a slow test in a safe area to make sure your brakes are responding as they should,
  • Interior once-over – check the interior for any shifts or damages.

It’s Been a Long Journey – Give Some Extra Love to Your Ride for a Smooth Drive

Your car’s journey across the country is no small feat. It’s been through a lot, even if it was in the safest hands. Now that it’s back with you, it’s the perfect time to give it some extra love and care. Consider a thorough wash to get rid of the journey’s dust and grime, especially if it’s been in an open trailer. Who knows, maybe you’ll even meet your new neighbors while doing so.

A nice interior clean can also be great to ensure it’s as comfortable and inviting as ever. It wouldn’t hurt to give it a little tune-up, either – a quick trip to the local mechanic can ensure everything’s ready for the road. Think of it as a spa day for your prized ride – after all, it’s earned it.

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Now's the perfect time to find your new favorite mechanic

Need a Helping Hand for This Road Trip Across Zip Codes?

From the initial preparations to the safe unloading at your new driveway, we’ve covered all essential vehicle transport tips you need for a smooth ride. But just like a good cross-country moving service can help you with most aspects of this life-altering journey, there’s also a great and convenient way for your favorite four-wheeler to join.

Whether it’s finding the perfect transport for your prized ride, providing expert packing services, or simply offering peace of mind, we’re here to steer you right. So, why not let the Cross-Country Moving Company take the wheel on this one? Feel free to contact us today – we would be honored to be your co-pilot for this trip.


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