Shipping A Car – A Step by Step Process

Lots of people hate shipping cars because they believe it to be difficult and aggravating. But truthfully, car shipping is neither of those things — it can actually be pretty straight forward. Just like any other process, be that making your bed, fixing a sandwich, or literally anything else that can be broken down in small chunks of work, car shipping can be done with just a few simple steps.

We guarantee that following these steps will ensure successful car shipping:

  1. Clean the exterior of your car - Your car needs to be clean so that a proper insurance inspection can be conducted.Auto Transport Car Wash
  2. Remove all personal goods from your car - While it is sometimes the case that a driver will allow you to transport personal goods in your car during car shipping, it is technically illegal to do so. You should remove all personal goods from your vehicle before shipping!
  3. Remove or disable your car’s alarm system for transport - Just imagine for a second that you’re a hauler moving a 10 car load on an open car carrier. Suddenly, a car alarm goes off on one of cars. How do you get to the offending car…? There’s an easy way, and then there’s a hard way. Drivers WILL disable your alarms by any means necessary. They may not always be so kind as to offload the cars in front of yours to disable your alarm. Read between the lines and DISABLE YOUR ALARM!Auto Transport Car Alarm
  4. Run your gas down to at least 1/4 tank - It’s not always necessary to run your gas down to a quarter-tank, but it is always acceptable. If you’re trying to avoid the hassles of shipping a car, be proactive and make sure that your car’s tank is only 1/4th full before shipping.
  5. Remove Your Body KitIf your vehicle has removable modifications, such a body kits, spoilers, and so on, remove them - These sorts of modifications can complicate your shipping. With certain modifications, such as suspension drops and body kit modifications, you may actually need to use enclosed car transport. If you can remove these modifications, it is suggested that you do so before shipping.
  6. Retract all retractable car components (including antennae and folding mirrors) - This is a pretty simple profilactic step; lower your antennae! There is no sense in risking accidental damage to your antennae. Simply detatch or retract any and all retatchable components of your vehicle.
  7. Convertible TopIf Shipping a convertible, ensure that the top is properly attached and secured - This is a very important, yet often overlooked. Convertibles are generally stored on the top deck of auto transport carriers and auto transport trailers to avoid drip damage. Thus, the only line of defense between the interior of your convertible and the elements is the top. If the top isn’t secured properly and the driver doesn’t notice,  you could possibly lose the top AND ruin your car’s interior.
  8. Ensure that your vehicle is able to start, steer, roll, and brake - Some do not realize that the operability of a vehicle makes a difference between how and if it can be shipped. If your car runs, then you’re good to go. If not, it needs to at least roll, stear, and break, and you must also notify your auto shipper that your car is inoperable.
  9. Document your vehicle’s condition - If your car is undamaged before shipping, you need to have documentation. Although every car moved by American Auto Move is subjected to a full inspection before being shipped. If you’re not using American Auto Move or a company that performs full inspections before shipping, you need to document your vehicle’s condition.

Follow these tips and you’re guaranteed to get the best auto transport experience possible! Take it from the experts — follow the best practices for success!

Car Prep 101 – What to Do and What NOT to Do Before Shipping

It’s been said that preparation is everything. Not only is this true of life, but it’s also true of auto transport. Here at American Auto Move, we know that when you make the proper preparations before you ship, the chances that you’ll have a smooth transport increase dramatically.

Here’s a small guide about the things that you should do before you get your car shipped.

DO: Always Wash Your Car

Whenever you ship a car, it is covered by the hauler’s auto insurance. But in order for the insurance policy to cover any damages incurred during transport, it is necessary to take a proper accounting of your car’s condition. Specifically, a driver will want to do a pre-shipping inspection of your vehicle before it is actually loaded up for insurance purposes.

For this reason, it is necessary that your car is clean enough that any scratches or dents can be identified easily. It should also be noted that only the exterior of the car needs to be cleaned, not the interior.

DO: Remove Your Personal Goods

Many rules regulate interstate commerce, including rules about how consumer vehicles as hauled by auto transport carriers. These laws provide for all sorts of things, including what can and cannot be shipped, and how those things can be shipped. Amongst the things that cannot be shipped are personal goods. Not only is it dangerous to ship personal goods in your vehicle, but it is also illegal! Remove your personal goods before shipping, or you run the risk of fines and of damages!

DO: Make Yourself Available

Though not often mentioned, making yourself available for contact may have a huge impact on how well your move goes. It can be difficult for an auto transport company to keep track of contact information, especially if your auto move coincides with a household move or relocation, and it is therefore incumbent upon you to keep your auto transport company updated with accurate contact information!

Why is this important? If a driver can’t get in touch with you at the time of pick up, there is a chance that he might have to leave your car behind. It’s an even worse fate if your driver cannot contact you on delivery — your car may be taken to a terminal, and you’ll likely have to pay $100 or more to get it out. Bottom line: pick up your phone!

DO NOT: Double Book Your Order

Using multiple brokers can cause problems for you, truck drivers, and brokers. It is understandable if you change your mind about using one company or the other, but if that is the case, let them know so that they can stop working on your order. Double brokered orders can create confusion amongst drivers and brokers, and generally slow down the shipping process. Don’t double book your order!

DO NOT: Make Last Minute Changes to Pick Up or Delivery Locations

Last minute changes to the details of your move can often create immense complications. In many cases, such changes can cause delays or even cancellations. So give ample time for your auto transport company to make the necessary adjustments if at all possible!

DO NOT: Forget to Mention Modifications to Vehicles

It’s surprising that this needs to be said, but it does: please make your auto transporter aware of any vehicle modifications. If your sports car has a lowered suspension, we need to know. If you have a lift kit on your truck, we need to know. These kinds of modifications can have a big impact on your auto transporter’s ability to get your car picked up, and to provide for safe transit of the other vehicles on the truck.

Following these few simple tips are guaranteed to pay off big time. Take our advice and get the kind of auto transport that you deserve. Use the best —  use American Auto Move!