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There are many factors to consider when preparing to ship your car over a long distance. You must prepare your budget, as the added convenience and safety come with a cost. Before availing of an auto shipping service, you should shop around. Read up online on Sherpa auto transport reviews and reviews of other services such as Easy Auto Ship and Montway.
Once you’ve picked your provider and scheduled your shipping date, it’s time to do the final preparations to get your car ready for shipping.
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Here are six basic steps that are easy to follow.
- Clean and Clear Your Car
Wash and clean both the exterior and interior of your car. Be thorough in cleaning out dirt and grime. Clear out the interiors of your car of trash and junk. If you can, do a deep clean and wax your car too.
Clear out your car of all items. Remove all personal items. These include dashboard decorations, aftermarket upgrades, GPS devices, and alarm systems. If you can’t remove your alarm system, disable it before the car gets shipped.
This step accomplishes two things. First, cleaning your car makes it ready to drive once it reaches your destination. Second, it serves as your first inspection. You’ll be able to see damage or dents you might not have noticed in your everyday use.
- Bring It to the Shop
Schedule a visit to the mechanic before shipping vehicles. Have your mechanic do routine maintenance and mechanical inspection. Inform the shop that you will have your car shipped. They will know how to prepare your vehicle for the long travel inside a truck.
At the end of the maintenance and inspection, expect the following:
- Batteries are fully charged
- Tires have enough pressure and have good traction
- Fluids are topped off and leaks are taken care of
- Brakes are fully functioning
- The fuel tank is not more than a quarter full
- Inspect for Damages
Cleaning your car and bringing it to the shop will give you an idea of any damages to your vehicle. Do a third check. Thoroughly inspect and list down any damages you might see. Take note of scratches, dings, bumps, or scruffs.
Check if the different parts of your car are functioning. Check your wiper and spray, headlights, taillights, and brake lights. If you have entertainment units, test these out. Write down the last odometer reading.
All these will serve as the baseline for drop-off assessment. The shipping company may be held liable for any damages incurred due to mishandling or accidents during transport. Of course, it would be better if the service you avail of has a good history of proper handling. Reading reviews of auto transport services is a critical step in this direction.
- Secure the Vehicle
Make sure all the moving parts of your car are secured. If your car has a convertible top, crossbars, storage racks, or other moving parts, fix these in place. If it is possible to remove these, it’s best to transport them separately.
There is a safety risk that comes with parts that are not secured. If your car top carrier comes loose during transport, it might damage your vehicle. Worse, it might cause a road accident. Remove everything you can remove and fasten everything you can’t in place.
- Take Photos
Take photos of your car before handing it over to the shipping company. Photograph all the known and existing damage. Take a photo of your car from different angles. Make sure you get both the interior and exterior. Check if your pictures are decent—clear, detailed, and not blurry or shaky. In addition to your notes, these photos will serve as evidence of your car’s condition before it gets shipped.
- Documents and Keys
Your shipping company will request your keys so they can move your car as needed. Make sure you have your spare keys to be safe. Finally, research ahead of time what documents you need to bring with you to update your license and registration.
Stress-free Car Shipping
The point of shipping your car is to lessen the stress from driving it to your new home. Follow these steps and carefully prepare your vehicle before shipping. By doing so, you’ll find the whole experience hassle-free and convenient.