Moving to a new location doesn’t have to come with the headache of transporting your vehicle to your new home. Driving a car cross-country is tedious and expensive when you take lodging and food into consideration, not counting the time it takes to drive across multiple states.
Transporting your car with a company specializing in shipping vehicles removes a large portion of the problems, and your car will be waiting for you when you arrive. Do yourself a favor and follow these tips to ensure smooth sailing for your vehicle relocation.
Here are 7 tips for relocation your vehicle to make your life easier:
Some companies will require you to get a basic maintenance check before you drop off your car to ensure that it is in proper working order before it arrives. Even if the company you chose does not require a check, it is highly recommended to get one anyway. Once you arrive at your new home, the last thing you want to do is have to spend more money to fix your car.
A maintenance check will check all fluids, the battery charge level, tire pressure, and more to ensure your car can withstand transport. If your car is non-operational, let your transport company know as they might need special equipment to move your car on and off the transport truck.
Wash Your Car:
It is essential that you wash your car before you drop it off or the transport company picks it up because dirt and grime can hide damage if any occurs during transport. You don’t have to make the car look brand new, but you will thank yourself later when your car is clean when you arrive to pick it up.
While you are washing your car, be sure to clean the inside as well and remove any crumbs or food. Depending on how far you are moving, your car may be closed tightly for multiple weeks with no ventilation. Getting into a fresh-smelling car is infinitely better than a stale or rotten food smell.
Remove Loose Items:
If possible, remove the loose items from your car, such as antennas, luggage or bike racks, spoilers, rims, and anything else that can be removed. Ask your transport company if you are allowed to store these items inside the car during transport and secure them in the trunk if you are able.
Don’t forget to secure the roof on a convertible and remove all unnecessary items from your trunk and glove box. Check your windshield for a toll pass and either remove it from your window or deactivate it to avoid extra charges when you aren’t driving your car. Deactivate the car alarm if possible to avoid any hassle for the driver.
Taking pictures of your own car before you ship it may seem odd, but the images are for reference just in case your car is damaged during transport. After you’ve washed your car, take pictures of the scratches and dents in the exterior and interior of the vehicle. The transport company will likely do the same when they receive it.
Damage during transport is rare, but it can happen. Before you take possession of your car in your new location, do an inspection and compare it to your reference images. Without the reference images, you won’t be able to refute any damage done to your vehicle during transport.
Get the Insurance:
In addition to your standard auto insurance, most shipping companies offer additional insurance specific to transporting your vehicle. It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it provides peace of mind and assurance that you are covered no matter what happens.
In the extremely rare event of a total loss, your regular car insurance and the additional coverage should provide you with enough resources to replace your car.
You may be tempted to fill your gas tank before your car is shipped, so you don’t have to worry about it when you pick it up, but this adds excess weight to the transport and can cost the company more money overall. Most transport companies ship more than one or two vehicles at a time, and full gas tanks on all of them add unnecessary weight.
Ensure you have an extra set of keys on hand just in case they are lost during transport. This is another unlikely situation, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Your shipping company may not require you to hand over the keys if they move the cars around for shipment by towing them.
Don’t overfill your tires because there is a natural change in pressure when traveling, and your tire could pop if overfilled. This list is not meant to scare you by telling you everything that can go wrong, but it is here to help you prepare for all of the possibilities.
No one likes to discuss paperwork, but it is essential to have your paperwork in order before you contact the shipping company you have chosen. Every company will vary slightly, but you will likely need a copy of your sale agreement, a clean vehicle report, the VIN, and the license plate number. If traveling internationally, you will also need a copy of your passport and travel visa.
If you wait to contact the company until you’ve located these items, it will be a much smoother process.
Enjoy Your New Location:
Moving to a new location is a fresh start, so make the most of it. Dive into local events and learn as much as you can about your surroundings. This will impress your family and friends when they visit, and you can tell them all about your new home.
Many of these steps are simple to accomplish and can make the entire process easier overall. Don’t wait until the last minute to make arrangements as transport companies often move more than one car at a time to save transportation costs and a single transport will cost a lot more money.
Choosing the right company can be difficult, but you will find the best fit for you and your car with some research and preparation.