Shipping your car is a newer and smarter option to take your vehicle from one place to another, especially with the risks and time involved in getting there while driving yourself. Shifting to a new city or just planning to visit the mountain ranges across the country in your car, shipping your car through an authorized company comes as a safer and an inexpensive option to many owners.
However, before you submit your car to be shipped from one location to another, do some basic checks to ensure the safety of the car.
1. Check all fluids
Before you ship the car, keep checks on fluids including coolant level, oil, brake fluid, wiper washer fluid and so on. Make sure there is no leakage from the car, as it will end up as wastage and risk the safety of other cars as well during transit.
2. Check fuel level
On a precautionary premise, keep the fuel level only to a quarter of the tank. That’s all the transport company needs to make small turns and to park during the transit process. You will also ensure reducing the risk of fuel being stolen.
3. Check the car battery
Your car battery should be in working order when handing over the car for transit. Mid breakdowns will make it a difficult process, especially when loading and unloading the car if it fails to start. Also get the alternator and starter checked along with the battery before shipping the car.
4. Only handover the necessary documents
You will be asked to handover certain documents or their photocopies related to the car during the transit process. Make it a point to keep all the original documents for the car in your custody. In case of loss of documents, the transport company will not take up the responsibility for the loss. It’s better to carry the documents with you in your luggage.
5. Remove personal possessions
If you tend to keep stuff toys, pocket change, water bottles, stereo head unit, GPS devices and so on; remove them before you ship the car. With such products and devices in your car, you are only increasing the chances of theft without insurance coverage. Remove the things that can be removed and can easily be stored at your home. If there are other components specific to the trip that can’t be removed, make sure you handover the list of those things when submitting the car to the transport company.
6. Take care of minor repairs before shipping
It is always a good idea to get the car serviced right before shipping it. If there are minor repairs or leakages, make sure to attend to them. If there are lose parts that may fall off, it is better to fix them or remove them completely. Also, minor repairs will take care of the car in the long haul. Also make sure you wash the car before shipping it.
7. Cover exterior accessories of your car
If you have an extra set of halogen lights on the top or a protruding roof spoiler that can’t be removed; cover it with paper or even better bubble wrap to protect it from breaking. You can also wrap some on the edge of the car to avoid accidental scraping. Don’t bubble wrap the whole car though.
8. Disable anti-theft alarms
A huge bump on the highway can set your alarm to go off, and switching that only means stopping the trailer to take care of the issue. It is also a distraction for the driver and can cause an accident. Make sure your anti-theft alarm is switched off during the transit period.
9. Take images of the car
God forbidden your car ends up getting scratched or dented during the process; the transit company will never own its mistake and won’t adhere to paying for the damages. It is better to take images of the car at the transport company’s premises itself to keep a record of the status of your car, when you gave it for transit. It will work as a proof regarding the condition of the car.
On a last note, shipping a car saves you the trouble of travelling without having to drive all the way to the destination risking your lives and also damaging the car. Do share with us your experiences of dealing with transport companies and the whole experience of getting your car shipped.