Checklist for transporting a car across the country

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Shipping your vehicle with an auto transport company is a great option in a number of different scenarios. Whether you're moving out of state, staying long term, attending college, or any other case, transporting your car is a wonderful idea. But how does a vehicle shipping service work and what should you take into consideration before transporting your vehicle across the country? Keep reading to learn more about the process so you can schedule your shipment with confidence in a successful manner.

We know how exciting it is to plan a trip or to move out of town to a place where a whole new experience and new expectations await. That being said, relocating involves a number of tasks you must handle prior to relocating. Your car is likely near the top of your list, as not taking it with you is probably not an option. Therefore, auto transport is a perfect option for getting your vehicle to your new location in an easy, safe manner. Before you begin your shipping process, there are several steps you must take into account. Below, you will find a helpful checklist. 

1: Search for a shipping company and get quotes

The majority of auto transport companies provide free quotes of what your shipment is estimated to cost. Most vehicle shipping companies have their own rate calculators that can be found on their websites. Take your time, look for companies that catch your attention, and get multiple quotes to find the one that suits your needs. 

2: Choose your auto transport company

After you check out several quotes from different companies, it's time to choose the auto transporter that sounds right for you. Be sure to take into account factors such as professionalism, number of years in business, customer reviews, and prices before you move further with the process. Right after you pick your top company, select a desired ship date and transport method. 

3: Insurance / Gap Coverage Check

Make sure your auto transport broker only works with carriers who are fully insured. Never allow a carrier to transport your vehicle if they do not have proper and up to date cargo insurance. Additionally, some car shipping brokers will offer optional gap coverage plans through a third party, which, while not insurance, fill in the gaps that most car carrier insurance plans do not cover. Knowing your vehicle is secure from start to finish adds an extra layer of peace of mind. 

4: Tire and battery check

Your car must be in good condition before shipping, unless you want to pay a much larger fee for an inoperable vehicle transport. That's why it's important to double check that there aren't any deflated tires or other causes for concern. Deflated tires will need to be fixed or replaced prior to the shipment of your vehicle. Also, your car's battery will need to be fully charged prior to its pick up date. A dead battery could cause cause a number of problems including delays, added fees, or even a cancellation of your scheduled transport, should the carrier not be able to get your vehicle started. This is a crucial step for transporting your car to another location, so be aware of that. 

5: Clean your car

This step may be optional for you, but there are a few good reasons why washing your car before shipment is important. Prior to loading, your car is going to go through a thorough inspection in order to check for any imperfections. A clean car will help identify if there are any scratches, dings or dents, even after delivery. 

6: Look for any possible leaks

It is important to check if there are any leaks coming from your vehicle before proceeding to transport your car. Your vehicle must be in good condition for traveling, not only for its own safety, but also to prevent any risks during the shipping process. 

7: Remove any additional items or accessories 

Any item that might interfere with the loading of your car should be removed. Retracting your antenna, removing any dangerous or personal items, and covering all non-removable exterior parts like mirrors, are some of the things that should be done right before your car gets picked up. Don´t forget this step! Otherwise, you may encounter damages to your vehicle. 

8: Last but not least, lock your car 

It is extremely unlikely that your car will be broken into during the transport process, but the simple act of locking your vehicle will allow for an added layer of protection. Automobiles on an open car carrier are at more risk than those in enclosed carriers, but we still strongly suggest that you do not pack any personal belongings in your vehicle, as stated in point 7. In fact, the DOT insists upon it! Check out our open and enclosed auto transport article on our website for more information about shipping options!

Shipping with AmeriFreight

Some of these steps may take a little extra effort than others, but they are important points to keep in mind so that you can have your car shipped with ease while you relax and wait for it to arrive. Doing it the right way helps to ensure you have a smooth experience. At AmeriFreight, we make it a priority to make certain that your vehicle is shipped safely, in a timely manner, and with the top rated carriers in the industry, thanks to our professional team and years of experience shipping throughout the country. 

If you have any questions, our customer service agents are available and more than happy to assist you. Simply call us or request a quote via our website, and prepare your vehicle for shipping!