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What do I need to do to prepare my vehicle for shipment?

How do I get my vehicle ready to move?



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Guidelines for preparing your vehicle for shipment, having it picked up, keeping in contact and what to do when it is delivered


  1. Your Shipping Agent is your first point of contact for any status, enquiries or changes you need to make on your order. Make sure you have his/her direct phone number and email address available when you contact them.

  2. Your order number is your only reference to your order. It should be available in all email communications.

  3. Phone numbers are critical for your agent to reach you. Make sure you provide as many phone numbers as possible to your agent so that there is no time delay when a carrier is assigned to pick up your vehicle.

  4. Whenever a carrier is identified for your shipment, your order will be dispatched according to your order agreement. If there were any changes to the details of the shipment, let your agent know ASAP before the truck is assigned. Failing to do so may lead to order cancellation, additional fees, and/or unplanned delays in shipping your vehicle.

  5. If your vehicle has been modified in any way, you need to tell your agent. It may cost you a great deal more, or your order may be cancelled and your deposit not refunded, if you neglect to inform your agent in time, before the vehicle is dispatched.

  6. Prepare your vehicle for pickup. It should be clean with a quarter tank of gas. This will be necessary for a good inspection and enough gas in case the driver has to drive your vehicle for any reason over short distances and for off and on loading your car.

  7. Provide only one key to the driver with the required remote. Make sure all other keys or attachments are removed. Duplicate keys should be sent to the destination address via another route. Indicate on the bill of lading that you have given the carrier only one key. They will normally not indicate it themselves.

  8. Remove or deactivate any electronic toll collection devices. It may be difficult to convince toll agencies that you were not responsible for collecting toll fees because your vehicle was on the trailer of an auto carrier. 

  9. IMPORTANT: You need to get a bill of lading (BOL) from the truck driver when picking up your vehicle. That is the document to check any damages to your vehicle before pickup. It needs to be dated and signed by both you or your representative and the carrier. A copy will stay at the pickup address and the driver will take a copy with him/her. At the destination, another inspection needs to be made and compared to the pickup bill of lading. Any additional damage identified needs to be indicated on the delivery bill of lading and needs to be signed again by both you or your representative and the carrier at the time of delivery. THIS IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT DOCUMENT TO VERIFY THAT YOUR VEHICLE HAS BEEN SHIPPED AND DELIVERED AS REQUESTED. Make sure that it is clear and all the details are identifiable. If this document is not clearly readable or not complete, any damage to your vehicle cannot be claimed for insurance or gap protection purposes.

  10. To add to the BOL, you need to take pictures of every panel of the vehicle as well as the hood, trunk, and roof at the time of pickup. Also take images of the inside of the vehicle. A second set of images should be taken at the time of delivery.

  11. It may be wise to purchase additional gap protection for damage detected only after the carrier has left. Make sure to register ANY damage within 48 hours after delivery. Failure to do so will negate any claims you may have afterwards. Gap protection also requires you to provide images of the vehicle condition upon pickup and delivery.

  12. Take the speedometer reading of the vehicle upon pickup as well as the level of your gas gauge.

  13. Remove all loose items in the vehicle. No personal items are covered by insurance. If you receive approval from a carrier to load some items in your vehicle, leave it in the trunk. If you overload the vehicle, you will be asked to remove it or pay a hefty penalty.

  14. DO NOT hand the driver the title of the vehicle or any other personal documents upon pickup. Those should be forwarded to the recipients through other means.

  15. When the vehicle is delivered, you need to make sure it is in a well lit area, should delivery occur at night, so that a good inspection is possible. If a carrier cannot deliver a clean vehicle in the same condition s/he picked it up, and it is too dark to inspect it, do not accept it. The carrier needs to make sure that you can do a valid inspection of the vehicle.

  16. Contact your agent immediately should there be any irregularities with your pickup and/or delivery experiences.


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Preparing your vehicle - Checklist

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Preparing Your Vehicle for Shipping

Shipping your vehicle for the first time could be quite frustrating.


In order to make the process smoother, we have included a few things you should keep in mind while preparing your shipment.


  • Make sure that your vehicle's condition is just as it was described to the shipping agent.
  • If you are loading items in your vehicle, it must be under 100 lbs, stored in the trunk area only.
  • It is always best to inspect your vehicle on your own, detailing all the dents or scratches the vehicle might have
  • Inspect your neighborhood, making sure that a large semi-truck could fit in.
  • Keep good communication with the shipping company prior pick up.
  • Meet the driver at the pick up location once you have confirmed with him


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Great question! Read more on how to prepare your car for transport.

Read through our How to Prepare Your Car for Transport Guide for detailed insight into making sure your vehicle shipment goes smoothly. 

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Carrier is being scheduled to pick up so here are the "Do's"

Preparing your vehicle in advance is important so that on arrival of the transport Carrier you have a smooth transaction.  

Here are 6 key points to know prior to pick up:

  1. Please have your vehicle accessible, so our driver can get it onto the truck as quickly as possible.
  2. Consider having the car cleaned, so that the Inspection Report our driver will complete can help you document there are no scratches or dings present.
  3. Kindly empty your vehicle of any personal items.
  4. remove any toll tags or parking passes that could incur charges as your vehicle crosses under a toll signal.
  5. If possible, fix any known leaks – or at least alert your Transport Coordinator so you can be kind to your fellow car shippers whose vehicle might otherwise be stacked below yours.
  6. If there are any modifications to your vehicle (raised, lowered, roof rack, camper, lowered etc.) please alert your Transport Coordinator when booking your order.
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