Prepping Your Vehicle for Car Shipping

Prepping your car for shipment isn’t rocket science, but there are some things you should be aware of. Continue reading to know how to properly prepare your vehicle for transport.

Remove All Items from Inside Your Car

Before shipping your car, it is critical to ensure personal items are removed. Carriers are not licensed to transport personal items of any kind inside your vehicle. This includes personal items, gas cans, tools, weapons, and drugs.

The carrier expects your vehicle to weigh a certain amount. If they weigh in and are over their limit, they can search your vehicle and remove anything inside your car that shouldn’t be there. The carrier will not be responsible for replacing those items for you.

Wash Your Car

Make sure that you wash your car before it is picked up. The carrier will do an inspection of your vehicle before loading it. If your car is dirty, he may mistake some of the grime as damage. If your vehicle gets damaged in that spot, he already noted it on the pickup BOL. The cleaner your car is at pickup, the easier it will be for you to dispute damages if they occur.

Check Your Tires

Take a quick moment to check your tires. Make sure there is enough tread, that there is no bulging, that they don’t have any leaks, and that they have enough air in them. You don’t want your tires to cause an issue when the carrier is loading and unloading your vehicle.

Check Your Mileage

Make sure you know how many miles your car has on it. It is rare, but you want to know if someone has taken your car for a joy ride while it was out of your possession. It’s almost guaranteed that this won’t happen, but you can never be too careful.

Check for Any Damage

Before shipping a vehicle, it’s important to check for any damage. This allows you to identify any issues and take appropriate action before the vehicle arrives at its destination. Start by checking the exterior of your vehicle for dents, scratches, and other damage. You can also use a vehicle inspection checklist to ensure your vehicle is in good condition and has no additional issues. Note any existing damage. The carrier will do an inspection when they pick up the vehicle. If they mark any damage on the BOL you don’t see, ask them to point it out to you.

Prepare a Key for the Driver

When shipping a vehicle, you will need to provide a key to the driver that he will take with him. This allows them to access the vehicle for inspection and loading/unloading. It’s best to give them a spare key if you have one. If the key is on your key ring, go ahead and remove it from the key ring, so it is ready for the driver.

Have the Gas Tank at 1/4 Full

Make sure that your vehicle has about 1/4 tank of gas when the carrier comes for pickup. This allows for enough gas for the carrier to load and unload along his route while also not increasing the weight of the vehicle by too much.


It’s best to prepare your car as much as possible so that things go smoothly for your transport. We hope this article helps you prepare your vehicle for shipping.