5 Things to Do Before Shipping Your Car

As an Amazon Influencer, we earn from qualifying purchases you might make if you click any of the links on this page.

Getting a car ready to be shipped can be challenging, but you can do it with the right prep work. Being prepared is vital, so by following these suggestions, you’ll be ready to get it shipped without the hassle of scrambling for what to do.

Have All Car Documents Ready


Documentation is crucial when you’re going to ship a car. All auto transporters need proof that your car is really yours. If you don’t have that documentation ready, you will experience delays, so have it upfront when looking for companies.

Required documentation includes your car registration information, proof of your existing coverage, a bill or sale, or other documents that show you own the car, the title, and a current driver’s license. Assuming you’re shipping domestically, that’s all the paperwork you’ll need. If you’re shipping internationally, you’ll also need to take care of customs documentation, along with duties and taxes.

Finding Car Shipping Quotes

You’ve got all the documentation ready, so now your next step is to find quotes. The easiest way to get quotes is to spend some time online requesting free car shipping quotes from various companies. You can go directly through a fleet-owned company or a broker.

Fleet-owned companies have their own trucks and transports along with their own set standards. If you go through a broker, you’ll have better luck getting a great deal to ship your car. Brokers typically have a network of trucks that they use, so they’ll look for the best deal for you.

You can also opt to go with a DIY shipping platform like uShip. This requires a little more flexibility on your part because you may have to wait to find a driver that will follow the route you need for pick up and drop off. On the other hand, you can score a smoking hot deal doing things this way.

Check on Car Shipping Company Policies

Once you’ve gotten quotes, request shipping company policies from the drivers and companies. You want to look for their insurance coverage and liability policy. Who is responsible for your car if anything happens to it? Those are details you need to know.

You’ll also find instructions on what is or is not allowed in your car. This is specifically related to liquids because too much adds extra weight. Each company will tell you how much gas you’re allowed to have in the tank. It should be just enough to move the car on and off. with a little extra to get you to the nearest gas station upon arrival.

Wash and Clean Your Car

Before you finally get to pick-up day, you’ll want to make sure your car is spotless inside and out. Starting with a clean vehicle makes it easier to document any damage that currently exists on your car. 

Take pictures of the outside of your car so you have proof of what your car looks like before it leaves you. Make sure the images are date-stamped, and if you can do it with the driver present, that’s even better.

You also need to clean the inside of your car for the same reason. If you don’t, you might miss something you didn’t know was broken before handing your car over. Having those pictures is the perfect physical documentation in case you need to file a claim later when your vehicle arrives, too.

Empty Your Car

Some people mistakenly think they can load their cars up with stuff before shipping it to save on moving expenses. That’s a common myth that’s not remotely true. Most car shipping companies require that you do a complete cleanout of your car. That means nothing is in your car, not even in your trunk.

It’s a liability thing. They can’t ensure the safety of your car or other vehicles around your car if something were to happen. Some companies may allow a single small box, but most don’t allow anything, so you’ll have to see what each company says about that.

You should always err on the side of caution because even if a company does allow a small box, there’s always the possibility that something could happen to your car if your belongings get loose.

The Bottom Line

When you get ready to ship your car, you need to have all the necessary documentation shipping companies require. Once you have that information, you’re ready to start searching for quotes. To help you decide on which company to choose, request copies of policies and insurance coverage.

After you’ve decided, prep your car by washing and cleaning it thoroughly inside and out. Remember to empty your car, and when the day comes, you’ll be ready to get your vehicle on its way to its destination.

Rate this post
John Miller

John Miller is a cars enthusiast who loves writing anything related to automobiles. He is a passionate blogger writing for innovatecar.com and other auto blogs