A long-distance moving trailer hauling cars overlay

How to Prepare a Car for Shipping Across the Country?

Posted in Car Shipping,How-to on January 25, 2023

When long-distance moving, car shipping is one of the most crucial jobs you need to do, even if you hire professional movers to do this job for you. You will still have to know how to prepare a car for shipping. Most of these things will be required by your long-distance moving company due to safer and easier transportation.

No matter what your reasons are, if you want to have a smooth transition, you will have to ship your car to a new state. Even though there is an option to drive yourself there, in most cases, this turns out to be more expensive and time-consuming. Keep reading and find out all benefits of car shipping and how to prepare your car like a pro.

How Does Car Shipping Work and What Are Your Options?

Before we start with all the preparations you need to make when transporting your car, let’s first start by explaining how car transportation works and what kind of options are available. Car shipping is quite a straightforward process. You will need to prepare your car for shipment, book cross-country movers for car shipping services, and await delivery of your vehicle at the destination location.

When it comes to choosing which type of carrier you would like to use, there are two main options available: open trailers and enclosed trailers.

Enclosed trailers offer the best protection for your car when shipping but are more expensive than open trailers. Open carriers are a popular option as they provide good protection while also being more affordable. The cost of car shipping will depend on the type of services you take, the distance, and the type of vehicle you are transporting.

You can also choose how you want your car to be delivered. There is door-to-door pick-up and delivery, which will cost a bit more, but it is more convenient since your car will be picked up and delivered to your doorstep.

Aside from booking your moving company to relocate your car to another state, you can also do the following:

  • Book an auto shipping company,
  • Rent a trailer,
  • Drive yourself.
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Why Is It Important to Prepare the Car for Shipping?

If you are relocating to another state, you will probably hire movers for packing and cross-country moving services. Most reliable companies in the relocation industry, such as Cross Country Movers, offer car shipping services as well. For people who are relocating to a new state, it is more convenient to book one company to do everything instead of hiring a third-party company for separate services like auto transportation.

So for people who are moving cross country, hiring movers is the most convenient way to ship a car across the country. This will also provide peace of mind, as the driver will take care of all details related to getting your vehicle safely and securely delivered to its destination on time.

However, in order for this process to go smoothly, it’s important that you prepare your car for shipping. Preparing your car for shipping is essential, as it ensures that the journey from your current location to its destination will be both safe and successful.

Doing this properly allows the company to move your vehicle efficiently and with minimal complications or delays. It also allows them to take better care of the vehicle, reducing the chances of any accidental damage. Also, the car will have to be prepared with the guidelines of the moving company for insurance purposes.

red corvette
It is important to prep your car in advance

Here Are the Steps You Need to Take To Prepare Your Car for Shipping

To ensure that everything runs smoothly, it’s important to take the necessary precautions before handing over the keys to your beloved ride. Even if you are relocating last minute, you will have to do this step, and your long-distance movers will demand that you do these preparations. Here are the steps you need to take:

Clean the Car Inside and Out

One of the best interstate relocation tips is to clean all your belongings before you give them to your movers. The same is when it comes to auto transportation, but for different reasons. Your car needs to be washed thoroughly inside and out mostly for insurance purposes. Clean cars will be easier to inspect for any damages, scratches, or other damages to the car’s exterior.

Remove All Personal Items and Valuables

When preparing a car for shipping when moving cross country, it is important to remove all personal items and valuables. These items may include any electronics or other items of personal value. In addition to removing these items from the car prior to shipping, be sure to double-check all compartments and hard-to-reach areas for any potential forgotten items. If necessary, use a flashlight to check beneath the seats or in any other dark spots. Secure all of your personal items in a safe place until you arrive at your destination.

It is also important to clean out the trunk and remove any spare tires, car jacks, and other items that may have been stowed away in the vehicle. Here are some of the items you need to think about:

  • CDs or DVDs,
  • Spare keys,
  • Clothing,
  • Tools,
  • Paperwork,
  • Charging cables.

Disable Any Alarms or Security Systems

If your vehicle has an alarm or security system, it is important to disable them prior to shipment. Alarm systems can be triggered by motion and jostling during transit, causing unnecessary problems for both the shipper and receiver. It may be helpful to leave a note inside your vehicle with instructions on how to re-enable and reset the security system. Additionally, if you have a GPS tracking system or other services actively monitoring your vehicle, be sure to cancel or suspend these services prior to shipment. That way, you won’t be charged while your car is in transit.

Be sure to contact your alarm system provider for instructions on how to disable the alarm before shipping. You may also need to obtain a key fob override code from the manufacturer in order to reactivate your vehicle once it arrives at its destination.

Make Sure the Car Is in Good Working Condition

Before you can prepare to ship your car, it’s important to make sure that it is in good working condition. Has any maintenance and repair work been done before the move? Check oil levels, tire pressure, and fluid levels and perform a general inspection of all systems. Also, have an experienced mechanic inspect the car for any major mechanical issues. If any problems are discovered, have them fixed before transportation.

Take Photographs of the Car for Documentation

Take photographs of the exterior and interior. This can help provide documentation to back up any claims that you may have about its condition before it was shipped. In addition, if there is damage to the car upon arrival, having photographs of the condition beforehand can be helpful for insurance purposes. Make sure to take close-up photographs of any dents or scratches as well as more general shots of the interior and exterior. Store these photos on a secure storage device, such as an external hard drive, for easy reference.

documentation and files
Make sure all important car-related documents are by your side

How to Pick a Reliable Shipping Company

One of the most important parts of relocation preparation is to find a reliable moving company not only for car transportation but for other services you will need. So once you choose where to live, you can start searching for companies for those services. The best long-distance moving tip is to find a company that can provide you with all the services you need, from packing to car transportation and much more. Make wise decisions and do detailed research because even though services may seem similar, some companies offer benefits you don’t want to miss out on. For example, Cross County Movers offer 30 days of free storage services. So when you make your relocation budget make sure you have all the necessary info.

Research Different Shipping Companies

Start by searching for different moving companies to determine which one best suits your cross-country moving needs. Ask yourself questions such as: Does this company offer door-to-door service? Are there any hidden fees or additional costs associated with their services? How long will it take for my belongings to arrive?

Once you have narrowed down the list of companies, do some research and look for customer reviews of each one. Check out the Better Business Bureau website to make sure there are no complaints registered against them as well. Also, check if the company is legit and not a crew of scammers. All cross-country moving companies must have a USDOT number that is issued by the FMCSA.

Compare Prices and Services

All reliable companies will offer a free quote or a free estimation of your move. You should compare the prices of different companies as well as their services to ensure that you’re selecting the best cross-country mover for your needs. Note that this free quote is only initial and that a real quote can only come after movers do a complete in-home inventory of your move.

Check for Insurance Coverage and Liability

It is essential to choose a company that has proper insurance coverage so that you can be sure your valuable items will arrive safely and securely. Insurance provides protection in the event that something goes wrong during the cross-country move, such as if the items are lost, damaged, or stolen. Not only will this provide peace of mind and security, but you can also rest assured that the company is reliable. Because if the company doesn’t have insurance, they are probably scammers.

Read Reviews and Ask for Referrals

Before signing a contract with any cross-country moving company, it’s essential to do your research. Ask friends and family members who have previously moved cross country for their experiences with different companies. Also, read online customer reviews to get a better sense of the company’s customer service and quality.

How to Prepare for the Car’s Arrival

One of the things you need to do after relocation, aside from exhausting unpacking and cleaning your entire house, is to check your vehicle once it is delivered. Just like you need to check your furniture after moving or whether your fragile items are intact, you also need to check your vehicle for any damages. Even though damages occur rarely, they can happen, and luckily, all reliable companies will offer insurance. For instance, our company offers up to $100,000 reimbursement for any car exterior damages for an open trailer and up to $500,000 for an enclosed trailer. Do a detailed inspection of your vehicle, and if you notice any damage, make sure you call your movers immediately to report this.

Moving Across the Country Will Be Much Easier if You Know All the Steps in Car Shipping Preparation

If you’re relocating to another state, the car shipping process may seem daunting. But if you follow these simple steps and do your research, you’ll be prepared for a smooth move. With proper preparation, vehicle transportation can be an easy and stress-free process. So start planning your cross-country move today and contact Cross Country Movers to give you a free quote for your move and car shipping service.

Daisy Wilson

Daisy was born in Salt Lake City and in her free time, she writes about moving and watches Charmed.

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