How to Prepare Your Car for Long-Distance Shipping to Another State

When you’re preparing to ship your vehicle to another state, there are a lot of moving parts and logistics to be mindful of such as finding the right broker and securing the funds to cover the costs. As you prepare all of the details, don’t forget about your physical car and its preparation. Consider some of the best ways to prepare your car for long-distance travel.

1. Clean and Photograph the Interior and Exterior of the Car

To prepare your car for a long-distance shipping experience, start by cleaning your car. Thoroughly clean the interior of the car. Vacuum the floors, seating and any other carpeted surface. Use cleaning wipes to clean the dashboard and the interior sides of the windows. Then, do the same process on the outside. You can opt to take a trip to the local car washing business or do the cleaning on your own. Once the car is completely clean, take photos of every section of the car. Whether it’s the scratches on the bumper or the permanent stain on the headrest, capture it all. If anything happens to your car en route, you’ll want to maintain proof that it happened because you have all of the details documented prior to shipping.

2. Gather Important Documents

It’s not uncommon to leave a lot of important car documents in the glove compartment of the car. While this is okay when you’re traveling on your own, treat the shipping process differently. When you’re shipping a personal vehicle, it’s best to keep all of those documents with you. Important vehicle documents include your license and registration. In fact, it’s best to keep those items in your wallet at all times. You’ll want to keep your proof of ownership, insurance documents and vehicle title information with you as well. If you have any other important documents in your glove compartment or any other area of the vehicle, remove them and pack those with your personal belongings instead.

3. Leave No More Than a Quarter Tank of Gas

Gas adds more weight to your vehicle. If you’re charged by the weight, you don’t want extra gallons of unnecessary fuel when you’re shipping a car to another state. Plus, you don’t need a full tank of gas when it’s riding on another vehicle and will be parked for the duration of the trip. Instead, let your gas tank fall lower than the quarter tank line. Once you have less than a quarter tank of fuel, you’ll have just enough to travel to the nearest gas station once your vehicle arrives at its destination.

4. Remove Items from the Car

Just like you’ll want to remove important car documents from the glove compartment, empty the car as well. Whether you have a lot of items in your trunk or a collection of sunglasses in the compartments under the armrest, remove any personal belongings from the car. The first reason is that these personal belongings add extra weight to the car. Depending on the deal you’ve secured with a car broker, extra weight tends to mean extra costs. In addition to keeping costs low, another reason to remove all of your personal belongings is that theft happens. In other cases, damage can take place. This even applies to outdoor items that are attached to the vehicle, like bike racks and spoilers. Remove everything that you want to keep safe, protected and secured.

5. Get an Additional Copy of the Car Keys

You’re going to need to hand over your car keys to the company personnel since they’ll be the professionals responsible for maneuvering your vehicle in the moments before and after the trip. If you only have one set of car keys, consider this the best time to order an additional set of keys. If anything happens to your keys en route, you don’t want to be in a position where you’ll need to wait a long time before you can actually get into your car. Depending on your familiarity with the new state, it might be more of a hassle than it’s worth to find a car dealership that can create new keys. Instead, connect with your car’s manufacturer and get car keys expedited to your current location.

When it pertains to long-distance shipping, it’s easy to assume that the physical car doesn’t need any preparation because there’s no driver behind the wheel. Still, if you want your car shipping process to operate smoothly, make sure these specifics are taken care of before it’s time to move.

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