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Getting your car ready for shipment can be a little complicated if you don’t understand the necessary procedures. Often, many people complain that their vehicles get stuck at the port by customs due to a lack of prerequisites document or by patrol officers. So how can you avoid these issues associated with car shipping?

This piece is designed to provide you with the necessary information to aid you in shipping your car in a stress-free manner. 

1. Ensure all necessary documents

The basic procedure that auto transport companies usually require is to request your car documents to ensure the vehicle belongs to you. To avoid shipment delays, American Auto Shipping advises starting from gathering all relevant files and documents attached to the car for easy transfer and clearance. Below are the necessary documents you need to have if you plan to ship your car:

  • Vehicle registration documents
  • Documents that can prove your ownership of the vehicle
  • Insurance policy documents that relate to the said vehicle 
  • Driver’s license

2. Wash the car interior and exterior thoroughly 

You don’t want to ship out a car that looks dirty and rough. Washing the vehicle allows you to wipe out dust, dirt and identify damaged spots on the car exterior. Don’t forget to clean the interior because you don’t want your car to be in a sorry state when you are ready to use it or send it to someone.

3. Document any form of existing damage

Here is one major advantage of washing your car before shipping. Through the process of washing the car, you will be able to identify some hidden spots or damaged areas on the vehicle. Once the washing has been completed, get a photographer or your semi-professional camera to take pictures from every angle for documentation purposes. The information will be handy when you want to press charges against any shipping company if you notice any damage to your car during the process of transporting the car.

4. Take out your items


The temptation to stuff some of your items in the vehicle is quite reasonable especially if there is no space in your moving van. However, you need to be aware of the consequences ahead. Items packed in the vehicle cannot be insured against theft or damage. So, you can’t press charges if any of the above were to occur. What can you do instead? You should remove every form of essential and personal items such as:

  • Documents that relate to your insurance or financial transactions can be traced or linked to your bank.
  • Charging devices 
  • Sunglasses
  • Wristwatches 
  • GPS devices 

But if you think the best way you can transport this item is through your car, you should keep them safe in your car trunk, or in a position in the car where it will not be exposed to sunlight. Make sure that this spot is out of sight. Also, ensure any documents that relate to toll fees and payment is taken care of to avoid extra charges.

5. Always empty your gas tank

This is very important, and you must by no chance forget to empty your vehicle gas tank before shipping. Since you will be shipping the car and not driving it, the gas is useless during the trip. Moreover, your shipping fee will be based on your car weight, and with a gas-filled tank, you will be paying avoidable extra charges. From an economic point of view, the best gas level you should leave in the car tank should not exceed a quarter tank, which is enough to drive you to the nearest gas station when the car is delivered.

6. Keep all external accessories safe

Some people find it difficult to remove the external accessories of their cars during shipment, only to find out they have been damaged when they receive it on the other end. To avoid a situation like this, you should take note of accessories you can screen, and uninstall before handing the car over to the shipping company. Below are some of the accessories you need to keep safe:

  • Car antenna 
  • Custom spoilers 
  • Luggage tracks
  •  Rooftop boxes 
  • Removable ski and bike racks

People have tons of reasons for shipping their vehicles. It could be relocation from a state or country, or sending it to your acquaintances, and some instances, for commercial purposes. Whatever the reason may be, it is super important that you follow the six necessary steps enumerated above. It will save you from encountering some of the challenges associated with car shipping and not to mention, save you a ton of money.

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