Preparing your vehicle for transportation
First let’s look at the best way to prepare your vehicle for transportation. Firstly, your car must be roadworthy. This is because employees of the auto transport company have to drive it on and off the transporter. Plus, you should wash you car to allow for easy inspection for such things as scratches and dents.
Then make sure your car doesn’t have any leaks. Cars are usually transported in batches on one large transporter. You will be responsible if any leakage of fluids from your car damages other cars on the same transport. By the same token, make sure your gas tank is less than a quarter full and other fluids such as break and suspension fluids have room for expansion.
Next, secure or remove any accessories your car may have. This includes such things as antennae and wide mirrors on the outside of your car and after-market CD players on the inside. Make sure your alarm is disabled along with any other devices that may drain the battery. Remove all personal possessions from your car as the transport company will not want to take responsibility for them. In fact, the Department of Transportation does not legally permit the transport of personal belongings in vehicles transported on auto carriers.
Bear in mind you may have to drive your car to a pick-up point agreed between you and the car transport company. This is because the transporter vehicles may be unable to access your neighborhood owing to their size.
Finally, don’t forget to consider the climatic conditions. If you’re moving to, say, Alaska, it would be wise to put anti-freeze into your car before shipping. Plus check your heating or air-conditioning systems. You can also request a covered transport to further protect your vehicle against the elements.
For international shipments, some other steps are needed. For one thing, you need to confirm your car meets the environmental standards of the destination country. You can get this information from the consulate of the country you’re moving to along with details of any other restrictions that may apply. Your auto car services transport company can help you here. Note that international car transport regulations specify that cars be no taller than seven feet and have a minimum of four inches ground clearance.
Checking the Car Shipping Documents
So now that your car is ready for transport, let’s look at the all-important question of paperwork.
The key document involved in car transport is the bill of lading. This outlines all the terms and conditions of the agreement between you and the auto car transport services company. A key component of the bill of lading is the condition report which documents the condition of your car at the time of handover. It will also contain such details as odometer readings.
As any future claims for damages will be made on the basis of the information in this report, you need to check it carefully before signing. Both you (or your designated representative) and a representative of the car transport company have to sign this both before and after loading. Generally, if your car is damaged you have two weeks in which to file a complaint.
For international auto transport, additional paperwork such as those required for customs formalities will be required. And make note you will need the original title of your car and a Bill of Sale when arranging international shipment.
Then there’s the all-important matter of insurance. Ask for a copy of the car mover’s insurance coverage. Your vehicle should be insured against damage and theft by your auto transport company. By law, carriers have to carry a minimum of $1,000,000 worth of public liability insurance as well as cargo coverage. And don’t forget that your owner’s insurance remains in effect throughout the transport of your car. If you’re transporting you car by ocean container, it has to be professionally packed for the insurance to be valid.
When it comes to documentation, the golden rule is that you have to make sure you have everything, including the total cost involved, in black and white.
Providing you’re well prepared and follow the above steps, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy a stress-free transportation of your car. But first make sure you find a reputable car transport services firm that offers a full service. A reputable car transport company will be happy to give you a free quote. Knowing that trained professionals are taking care of your precious car will give you peace of mind during this stressful time.