Tips to successfully ship your car across the state lines

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Once you have found a reliable shipping company, it’s time to create a to-do list that’ll help you get your car ready for transport and tackle the DMV requirements in your new state.

In this post, we will offer a few tips to help you successfully ship your car across the state lines. Knowing what to do is the easiest way to make sure shipping goes smoothly, and your car reaches its destination unscathed. Finally, we will share our insight on how to ensure a worry-free driving in your new state, including document requirements.

Preparation is key to successful shipping

Clean and wash your car

Before leaving your vehicle in the hands of auto transporter, you need to clean and wash it. It may seem like an obvious task; nevertheless, many car owners forget about it. And when they finally remember, the carrier may have already arrived for pick up.

So add this step to your to-do list and give your car a good wash a few days before shipping. Once it is clean from top to bottom, inspect it for scratches, dents, and other visible damages. With a clean car, it will be easier to notice imperfections on its exterior, you may have otherwise missed.

And if you want to take the cleaning process a step further,  apply a fresh layer of wax to your car. It will protect your vehicle’s paint from any road salt, debris, or grits if you are shipping it via an open carrier.

Take photos of your vehicle

Perform a visual inspection of your car and if you spot are any defects, log them on paper and take clear, close-up photos from different angles. Don’t discard them until the delivery is done and make sure your photos are dated to avoid discrepancies. This way, if you need to file a claim, the shipping company will not be able to dispute damages. However, this is more of a precautionary step; most vehicles arrive at their destination intact.

Carry out a maintenance check

Preventative car maintenance is important for your vehicle’s longevity. It can also save you from unnecessary stress when shipping your car across the state lines. Preventative care isn’t science only known to professional mechanics. In fact, various tasks you can easily perform yourself.

For example, check your car battery, motor oil, and antifreeze levels from time to time. Make sure your battery’s case is not swollen, leaking is absent, and fluid levels are normal. Also, keep an eye on the motor oil and antifreeze to determine if they need to be changed or refilled. These small actions will help keep your car in good health and avoid costly visits to a mechanic.

Furthermore, look underneath your car for signs of any leaking fluids, inspect your tires, and make sure your hand brake works properly. We encourage you to follow through with this step at least two weeks before your anticipated shipping date, in case you need professional repair services.

Empty the vehicle and remove valuables

Before shipment, we recommend to empty your vehicle and remove all valuable items and add-ons such as GPS system, DVD players, or car chargers to decrease the chances of damage, loss, or even theft during transport. Remember that car shipper’s insurance will not cover damages caused to your vehicle’s interior or loss of items you left inside.

What about the spare tire, emergency kit, and hand tools? Well, it is advisable to leave these items in your vehicle. Your license plate should not be removed either.

Secure or remove loose parts

In case your vehicle has removable or loose parts on its exterior, secure or remove them completely before shipping. By doing this, you will avoid any potential damage to yours and other cars transported on the same carrier.

What do we mean by loose parts? Items such as removable ski, luggage and bike racks, antenna, and custom spoilers. Don’t forget to fold your side-view mirrors and roll up the windows as well. If you are shipping a convertible, make sure its top is secured so that your car doesn’t become a victim of unfavorable weather conditions.

Empty the gas tank

Make sure your gas tank is not more than 1/4 full. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict regulations when it gets to weight limits. All auto transporters, without exception, must comply with weight restrictions, and the full gas tank adds extra weight to your vehicle, hence to the total weight limit of the carrier. Besides, your car will only be driven short distances for loading and unloading, so leaving the gas tank only ¼ full is the right thing to do.

Extra Tips

Below is a short list of extras to keep in mind before shipping your car:

  • Have an extra set of keys for the car shipping company
  • Deactivate any automatic  toll tags to avoid collecting unnecessary fees
  • Remove or disable the alarm system and extra lights
  • Inquire about your auto transporters insurance coverage limits
  • Make sure you give any special instructions to the carrier

As long as you follow these easy steps, the process of preparing your car for shipping will no longer be a hassle for you. Quite the contrary! These steps will significantly reduce any damage risks, and save you time and money in the long run.

Ensure worry-free driving in your new state

Whether you are moving, and shipping a car between Arizona and New York, or anywhere else in the country, you will have to take care of some paperwork in order. In most states, you will have to get a local driver’s license and get your car registered within 30 days after moving. In some states, the deadline for registering your car can be less than 30 days. Therefore, always make sure to check the deadline in your new state in advance.

When it comes to license plates, some states offer a temporary registration and send you the new license plates within 2-4 weeks, while some other states will mail them to you immediately.

After you figure out the deadline, start gathering all the necessary documentation such as your identification, proof of car ownership, odometer disclosure statement, emissions disclosure statement, as well as the Bill of Sale, and a utility bill. In case you have just recently purchased your car, some states require you to show extra proof of purchase. You will also have to get your car insured which, in most states, is a key requirement for registering your car.

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About the Author:

Juxhina Malaj - a wanderluster and bibliophile who loves photography, nature, documentary films, re-watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S, and drinking green tea while listening to Indie Folk, Delta Blues, Jazz and all the good vibes.
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