You called the transport company, you set up your appointment, and you’re all set to ship your car. But your car is more than just your car, it’s your baby. You want to make sure it’s well taken care of and if you chose Indianapolis Car Transport, you’re already halfway there.
Even the best auto transport companies can’t prepare your vehicle for shipping. But there are things you can do before the driver comes to pick up your vehicle to ensure your transport goes as smoothly as possible. Your driver will thank you, and more importantly, you will thank yourself knowing that everything is perfect for transport.
1) Clean Your Vehicle
This is something nobody thinks to do, but believe me, it helps. The driver will conduct a vehicle condition report. A freshly washed car will significantly speed up this process. And if you choose to go with a budget transport company, you’ll easily see any new scratches that might have arisen from transport. Not to mention how good it feels to see your freshly washed car come off the transport truck giving you the feeling of getting a new car all over again.
2) Clean the inside
The trailers of transport vehicles aren’t as smooth as when you’re driving your car. In fact, you can expect quite a bit of bouncing when your car on the trailer. It’s important to remove anything that’s not bolted down. Take out any electronics, throw away what’s in the cup holder, and take all your spare change to the Coin Star.
3) Remove any custom accessories
If your vehicle has aftermarket parts like a spoiler or body kits, it’s a good idea to remove them. Transport vehicles ship factory issued vehicles, and the extra parts on yours might get in the way of shipping. To avoid any issues, it’s best to remove these before shipping.
4) Take pictures of Vehicle
It’s a good idea to take pictures of your car. Don’t just take pictures of damaged areas but take pictures of everything. It’s always good to have current pictures of your vehicle in the very rare case that something may get damaged during transport. Use a camera that prints the date on the images for when you submit your photos.
5) Take pictures of the Odometer
This isn’t as important as the rest of the car, but many people think that the drivers are taking their car on a joyride. Believe me, unloading your vehicle and loading it back onto the trailer just for a joy ride is not worth it for any driver. Still, taking pictures of the odometer can give you peace of mind that your car has just traveled hundreds of miles without adding a single mile to the odometer.
6) Disable Alarm
The last thing you want is for your car alarm to go off during transit. This can happen during transit or even if a loud noise sets it off when the vehicle is stopped. Some alarms go off at the slightest noise, and it’s best if they don’t go off at all during transit. This could drain the battery if your driver doesn’t know how to shut off the alarm on your vehicle.
7) Check the battery
Make sure your battery is at a full charge. If the driver has problems unloading the vehicle, you may incur an additional charge. This can be prevented by making sure there aren’t any issues with your car starting.
8) Look at your Tire Pressure
The bouncing trailers can cause damage to underinflated or overinflated tires. Do a quick check with your pressure gauge to inflate your tires to your factory specifications.
9) Check for Leaks
Checking your radiator to make sure it’s full of antifreeze is important. But also check to make sure your radiator or oil isn’t leaking. If it’s a particularly bad leak, your driver may refuse to accept your vehicle. If you have a small leak that can’t be fixed before transport, make sure to let your driver know. Your driver may be able to place your vehicle on the bottom row of the trailer.
10) Fix any engine or mechanical issues
If your vehicle isn’t running, let your driver know so they can prepare accordingly. If your vehicle is marked as running, and the driver has issues loading your vehicle, they may charge additional fees.
11) Don’t Fill your gas tank
The only place your vehicle needs to drive is on and off the trailer. By having less fuel in your tank, you make sure the transport truck is lighter and therefore saves weight for the transporter. Most transporters recommend to have anywhere between 1/8 and ¼ tank of gas.
12) Remove Toll Tags
If you have a transponder in your vehicle for toll roads or carpool lanes, you might want to remove or deactivate it before shipping. While on the transport truck, you don’t have to pay for any toll roads the driver might decide to use. If those transponders are activated while shipping, they will automatically charge your account.
13) Lock Your Car
Transport truck drivers are not going to go through your vehicle. On longer trips, your vehicle may be parked at a truck stop and left unattended for a time. There’s no reason for anyone to open your vehicle until it’s been delivered.
14) Have your keys Ready
Your driver is going to need to drive your vehicle on and off the trailer. If you have specific keys, especially in older vehicles, it’s important to let your driver know. It’s good practice to keep a set of keys on your person and give an additional set to your driver.
15) Have insurance
More than likely, your vehicle has insurance. After all, it’s the law if you plan on driving it. But even if you don’t, it’s a good idea to get a temporary policy for transport. The transport company’s insurance covers most incident during shipping. However, this doesn’t include any “Act of God” causes that can come from things like bad weather. It’s best to have all your bases covered before attaching your vehicle to the trailer. Check insurance options HERE!
If you follow all of these steps, you can practically guarantee a smooth and easy shipment of your vehicle. You don’t want to include any added issues that could have been easily avoided. If you talk to your Indianapolis Car Transport dispatcher, they can tell you more.