Tips for a Successful and Smooth Car Shipping Across Country by John Fleet

When you need to ship your car across the country, it's essential to maximize your vehicle's safety and minimize any hassles. Whether you need to ship your car due to a relocation, buying or selling a vehicle, or taking an extended trip, the following tips can help you execute the process like a seasoned pro.

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Selecting a Reputable Car Shipping Company

Finding a reliable and reputable car shipping company is the most critical step when you first consider how to ship car across country. Do research online using websites such as Yelp or the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and read reviews from other customers. Once you narrow your search to a short list of companies, call or check their websites for price comparisons, services offered, and proper licensing and insurance coverage if anything unfortunate happens to your car during its travels.


A good company will be transparent about what they offer, communicate clearly with you, and provide comprehensive insurance coverage to ensure the safe handling of your car throughout its travels.

Preparing Your Vehicle for Transportation

Properly prepare the vehicle to minimize any damage and other issues during your car's transport. Clean the inside and outside of the car so that any pre-existing damage is visible and noted. The car should go through a thorough examination before being loaded. Remove your personal belongings and items of value to prevent loss or damage.


Document all existing dents, scratches, and other damage with photographs. Additionally, document any mechanical problems. Inflate all tires to the recommended pressure and have adequate fuel in your car if you need to drive it to or from the pickup or delivery areas.

Understanding Insurance Coverage

Before shipping your car, it is crucial to understand the insurance coverage provided by the shipping company. While reputable carriers typically offer comprehensive insurance, reviewing the terms and conditions is essential. Familiarize yourself with the coverage limits, deductibles, and any applicable exclusions. Consider purchasing additional insurance to provide extra peace of mind during transit.

Coordinating Logistics and Scheduling

Once you've chosen a shipping company and prepared your vehicle, it's time to coordinate logistics and schedule the shipment. Communicate with the shipping company to finalize the pickup and delivery dates and provide accurate addresses for both locations. Ensure that someone will be available at each location to facilitate a smooth handover. Additionally, be prepared for potential delays due to weather conditions, traffic, or unforeseen circumstances, and maintain open lines of communication with the shipping company throughout the process.

Conducting a Thorough Inspection Upon Delivery

Upon the arrival of your vehicle, conduct a thorough inspection before accepting the delivery. Examine your car carefully, inside and out, to ensure that it arrived in the same condition as when it was loaded. If you notice any damages or issues during transport, document them immediately and notify the shipping company. If necessary, taking photos and recording any discrepancies will help you file a claim.

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Properly Securing Loose Parts and Accessories

Before shipping your car, securing any loose parts or accessories is vital to prevent damage during transit. Remove any removable items such as spoilers, bike racks, or roof racks that may be prone to shifting or getting damaged during transport. Securely fasten any non-removable accessories like antennas or side mirrors to minimize the risk of breakage. Taking the time to secure these parts properly will help ensure they arrive at your destination intact and avoid additional repair costs.

Clearing Your Vehicle of Toll Tags and Parking Passes

Remove parking passes, toll booth trackers and similar items from your vehicle before shipping to avoid unnecessary charges or complications. Since these devices are often linked to your personal account, their presence during transit could result in unintended toll charges or activation of parking fees. Double-check all areas of your car, including the windshield, dashboard, and rearview mirror, to ensure that no toll tags or parking passes are left behind. This precaution will save you from any unexpected charges and streamline the car shipping process.

Ensure Your Car's Safe Travel

Following each of these tips will help you confidently navigate the car shipping process for a successful and smooth experience. From choosing a reputable shipping company to preparing your car for the move and managing logistics, these essential guidelines will help you safeguard your valuable asset and prevent issues that may arise during the journey.