Pulse Magline Automotive What You Need to Know Before Shipping Your Vehicle

What You Need to Know Before Shipping Your Vehicle

What You Need to Know Before Shipping Your Vehicle

When planning to ship your vehicle, whether domestically or internationally, it’s important to understand the process and prepare accordingly. Here we will guide you through the essential aspects you need to know before shipping your vehicle, ensuring a smooth and stress-free experience.

1. Choose the Right Auto Transport Company

The first step in shipping your vehicle is selecting a reliable auto transport company. Look for companies with good reputations, which can be verified through online reviews and ratings on platforms like Better Business Bureau or Transport Reviews. Ensure they are licensed and insured; you can check their USDOT number on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website for their safety records and licensing.

2. Understand the Different Types of Transport

There are mainly two types of transport options: open and enclosed. Open transport is more common and affordable; however, it exposes your vehicle to the elements and potential road debris. Enclosed transport, while more expensive, offers a higher level of protection against weather and dirt, making it ideal for luxury, classic, or high-value vehicles.

3. Prepare Your Vehicle for Transport

Preparing your vehicle for transport is crucial. Here are some steps you should take:

  • Clean Your Vehicle: A clean car allows for easier inspection and identification of any chips, dings, or damage prior to shipping.
  • Inspect and Document: Take photos and document your vehicle’s condition before it’s loaded onto the truck. This will be important if you need to file a claim for any damages caused during transport.
  • Secure or Remove Accessories: Remove or secure any loose items or special accessories on your vehicle to prevent loss or damage.
  • Check Fluids, Tire Pressure, and Battery: Ensure your car is in good running condition with adequate fluid levels, properly inflated tires, and a fully charged battery.
  • Disable Alarms: If your vehicle has an alarm system, make sure it is disabled before transport to avoid it going off during the journey.

4. Insurance Coverage

While auto transporters are required to have liability insurance, this may not cover the full value of your vehicle in case of damage. Check with your transport company about the coverage they offer and consider getting additional insurance if necessary. Make sure you understand what is covered and what is not to avoid any unexpected surprises in the event of damages.

5. Be Clear on Pick-Up and Delivery Times

Transport companies generally give a window for when they expect to pick up and deliver your vehicle. These times are estimates and can be affected by factors such as weather, traffic, and the schedules of other vehicles being transported. Ensure you have a clear understanding of the pick-up and delivery process, including how much notice you’ll be given prior to arrival.

6. Prepare for Costs and Payment Methods

Understand the total cost of shipping your vehicle. This includes not only the vehicle shipping fee but also any additional costs such as insurance, expedited service fees, or fees for additional services like door-to-door transport. Know the payment methods accepted by the transporter and when the payment is expected. Some companies require a deposit up front, while others may require full payment upon delivery.

7. Know the Legalities and Regulations

When shipping your vehicle, especially internationally, be aware of the legal requirements and regulations involved. This includes customs duties, import taxes, and other paperwork. For international shipping, work with a transporter that has experience in handling such shipments and can guide you through the necessary steps and documentation.

8. Inspect Upon Arrival

Once your vehicle is delivered, inspect it thoroughly in the presence of the transport driver. Compare the condition of the vehicle upon delivery to the documented condition before transport. Any discrepancies should be noted and reported to the transport company immediately to facilitate a claim.


Shipping your vehicle doesn’t have to be a daunting task if you’re prepared and informed. By choosing a reputable transport company, understanding the shipping options, preparing your vehicle, and knowing the associated costs and legalities, you can ensure a smooth and successful transport experience.

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