Things to Know Before Shipping a Car

If there’s anything that we can all agree on is that everything goes that much better when you’re prepared. And in an industry where volatility plays a significant role in the logistics of the service, the success of the transport happens when preparation meets opportunity.

Save yourself the trouble and learn from the top 3 do’s and don’ts that we tell our customers(car shippers) over the phone time and time again.

Man holding coffee next to car,car shippers


1. Be clear about your goals regarding car shipping and make sure your transport coordinator knows.

It’s easy to get caught up with the ideal price and quality but if no one is clear about YOUR main goal, it will be harder to assess the right shipping option for you.

2. Confirm your payment.

This seems obvious but it really can become a disaster when you’re not fully aware of the price and the options for payments. Drivers are usually very understanding about the waiting time when it comes to working with pickup contacts, delivery contacts, and customers but this could also mean the reason why their next pick up or delivery will be behind schedule.

Bottom line? Once your car carrier has been confirmed, make sure you have your payment ready.

3. Car shipping preparation.

Do you have your documents ready? Were the pickup and delivery contacts advised of the transport setup? Has everything been paid for that might prevent from the vehicle being released?

Here are simple 12 steps to prepare your car for transport

  • Prepare your Vehicle’s Documents
  • Make Sure the Vehicle is in Running Condition
  • Clean your Car From Inside and Out
  • Disable the Alarm
  • Don’t Put Personal Items in the Vehicle
  • Capture Pictures for Your Records
  • Perform any Necessary Maintenance
  • Make Sure the Car have a 1/4 Tank of Fuel
  • Remove or Secure any Loose Parts
  • Prepare your Car Keys
  • Check for Leaks
  • Check Tire Pressure

Get all the details for your vehicle preparation here.


1. Don’t just ask for the cheapest price!

…or else you’ll fall for the cheapest price trap!  We are talking about a valuable possession of yours. If quality is more important than quantity, are you sure you’ll want to choose an upfront price versus a job well done and with the conditions that you requested?

2. Don’t load your vehicle with personal items without consulting with your transport coordinator.

Carriers do not accept personal items in the vehicles unless we mention them to them upon confirming the transport. Therefore, before putting anything inside the vehicle, first, confirm with your transport coordinator if your personal items can be shipped to your vehicle.  

3. Don’t assume that the transport is custom-made.

The US mainland has all kinds of geographical features and the difficulty of arriving at the location can play an important role. That’s why companies that work with reputable carriers will accommodate the customer as much as they can while working around the nuisances that may come up.

Bonus tip: make sure you choose a transport company that you can trust and honors their commitment to maintaining communication with you throughout the process. For more details on how to choose a transport coordinator, click here!


Victoria Ruiz

A wanderer at heart, Victoria keeps taking her RAM 1500 to new places. She has been working in the auto transport industry for 7+ years. As an evangelist for Auto Star Transport (and as a friend who transports her vehicle), Victoria loves helping Auto Star Transport customers with help guides and insights. She is nowhere to be found when she is not in the office.
View all posts

Sol Abril

Sol Abril is an INFJ soul with strong empathy and a passion for helping others. His experience of working for auto transports for over a decade helps him spot the problem and figure out the best possible solution. Sol has served in different roles in different auto transport companies. He understands the ins and outs of the auto transport sector which he regularly shares on the Auto Star Transport blog. He likes to spend his spare time with his family.
View all posts