At times it is necessary to ship your car, such as for a move, an auto show, or if it is being sold. For a lot of car owners, this might feel like a risky and stressful process, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether looking to ship your car across the country, or to the other side of the world, there are a few things you must do to ensure it is ready for the journey and arrives safe at its destination.

Preparing the Outside of Your Car for Shipment

Wash the car. Before shipping, make sure you thoroughly wash the outside of the car. This allows both you and the freight forwarder an accurate view of the condition of the outside, revealing any damage beforehand.

Remove loose or custom items. These types of items might include things like:
● Luggage rack
● Bicycle rack
● Spoilers
● GPS systems
● Removable stereos
Also make sure to remove any type of toll tags or passes unique to your vehicle as these could cause charges during transport.

Secure convertible tops. Should your car have a convertible top it is important that it is in good condition and that the top is secured as tightly as possible to avoid issues that might arise due to extreme environmental conditions during the shipment process.

Document the vehicle’s condition. It is vital that you take pictures of your vehicle before shipping it, noting any dings, dents, or scratches that are already existing. Take close-up photographs of these damaged areas. This ensures that all cosmetic issues are accounted for and that you don’t become liable for damage that happens during or after shipping.

Finally, make sure the battery is fully charged, all security alarms are disabled, and the tires are fully inflated.

Preparing the Inside of Your Car for Shipment

Reduce fuel level. For safety reasons, carriers limit the amount of fuel permitted in vehicles. For cars being shipped domestically, the tank can be reduced to ¼ full. For cars shipping internationally, their tanks can be ⅛ full. It can quickly become quite costly if your car requires excess gas to be siphoned from it, so it is crucial these fuel guidelines are followed.

Document mechanical problems. Similarly to your documentation of the outside of your vehicle, it is also necessary to note any specific mechanical issues your car might have or any special instructions required to operate it.

Resolve or report leaks. Leaks can cause damage to your car or to other vehicles if it is in a shared container, so any leaks must be fixed or proper precautions put in place by the shipping company.

Guidelines for Packing Your Car for Shipment

If you are shipping your vehicle domestically (within North America), you cannot pack any items inside of it.

For international shipments, you are allowed to pack the car with personal items, but it has to be driven in and out of the area so the driver’s seat, pedals, manual shifters, windows, and mirrors must be completely accessible and clear of any obstructions.

If absolutely necessary to ship, there are some personal goods that have the potential to endanger individuals, equipment, or the environment which are referred to as dangerous goods. North American and International regulatory agencies have categorized them into nine major classes:
● Class 1 – Explosives
● Class 2 – Gas
● Class 3 – Flammable liquids
● Class 4 – Flammable solids
● Class 5 – Oxidizing substances and organic peroxides
● Class 6 – Poisonous (toxic) and infectious substances
● Class 7 – Radioactive materials
● Class 8 – Corrosives
● Class 9 – Miscellaneous articles and substances

While many materials classified as dangerous can be shipped domestically and internationally, it is important to contact your shipping company as soon as possible.

Insurance When Shipping Your Car

Although insurance for car shipment is not mandatory, it is highly recommended. Similar to having insurance for accidents on the road, sometimes things happen during the shipping process that are out of anyone’s control. By obtaining freight insurance, you can rest assured that your vehicle will arrive safely, and should something happen to it, you will have coverage for replacement or actual cash value of the car.

Safe and Secure Shipping for Your Vehicle

By following these tips and talking to the experts in car shipping at World Cargo, you will be assured a safer and smoother experience from door-to-door. World Cargo will help you take care of all necessary documentation and adhere to international shipping rules and regulations, no matter how your vehicle is shipped.

Ready to ship? Contact us at 1-877-232-0204 with your questions, or complete our online quote form to get started!