May 15, 2015 | Posted in CVAT | By

If you’ve ridden on a plane recently, you know how strict the rules are for passengers: size restrictions for carry-on luggage, checked bags typically cost extra, many items are prohibited, liquids in carry-on luggage must be 100ml or less, and on and on the list goes . . . So before you head to the airport, it’s necessary to prepare yourself (and your baggage) for the trip. Similarly, when you’re preparing your car for transport, you’ll need to do a little research to find out what’s allowed, what’s not allowed, and how auto transport companies recommend that you prepare your car for the long journey ahead. To help you out, we’ve compiled a handy list.

Preparing Your Car for Transport

Different transport companies have different rules regarding how to prepare your car for shipment, but the following recommendations are fairly consistent across the board. Before your car is shipped, be sure that it . . .

1. . . Contains 1/8 to 1/4 a tank of fuel. This isn’t an exact science, but it’s important that the tank is less than a quarter full, because it lowers the overall weight of the car.

2. . . Doesn’t contain personal items. Sorry, folks! When you ship a car, you’re only paying to ship the car, so don’t try to fill it with various household items and personal belongings that also need to be shipped. Not only is this prohibited by the Federal and State Department of Transportation, but transporters can be fined up to $10,000 if they’re found to be transporting personal items without proper and legal authority. Plus, personal items aren’t covered by the transport company’s insurance.

3. . . Doesn’t contain illegal items. Firearms, hazardous materials, illegal substances, and contraband are not permitted under any circumstances. Remove them before the shipping date.

4. . . Is in its most basic, condensed form. By this, we mean that you might want to remove extra accessories from your car if they could be damaged or lost during the trip (ex: fog lights, ground effects, spoilers, tire covers, grill covers, bike racks, luggage racks). If you don’t want to remove your accessories, make sure that they are very secure. It’s also a good idea to fold back your mirrors and retract any antennas.

5. . . Is in good shape. This is a great time to give your car a check-up. Check that the tires are fully inflated, the fluids have been topped off, and the car isn’t leaking any fluids. This last point is especially important. If your car is leaking fluids and you aren’t able to fix it before the shipping day, let the transport company know so that your car can be stored on the lower level of the transporter (and its fluids won’t drip onto other vehicles).

6. . . Has been examined, recorded, and photographed. Photograph your car before it’s shipped, making note of any dents or imperfections and dating your records. That way, if anything happens to the car during its journey, you’ll have evidence of its pre-shipment condition.

Preparing your car for transport won’t take long, and it could be the difference between a simple, smooth delivery and a frustrating, headache-inducing problem.

Ready to ship your car? Contact Professional Auto Transport one of the largest auto transporting companies in the industry. Whether you need to move cars for an auction, a dealership, or a rental company, Professional Auto Transport can help. We also safely, quickly, and efficiently transport single vehicles. If you’re interested in learning more about how auto transport works, or if you’re ready to place an order, please give us a call at (559) 568-1000 or e-mail us at