Auto Transport Checklist

An auto shipping checklist is a helpful tool to ensure that your auto transport will go smoothly. Below is a shipping checklist that will let you know about certain steps that need to be taken before you ship your vehicle.

Find an auto shipping company and receive a quote - First thing you will want to do is find an experienced shipping company that has a proven track record of success. The most important thing to do is your research - get references and even contact local car dealers in your area and find out who they use. A good shipping company has been in business for a long time, has positive customer reviews and local offices in various regions.

When researching, find out Info about the Company such as:

Full company name and contact information

How long they have been in business

DOT and MC license numbers

References - and make sure you call them

Once you have the DOT number, you can enter it into the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) web site to learn more about a motor carrier. If the DOT number is accurate, it will reveal a lot of helpful information.

Inspection Report from the Driver - Have your vehicle inspected and observed for any damages that might affect other vehicles during transit. You might even want to take your own photos during the process. The inspection will also document any damage that might occur on the road so there is a record of responsibility on the car shipping company. Thoroughly fill out the bill of lading report - A bill of lading is a document issued by a carrier acknowledging that specific goods have been received matching the contract description. Make sure you send a copy of this report to the person receiving the vehicle. Upon arrival of the vehicle, the buyer should do a complete inspection of the vehicle with the original inspection report and look for any damage that might have happened along the way.

Documentation - Have all of your documentation in order before the auto shipper arrives. This includes inspection or damage documentation, insurance paperwork or other papers you might be required to have. Make sure you have hard copies of all the paperwork involved with shipping a vehicle. Provide a complete set of keys to your auto shipper and keep an extra set for yourself.

Operating Condition - Be sure to notify the shipping company if your vehicle is not in drivable condition, oversized, or has special modifications - this can affect the price of shipping. Check your battery to make sure that it is fully charged and securely mounted. Check for fluid leaks - oil, transmission, fluid, gasoline, etc. Check with the auto shipper to see at what level the gas tank should be for safe travel. Notify the auto transporter if there is anything odd, different or tricky about the vehicle so that they can be aware of how to handle your vehicle.

Prepare your vehicle for shipment - Clean and prepare your vehicle before it is picked up to ensure a proper inspection of the vehicles physical condition. Remove all personal items from the vehicle. Remove or retract antennas. Secure or remove any loose items such as car covers, convertibles, car racks, etc. Auto Transporters are not responsible for these items and generally won't be covered by insurance.

Transit time - Be flexible on the pickup/drop off time of a vehicle and transit time. Normally, pickup times can vary from 1 to 4 days around the day you want your vehicle picked up and delivery of a vehicle can take anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks. Only the driver can give you accurate information on the arrival of your vehicle, so arrange to be in touch with them if you can.