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Getting It There In One Piece: Shipping Your Car

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By Author: Rob Parker
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Moving from one state to another is never exactly entertaining, but it becomes more difficult when you have to ship a car as well. Before you ship, you have to decide if you're going to hire your brother-in-law to drive it for you, or pay a professional transportation company. In the interest of family harmony, and liability, the professionals are probably the better option.

Once you've researched transporters, you'll know that price is generally related to the distance of the journey and how popular the route is (more travelers=more cars to ship=combined shipments and lower fees), and you'll be ready to decide if your car is best in an open or closed trailer.
An open trailer is just that - uncovered - and generally less expensive than closed trailers. If you are shipping a particularly expensive car, an antique auto, or if the car you're shipping is going across country, a closed trailer may be your best bet, as it will protect the vehicle from heat and sand.

Whichever container you select, there are several things you can do to make the journey smoother and help your car arrive at its destination in one piece.

1 Even if you've decided on an open trailer, wash your car thoroughly, inside and out, and remove any personal items from inside. If you're shipping a convertible, do it with the top up, and if you can't make sure it's got a tight-fitting tonneau cover .

2 Do a thorough walk-around of the car, noting any chips, scratches or dings. Fold the side-view mirrors in, and retract or remove the antenna if it's possible to do so. Also, turn off, or completely disable the car alarm if you have one. If you have fog lights or spoilers that can be removed, you should remove them, and be certain to secure any other moving parts.

3. Make sure that the battery is fully charged, the tires are completely inflated, and all fluids have been topped off. If you know of any leaks, make sure you inform the transportation company - they'll need to ensure that your car isn't on the top level of a multi-tiered trailer, if this is the case. You'll also want to make sure there's no more than a quarter of a tank of gas, which will reduce weight.

4. Log and report a complete list of any pre-existing damage there may be to your vehicle. Also, take pictures of the car, date-stamp them, and store them, so that you'll have proof if there is a problem.

5. Make a list of any issues,or specific steps that anyone might need to know in order to start or stop your car, or drive it on or off the trailer.

By following these easy preparation tasks, you can be assured that your car will arrive at your new home safely, securely, and with little to no fuss.

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