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Tips on How to Transport Your Car without Damaging It

Published by Joe Webster.

What's in this article?
  1. Check If You Can Legally Transport Your Car
  2. Get Your Car Professionally Cleaned
  3. Find a Reputable Mover
  4. Ensure That Nothing Is Loose or Can Be Dislodged
  5. Protect the Interior with Bubble Wrap
  6. Protect the Exterior with Cardboard
  7. Transport Your Tires Separately
  8. Have the Right Documentation
  9. Check In with Your Insurer
  10. Be There for Drop-off and Pickup
  11. Conclusion
Tips on How to Transport Your Car without Damaging It

When relocating to a new residence, your vehicle will likely become one of the most challenging things to move. Unless you live within walking distance of your new apartment, it's unlikely that you'll be able to drive your car to your new house.

Instead, you'll need to find alternative ways to transport it. This can be challenging, particularly if you have little expertise in transporting cars.

From ensuring that it meets the necessary legal requirements for transporting the vehicle in another state to preparing and packaging it correctly so that it doesn't incur any damage during the journey, there are many things to consider when transporting a car.

If you own a car or are planning on buying one soon, here are 10 useful tips on how to transport it from one location to another without damaging it.

Check If You Can Legally Transport Your Car

The first thing you should do is make sure that transporting your car is even legal. There are certain rules and regulations regarding transporting a car that you'll need to follow.

Some states allow you to transport your vehicle independently, while others require you to use a commercial carrier. You must determine your state's regulations and adhere to them appropriately.

If you wish to transfer your vehicle independently, you must ensure it is roadworthy. You also need to check your state's laws regarding how many hours you can drive in a day and how many consecutive hours you can go without taking a break.

Self-transporting a vehicle needs meticulous preparation and thoroughness. If you want to transport your car with a commercial carrier, they'll likely require a valid state inspection.

You may also be obligated to register your vehicle at your destination.


Get Your Car Professionally Cleaned

You might be tempted to save time and money by skipping this step, but it's important to get your car professionally cleaned before transporting it.

Since you won't be driving it for some time, you don't want to leave any dirt or grime in the car. These can cause damage to your car's interior.

If possible, get the interior of your vehicle cleaned by professionals. If you don't have time to get it cleaned, you can use a damp cloth to wipe down the seats and dashboard.

Wipe off all surfaces, including the steering wheel and gear shift. You might even remove the carpets and sanitize them thoroughly.

Find a Reputable Mover

Next, you'll need to find a reputable mover. If you don't have a relocation company in mind, you can use online review sites like Yelp to find a suitable mover.

When selecting a moving company, consider that they will be liable for your vehicle throughout the voyage.

Therefore, verify that they have a solid track record and are adequately licensed. You might also want to ask if they have any additional services that might be useful for your move.

For example, some companies will come to your house for a pre-move inspection and advise you on how to best protect your car during transport.

Ensure That Nothing Is Loose or Can Be Dislodged

It's important to ensure that nothing is loose or can be dislodged inside your car during transport. Otherwise, your vehicle may incur damage.

To prevent this from happening, you can stuff your glove compartment with crumpled-up newspaper and secure it shut with tape.

It's also a good idea to remove your car's floor mats.

If you have many loose items, such as books and CDs, it may be a good idea to pack them in boxes. This will help prevent them from being damaged during the journey.

Protect the Interior with Bubble Wrap

Next, you'll want to protect the interior of your car. You can do so using bubble wrap.

Wrap the bubble wrap around the seats and secure it with tape. This will safeguard the seats from potential disturbances and damage during shipment.


Protect the Exterior with Cardboard

You also want to protect the exterior of your car from bumps and scratches. To accomplish this, you can enclose it in cardboard. Place a piece of cardboard on the surface of your vehicle and secure it with tape.

This will help prevent scratches to the paint on your vehicle and protect the windows from breaking during transport.

Transport Your Tires Separately

Although it's important to protect your car during transit, there are some things that you should transport separately. For example, it's best to transport your tires separately from your car.

Some people like to transport tires on the roof of their car, but this is a very vulnerable part of the vehicle. When driving on a long stretch of highway, there's a chance that tires secured in this way can be hit and punctured by debris, such as nails.

To prevent this from happening, you can place your tires inside a cardboard box secured with tape.

Have the Right Documentation

When you ship a vehicle internationally, it needs special documentation. It's important to have the necessary paperwork so you do not end up having to pay additional fees.

Here are some considerations when transporting a vehicle internationally.

1. Proof of insurance: If you're shipping a vehicle across international borders, you'll need proof of insurance. This includes both liability and comprehensive coverage.

Liability covers damage caused by the driver, while comprehensive covers damage caused by third parties.

2. Customs clearance: When you enter another country, you'll likely go through customs. Some countries require proof of insurance, while others do not. Understand the documentation needed for each location.

Check In with Your Insurer

You ought to be able to obtain auto transport insurance from your underwriter that covers your car while it's being transported. This type of insurance helps protect against damage to your vehicle due to unforeseen circumstances such as accidents, theft, or vandalism.

In addition, some policies cover additional costs associated with moving your vehicle, such as shipping fees, storage charges, and fuel surcharges.

Make sure that your insurer covers the vehicle during transportation. If your insurer does not cover your vehicle during transportation, ask about what types of damages are covered under your policy.

Be There for Drop-off and Pickup

If you are transporting your vehicle across state lines, it is important to make sure that you are there for both the drop-off and delivery.

This includes being present for the driver to sign off on the receipt and take possession of the goods.

Taking pictures of the vehicle before shipping can help document the vehicle's condition and provide evidence in case anything goes wrong during transit. You can use this information to show any damage incurred during transport.



Transporting your car can be a daunting prospect. However, you can transfer your vehicle effectively and safely provided you take the appropriate procedures.

Ensure your car is road-worthy before transporting, and find out whether there are any requirements for importing a car.

Looking for a professional shipping partner? Contact A-1 Auto Transport for a free quote. We offer a variety of car shipping services to meet your needs.

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Joe Webster always knew the auto transport industry would be a great career option. And with decades of experience, Joe is now an established consultant for A1 Auto Transport.

Joe was born in Santa Cruz, California. During high school, Joe worked as a mechanic; a job continued to work part-time during his bachelor's degree.

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd,
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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