Preparing Your Vehicle for Transport

12 Steps to Get Ready:

Wash Your Vehicle

Thoroughly wash your vehicle before it’s picked up. This will uncover any visible damage at the time of pick up.

Adjust Gas Level

Run your gas tank to a quarter full. Do not leave a full tank of gas in the car.

Record Existing Dings

Make a written record of any chips, dents, scratches, or other damage on the car. The driver will also provide you a copy of his own inspection report.

Note Damages

When the vehicle arrives at its destination, do a thorough inspection again and note any damages on the bill of lading. The carrier will not accept any claim if it is not noted on the bill of lading.

Photograph Your Car

Take pictures of the vehicle from several angles as well as close-up shots of any damage and make sure they’re date stamped.

A Proper Inspection

If there are circumstances at delivery that you are not able to make a thorough inspection, ie., delivery late at night, raining, or vehicle is too dirty to inspect, make sure you note that on the BOL stating that you are unable to do a proper inspection and will inspect within 24 hours and report any transport damage immediately.

Review Bill of Lading

Verify all damages the driver reports in the inspection report on both pickup and delivery before signing any paperwork. You should receive a copy of the bill of lading with your signature on it confirming the damages noted at the pick-up and delivery.

Remove Toll Devices

Remove any Toll Tags or Parking Passes from the vehicle. These items could be charged continually on the way to their destination.

Clear the Inside

Remove any personal items from the vehicle. Do not store personal items in the vehicle. All personal items left in the vehicles will not be covered by insurance, if you wish to ship personal items, please speak with your shipping agent ahead of time to discuss your options. 

Paying the Carrier

Once you’ve reviewed the vehicle and signed the bill of lading accepting the car, the carrier is required to provide a 2nd signed bill of lading to you. Do not pay the carrier unless you have the bill of lading in hand.

Cash on Delivery

If transport is cash-on-delivery, make sure you have cash on hand or a certified check in the name of the carrier. Carrier will not accept personal checks or credit cards.
For more information on preparing your car for transport, visit

“Auto shipping with a trailer requires a loading and unloading point. You can ship a car on an open trailer or an enclosed trailer. Enclosed trailers cost more, but they keep the car safe from the elements. It’s a great choice for classic cars or luxury vehicles.”


Reach out to a logistics specialist from Nationwide Transport Services, LLC for more information on any topic in logistics by dialing (877) 278-3135.

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