College Moving 101: Getting Your Car Ready For Transport

Every fall, tens of thousands of students make their way to college campuses across the nation. Many students drive their own cars to school, using their vehicles to transport belongings. However, many students simply live too far from their new campuses to drive their cars. For these students, working with a vehicle transportation service is a straightforward, cost-effective way to get a car or truck to campus.

Getting Your Car Ready for Transport

If you’re headed to college and need to have your vehicle shipped to your campus, it’s important to start preparing for transport at least one week before your vehicle’s pick-up date. Thoroughly preparing your vehicle during this time will minimize the risk of damage and will help to streamline the transport process. To prepare for shipping, you should do all of the following:

  • Top off all essential fluids such as oil, refrigerant and brake fluid.
  • Remove any after-market devices such as CD players, GPS systems and DVD players.
  • Remove any toll passes or parking stickers as these may be charged unintentionally or lost during transport.
  • Wash your car and clean the exterior.
  • Make a list of any existing damage to your car. Take photos of all damage and date them.

Remember that your car may need to be driven from truck to truck during transport and should be in good working order. It’s also important to remember that your car may not be locked for the duration of the transfer. Remove all valuables from the vehicle and do not pack any personal possessions in your car. Most moving companies will not transport a vehicle that is filled with personal items or moving boxes.

The Day of Transport

Most companies give an estimation or time window for pick up and drop off of vehicles. Make sure that the company is coming on a day when you have plenty of free time. Once the individual in charge of transporting your vehicle arrives, a visual inspection will be conducted. The company’s representative will note any existing damage on a special inventory form. It’s essential that you go over the car’s inventory report with the shipping company before you allow the car to be loaded.

Arranging for Delivery of Your Car

When you make shipping arrangements for your vehicle, pay close attention to the delivery date and time. Much like pick up times, delivery times for vehicles are generally an estimate. Traffic and mechanical delays can prevent a driver from making it to your location on time. You can plan ahead for such delays by having the car delivered on a day when you are free to stay at your apartment or dorm room. Avoid having the car delivered on a busy day when you must attend orientation events or classes.

As soon as your car is delivered, inspect it thoroughly for any new damage. If you notice damage, make sure the delivery driver notes it down immediately and gives you a signed copy of the inventory form. Take photos of any damage in case you need them when dealing with your insurance company. Most students find that their vehicles arrive damage free and ready to drive.