If you're planning to have your vintage car shipped via an auto transport service, you should not rely on them to prep your car for the trip. Preparing your automobile to ship is usually your responsibility, unless otherwise stated in your shipping contract.
Moreover, if you handle the prep yourself and take photographs, you'll have a record in case anything happens during shipment. Here are some steps to take, to help ensure your car arrives in the same condition as you shipped it.
Service - Clean - Photograph
Cleaning and servicing your car is a multiple step process. The goal is to make sure your car is free from dirt and the condition at shipping is documented.
Service – This may seem like an odd step to take, since your car is not going to be driven. It's important for a couple reasons. You need to have a full service inspection to look for leaks.
Many auto transport services will not accept vehicles that have leaks. You are also going to want documentation that your car did not have any leaks prior to being shipped, in case you discover a leak after delivery.
It's also a good idea to have your oil changed, and do not add any gas to the fuel tank. As an extra safeguard, you can have all the gas removed from your fuel tank. This is not imperative, but it is suggested for safety purposes.
Wash & Wax - First thing you want to do is make certain your car is washed. It's often worth the expense to have a vintage automobile professionally detailed before shipment. You will another source to document the condition of your car.
Waxing your car is also strongly suggested before having it shipped. Washing and waxing will help avoid unnecessary scratches during the shipment process from accidental rubbing.
Even using the softest pads and protective straps, if there are dirt spots, they can scratch. You don't necessarily need to clean the inside, but it's not a bad idea.
Photographic Portfolio - After you get your car sparkling clean, take a number of photographs of your car. This will give you a photographic inventory of the condition of your automobile.
Facing the front grill, begin by taking a series of photographs of the hood, front bumper and the front windshield. Make sure you take close-up images, where you can clearly see your car has no blemishes or marks.
You are going to make note of all existing problems that you are aware of during the picture process as well. Begin at the front passenger's side headlight. Take duplicate photographs of each angle as you move clockwise around your car. Get one shot of every tire, all the doors, and the windows, moving to the back, where you repeat a similar set of shots like you did of the hood.
Proceed down the driver's side of your car, finishing with images of the headlight on that side of the car. Step back and do six wider angles, getting the whole car in these images. Be sure to finish with a set of photographs of the top, especially if you own a vintage convertible.
You should finish with 3 or 4 dozen good images that show an accurate condition of your car prior to shipment. This will help you satisfy any claims of damage that might be done during the shipping process.
Auto transport companies try to provide safe and damage-free shipping, but accidents do happen. If your car is clean and polished, plus you have a photographic portfolio documenting your car's condition, it will help eliminate problems if something does happen.
To learn more about shipping your car, contact a company like Metti International Vehicle Transport and Car Shipping.