Find Out How To Pack Your Car For Shipping

BlogWith 0 comments

When it comes to relocating, one of the most daunting tasks can be figuring out how to pack your car for shipping, especially if you’re in the military and constantly on the move. With the right guidance, this process can be streamlined, ensuring that your vehicle and belongings are safe and secure.

At Military Car Shipping, we understand the unique challenges faced by our armed forces and veterans. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, we’ve mastered the art of car packing and shipping.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll share our top tips and insights, drawing from our rich history of serving those who serve our nation. Whether you’re an active servicemember, a veteran, or someone looking for expert advice on car shipping, this guide is tailored for you.

Pre-packing Preparations: Setting the Stage

how to pack your car for shipping, car shipping cost, shipping method

Before diving into the car shipping process, it’s crucial to set the stage. Proper preparation can make the difference between a smooth transition and a stressful ordeal. Here’s how to get started.

1. Cleaning Your Car

Before handing your vehicle over to a car shipping company, it’s essential to give it a thorough cleaning. Not only does this allow you to inspect your car for any existing damages, but a clean car also ensures that personal belongings aren’t left behind. A reputable car shipping company will appreciate receiving a vehicle that’s ready for transport.

In the car shipping industry, cleanliness can also aid in a quicker inspection. A clean car allows the car transport driver to easily spot any issues or damages, ensuring that you’re not blamed for pre-existing conditions.

2. Decluttering: What to Keep and Discard

Deciding what to keep in your car and what to discard is a vital step in the car shipping process. While it might be tempting to leave personal items in your vehicle, most car shipping companies advise against it. Not only can these items add weight, but they can also shift during transport, potentially causing damage.

Furthermore, car transport companies often have policies against shipping personal belongings. It’s always best to remove valuable items and only leave essentials that are securely stored in the glove compartment or trunk.

3. Essential Items Checklist

Creating a checklist of essential items ensures that nothing is overlooked. This list might include spare keys, registration, and insurance documents. While a car shipping carrier is responsible for transporting your vehicle, you’ll want to keep essential documents with you.

Remember, while auto transport companies are experts in moving vehicles, they aren’t responsible for personal items left inside. Always refer to your checklist before handing your car over to ensure all essential items are accounted for.

4. Preparing a Packing Strategy

Having a packing strategy can simplify the car shipping process. Determine which items you’ll need immediately upon arrival and pack them separately. This might include personal belongings that you’ll need for daily use.

Working with a reputable car shipping company can also provide insights into the best packing strategies. Their experience in the car shipping industry means they’ve seen it all and can offer valuable advice.

5. Setting a Timeline for Packing

Time management is crucial when preparing for car shipping. Setting a timeline ensures that you’re not rushing at the last minute. Consider factors like the pick-up date set by the auto transport company and any pre-shipment inspections.

By planning ahead, you can avoid potential hiccups in the car shipping process. Plus, having extra time allows you to gather car shipping quotes, ensuring you get the best deal.

Essential Packing Materials: What You’ll Need

car shipped, ship personal belongings, ship a car

Once you’ve set the stage, it’s time to gather your packing materials. These essentials ensure that your car is ready for the journey ahead, whether you’re working with auto shippers for a short domestic move or an international relocation.

1. Types of Boxes and Their Benefits

While many people think of large cardboard boxes when considering packing materials, there are various types suited for different needs in the car shipping industry. For instance, smaller boxes can hold personal items, while specialized boxes might be designed for fragile items.

When seeking car shipping quotes, it’s worth asking if the company provides any packing materials. Some auto transport brokers might offer these as part of their service, potentially saving you time and money.

2. Protective Materials Overview

Protective materials are crucial for safeguarding your valuable items. Bubble wrap, foam, and even blankets can prevent scratches and damage. If you’re opting for enclosed transport, these materials can offer an additional layer of protection.

Remember, while the goal of every auto shipping company is to deliver your car without damage, accidents can happen. Protective materials can mitigate potential risks, giving you peace of mind.

3. Labeling Essentials and Techniques

Labeling is a crucial aspect of the car shipping process. Clearly marked boxes can assist the car transport driver in understanding what’s inside, especially if there are fragile items. Labels can also help you during the unpacking process, ensuring that everything finds its place in your new location.

In the car shipping industry, clear communication is key. Proper labeling acts as a form of communication, ensuring that everyone involved in the car shipment process understands the contents and importance of each package.

4. Tools for Efficient Packing

Having the right tools on hand can simplify the packing process. Tape dispensers, box cutters, and even markers can make the task more efficient. When gathering car shipping quotes, consider asking if the auto transport broker provides any of these tools.

Remember, the goal is to ensure that your car and any items inside are securely packed. Efficient packing not only protects your belongings but can also reduce the car shipping cost by preventing damages.

5. Reusable vs. Disposable Packing Materials

In today’s eco-conscious world, many people are considering reusable packing materials. Items like reusable plastic bins can be a great alternative to cardboard boxes. Not only are they sturdy, but they can also be used for future moves.

However, if you’re working with a tight budget, disposable packing materials might be more cost-effective. Always weigh the pros and cons based on your specific needs and the advice of your chosen car shipping company.

Read More: Understanding the Military Car Shipping Process

Step-by-Step Guide to Packing Your Car

save money, vehicle shipping, carrier's cargo insurance

Packing your car for shipping is a meticulous process. Each step is crucial to ensure that your vehicle reaches its destination without any hitches. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate this process.

1. The Trunk: Maximizing Space

The trunk is a prime space for storing items during car shipping. However, it’s essential to pack it efficiently. Start with heavier items at the bottom, followed by lighter ones on top. This not only maximizes space but also ensures stability during transit.

When working with car transport companies, they might have specific guidelines on how much weight you can add to your trunk. Always adhere to these guidelines to prevent any issues during the car shipping process.

2. Backseat Organization Techniques

The backseat can hold a surprising amount of items. However, organization is key. Consider using boxes or bags to group items together. This not only makes unpacking easier but also ensures that items don’t shift during transit.

Remember, while the backseat offers additional storage space, it’s essential to ensure that the driver’s visibility isn’t compromised. Always check the rearview mirror after packing to ensure a clear line of sight.

3. Front Seat Packing: Dos and Don’ts

While the front seat might seem like an ideal place for essential items, it’s crucial to pack it with caution. Avoid placing heavy or sharp objects that could become projectiles in the event of sudden stops. Instead, opt for soft items like clothing or pillows.

Additionally, ensure that the car transport driver has enough space to comfortably operate the vehicle. Remember, their primary role is to safely ship your car, and they need an unobstructed space to do so.

4. Special Considerations for Different Car Types

Different car types might have unique packing requirements. For instance, convertibles might need extra protection from potential weather elements, especially if you’re not opting for enclosed auto transport. Similarly, SUVs and trucks might offer additional storage spaces that sedans don’t.

Always consult with your chosen car shipping company for specific guidelines related to your vehicle type. Their expertise in the car shipping industry will provide invaluable insights.

5. Ensuring Accessibility of Essential Items

While it’s tempting to maximize every available space, it’s crucial to ensure that essential items remain accessible. Think about the items you might need immediately upon arrival, such as personal documents or a spare tire. These should be easily reachable without having to unpack everything.

Safety First: Ensuring a Secure Packing

Safety should always be the top priority when preparing your car for shipping. From weight distribution to visibility checks, every step ensures that your vehicle and its contents remain secure throughout the journey.

1. Weight Distribution Techniques

Proper weight distribution is crucial for the stability of your vehicle during transit. An unevenly packed car can lead to issues, especially when transported on a car carrier. Start by placing heavier items at the bottom and center, ensuring that the car remains balanced.

2. Securing Items Effectively

Loose items can shift during transport, potentially causing damage. Use straps, bungee cords, or even seat belts to secure items in place. For added protection, consider using protective materials like bubble wrap or foam to cushion items.

3. Visibility Checks

Before finalizing your packing, conduct a thorough visibility check. Ensure that the driver’s view isn’t obstructed from any angle. This is especially crucial for the rearview and side mirrors. A clear line of sight ensures safe transportation by the auto transport driver.

4. Importance of Regular Checks During Transit

If your car shipment involves long distances, regular checks are crucial. While most auto shippers will handle this, it’s a good idea to remind them, especially if you have perishable items inside.

5. Emergency Preparedness During Shipping

Always prepare for emergencies. This includes having a first aid kit, spare tire, and essential tools easily accessible. While the primary goal of every auto transport company is safe delivery, being prepared ensures peace of mind.

Read More: Why Use Professional Car Shipping for Military Moves

Preparing Your Car for the Journey

car overseas, car alarm, insurance coverage

Ensuring your car is ready for its journey is paramount. This not only guarantees a smooth shipping process but also ensures the safety and integrity of your vehicle. Let’s delve into the steps you should take to prepare your car for its voyage.

1. Mechanical Checks and Preparations

Before entrusting your vehicle to an auto transport company, it’s essential to ensure it’s in optimal mechanical condition. This involves checking the battery, tire pressure, and fluid levels. A well-maintained car minimizes the risk of issues during transit.

Additionally, if your car has any mechanical issues, it’s best to inform the car shipping carrier in advance. This ensures they’re prepared and can take any necessary precautions during the car shipping process.

2. Documenting Your Car’s Condition

Before shipping, take the time to document your car’s current condition. This involves taking clear photographs of both the interior and exterior. Focus on any existing scratches, dents, or damages. This documentation provides a reference point and can be invaluable should any disputes arise with the car transport company.

Having a well-documented record not only protects you but also ensures transparency with the auto transport broker. It’s a testament to the trust and professionalism that should exist between you and the car shipping company.

3. Pre-shipment Cleaning and Maintenance

A clean car is more than just aesthetics. By cleaning your vehicle inside and out, you can spot any existing damages more easily. This is especially crucial when receiving car shipping quotes, as some auto transport companies might charge based on the vehicle’s condition.

Moreover, a clean car facilitates a smoother inspection process. When the car transport driver arrives to pick up your vehicle, they’ll appreciate a car that’s ready for shipping, further cementing the trust between you and the car shipping company.

4. Setting Up Tracking and Communication

In today’s digital age, tracking your vehicle during transit is a boon. Many reputable car shipping companies offer tracking services, allowing you to monitor your car’s journey in real time. This not only provides peace of mind but also keeps you informed of any potential delays or issues.

Effective communication is the backbone of a successful car shipping process. Ensure you have a direct line of communication with the car shipping carrier or auto transport broker. This ensures you’re always in the loop and can address any concerns promptly.

5. Preparing for Different Weather Conditions

Weather can be unpredictable, and it’s essential to prepare your car for various conditions. If you’re shipping during winter, ensure your vehicle has antifreeze. For summer shipments, check the coolant levels.

Furthermore, if you’re opting for open transport, consider investing in a protective cover for your car. This shields it from harsh weather elements, ensuring it arrives at its destination in pristine condition. Always consult with your chosen car shipping company for specific weather-related guidelines.

Read More: What is a Power of Attorney in Military Car Shipping?

Why Choose Military Car Shipping for Premier Car Shipping Services?

At Military Car Shipping, we pride ourselves on offering a service tailored to the unique needs of our armed forces and veterans. Understanding the intricacies of military life and the frequent relocations it entails, we’ve honed our services to provide a seamless, stress-free experience.

1. Specialized Services for Armed Forces

  • Dedicated Routes: We have established routes that cater specifically to areas with military bases, ensuring timely and efficient deliveries.
  • Overseas Shipping: Whether you’re relocating to Alaska, Hawaii, or even internationally, we’ve got you covered. Our extensive network ensures your vehicle reaches its destination, no matter how far.
  • Flexible Scheduling: We understand that military schedules can be unpredictable. That’s why we offer flexible pick-up and delivery times to accommodate your needs.

2. Unparalleled Safety Measures

  • Vehicle Inspection: Before shipping, we conduct a thorough inspection to document your vehicle’s condition, ensuring transparency and trust.
  • Top-of-the-Line Equipment: Our car carriers are equipped with the latest technology to ensure your vehicle’s safety during transit.
  • Trained Professionals: Our team comprises individuals trained specifically in military vehicle transport, ensuring expertise and care in handling your vehicle.

3. Competitive Pricing With Military Discounts

  • Transparent Pricing: We believe in clear, upfront pricing with no hidden fees. Our quotes provide a comprehensive breakdown of costs.
  • Military Discounts: In appreciation of your service, we offer exclusive discounts for active duty military personnel and veterans.
  • Customized Packages: Depending on your needs, we provide tailored packages, ensuring you get the best value for your money.

4. Comprehensive Customer Support

  • 24/7 Helpline: Our dedicated helpline ensures you’re never left with unanswered questions. Whether it’s tracking your vehicle or understanding the shipping process, we’re here to help.
  • Personalized Updates: From pick-up to delivery, we provide regular updates, ensuring you’re always in the loop.
  • Feedback Channels: We value your feedback. Our continuous improvement channels ensure we’re always elevating our services based on your experiences.

5. Additional Perks for Our Military Clients

  • Storage Solutions: If you’re not immediately available to receive your vehicle, we offer short-term storage solutions, ensuring your car’s safety until you’re ready.
  • Comprehensive Insurance: Every vehicle we ship is covered by comprehensive insurance, providing an added layer of security.
  • Custom Solutions: Whether it’s shipping a vintage car, a bike, or any other vehicle, we provide custom solutions tailored to your specific needs.


Shipping a car, especially when it’s tied to military service, can be a daunting task. The logistics, safety concerns, and the emotional weight of a move can be overwhelming. However, with the right preparation and by partnering with a dedicated service like Military Car Shipping, the process becomes significantly more manageable.

Our commitment to serving those who serve our nation is unwavering. We understand the unique challenges faced by our armed forces and veterans, and we’ve tailored our services to meet those specific needs. So, as you embark on this journey, remember that you’re not alone. We’re here to ensure that your vehicle reaches its destination safely, efficiently, and without any added stress.

Ready to make your next move? Trust Military Car Shipping for a seamless experience. Contact us today to learn more about our specialized services and get a quote tailored to your needs.


What precautions does Military Car Shipping take to ensure the safety of my vehicle during transit?

At Military Car Shipping, we prioritize safety above all. We conduct thorough vehicle inspections before shipping using top-of-the-line equipment, and our team comprises individuals trained specifically in military vehicle transport.

How does the pricing work, and are there any hidden fees?

Our pricing is transparent and upfront. We provide a comprehensive breakdown of costs in our quotes, ensuring there are no hidden fees. Additionally, we offer exclusive discounts for active-duty military personnel and veterans.

Can I track my vehicle during transit?

Yes, many of our car shipping options come with real-time tracking, allowing you to monitor your vehicle’s journey. We also provide regular updates from pick-up to delivery, ensuring you’re always informed.

What if I’m not available to receive my vehicle immediately upon its arrival?

We understand that schedules can be unpredictable, especially in military life. If you’re not immediately available to receive your vehicle, we offer short-term storage solutions to ensure your car’s safety until you’re ready.

Do you offer insurance for the vehicles during shipping?

Absolutely. Every vehicle we ship is covered by comprehensive insurance, providing an added layer of security and peace of mind for our clients.