How to Prepare Your Car for Shipping if You’re Moving Into College Dorm?

August 24, 2022Moving Tips
Madison Rogers

Born and raised in Houston Madison is a content writer who loves traveling. She has lived in different states and is always eager to share her knowledge with others.

Every year an increasing number of students enroll at universities across the USA. Some of them opt to pack up their belongings into vehicles and drive to their colleges. However, a safer and more efficient option is to ship the car when moving into college dorm. We’ll provide you with the best advice on how to prepare your vehicle for shipping and move into your dormitory with ease.

Do you need car shipping tips before heading off to college? It might seem daunting at first, but the benefits of car shipping will make the grueling process of leaving your parent’s home smoother. You won’t think about traffic jams, road accidents, the money required for gas when driving long distances or if you’d have to replace a tire during the trip. With our list of tips, your car will be ready in no time, and you’ll be informed about what to know before moving into dorms.

Get More Than One Quote When Searching for the Best Car Shipping Company

Most students fall into the trap of the cheapest bid. A lot of companies shipping cars in the USA offer low prices, but they more often than not don’t have the customer’s best interest in mind. Most of these companies are linked to various relocation scams, and inexperienced freshmen could potentially be deprived of their precious vehicle.

One can easily avoid this by contacting various firms and asking for free quotes. The customer representatives will be able to provide you with all the necessary information. Compare prices and relocation services of different movers. Hire an auto transport company that offers the best services at a reasonable price. You should be confident in the knowledge and experience of the workers, so do not hesitate to ask extra questions.


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How Should You Prepare Your Car for Relocation Day?

There are necessary steps everyone should learn when preparing the vehicle for shipping. It would be best to include the following steps on the moving into college dorm checklist. Bear in mind that the success and efficiency of the move will greatly depend on the preparation process.

Gather All Vehicle Documents

Your long-distance movers will need documentation that serves as proof that the car is yours. If you want to avoid delays or last-minute searching for the necessary paperwork, gather everything before the day of the move.

Collect documents such as proof of insurance, original vehicle title, driver’s license, vehicle registration information, and proof of insurance. Organize important paperwork at home and place everything in an accordion folder or a drawer where you can easily access what you need.

Remove Accessories and Personal Items

Do not risk damaging or losing your personal belongings by leaving them in the car. Remove all of your personal items such as:

  • GPS devices,
  • Sunglasses,
  • Personal identifying documents,
  • Charging cables,
  • Clothes.

Also, pay attention to the exterior of the vehicle. If there are any expensive outside accessories that can easily get damaged during car shipping, you should remove them. Items such as rooftop boxes, bike racks, luggage racks, custom spoilers, and retractable antennas shouldn’t be left on the vehicle. In any case, most long-distance moving services providers will require you to remove it all.

Some drivers own toll tags and parking passes. These should be removed as well since you’ll be charged fees each time the carrier goes through tolls. However, keep an emergency kit, license plate, and a spare tire in the car.

Don’t Forget to Perform Essential Maintenance

Before placing your vehicle in the capable movers’ hands, make sure to check if there are any mechanical issues or leaks. In case there is a leak, repair it before the vehicle gets loaded onto a carrier. Also, check whether the tires are properly inflated. Bear in mind that they shouldn’t be under or overinflated. The battery has to be fully charged, and the gas tank should be just a quarter full. Don’t avoid having your car serviced by a professional if you notice it is making strange noises, the brakes are not working properly, or there is a loss in power.

Make Sure to Wash the Vehicle

One of the most important steps is to have your car washed. You can do it yourself or use a car wash. When the car is polished and clean, it will allow you to easily notice any existing scratches or dents. In case it gets damaged during shipment, it will be visible instantly. Most of the grit and dirt will be cleaned quickly with a pressure washer or a hose. Don’t overlook the interior of the car. Polish the surfaces and remove any clutter or rubbish. Do not forget to wipe between the doors and wheels.

woman washing a black vehicle
When the car is spotless, new damage can be easily noticed

Don’t Place Boxes With Clothes You Want to Bring in the Car

You might be thinking that it will be convenient to put all of your boxes full of clothes and other items inside the car and have them transported in this way. However, this is not a good way to save on relocation costs. Anything that you pack and put in the vehicle will not be insured against theft or damage. The auto transport company might get fined for relocating any boxes with personal belongings in the car. Additionally, heavy boxes will add extra weight to the car and increase the costs. Therefore, the best option is to remove everything and transport all the belongings in the relocation truck.

Use the Car as Storage Once You Move Into Your Room

Once you move into the dormitory and unpack all the boxes in your room, use your vehicle for extra storage space. Rooms are typically too small to fit all of the belongings, so a useful creative storage idea is to place some items in the trunk or the backseat. However, don’t leave anything in the car while it is shipped across the country.

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Choose Between Open and Enclosed Car Shipping

A student who has yet to pay tuition fees, textbooks, rent, and food costs usually has to search for the most affordable shipping option. Open-trailer car shipping is inexpensive and the most popular method of hauling cars. The car will be shipped on an open carrier that doesn’t have sidewalls or a roof. Even though it is going to be exposed to the outside elements, professional drivers and well-trained movers will ensure it reaches the college campus intact.

Some students prefer to keep their vehicles protected at all times during the trip, particularly if they have to ship them in winter. Enclosed trailers provide complete protection since they have a roof and sidewalls. This option comes at a higher cost as well. Companies also offer higher liability insurance when one decides to invest in enclosed auto transport.

Should You Request Door-To-Door Shipping or Terminal-To-Terminal?

It would be best to have the car delivered directly to the university parking lot. But, there is a chance the campus will not allow a 60-foot truck to enter the premises. A simple solution would be to make a confirmation with the university before requesting door-to-door auto transport. Another option would be to choose terminal-to-terminal shipping and get more information on the nearest terminal to your college. This is also a cheaper option, and you would evade any issues with the university.

Auto transport company sipping cars on open trailer
Most USA auto transport companies offer both door-to-door and terminal-to-terminal delivery services

Sign Up For a Parking Permit Before Moving Into College Dorm

Getting a parking ticket is a real nightmare for any student. Parking officers quickly notice when someone has done everything in their power to park somewhere. But this shouldn’t be a cause for any anxiety about moving out.

One of the most important tips for moving into a dorm is to register your car and get a parking permit. There are fees that have to be paid for the permit, but they don’t cost as much as parking fines.

You should check the parking policies of the school and learn all the vital information. Collect paperwork for obtaining a permit, such as a driver’s license, proof of insurance, school ID, registration, and housing info.

a person off-screen holding the keys of a car before auto transport
With a parking permit you won't have to worry about costly fines

Inform Your Car Insurer About the Move

While you are organizing packing and carrying out last-minute relocation tasks, you shouldn’t forget to contact your car insurer. In case you will be attending school and relocating out of state, the company might allow you to keep the original policy. The only requirement is for the vehicle to be registered at the original address that is listed on the insurance policy. Even though some states have different insurance laws, your insurer will be able to help you adjust everything accordingly.

Man holding keys and smiling
Make sure to inform the car insurer of the move

Check if You Can Qualify for Student Discounts

Do you want to find a way not to drain your relocation budget completely and save as much money as possible? Available student discounts for car shipping might help you achieve that. A person who wants to qualify for them should be enrolled as a college student or a full-time high school student. You have to be under a certain age and have at least a 3.0 GPA. One can be eligible for student discounts even a year after graduating from university.

If you are interested in additional student discounts apart from car shipping, watch this insightful video.

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How Long Does It Take to Move Into a Dorm?

It depends on the number of boxes you want to bring inside the room. If you have fewer boxes and there are friends and family members who will help you unpack, the process wouldn’t last longer than 4 hours. However, if you decide to bring numerous items, it might even take a whole day to move into the room.

What Is Living in College Dorm Like?

It might get a bit crowded and loud sometimes since there is little room for privacy and personal space. There is not enough space for many of your belongings, so among tips for living in a dorm is to purchase cheap storage boxes and containers from the Craigslist website so you can save as much space as possible.

On the other hand, dorms are an incredible place to meet new people and socialize. Everyone gets an opportunity to learn about different cultures and ethnicities. Colleges attract individuals from all over the world, so one can be sure that there won’t be a dull moment.

What to Do When You First Move Into a Dorm?

The best thing a freshman can do after relocating is to unpack and meet the new roommate. It’s of paramount importance not to create clutter and mess on the first day. Coordinate with the roommate who will use what and where each person would sleep. The items you brought should be categorized and neatly stored on the desk and in the small closet space.

Now You Know How to Prepare Your Car? It’s Time to Pack and Get Ready for the Move

Individuals who want to relocate stress-free and ship their cars effortlessly should make a list of tasks for preparing the vehicle in a proper manner. Important steps include collecting the necessary paperwork, washing the vehicle, repairing it, and removing any accessories or personal documentation. Hire movers that are the most reliable and trustworthy. Avoid packing any cardboard boxes and placing them in the vehicle. With these relocation day tips, the vehicle will be safely transported from your home to the university.

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