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Interstate Vehicle Transport Checklist

by Nathan James Godfrey
Car Transport Perth To Adelaide

If you’re passionate about your car or motorbike, then transporting it interstate can be a nerve-wracking event. Long-haul vehicle transport, like car transport from Perth to Adelaide or Melbourne or interstate bike transport, can be stressful and potentially costly.

Safely packing and moving a car or motorcycle requires preparation, specialised equipment and some serious expertise.

If you’re not sure where to start, we can help. We’ve put together a checklist of the most important things for you to do in the lead-up to moving a vehicle interstate.

Find a reliable transport company

The most important thing to do if you’re looking to transport a car or bike interstate is to find a reputable and reliable transport company.

When it comes to transporting cars and motorbikes, not all transport companies have the equipment and expertise to properly handle the job. If you’re serious about your car or bike, then you need a specialist vehicle transporter. To make sure you’re getting the right transport company, here’s a few questions you should be asking.

When kind of vehicles and trailers do you use?

Cars and motorcycles require specialised vehicles and trailers for safe and secure transport. Since bikes are easier to steal than cars, enclosed and lockable trailers are essential for interstate bike transport. While cars can be transported short distances on flat-bed trucks, proper vehicle transport trailers are essential for long-haul car transport (like Perth to Adelaide). These trailers properly secure the vehicles and protect them from the elements and any road and transport risks. Before engaging a transport company, make sure they have the appropriate specialist vehicles and trailers to properly and safely transport your vehicle.

Do you have the appropriate straps and cradles?

This one is especially important for transporting motorcycles. Motorcycle cradles secure the front wheel without risking damage to the struts and forks. Specialised straps are then used to secure the rear end of the bike. Car restraints should not be used to secure a bike. When properly secured, the bike should not be at risk of moving or falling over, but should also not be so tightly secured as to risk being damaged.

Do you supply door-to-door transport?

A lot of transport companies will only provide depot-to-depot car and motorcycle transport. However, a good transporter will help you organise the depot to door (or last mile) transport for your vehicle. It’s worth discussing this with your transporter before transport so you’re not hit up with any surprises at the other end.

Check the insurance policies

Any good transport company will have their own insurance for anything they are carrying. It’s important to take the time to fully read through the policy to find out what is and isn’t covered. Some policies will only cover total loss and not damage. For full peace of mind, you should look into getting your own transport insurance for the duration of the shipping period.

Prepare your vehicle for transport

Before you hand your car or bike over to the transport company for packing and loading, you should make sure it’s properly prepared for interstate travel. Different transport companies will have different requirements that you need to satisfy before your car or bike can be moved. Regardless of the requirements, there’s a few things you should always do when preparing to move a vehicle:

  • Document the condition

Take detailed pictures of the car or bike and provide copies to the transport company before the vehicle is loaded. Make sure you have copies of all relevant vehicle documentation. It’s also worth documenting the working or mechanical condition of the vehicle. You could even consider getting a documented inspection from a mechanic.

  • Clean the vehicle

It’s important to wash your bike to ensure it’s free from any mud and plant matter. This is particularly important if your bike is being transported to a state or territory with strict quarantine laws, like Western Australia. Cleaning your bike will also make it easier to fully document its condition.

Other things to check include:

  • Tyres inflated and battery charged
  • Petrol tank around ¼ full
  • No fluid leaks
  • All alarms and security systems disabled
  • Transporters are aware of any mechanical issues

Your transporter will be able to supply you with all the specific preparation requirements before shipping your bike or car.

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