When planning an interstate move, you have the choice of driving your vehicle to your new destination or enlisting the services of professional transport providers. Not everyone is keen on undertaking the entire journey themselves, which is why many opt for the convenience of professional vehicle transport. Whether it’s your first interstate move or your first time hiring professionals to handle your vehicle relocation, you can use this guide to assist you in preparing your car for the journey ahead.

In case you haven’t decided on how you will move your belongings and your vehicle to your new home, consider visiting the website or office of removalists in your area to learn about the services they offer. Get a quote from different companies and compare how much you will be spending by moving on your own vs hiring professionals to do the job.

Preparing the Vehicle


Once you’ve ironed out the details of your move, here are the essential steps to prepare your vehicle for interstate transportation:

Handle the necessary paperwork

Before moving your car across state lines, ensure you have the required documentation ready. This typically includes proof of ownership, a valid driver’s licence, photo ID, and the vehicle identification number (VIN). Completing these documents and requirements in advance ensures a legal and hassle-free move to your new location.

Vehicle cleaning

It’s crucial to thoroughly clean both the interior and exterior of your vehicle before it undergoes inspection. Whilst transport companies may not request the vehicle’s maintenance history, it’s the owner’s responsibility to ensure the car is in safe and optimal working condition during transit. A clean interior also reduces the risk of damage from loose items during transportation.

Keys and fuel

Disconnect the battery and drain the fuel tank, leaving only a quarter of gas. Keep a spare set of keys handy and record your odometer reading beforehand. Having a spare key on hand can be invaluable if the transport company misplaces the original. Monitoring the odometer will help you detect any unauthorised use of your vehicle during transit.

Remove personal items

Most moving companies won’t transport vehicles with personal belongings inside. Remove all personal items, including accessories, gadgets, and tools that may be needed during the move. This step streamlines the cleaning process, ensuring that dust, dirt, and debris don’t hinder it.

Final preparations and documentation


Conduct a final check on your car’s oil level, tire pressure, and battery condition. Inspect compartments and areas where you typically store items whilst driving. Ensure that the only items left in your car are accessories that do not need removal or disconnection.

If possible, take photographs of your car from all angles, including shots that may be useful for insurance claims. This will also help you document any pre-existing or new damages when your car reaches its new destination. Whilst transport companies maintain their own documentation, creating your own copies ensures everyone is on the same page during the process.

Preparing Yourself

Preparing to drive your vehicle for an interstate move involves careful planning and attention to detail to ensure a smooth and safe journey. Here’s how you can prepare for the long journey ahead:

Plan Your Route and Stops


Before hitting the road, plan your route in advance. Use GPS navigation apps or GPS devices to map out the most efficient and safest path to your destination. Consider factors like road conditions, weather, and traffic.

Plan regular rest stops along the way to stretch your legs, grab a meal, and rest. Adequate rest is crucial for your safety and alertness during a long drive. Identify rest areas, gas stations, and restaurants ahead of time to make the journey more comfortable.

Vehicle Maintenance

Schedule a thorough vehicle check-up with a trusted mechanic before your trip. Ensure that your car is in optimal condition, including the engine, brakes, tires, and all fluid levels. Address any necessary repairs or maintenance.

Carry a spare tire, jack, lug wrench, and other necessary tools for minor repairs or tire changes. It’s essential to be prepared for unexpected situations on the road.

Pack Essentials


Assemble an emergency kit that includes items like a first-aid kit, flashlight, batteries, blankets, non-perishable snacks, water, and a roadside emergency triangle. These items can be a lifesaver in case of unexpected breakdowns or emergencies.

Ensure you have all required documents, such as your driver’s licence, vehicle registration, insurance, and any necessary permits. Also, have a copy of your travel itinerary and contact information for emergency roadside assistance.

Comfort and Entertainment

Long drives can be tiring, so pack comfortable clothing and pillows for passengers. Consider items like sunglasses, sunshades, and a sun hat to protect against glare.

Bring entertainment options like music playlists, audiobooks, podcasts, and games to keep yourself and passengers engaged during the journey.

Safety Precautions


Observe safe driving practices by obeying speed limits, using your seatbelt, and avoiding distractions like texting or phone calls whilst driving.

Ensure you are well-rested before embarking on your journey. Fatigue can impair your driving abilities and reaction times. Aim for a good night’s sleep before the trip.

Keep an eye on weather forecasts along your route, especially if you’ll be driving through areas prone to extreme weather conditions. Be prepared to adjust your plans if necessary to avoid dangerous situations.

Remember that an interstate move can be a long and demanding journey, so it’s crucial to prioritise safety and preparedness. Planning ahead, maintaining your vehicle, and staying alert on the road will help ensure a successful and enjoyable trip to your new destination. Whether you’re moving to the same city or you’re taking a long drive to move interstate, proper preparation is necessary to ensure a hassle-free moving experience. Whilst it does not always guarantee that there will be no issues, it significantly reduces the issues you might encounter, especially when you’re already on the road and far away from towns, cities, or any convenient stops.

Although most of the steps mentioned above are not required, doing them will help you to be well-prepared to move your car interstate efficiently and safely, whether you choose to drive it yourself or enlist professional removalists.