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How to protect yourself against damages when shipping your car.

Car Shipping, Car Inspections, and the Bill of Lading

Shipping your valuable property, loading it onto a car carrier and putting it into the care of a professional that you just met can seem a little risky. It’s your car so you’ve got to take the precautions necessary to protect it. And any car transportation company worth doing business with would agree.

Responsible, reliable auto shipping carriers have precautions and processes to protect your property and our reputation. That’s where the Bill of Lading comes in. And it just may be the most important piece of paper in the entire car shipping process for you and for the auto transport company.

So, what’s a Bill of Lading? To put it simply, it’s your “receipt,” and you should never leave your car without it. Here’s how it works:

Pick Up You and the Car Carrier representative will walk around the exterior of your car. Every ding, dent, scratch, or other damage (think broken handles or a missing windshield wiper) must be noted on the Bill of Lading. Take pictures. Sign the Bill of Lading only if you agree with everything on it. And don’t forget to keep a copy!

Delivery Arrive with the copy of your Bill of Lading. Inspect your vehicle immediately ensuring that there is no new damage. Sign the Bill of Lading and accept delivery of your car only if there are no new damages or when any new damages are noted and agreed to by the carrier representative.

And what do you do if there are new damages? Note them on the Bill of Lading, make sure the driver signs the Bill of Lading, and take a new set of pictures. And then immediately call the car carrier office and report the damage.

A final tip do not give your car to any auto transport company that does not give you a Bill of Lading. Never.