For the vast majority of people who are shipping cars, the experience can feel daunting, confusing and mysterious. More often than not, this is the first and only time they’ve shipped a car. But the process should be painless and straightforward. Keep reading to learn the basics of what to expect during vehicle pickup and delivery.
Because of the nature of their work, vehicle transport companies often don’t have the ability to specify exact pickup and delivery times. Problems like traffic, breakdowns, bad weather or issues with previous customers can cause unexpected delays. The most important step you can take while preparing for your vehicle shipment is to communicate often and effectively with the transporter.
Step 1: Pickup Access
The first step to pickup is setting a meeting point which your transporter can easily access. If pickup is occurring in your neighborhood and the streets are difficult to navigate in a large truck, it might be better to arrange pickup at a parking lot close by. If you’re not able to be there in person during vehicle pickup, choose a trusted representative to go in your place.
Step 2: Vehicle Prep
Next, you’ll need to take is to ensure your vehicle is fully prepared for shipping. Taking a few extra minutes ahead of time to get your car ready can make the entire process much smoother.
Step 3: Shipping Contract
Before pickup, it’s vital that you’ve agreed on payment terms with your transporter. During the initial meeting, you’ll confirm details of your contract, payment information, insurance terms and contact information. If your car has any mechanical issues, you should already have discussed this with the transporter during initial negotiation, but this is the time to confirm those details with the transporter to ensure everything is properly cared for and documented.
Step 4: Odometer Check
Before your car is loaded on the trailer, note the odometer reading; though your car may be driven minimally in order to load or store your vehicle, there should be no major mileage discrepancies when the car is delivered.
Step 5: Post-Shipment Inspection
On delivery, the transporter will conduct an inspection of your vehicle. Probably the most important part of the entire shipping process is to be vigilant during the post-shipment inspection. Once again, if you’re not able to pick up your vehicle in person, send a trusted representative to ensure the inspection is thorough and complete.
Be prepared to review the driver’s Bill of Lading, which details his or her inspection of the vehicle. This document will be signed both at origin and destination. If there is any damage or other troubles, you can learn more about making an insurance claim here.