Must-Do’s Before Shipping a Car Domestically

By  //  January 7, 2022

Whether you’re shipping a car domestically for the first time or you’ve shipped many, knowing what to expect and doing certain steps in advance can make all the difference when it comes to having a successful shipment.

This article takes some of the most important things you need to know before shipping a car domestically and explains them in detail. Hopefully, your first or next car shipping experience is a smooth one.

Prepare the Car for Transport

Your first step should be to prepare the car for shipping, as this means doing things such as draining the fluids and disconnecting the battery. Preparing your vehicle for transport can also mean preparing yourself as well.

Remember that it will be very stressful to deal with a car you are selling or one you do not own being driven by a stranger. Make sure you come to terms with that beforehand and stay as calm as possible.

Choose the Right Shipping Company

Choosing the right shipping company can be very important. You want to make sure you select a reliable and experienced carrier, which could mean asking friends for recommendations, checking online reviews, or even calling around local companies.

Cheap auto transport that will ensure safe and timely delivery is difficult to find. You should always ask yourself if the company is bonded, has good references from their past customers, will they provide you with proof of insurance, what kind of experience they have, and how much experience their drivers have.

Also, ask if the company has an agent in the city you will be shipping to; this is important because not all companies can pick your vehicle up and drop it off at your door like other companies.

Sign the Bill of Lading

One of the most critical steps in shipping a car domestically is signing the bill of lading, an agreement between you and the carrier detailing where your vehicle will be delivered and by which means it will be delivered.

Most carriers require you, the shipper, to be present when this is signed. Read the bill of lading carefully before signing it, as there are usually terms and conditions that need to be met by you or your car carrier to receive compensation. You must know what they are, so there are no surprises later on.

Prepare an Inventory

Your car carrier will have you complete an inventory of your vehicle. An example of an inventory is the odometer reading, year, make, model, and so forth. It’s essential to be as detailed as possible when completing this sheet for many reasons.

Not only does it help with billing, but it can also help with determining if anything unforeseen happens to your vehicle during transport. Remember, this is your opportunity to document the condition of your car before transportation, so if anything happens, it will be recorded on the inventory sheet.

Get Insurance Coverage for Auto Transport

There are two types of auto insurance you should ask about when shipping a car domestically or asking what carrier covers. The first type of coverage is for the carrier, and the second is for your vehicle.

You want to ask if they have any liability coverage, such as the 3 million dollars per incident amount that will cover damages to other people’s property or bodily injury, depending on what state you’re in, of course.

The other type of insurance covers your vehicle if it gets damaged during transport. Several companies offer insurance for the car being transported, so make sure you ask about it first before making a final decision.

Shipping a car domestically can be a little overwhelming for the first-time shipper, but it should go smoothly if you ask the right questions and prepare your vehicle correctly.

If there are any issues, be sure to contact the shipping company’s customer service department. When you do this, document the time and date of your call to prove it later on if you need to take legal action.