Avoid These Common Mistakes When Preparing Your Car for Shipping

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Common Issues to Avoid When Having Your Car Transported

Shipping cars to a particular destination can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on unforeseen expenses, whether it be something as plain as the gas itself or potential damages and maintenance is irrelevant. However, shipping your car for the first time, or better said, even the first couple of times in some instances, can be highly frustrating.

Today we’ll talk about avoiding common mistakes when preparing your car for shipping so that you can save yourself stress and money simultaneously, so without any further ado, let’s dive straight into it.

Not having the necessary paperwork

Most paperwork revolves around your personal information and the information about your car. Essentially, you’ll need a printed driving license or your passport, a printed e-mail confirmation of the booking order, the insurance certificate, your car’s registration papers, and proof of car ownership.

Each company handles its business differently, so your contract may be annulled immediately if you fail to provide the corresponding documents. You may be given some extra time to provide them (with extra charges, though), or the driver may go with the documents you have on yourself.

The most dangerous of the three scenarios is the third one; ‘shady’ companies, or somewhat shady employees who would try to reassure you that you don’t ‘need’ all those documents are typically the people who would try to scam you.

The only reason such extensive paperwork is needed for car shipments is that vehicles are expensive items. Without personal ID, the driver won’t be able to verify that they’ve taken the car over from you personally; without vehicle ID, no one can verify that a particular vehicle was transported.

Litigation usually favors the side with more proof in their bag, so collect the necessary and relevant paperwork in time.

Not having a clue about the Bill of Lading

One of the most critical documents in the entire shipping procedure is the Bill of Lading. In more concrete terms, this bill is a legal document issued by the carrier to the shipper, which details the quantity, the destination, and the type of transported goods. 

Although the companies handling the shipment will fill out most of the blank fields, you’ll need to put more than just your signature there. Aside from personal information, you’ll also need to provide detailed information about your car. In practice, most consigners write their car’s type, weight, and value, although additional information may be asked of you in some instances.

One of the main reasons you should do your best to know as much as you can about this bill is because this document will be all you’ll need should you ever find yourself in a lawsuit against the shipping company. In simpler terms, the more accurate information you provide, the better your odds of winning the litigation.

Shipping a dirty car

First, your car should be as clean as possible so that the shipping inspector can better perceive any potential (existing) damages. After making sure that the paperwork is checked, one of the first steps of the process is inspecting your vehicle for damages, and dirt can hide scratches and deeper dents.

For instance, a dirty car in pristine physical condition can get damaged on the way; the inspecting agents typically don’t scrape the dirt to search for damages, so you can almost count on the potential damages not being filed in the papers upon arrival.

In that regard, by cleaning your car thoroughly, you encourage the inspecting personnel to make a more thorough search, which almost guarantees that potential damages will be present in the paperwork, allowing you to receive money based on your contract.

Getting extra insurance for car shipping

It’s natural to feel uneasy about leaving your car in the hands of strangers for days or weeks, especially knowing that your car will be loaded onto a transport truck alongside several others.

We’ve all seen movies where vehicles in action scenes would pop off trailers for no apparent reason, so out of fear that their car would be damaged, many people get additional insurance deals to try to counteract this.

The fact is that you do not need to have any insurance whatsoever for shipping your car. According to the US Department of Transportation, transport companies are legally obliged to carry insurance liability.

It is important to have car insurance for several other reasons. You’ll need to drive your car to the pick-up location and then from the drop-off location to wherever you wish. Shipping insurance covers your vehicle while being transported exclusively; it ends when the transporter hands you the keys.

In that light, people frequently shipping cars may want to consider a company that offers approachable quotes and dependable services. If you still don’t have an insurance contract, you could use 4AutoInsurance services to compare quotes from various companies for free.

Leaving items in your car

Even if you have auto insurance, you should know that it only covers your vehicle as a singular object; whichever items you’ve left inside the vehicle are not in any way covered by the policy unless a particular clause was added.

Given that most insurance contracts are ‘by approach’ type (fixed terms and conditions), it’s remarkably rare in practice to see a contract that would cover in-vehicle items in shipping situations.

Pay extra attention when inspecting your vehicle’s interior before handing it over to the shipping driver, as physical damages are usually rarer than damages caused by fire or water.

For instance, if you’ve left a wallet on the seat and your window was left slightly open, a day of heavy rain would ruin not just the seat but the contents of your wallet (and the wallet itself).

We hope that this guide was helpful to you and that you have learned something new today on the common mistakes you need to watch out for when preparing your car for shipping. Make sure you are staying safe in these times we are all going through, and have a good one, guys!

Have Questions or Need a Car Shipping Quote?

Number 1 Auto Transport is an auto transport service company specializing in transporting all vehicles door to door. We offer the highest quality customer service at the most reasonable and honest rates. Please email us or call 855-422-4141 for a FREE  CAR SHIPPING QUOTE to ship your car.

We look forward to giving you quick answers to any questions you may have!