So you need to ship your car but don’t know exactly how to do it. Here are helpful tips on what you can do before, during and after the shipment.
Arrange a meeting with your car shipping company to discuss terms on payment, service, schedule and details of the shipment. Never settle an agreement over the Internet without checking on your shipper personally. If you like the services and charges they offer, make sure to put everything on paper.
Obtain contracts and signed agreements on insurance policies and other promises. When entering in any business transaction, never trust a verbal promise no matter how sincere the other party may sound.
Most car shipping companies will offer an insurance package that will pay for damages only up to a certain amount. Go for an insurance plan that promises to pay for any or all damages on your vehicle from bumper to bumper that may happen from the pickup to the delivery, including theft or loss.
Avoid companies that offer coverage not even amounting to how much your vehicle is worth. There are many other shippers out there who are willing to guarantee a greater amount of coverage. Also, do not use a shipper that will not offer an insurance against theft.
When shipping a really expensive luxury, antique, or classic vehicle, consider getting a supplementary insurance coverage.
Just before the pickup, your car shipping company will perform a thorough check to determine the condition of your vehicle and then ask you to sign a bill of lading (BOL).
During the shippment, you can afford to sit back and relax as your car travels overland or overseas if you truly believe that you have chosen a reliable car shipping company. You will receive regular GPS updates on the whereabouts and condition of your vehicle at several points of the transport.
After the shipment, inspect your vehicle as it is delivered to your front door or at the terminal. You can ask a mechanic to help you check the engine and undercarriage. If you discovered any damages or discrepancies, write them all down on the BOL and then ask the driver or the person who made the delivery to sign. Don’t forget to also check the roof, bumpers and the mileage reading.
If there were damages on your vehicle, here are some steps that you can take. First, ask the driver to sign the BOL acknowledging that he personally saw the damages on your vehicle. If the damages were minimal – almost insignificant – you could work something out with the driver.
Only then can you contact the car shipping company. Call customer service or the dispute department. State your complaint and try to work something out. They are only too willing to help but maybe suspicious at first, which is why you should explain yourself plainly and objectively.
Third, if your car shipping company does not owe up to their poor service, it is time to file a complaint at the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Refuse to accept delivery at night, because it is very difficult to perform a thorough investigation. It is your right as customer and car owner to demand that your car is in the exact condition as it was during pickup.