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Understanding the Bill of Lading

This absolutely one of the most important documents in the process of transporting a car. It is also known as the vehicle inspection report. You can download a PDF template of this form from our resrouces page.

How It is Used

At pickup, the carrier will go over the vehicle with you. If there is any previous damage it will be noted during the inspection. You get a copy and it’s signed. If the carrier does not give it to you, ask for it. Now when the vehicle arrives at its destination the bill of lading is reviewed again.

You already have your signed copy from the pickup so in the rare case of any damage occurring due to the car being on the carrier, it can easily be claimed for report.  This time the driver and customer will go over the vehicle again. Any damage that is not noted on the bill of lading at pickup will be the claim to insurance should it appear afterwards. The example above will vary depending on who does your auto transport for you. But all the information being described must be in place.

Before signing off on at delivery, be sure to go over everything on it carefully. Do the inspection with the carrier at both the pickup and delivery location to make sure everything is noted properly. Before handing the keys, read everything. Make sure all the terms there are what you agreed to.

What is Most Important about the Bill of Lading

This is the vehicle’s condition report at both the delivery point and where it was picked up. It is a record of the agreement for transport and confirmation of the addresses, phone numbers, and contacts.. It’s your only claim to insurance. This is important to know. Insurance companies don’t accept any other document for the claim. Videos, photos, etc are not accepted should there be damage.

Everything That is Typically on a Bill of Lading

The information is simply organized for easy reading. The first thing you will see on the form are the transit directives. Where the vehicle is going and where it is coming from. Next, some of the information of the vehicle will be filled out. How much will depend on where it’s coming from. If it’s a private residence, items like the VIN may be omitted because there aren’t multiples of the same or similar car like there could be a at a dealership. Most of the time you will see the make, model, color, and mileage filled out. Mileage is also important. This demonstrates your vehicle was not driven beyond the loading and unloading on the carrier.

Below that is the most important information. This is the vehicle condition report. As you can see by the form, several details are taken into account.  This protects you in case of the occurrence of damage during transport by noting all the marks, dings, or dents not marked at the pickup location. You get a signed copy at each end.

Now you will see the terms and conditions. Some forms (like this one) may have them abbreviated in the front of the form, with the full conditions in the rear of the form. Some forms will have them all in front. Read them and make sure you understand them.

One signature occurs at pickup, the other at drop-off. Each time you sign please ask for a copy to compare them. It is very important that someone over the age of 18 is present to give the vehicle to the driver, as well as receive the vehicle.  Do not forget to take a picture or get a copy of the report at pickup so you can compare the one at delivery for damage.

For more information on how to ship a car use this link, or if you are ready you can get a rate here.  If you’d like to speak to a live person, please call 800-284-7177 to speak with one of our advisors, today.