One of the main things that keep people from jumping on board with car shipping is the fact that they don’t always know what to expect from the companies who are shipping their vehicles. The unknown can be a bit scary, which is why the experts at CarTransporters have compiled the following information. It’s vital that you understand and know what you can expect during the moments where you meet with the shipper’s driving representative – during pickup and delivery – so that you can handle things in the best interests of you and your investment. Not only will this information help you protect your vehicle and the money you pay to have it shipped, but it will help alleviate the stress you feel from simply not knowing what is yet to come.


Unlike many industries, where dates are set and adhered to, car shipping companies almost never are able to give specific dates and times when they will be by to pick up, or deliver, your vehicle. Generally, they operate on timeframes that can vary from a few hours to a few days. It is important that you prepare for this ahead of time and allow a kind of flexibility so that you or a trusted representative are always available during the spectrum of dates and times the company can offer. Be patient here; ultimately, the transport company isn’t in control of some of the factors that slow them down – such as traffic – so plan to be flexible and it will pay off in the end.

Before Releasing the Vehicle

Before you actually release the vehicle to the shippers, you need to take care of a few things that can be set in stone without any degree of flexibility. Some of the more important things to handle beforehand include:

  • Setting a pickup and drop off point. This can be your home, or a nearby parking lot if the streets of your neighborhood are difficult for larger trucks to navigate.
  • Payment and service specifics. Find out exactly what the service entails and how much it will cost. Get a list of approved methods of payment and when payment is due.
  • Required documentation and insurance information. Get a list of what the shipping company requires of you before you dive into things so that you aren’t working harder, but are working smarter. Such things might include inspections by a licensed mechanic, pictures of the car before it is shipped, or proof that you have some form of extra insurance.

Meeting the Shipper

When the day comes, and you’ve gotten the call that the shipper is nearby, it is time to get moving! This is shipping day, and if you don’t know what to expect, it can be quite nerve-wracking. But don’t worry; when the transport arrives to pick up your car, here is what will happen.

  • Meet the driver and review all pertinent information. Take some time to go over payment, insurance, the terms and conditions of the contract, how and when you will pick up the vehicle on the other end, and any contact information that you might have. Also get information on how you will contact the driver or company to check on the location of your vehicle.
  • Go over the vehicle with the driver and remind them of any mechanical issues that were found during the inspection you had completed by a licensed mechanic. Give the driver a copy of this inspection as part of the shipment paperwork.
  • Continue to review the vehicle with the driver, going over the condition and noting anything that the driver notices on the paperwork in hand. If you are able, take more pictures of anything you might not have noticed when you did your pre-shipping documentation at home.
  • Review the Bill of Lading when the driver is done with their inspection. Both the driver and the owner of the vehicle will have to sign this.
  • Check the odometer and note the mileage on the car for your own records. While there may be a few extra miles on it when your vehicle is delivered, you shouldn’t notice any huge discrepancies.
  • Give the driver a copy of photos and other documentation you have completed on the vehicle. Be sure that you have kept a copy for yourself.

Delivery of Your Vehicle

It might be kind of stressful waiting for your vehicle to arrive at its destination, but when it does, you need to get your mind back into the right place to ensure that you follow the right acceptance procedure. This will protect you and the investment that you’ve made in your car.

  • Always be on time and meet the transporter without making them wait. Aside from costing you more in the end, making the transporter wait means that vehicles belonging to other people will be delivered late as well.
  • Conduct another inspection of the vehicle as you did on the day the transport company picked it up. Keep in mind that the vehicle was subjected to the elements along the way, unless you opted for closed shipping, so it may be dirty. It should not be damaged.
  • Note any damage that you do notice. Compare this to the list you made before the vehicle was transported. Allow the driver of the transport to review this information as well.
  • Start the vehicle and check for mechanical problems. Review the mileage and compare it with the number you wrote down before shipping occurred.
  • Once satisfied that all is in order, sign the Bill of Lading again to finalize the shipment transaction.
  • Pay for the services as agreed.

Keep in mind that delivery is the only chance you will have to note damage that might have occurred to your vehicle while  it is in transit. Make note of this damage before you sign the Bill of Lading and file a claim with your insurance and the transport company as soon as possible to ensure you have financial recourse and the damages are taken care of.

Ultimately, shipping a car is a simple process. Now that you know what to expect along the way, you can sit back and relax, knowing that when you find a car transporter though us, your vehicle will be well cared for along the way.