If you are getting ready to have your car shipped, you should familiarize yourself with the documents that will be exchanged between you and the auto transporter. Among these is the Bill of Lading. The Bill of Lading serves as a legal contract between you and the auto shipping company. The law requires that the Bill of Lading be signed by both the owner of the vehicle and the driver hauling the shipment upon both pickup and delivery. A copy of this document should be provided to both parties. For those new to auto shipping, let’s take a closer look at the Bill of Lading and its role in the car shipping process.
What are the Contents of the Bill of Lading?
Details about the car shipping company:
The first section of the BOL contains general information about the auto shipping company such as the name of the company, their legal address, a valid contact number, and details about the specific driver hauling your vehicle.
General vehicle information:
The BOL will also contain general information about your vehicle including the make, model, color, license plate number, and VIN number of the vehicle. This information is used to ensure the right vehicle is being transported.
Condition of the vehicle:
Right before your vehicle is loaded onto the carrier, both you and the transport driver will conduct an inspection and make notes of any dings, dents, scratches, or other damage to the vehicle. As mandated by federal law, the odometer reading will also be noted. This same inspection will be performed upon delivery of the vehicle and both the owner and the transport driver will sign the Bill of Lading at both pickup and delivery.
Pickup and delivery information:
The BOL also acts as a dispatch sheet and shows the date, time, and location of both the pickup and delivery. In addition, it includes contact information for the person responsible for dropping off and picking up the vehicle.
Terms and conditions:
Finally, the BOL will include the specific terms and conditions agreed upon by both the owner of the vehicle and the auto transport company. This will include payment information, insurance information, and any special requirements. It also includes clauses related to payment, including acceptable forms of payment, advance payment, and actions that may cause penalties.
As you can see, the Bill of Lading is a very important document that serves as a legal contract between the shipper and the shipping company. You and your transport driver are required to sign the Bill of Lading before moving forward with the auto shipping process. By signing this document, you are agreeing to all of its contents. Therefore, read through the BOL carefully to avoid any misunderstandings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.
We’re Loved by Customers