Unfortunately, you cannot pack personal belongings in your vehicle (not even in the trunk). Carriers are licensed to haul vehicles, not household goods. Your driver could be delayed for inspection, fined and/or your items could be confiscated and discarded at a DOT checkpoint. Personal items in a vehicle are not covered if damaged, lost or stolen and can also cause damage to the interior during vehicle transport.
It is important that the driver is able to perform an inspection prior to loading the vehicle. For this reason, the vehicle should be reasonably clean. However, please keep in mind that, while in transit, your vehicle will collect road dust and grime so it is not advised to perform a detailed cleaning on your vehicle prior to car transport. For this same reason, if you cannot perform a thorough inspection upon delivery of your vehicle due to it arriving dirty, please write that on the BOL so that you will have 24 hours to rinse the vehicle, inspect it and report any damages to us.
As for other preparation, be sure to perform any maintenance service needed to prepare your car for weather conditions throughout the geographical range of your vehicle transport. For instance, consider whether you need antifreeze or coolant or any other temperature based preparations. It is expected that tire pressure changes will happen over the course of transport, so please be sure to check that at delivery. It's a good idea to check with your mechanic for any precautionary services they may recommend prior to vehicle shipment.
Anything that can be removed should be removed prior to vehicle transport. Don't forget about window guards, bug guards, grill covers, external spare tire covers, luggage racks, ski racks, bike racks, etc. These items can come loose in the wind and damage your vehicle during transit. Also, please remember to disconnect after-market alarm systems and remove toll tags and easy passes so you aren't charged if the driver needs to use toll roads during the vehicle shipment.
Just as if you were renting a car, any existing damage and any new damage must be reported at pickup and at delivery of the vehicle transport. This is to protect both you and the carrier. At pickup, the carrier will make a detailed inspection, possibly even take photos, so they know the exact condition of the vehicle before it was placed on their truck for vehicle shipment. At delivery, you should do the same. Feel free to make detailed notes, take photos or video of any new damage on the vehicle. Rock chips will be expected for a car transport on an open trailer, just as if you might encounter rock chips should you be driving your vehicle that distance.
Any damage caused by the driver or their equipment will be covered as long as it is recorded on the paperwork before the driver leaves. Damage caused by debris, acts of God, other vehicles, etc. are not covered by the vehicle transport insurance.
Also remember, if it is too dark, if it is raining or snowing, or if the vehicle is too dirty to properly inspect, these conditions must be noted on the paperwork in order to allow you 24 hours to report any damage. Unfortunately, if it isn't noted, the paperwork will stand as accepted and there is no liability for undiscovered damage.
It is common to have estimated windows of pickup and delivery for a vehicle shipment until we have a better idea of the driver's exact schedule. As you know, many factors can cause delays when driving to a destination: traffic, accidents, weather, road closures, DOT check points, mechanical issues, etc. can all wreak havoc on an otherwise well planned car transport schedule. Your pickup window will typically be a 3 day option, but remember two important factors: 1 - if you would like to purchase an upgraded service option, we can arrange a local carrier to pick your vehicle up on a specific date and store it at their facility until the carrier arrives there to load your vehicle. 2 - you are not expected to wait at home during that timeframe. As the driver draws nearer to your location, we will contact you the day before expected pickup and the driver will contact you about an hour ahead of arrival to give you time to get to the pickup location. Please go about your daily routine until you hear from us or the driver with an expected time to meet.
Delivery windows could be up to three weeks for remote areas or during peak season for vehicle transport. It's important to keep in mind that many deliveries and pickups will be made during the time your vehicle is on the truck and it can take quite some time to arrive at your location. The mileage should also be kept in mind when determining an approximate delivery time. DOT regulates the number of hours a driver can be behind the wheel each day and other factors can cause delays along the route.
Be assured will keep you informed every step of the way. We stay in close contact with the driver and dispatch to narrow down the delivery window for you as much as possible once your vehicle is loaded. As with pickup, you will hear from us at least one day before delivery and also from the driver at least an hour prior to arrival. We know it's difficult to be without a vehicle and it's our priority to get your vehicle safely to you as soon as possible.
We understand that most people do not ship vehicles often, so this can seem overwhelming - especially during the stressful time of relocation. Don't worry, we will walk you through every step of the way of the vehicle transport.
When setting up your order, your vehicle relocation coordinator will discuss many details and items to keep in mind during your car transport, as well as answering all of your questions. Then, upon order confirmation, we will send you a very detailed checklist that will cover expectations and preparation/delivery details for your vehicle shipment.
Throughout the process, we will check in with you to alert you to updates or outstanding needs. We always invite you to call or email us with any questions that might arise. We are here to make this as simple as possible for you.
If you need to make any changes at all, simply reach out to your vehicle relocation coordinator and they will take care of that for you. Sometimes dates need to be tweaked, or maybe you need delivery to be at your office instead of your home, or perhaps you cannot be present for pickup but you have a friend helping you out. No matter what might need to be adjusted, we are happy to help you get those details straight.
There are details on your order confirmation checklist that will help prepare you for the next steps of your vehicle transport. We've also broken down some particular details in the frequently asked questions below for you.
The most important of which is to make sure you perform a detailed inspection and document any new damage. Time of day and weather is important to keep in mind. If it is dark, raining or snowing, you may not be able to perform a proper inspection. If this is the case, be sure to note those conditions on the paperwork and that will provide a 24 hour window for you to inspect and report anything to us.
It's really that easy, just write "Too (dark, dirty, rainy, snowy, etc.) to inspect" on the driver's paperwork before they leave.
As always, do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions at all regarding your vehicle shipment!
You may be asked to meet the driver in an open location for delivery. Many neighborhoods are not accessible for a truck the size of a car carrier and downtown areas have restrictive ordinances. The driver will get as close as possible to deliver your vehicle and may suggest a safe area with a large parking lot such as a church or shopping center to meet you for unloading.
Please make sure you, or your designated representative, perform a thorough inspection of the vehicle and make note of any damages not recorded at the time of pickup. This is extremely important and is for your own protection - if you do not do this, we will not have anything we can use to file a claim if there is damage with your car transport. Although it is unusual for a vehicle to be damaged in transit, you want to be sure before the driver leaves.
If the vehicle is too dirty to inspect, or if it is too dark, or raining, snowing, etc. and you cannot inspect the vehicle, you must indicate this on the paperwork. Making a note of this will allow you 24 hours to report any damages to us. Please note, if there is nothing indicated on the paperwork regarding the inability to inspect the car and you later discover damages, the carrier will not accept the claim - it is imperative that this information appear on the paperwork before the driver leaves. If you have any questions, please reach out to us immediately.
Reminder: If your vehicle is dirty or covered in snow, please do not take it through a car wash but simply hose it down in order to inspect it. Brushes or other cleaning mechanisms in a carwash can cause sand, salt and debris to scratch your vehicle during the cleaning process. If you do not have access to a hose, a contact free car wash is less likely to cause further damage.
It is uncommon for vehicles to be damaged by a driver or the driver's equipment, but it can happen during vehicle transport.
If you notice damage at delivery, please notate it on the paperwork and document it with details and photos so we can help you place a claim.
Please contact us as soon as possible to report the damage and we will walk you through the claims process and any approved repairs.
Please keep in mind that minor nicks and scratches (rock chips), acts of God, or damage caused outside of the driver's control are not covered under the carrier's insurance but these instances may be covered under your personal auto insurance policy.