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
Answers to Your Car Moving Questions
The hardest thing for people researching car moving companies to understand is that the prices they are getting are not hard and fast gaurantees, but rather ESTIMATES of what one company thinks it will take to get a vehicle moved promptly versus another company's opinion of what it will take. Don't be fooled, there are not carriers committed to take your vehicle at these quoted prices, the company you choose will still have to get to work getting a carrier to commit to move it at the price they quote you.
Your total price breaks down into two parts, the broker's fee (or 'deposit' as everyone calls it) and the carriers fee (your COD amount) Make no mistake about this, EVERYONE YOU ARE GETTING SALES CALLS FROM IS GOING TO BROKER YOUR MOVE. In this industry, there are brokers who try to fool you into thinking that they are the actual carriers and there are an equal amount of carriers who sell themselves on the fact that they have a truck or two but are not being honest about the fact that they broker out 90% of the orders they book. Here is a quick easy way to tell, if a company takes an up front fee, whether they call it a deposit or any other name, they are a broker. Carriers do not take any payment until the vehicle is delivered.
In our opinion, you are crazy to do so. Have you ever been paid up front for the work that you perform for your employer? Why would you pay a fee up front when there are reliable and trustworthy companies like ours that won't ask for it until we provide you with your carriers details?
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will be between one and two weeks. 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.
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