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Transporting a vehicle? Make sure you inspect what you expect!

Transporting or shipping a vehicle usually goes very smoothly.  There are times, however, when accidents happen and vehicles are damaged.  Here is what I recommend you do when on the receiving end of a vehicle that is being transported to you on a commercial carrier.

1) When the vehicle is picked up from the shipping point, have someone you trust hand over the vehicle to the transport driver.  That person will walk around the vehicle with the driver.  The driver’s job is to note any and all damage, no matter how minor.  The person doing the walk around with the driver should ask for additional details and notes if needed.  Anything that was placed in the vehicle should also be noted like manuals, extra keys, extra parts, etc.  Have the person you trust watch the vehicle being loaded on the truck and take a picture or two of the vehicle on the truck trailer.  Your person should then get you a copy of that shipping receipt that was filled out with the driver asap, you will need it.
2) When the driver delivers the vehicle he will have his copy of the shipping receipt, make sure the one you were given by your person matches the truckers exactly (no new markings or indications of damage have been added after it was loaded). T

3) Take delivery (meet with the driver) during the day if at all possible.  I would also meet the trucker in a close by wide open parking lot (maybe even a self service car wash) if possible rather than a residential street or a spot with lots of traffic.  You want to give your attention to the vehicle while walking around and doing your inspection, not having to worry about getting hit by a passing car.

Note: If you have to take it during the evening, go somewhere well lit and bring a strong flashlight.

4) Be there when the vehicle is taken off of the truck.  Have your picture from your person and see if the vehicle is now on a different spot on the trailer.  Not a big deal necessarily, just good to know when you are doing the inspection and you notice damage that looks fresh and possibly from the vehicle being moved around on the trailer. Lots of sharp metal edges on that trailer.

Note: Pay attention to the underside (how it is tied down) as well as the top. Carefully inspect side view mirrors and ground effects (anything that sticks out), those are the most likely to get scratched and damaged.  Top surfaces are important as that is where things will fall or drip from vehicles that may have been parked above yours during the trip.

5) Check to make sure any and all items that were shipped in the vehicle are still there.  Vehicles can be robbed while sitting at stops and if parked overnight somewhere.

6) If the vehicle arrives and is extremely dirty (this happens all the time during the winter and long journeys, if that is the case, meet the driver at a car wash when it is delivered), rinse/clean it off if necessary and make sure there is no new damage before signing off on the receipt. Take some clean rags and glass cleaner to wipe off any spots that you want to more closely inspect.

Take a deep breath, it was most likely be over kill, and everything will be alright!  If there is going to be an insurance claim filed, don’t have it be on your policy…If you find new damage insist on getting an estimate from a credible body shop.  Don’t let the driver talk you out of anything.  Good luck