I am shipping my car from California to Alabama. I have already booked a broker and now waiting for the broker to find a carrier for me.

  • After doing some research I found out that I should take pictures of my car in front of a driver before handing my car keys to him.
  • I believe he will be asking me to sign on Bill of Lading. So, should I ask for the copy of Bill Lading?
  • Should I make sure that no damages on my car are noted on the bill of lading?
  • What should I do if my car comes very dirty at the destination and after the car wash I figure out that there are some damages?
  • If I see the damages at the time of delivery, can I deny to accept my car and avoid signing anywhere if the carrier doesn't agree?
  • 1
    Very closely related list of questions by the same user: Car shipping Do's and Dont's May 27, 2016 at 3:24
  • That's my question as well. However, this post is more focused on what to do before giving car keys to the driver/ career and before taking delivery of the car at the destination.
    – John
    May 27, 2016 at 3:41
  • But your last two (at least) questions are about AFTER shipping? Can you edit to clarify please? It's also best to keep one question per post, so if you can check the help center and reword accordingly, it'll help with people not close-voting or down voting your question.
    – Mark Mayo
    May 27, 2016 at 3:52
  • The chances of your car arriving so dirty that you can not see damage is very minuscule. Your routing is along paved interstates, not up the Al-Can Highway.
    – user13044
    May 27, 2016 at 4:55
  • 1
    You should make sure ALL damages on your car are listed on the bill of lading. Whether or not you can refuse to accept your car will be spelled out in your contract and is a legal question out of topic to this SE. If you see damages, you mark them on the sheet you should receive at the time of delivery. Dirty is not usually a valid reason for not accepting delivery. Take pictures of the entire outside and inside, and ask the shipper's rep to sign and date them along with you.
    – CGCampbell
    May 27, 2016 at 14:25

2 Answers 2


I think you are going for worst case scenario here.

If by the mild chance any of these accidents occurred, you could make a claim to the broker.

It would probably be best to have a copy of the bill of lading


The shipper will provide you with a copy of the bill of lading and they should also go over the details of it with you if you have questions. You will have to sign off to indicate you've received the vehicle as agreed, but you should make sure you review the condition of the vehicle first.

My understanding is that any damages need to be reported at the time of delivery, which is why it's important to take photos beforehand and check the condition on arrival. It's been a few years since I've used a shipper, but that's what I remember being told (A-1 Auto Transport is who I used & they were good about explaining this stuff.)

There's a good chance that your car will arrive rather dirty, especially if it's shipped on an open trailer. California to Alabama is no small trip so you have to realize that even if you ship it enclosed, there's likely to be quite a bit of dust from all the miles. Damages are fairly infrequent to my knowledge, but you're covering the right bases.

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