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What Documents Do You Need To Ship A Car? (Guide)

Find out what documents you’ll need to prepare for the shipping process.

From our #1 rated provider, montway_logo


10/01/2023 03:27 PM

While you’ll be presented with many documents for vehicle transport, the most important documents you need to ship a car are the bill of lading and the insurance terms and conditions.

To give you peace of mind, this article will dive into the most important documents you’ll encounter when shipping your car. We’ll also offer recommendations for car shipping companies to consider as you’re shopping around for instant quotes.

Documents Needed To Ship Your Car In The U.S.

There are several documents you’ll need to have as you plan getting your car delivered by a transport company. Below, we’ll explain the documents worth knowing and the ones you’ll likely see.

Insurance Terms And Conditions

Before securing transport for your vehicle, get the insurance terms and conditions document from the car shipping company. It shows the company’s insurance details, including what is and isn’t covered under the carrier’s policy. It also ensures the company you’re working with is legitimate. Having this document on hand is important if something goes wrong during the transport process.

You can get this document directly from the company you’re thinking of moving your vehicle with. Make sure the car carrier’s insurance is enough to cover damages if you have an exotic or classic car. If you’re shipping one of these vehicles, you might want to choose a car shipping company like AmeriFreight, which offers additional insurance coverage for a fee.

Bill Of Lading

The bill of lading is a receipt given to you by your car carrier after your vehicle is delivered to its destination. It serves as proof of delivery and states the vehicle’s condition at pickup and delivery. If your car is damaged, it should be noted in the bill of lading, or you shouldn’t sign it. Signing the document means you’ve agreed that the job was completed and that your car arrived in its previous condition.

Any legitimate company will make you aware of this, and it will be included in the bid or documentation offered to you before you sign a contract for the shipment.

Title And Registration

Some car shipping companies may ask for your vehicle’s title and registration when shipping your car. Your vehicle title is a legal document that establishes who owns the vehicle. The registration shows your vehicle has all of the legally required documentation in your home state.

If you’re leasing or financing your vehicle, you may have to provide a notarized letter from the lienholder that grants permission to ship your vehicle. When contacting your lienholder for permission, give your vehicle identification number (VIN), the name of the auto shipping company, and the full name of the person acting on the owner’s behalf.

Proof Of Insurance

Proof of car insurance isn’t always required, but some transport companies may ask for it. Check with your insurance company to ensure your coverage hasn’t expired if you need proof.

Our Recommendations For Car Shipping

Now that you know what documents you may need for the shipping process, it’s time to start thinking about which auto transport company is right for you. We recommend contacting Montway Auto Transport and Sherpa Auto Transport for car shipping quotes online.

Montway Auto Transport: Best Reputation

Montway Auto Transport is one of the most reputable car shippers, transporting over 1 million vehicles since its founding in 2006. The company works with over 30,000 car carriers, which helps keep shipping prices low for customers.

The vehicle transportation provider’s services include open and enclosed transport, door-to-door delivery, expedited shipping, and shipping to Hawaii. Montway is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and holds an average customer rating of 4.58 stars out of 5.0.

Read more: Montway Auto Transport reviews

Montway Auto Transport Best Reputation
BBB Rating : A+ Phone : 844-601-0286 Coverage : 50 states
Pros & Cons
Pros Strong reputation, customer satisfaction, and industry ratings Carrier vetting Large network of 30,000+ carriers Offers expedited delivery Competitive pricing Cons No real-time tracking or mobile-app; must contact company for tracking info No guaranteed pricing $249 cancellation fee No specialty shipping services for recreational vehicles (RVs), boats, trailers, or other watercraft Intrusive Pop-up Ads

Montway Auto Transport is a reputable auto transport broker offering several car shipping services and cheap car shipping rates. We named it the Best Reputation car shipping company for 2024.

Sherpa Auto Transport

Sherpa Auto Transport is a solid choice for any transport services you need. The vehicle shipping company has an A+ rating from the BBB and an average customer rating of 4.91 out of 5.0 stars.

Sherpa Auto Transport stands out in the shipping industry for its Price Lock Promise. This locks in the rate you’re quoted as the final price you’ll pay for shipping. The transport company also offers its Clean Car Guarantee, which reimburses you up to $20 for a car wash after your vehicle is delivered.

Read more: Sherpa Auto Transport reviews

Sherpa Auto Transport
BBB Rating : A+ Phone : 888-202-7706 Coverage : 49 states
Pros & Cons
Pros Locked-in shipping rates through the Price Lock Promise Vetted network of reliable and friendly carriers Strong customer service ratings on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Offers a Clean Car Guarantee Cons Slightly higher prices than competitors Does not provide terminal-to-terminal shipping

Sherpa Auto Transport has many strengths, from excellent customer service to the added security of the Price Lock Promise.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is involved in shipping a car?

The most important document associated with shipping a car is the bill of lading, which is a receipt for what’s been loaded onto the carrier. It also records your vehicle’s condition before and after the move and proves that your car was delivered.

What paperwork is needed to ship a car overseas?

To ship your car overseas, you’ll typically need to provide two forms of identification. This can include photo identification such as a passport, driver’s license, or state-issued ID. You’ll need to have two copies for when your vehicle is picked up: one for putting in the vehicle and another for presenting at the time of booking.

What do you need to do before shipping your car?

Where can I find free quotes for car shipping?

Almost all car shipping companies provide free quotes online or over the phone.

How We Rate Auto Shippers

Our review process aims to deliver consistent and unbiased assessments of car shipping companies. While there are multiple qualities that make an auto transport provider successful, our review team focuses on those we believe are the most important for consumers:

  • Cost: Cost can be difficult to compare between providers because so many factors impact auto shipping rates. To determine our cost score, we perform a secret shopper analysis for a variety of vehicles and routes.
  • Services: Our team of experts looks at the types of services available, as well as insurance coverage and the ability to guarantee pickup and drop-off dates. Ratings also take into account whether the transport company is a broker or a carrier.
  • Reputation: It’s important that a car shipping provider is able to deliver your vehicle in a safe and timely manner. Companies with a strong rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) score well in this category. Established providers with a long history of reliable service also receive positive marks.
  • Customer Experience: We comb through consumer reviews on sites like the BBB to learn about customer experiences. Car transport companies with a low volume of complaints score well in this area.

*Data accurate at time of publication.