What To Do If My Used Vehicle Has Auto Transport Damage After Shipping?

car accident involving two cars on the street

Auto transport damage is a very distressing situation for any person who has just got their car after shipping it. Whether you bought a used car online or you are relocating and entrusted your car to a transport company, finding the damage upon arrival can be disappointing and worrying. In this guide we will discuss the measures you should take if your used vehicle has suffered auto transport damage after shipping and we will give you information on how to choose the best auto importers and car shipping companies.

Comprehending the risks associated with auto transport damage

The reasons behind damages incurred during auto shipping is critical for the safe transportation of vehicles. Clarifying these reasons by vehicle owners as well as transport companies can be taken preventive measures to reduce risks and guarantee safe and secure transportation of vehicles. Here are some common reasons for auto transport damage:

  • Road Conditions:

The vehicles being transported are exposed to different road conditions such as potholes, rough surfaces and debris. Such collisions can lead to scratches, dents and other forms of damage.

  • Improper Loading and Securing:

If the vehicles are not loaded and secured well on the transport trailer, they may shift during transport. Such shifts may lead to vehicle-to-vehicle or vehicle-to-trailer collisions resulting in damage.

auto transport damage

  • Weather and Environmental Factors:

Exposure to such adverse weather conditions such as rain, snow, hail, and extreme temperatures can damage a vehicle during shipping. These conditions can lead to paint damage, corrosion or mechanical problems.

  • Handling Practices:

There can be damage due to mishandling of vehicles during loading, unloading, or transportation. Improper handling, unsuitable maneuvering or the wrong loading equipment can cause scratches, dents or structural damage.

  • Insufficient Packaging or Protection:

Vehicles should be appropriately packaged and protected so as to avoid damages during the transport. Failing to do so will leave them susceptible to scratches, dents or any other form of damage.

  • Equipment Failures:

The mechanical failures or malfunctions of transport vehicles or equipment may cause accidents or damage to vehicles. A brake failure, a tire blowout or a trailer detachment can all cause damage during the transportation stage.

  • Overloading:

Overweight vehicles being transported in overloaded trailers lead to structural damage or mechanical failures. Overweight can strain components, suspension or tires, thus, increasing the risk of accidents or damages.

  • Lack of Maintenance:

Poor maintenance and inspections of transport vehicles and equipment can lead to damage. Damaged brakes, worn tires, and faulty loading ramps all pose safety hazards and increase the risk of damage during transportation.

Signs of Auto Transport Damage

Recognition of auto transport damage signs is a must as such an approach allows to quickly solve any problems that may occur during shipping. Here are some common signs to look out for:

  • Visible Exterior Damage:

Carry out a thorough inspection of the exterior of the vehicle to check for any visible signs of damage such as scratches, dents, or paint chips. They suggest the possibility of the collision, impact or mishandling during transportation.

  • Misaligned Panels:

Look for any misalignment or gaps between panels that may point to structural damage or improper loading and securing of the vehicle.

  • Uneven Paint Texture:

Examine inconsistencies in paint texture, like bubbling, peeling, or discoloration, which suggest paint damage from weather conditions or improper handling.

A man wearing black glasses is checking a blue car.

  • Leaks or Stains:

Check in the undercarriage for any leakage or fluid stains, possibly due to mechanical damage or malfunction of the vehicle’s components.

  • Unusual Noises or Odors:

Be alert to any unusual sounds, like rattling or grinding noises, or unusual smells, such as burning smell or fuel odors which could be mechanical damage or problems with the engine or vehicle’s components.

  • Dashboard Warning Lights:

Check for any dashboard warning lights that turn on when you start the vehicle as these may signal underlying mechanical problems or damage incurred during transportation.

  • Irregular Tire Wear:

Examine the tires for any indications of irregular wear patterns like uneven tread wear or sidewall damage which could point to improper loading or handling of the vehicle.

  • Difficulty Opening or Closing Doors:

Check the operation of the vehicle’s doors, hood, and trunk; all should open and close smoothly without any trouble or difficulty; damage or malalignment may impede their functionality.

Steps to Take If Your Used Vehicle Has Auto Transport Damage

 successful business man signing documents in a modern office

If your car was damaged during auto transport, you need to take immediate steps to resolve the issue. Here are the steps to take:

  • Document the Damage:


Start by completely documenting the severity of the damage. Take clear pictures or video of the damaged areas from different angles. Make sure to photograph any scratches, dents or paint damage at close-up, as well as any visible mechanical problems.

  • Contact the Auto Transport Company:

Contact the auto transport company immediately to report the damage. Give them a comprehensive report of the damage, including the date and time it was discovered and any photographs and/or documentation you have taken. Be ready to supply your shipping details and any documents, like bill of lading or shipping contract etc.

  • File an Insurance Claim:

If your car was insured while in transit, contact your insurance provider to get the claims process rolling. Give them all the required documents including the damage report and the repair estimates. Make sure you follow their instructions carefully and supply any other information or documents they might need.

  • Get Repair Estimates:

Get repair estimates from reliable auto body shops or mechanics to evaluate the cost of repairing the damage. Make sure to opt for a body shop that is knowledgeable in dealing with the particular kind of damage your vehicle has sustained. Make duplicates of each estimate and bill of all your repairs for your reference.

  • Review Your Rights and Responsibilities:

Become acquainted with your rights and duties as stipulated in the contract or bill of lading. Make sure the provisions on damage claims and dispute resolution are clearly understood. Should you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact the auto transport company or seek legal advice.

  • Follow Up Regularly:

Keep in touch with the auto transport company and your insurance provider all along the claims process. Keep in touch periodically to make sure your claim is being processed fast enough and that the repair jobs are being scheduled and done in a timely manner.

  • Keep Records:

Document all the communications, documentation, and expenses incurred during the auto transport damage and repair process. This also entails emails, phone calls, receipts, invoices, and any other important documents. These records will be invaluable if you want to escalate your claim or pursue legal action.

  • Seek Legal Advice if Necessary:

In case you encounter any difficulties or disputes throughout the claims process, consult with a professional attorney who is specialized in transportation law. They will assist you to know your rights, guide you through the claims process, and represent you if necessary.

Preventing Auto Transport Damage

A man in an orange vest inspecting a car tire in rainy weather, attempting to change it.

  • Inspect the Vehicle Before and After Transport:

Check your vehicle thoroughly for any existing damages before handing it over to the auto transport company. Note down any scratches, dents or other problems and record them with pictures or videos. Also, inspect the vehicle thoroughly upon its arrival at the destination to make sure it is in the same condition as when it was shipped.

  • Consider Seasonal factors:

While planning your transportation, pay attention to seasonal factors such as severe weather conditions, like snow or extreme heat, which may cause damage to your vehicle. You need to schedule your shipment to be shipped during milder seasons or choose shipping methods that have extra protection, such as enclosed transport, to reduce the effect of adverse weather conditions on your vehicle.

  • Understand Coverage:

When considering your auto transport insurance, you have to remember that most companies offer basic insurance but it might have limitations. For complete coverage, inquire about options like theft, vandalism and type of damage. With this proactive approach, you will be able to customize your coverage to fit your vehicle’s needs, thus giving you an extra level of security during the transportation process.

  • Choose the Right Shipping Method:

Choose the shipping method that most fits your truck and transportation requirements. Options include open-type transport, enclosed-type transport and flatbed transport. Closed transport offers extra element protection and it is great for transporting high-value or classic cars.

  • Secure Proper Insurance Coverage:

Be sure your automobile is well insured during transportation. Ask the auto transport company to confirm if their insurance policy covers your vehicle while in their care, or buy extra insurance coverage for added assurance.

  • Stay Informed and Involved:

Stay informed and involved throughout the shipping process. Maintain open communication with the auto transport company and ask questions if you have any concerns or uncertainties. Stay updated on the status of your shipment and be proactive in addressing any issues that may arise.

Ensuring Safe Auto Transport: A Collaborative Effort

Through the knowledge of Auto Transport Damage causes, vehicle owners, and transporting companies can take preemptive measures to avoid risks and ensure that the transportation of vehicles, including those of a car shipping company, is safe and secure. This covers the correct loading and securing of vehicles, maintaining the vehicles and equipment, and checking weather conditions to avoid hazards. Timely and efficient addressing of the damage during transportation ensures the credibility of the shipping process and the safety of the shipped vehicles. Experience the uncompromising dependability and expertise that Bidbuy Importers is renowned for, the leading auto importers company in and around Blaine, for your car transportation requirements. Trust Bidbuy Importers with the shipping of your vehicle. Call us now!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the prevalence of auto transport damage?

Transport damage of vehicles can take place in a small fraction of shipments, but you should always be ready for such instances.

Will my auto insurance cover transport damage?

Insurance policy will depend on your car transport damage whether it will be covered or not. Contact your insurance company to verify the coverage and initiate the claims process if this is required.

How long does the auto transport damage claim take to resolve?

The duration within which auto transport damage claims can be resolved depends on the severity of the damage, the insurance company’s policies and other factors. The most effective way is to get in touch with the concerned parties as soon as possible to speed up the process.

Can I decide where to repair my vehicle?

In the majority of cases you are allowed to select the repair shop for your vehicle’s repairs. Nevertheless, you need to contact your insurance company and the transport company for any special requirements or suggestions.

Is there a deadline for filing a claim for auto transport damage?

Auto transport companies typically have specific deadlines for filing claims for damage. Review your contract or contact the company directly to determine the timeframe within which you must file a claim.

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