How to Handle Damaged Used Vehicles in Transport

posted in: Blog, Used Cars | 0

Today, consumers are being sold second-hand cars that have a history of damage but with only one thing missing – the recorded damage on the paperwork.

Fleet managers are known to depend on the vehicle transport companies to deliver vehicles to from different locations from pool locations, dealerships, and up-fitters. Whether it is a transport truck, rail car, or a ship, there are many things that can happen during transport before it is even given to the driver.

While is a potential concern for most fleet managers and buyers, vehicles do often get damaged during transit. Most times, there is not much that can be done about it. However, there are certain ways to understand how to handle damaged used vehicles in transport.

Know the Damage Happens

While there may not be a high-volume for concern, there are certain damages that happen. Every dent, ding, or totaled vehicle will cost the company more time and money to fix as well as create more stress and work for the fleet manager. These common damages are often caused by transport and weather related issues as well as accidents or poor handling.

Take the Initial Steps

If you believe that your vehicle has been damaged during transport, you should call the auto transport company right away. Don’t hesitate and wait until the last minute as most companies only come with a 30-day warranty. This means that they will not be held responsible for any damage after the time period.

Note the Bill of Lading

Once you notice the damage, document it immediately on the Bill of Lading. Be sure to tell the drive about the damage and that they understand the damage was not pre-delivery. The manager and driver will have to sign the bill of lading to acknowledge the presence of the damage and the true condition of the vehicle. It is important to verify the damage that occurred during the shipment as this document will be used in the inspection report.

Determine the Need for Repairs

Once you have already contacted the representatives, you can then contact the auto transport company who will discuss the issue with the carrier. Typically, a damaged vehicle will only need minor repairs. This can easily be solved when handled out of pocket.

For large damage, the repairs will take longer since the carrier’s insurance company will have to get involved with the case. By law, auto transport companies are required to have liability and cargo insurance. This means your car will be covered in any case of damage. The insurance company will start the claim process where you will have to wait for the approval and get authorized by the company. The wait is around 4 weeks before you can get your car repaired.


Once you have completed the process, your vehicle can be prepared as well as earn a compensation for the damage repair. Follow these steps to get all the help you need on how to handle damaged used vehicles in transport.