We’re all busy these days so coordinating your schedule so you can be at the pick up or delivery location to meet a driver can be a real headache! One of the first questions we get asked by our customers is if they can specify a pick up date or specify a delivery date. When we tell them no, the next question they ask is, do they have to be there when their vehicle is picked up or delivered?
Some auto shipping companies are perfectly fine with their customers not being present when their vehicles are picked up or when they are delivered. Unfortunately, we are not one of them because there is too much risk and liability with unattended pick ups and deliveries.
Let me explain…
The Vehicle Condition Report
When a vehicle is picked up, a vehicle condition report is completed by the driver. This is a report that details the condition of the vehicle at the time of pick up. Ultimately, the report helps us determine if any damage has occurred to the vehicle during the transportation.
For example, if the report does not indicate a scratch on the passenger door but the vehicle is delivered with a scratch on the passenger door, then we know damage occurred during the transportation. Without a vehicle condition report, it’s nearly impossible to determine with certainty if damage occurred.
If you (or someone you designate) are there to meet the driver when your vehicle is picked up, you will sign the report. By signing it, you are declaring that you have reviewed it and that it’s accurate. You are essentially acting as a witness to the report and to the condition of the vehicle at the time of pick up.
When the vehicle is delivered, the person that is accepting the delivery will get a copy of the report to review it and to compare it to the condition of the vehicle. The person will then sign the report either indicating no damage was found or damage was found.
What happens then if someone isn’t present at the time of pick up or delivery? Since there aren’t any “witnesses,” you’ll have to put all of your trust in the driver. You’ll have to trust the driver won’t miss anything when writing up the report, and you’ll have to trust the driver will be honest when signing off on the report at the time of delivery.
Minor damage may have occurred during the transportation but who would know if nobody is present other than the driver? At the time of delivery, a driver could easily miss a scratch or simply ignore it and sign off on the report indicating everything is fine.
As I’m sure you can see, it would be a nightmare trying to sort out any damage claims if nobody is present at the time of pick up or delivery besides the driver. It’s the driver’s word against our customer’s word. A customer might insist there was damage done while the driver denies it because his own report indicates the damage was pre-existing. Without a witness present at the time of pick up to review and sign the report, how do you know what really happened? Was the damage pre-existing or did damage occur during transit?
Stolen or Broken Into Vehicles
Setting the whole issue of the vehicle condition report aside, what happens if the vehicle is stolen or broken into prior to the driver showing up, or after the driver drops off the vehicle without anyone present? Is it really worth the risk of having your car picked up or dropped off without anyone being there just because it might be easier and more convenient?
It’s for these reasons we require someone to be present at the pick up and delivery. It doesn’t have to be the customer either. Anyone that is 18 years of age or older can be designated by the customer to be the pick up or delivery contact person.
If you’re in a situation where you can’t be there and you need to have someone else be there on your behalf, here are some ideas of people you could designate as your pick up and/or delivery contacts:
- Friend or family member
- Local mechanic
- Local car dealership
- Your Realtor
We understand you might not be able to be at the pick up or delivery locations. That’s completely expected. For most of our transports our customers are only there for either the pick up or the delivery. They are rarely there for both. There’s usually always a way to make it work, however, whether that means finding a friend or a neighbor to help out!
The last thing you want to do is leave your vehicle unattended at the pick up location, or allow the driver to deliver the vehicle and leave it unattended. There’s just too much risk and liability, and it’s simply not necessary.