Reading : 3 minutes
Jan 16, 2024

In the realm of car shipping, there's a common question that buzzes in the ears of auto transport companies: "Can I ship my car with personal items inside?" The discussion on shipping a car and belongings together is a gray area, and many customers get varying answers. Let's clear the fog and offer some guidelines for those contemplating shipping a car across the country with belongings. 

The Official Stance on Car Shipping with Personal Items

It's tempting to utilize the space in your vehicle for some extra items, especially when embarking on a long-distance move. However, it's crucial to understand the stance of many car shipping companies, including Ship a Car Direct. 

  • Reality Check: The official answer to shipping car with stuff inside is a straightforward no. Although not the most delightful news, it's essential to be aware. 
  • Why Not?: Auto transport companies, including those operating in the USA, aren't licensed to broker the shipment of household goods. Furthermore, car carriers aren't permitted to transport personal items from state to state. 

What About the Weight Limit?

This is where things get a tad ambiguous. While you might have heard that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, this isn't entirely true. The Department of Transportation could, technically, fine a carrier if they observe a car with personal items. However, they usually won't fuss over a few items as long as the car carrier isn't exceeding the weight limit. 

Risks Associated with Shipping Personal Items

A truck hauling cars down a highway

Shipping a car with personal items isn't merely about rules and regulations. There are practical considerations as well:

  • Risk of Theft: Carriers often leave cars in lots overnight or during stops, which can increase the risk of theft. An enclosed auto transport may offer better protection, but it's no guarantee. 
  • Damages to Your Vehicle: Loose items can shift during transit, leading to potential damages to your vehicle's interior or windows. 
  • Insurance Coverage: Most insurance policies for auto transport service won't cover the loss or damage of personal items. Your car and belongings are two different entities when it comes to insurance.

Best Practices If You Must Ship Items

If you're insistent on transporting your car with goods inside, here's a way to tread the line cautiously:

  • Trunk Storage: Aim to keep items in the trunk. It's the safest place if you're determined to ship items with your vehicle.
  • Light and Essential: Stick to lightweight items and essentials. Avoid fragile items or those with sentimental value.
  • Communication is Key: Always inform and discuss with your car carrier. If they're unaware and get caught by surprise, it might jeopardize the car shipping process.

Alternatives to Shipping Car and Belongings Together

Instead of trying to bundle car transport with personal items, consider these alternatives:

  • Moving Companies: These firms are specialized in shipping personal items. Let the experts do what they're best at.
  • Parcel Shipping Services: For smaller quantities or valuable items, parcel services might be more suitable. 

Final Takeaways

The act of shipping a car and belongings together is riddled with potential pitfalls. While it might seem convenient to use your car as an extra moving box, the implications could be costly and stressful. By staying informed and making smart choices, you can ensure a smooth car shipping experience, sans the unnecessary risks.

Remember, auto transport companies, including Ship a Car Direct, prioritize the safe and efficient transportation of your vehicle. It's always best to separate the shipping of your car and personal items to ensure that each receives the care and attention they deserve. 

Looking to ship your car? Get a quote at our Ship a Car Direct website today!

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