The number one question most customers have is "Can I Ship a Car with items inside?"
Well here are the facts, along with some guidelines to help you.
First comes the bad news (of course), which is that the FMCSA (i.e. the licensing board for ALL car shipping companies) strictly states that no car carrier (or broker) is allowed to ship a car with items inside.
But, like anything else, that doesn't mean that people (and car carriers) don't do it.
It is definitely possible to do, but you need to be careful if you want to avoid any extra charges.
The general rule of thumb is; keep the items out of sight and under 100lbs.
That's the best advice of all for you to follow, especially if you are looking to avoid added costs.
The reason is this - a car carrier will burn more fuel with every extra pound that is on it's back, so you want to keep the weight of what you put inside the car minimal.
Also, keep in mind that the truck driver has to drive your car onto the back of an 18 wheeled car hauler, possibly even up top, and then *back* it off again on delivery. So, it's enough of an acrobatic feat as is, you don't want to make it worse, so you want to make sure he can see out all of the windows.
The best practice is to keep the items in the trunk and light, light, light.
*IF* you can stay within those guidelines, then the chances of your being charged extra are slim to none.
But, let's be honest - you're reading this post because you want to put A LOT more than that in your car for transport. Right?
Well, it's still possible, but the fact of the matter is, if it's excessive, you may have to play a little game of "Let's Make a Deal" with your driver on the day of pick up.
Here is the key advice for those of you in that situation - Make sure that the items in your car can be easily removed.
The reason for this is simple; if you and the driver can't come to a reasonable agreement, you want to be able to easily remove the stuff from the car so that the driver can take it.
But here's the number one thing working IN YOUR FAVOR - The driver has committed that space on his truck for your car, and the LAST thing he wants to do is drive away without your car on his truck, because that means he has to find something to replace it - which costs time & effort & *money*. (So he REALLY wants to strike a deal too, he just needs to cover his added expense.)
9 times out of 10 our customers are able to strike a fair bargain that leaves everyone happy, so just be smart and keep it down to the essentials when trying to ship a car with items inside.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.