One of the most frequently asked questions about auto shipping is, “Can I pack personal items in my car during shipping?” It’s a valid question, given that many people use auto shipping services when they are moving and this can be a great way to move their belongings. While it sounds perfectly safe, the truth is that there are several potential risks involved with storing personal items in a vehicle during shipment. Let’s take a look at some of the risks involved with storing items in your car while it is being shipped.
Risk of Theft
Car shipping carriers do not drive straight through from Point A to Point B. They make frequent stops along the way for gas, food, restroom breaks, and rest. If a car is packed to the brim with personal items, this is a target for criminals who might be looking to break into vehicles. While it’s not expected, theft can and does occur and car owners can alleviate that problem by not storing items in their car. Most auto shipping companies do not permit the storage of personal items because they are not responsible for items that get damaged or stolen during transport.
Thieves aren’t the only reason why it's not permitted to store personal belongings during auto shipment. Car shipping carriers have certain weight restrictions and if several cars are packed with hundreds of pounds of items, it can cause the truck to be overweight. Truckers are subject to fines if their trucks exceed the weight limit.
Damage to Your Car and Belongings
Even though your car is strapped to the transport truck, there is still quite a bit of movement during transport. Your vehicle is likely to vibrate and shift which means any items stored inside can get jostled around. This could cause the items to break or cause damage to the interior of your vehicle. While your car itself is insured during transport, personal items inside are not so if you pack items, you are doing so at your own risk.
Inquire with the Shipping Company
If you are in need of storing some items in your vehicle, be sure and inquire about storage with the auto shipping company. Some companies will allow some items to be stored, as long as it is under a certain weight. Keep in mind, however, that the shipping company will not be liable for stolen or damaged items. You may also have the option of using a driveway transport service. Unlike traditional car shipping, driveway service has a physical driver who actually drives your vehicle from one location to another. Oftentimes, driveway service drivers will allow you to store personal items in the vehicle during transport.
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.