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Can You Put Stuff in Your Car or Trunk When You Ship It?

A Common Question From Our Customers is “Can I Ship Personal Items in my Vehicle During Transit?

Is it legal to ship things in your car?

As of now, the Department of Transportation has not outwardly said car shipping companies can ship personal or household items in a car being transported. That said, it is technically legal to ship your personal items or boxes in you car or trunk during car shipping. Many companies have their preferences for how to ship your car with stuff in it, and there may be some stipulations.

It Can Cost More to Ship Your Car with Things in It

Each car shipment has a weight limit based on vehicle make and model. Going over these limits by a considerable amount can increase charges or even have the shipment rejected.

Typically, items inside the car adding up to over 200 lbs. can bring on some additional fees. It can also cost more depending on the distance. For example, shipping your car state to state in the lower 48 with stuff in it will cost much less than loading your car with personal items and shipping the car to Hawaii.

The best way to find out if it will cost more and your limitations to the weight you can add to your vehicle is to communicate directly with the carrier. You can do this directly on uShip’s platform after you create a listing.

Pros and Cons of Shipping Your Car with Stuff in It

Pros

Save yourself some extra space in your moving truck by loading household items into your vehicle. You can also place valuables you can pack yourself to keep your items safely in tact and not rattled around or loaded on and off a moving truck. It’s easy to throw a couple boxes in your trunk, some clothes in the backseat, and a couple lamps up front.

Cons

Car shipping companies typically allow for 100 lbs. of additional weight free of charge, however more weight can mean more cost. It’s important to communicate with you car carrier to be sure they allow additional weight, ship personal items in vehicles, and what specific rules they may have. There is also a risk of theft to keep in mind, especially if you’re shipping your car cross country.

Shipping Items in Your Car Can be Risky

Many car transport services request you keep your personal items inside the car below the window lines and inside the trunk. This is strictly to avoid theft.

Shipping your stuff with your vehicle can increase the risk of burglary. Most car carriers aren’t going from one destination to another straight through. They make stops at rest areas, and have to fuel up. If your car is full with personal items, people passing by could see this as an opportunity. This can then lead to broken windows, pried open doors and trunks, etc. All of this, unfortunately, the person shipping the car would be liable for.

Keep in mind the same rules as when you park your car in an empty parking lot: hide your valuables, leave nothing in sight, and lock your doors.

Best Practices for Shipping Stuff in Your Car

There will always be some risk in shipping stuff in your car during transport. There could be damage during transit if not properly packed, and there could be damage to your vehicle if something catches on the seats. That said, there are some things you can do to help avoid these unfortunate situations:

  • Don’t ship high dollar items in your car.
  • Make sure any boxes, bags or suitcases cannot be seen from the windows.
  • Try not to ship items that are fragile without proper packaging
  • Don’t try to ship too much because it can increase costs.
  • Check with your car shipping company before you put things in your trunk.
  • Don’t put anything in the driver’s seat because the car will likely be driven onto the truck.