Professional Auto Transport: Can You Put Things in Your Car When You Ship It?

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What To Store In Your Car During Auto Transport


The majority of Florida’s residents have moved to the state. About one in three residents were born in the state.

If you’re one of the many people moving to Florida or any other state, and having your vehicle transported for you, you may be tempted to pack your car with your belongings. This would be an easy way to save money.

But many professional auto transport services have strict rules on this. So we’ve created a guide to help you understand industry policies and procedures for packing personal belongings in your vehicle.

Should You Pack Personal Belongings?

It is tempting to want to pack up your vehicle solid with your personal belongings. After all, you’re already paying to ship the car, why not save a few bucks by putting your stuff in it?

Increased Potential for Damage

Your vehicle isn’t in for a smooth ride. When you fill your car with personal belongings, you risk damage to your belongings and your car.

Reputable carriers pride themselves on getting your car to the destination damage free. This becomes a lot harder when you fill it with items.

Your items will bounce and move around as the truck drives down the road.

Increased Risk of Theft

The other problem is your stuff will significantly increase the risk of theft. Open auto transport trucks leave the car exposed. Anyone walking by the truck can see in your vehicle.

Unsavory characters may see your belongings and go on a sticky finger shopping spree.


Keep in mind that the carrier’s insurance won’t cover your personal items. Their insurance is to cover damage to the car.

Your own personal car insurance probably won’t cover your items either. They don’t want to take on the additional liability of your belongings either.

This leaves your belongings vulnerable. Are you prepared to pay out of pocket to replace any items that get broken?

Carrier’s Cost of Transport

Transport companies make money by charging a certain amount of money based on the weight and amount of space your shipment takes up.

It may not seem like it, but those personal belongings can rack up the weight. So if everyone packed their car, hundreds of extra pounds get added to the shipment.

This will increase the cost of transporting those vehicles. Now the carrier is spending more to complete the shipment. Carriers need to be mindful of things like weight that will begin to affect operating costs.

Weight Limits

Those large trucks on the road have weight limits they must adhere to. Loading your car up with personal belongings puts the truck driver at risk of operating a vehicle over the legal weight limit.

An overweight truck is a dangerous prospect. It can also result in expensive fines for the transporter.

The Law

The federal government has strict regulations on what carriers can move and how they move it. Auto transport companies are rated to move cars, not personal items. This is a fine line that separates auto transport and movers.

Auto transport companies can get heavily fined for not complying with the law. These fines could be up to $10,000.

“Below the Window” Rule

This rule states that everything you pack in your car must be below the window line. The driver’s seat also needs to be kept clear.

The transporters need access to your driver’s seat so they can drive your car onto and off of the truck.

The amount you are charged for this option will vary based on the size of your vehicle. This makes sense because you can pack a lot more into an SUV than you can a small compact car.

This adjusted pricing goes back to our previous point and carrier charging based on weight.

The point of this rule is to make an effort to avoid theft. The idea is that potential thieves won’t know to rob your vehicle because they won’t be able to see your stuff in the vehicle.

One Suitcase Rule

Some carriers understand that you may want to ship your vehicle for a vacation or extended trip. Because of this, they let you put one suitcase in the trunk that weighs up to 100 pounds.

Putting the suitcase in the trunk makes it as secure as possible. Limiting it to 100 pounds helps the carrier standardize their pricing.

Keep this in mind as you think about what you’re looking to pack in your vehicle. You’ll also want to consider that this is not one suitcase per person.

Tips for Packing Your Car

If you do decide to pack your items in your car, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first thing you need to do is check with the carrier that they allow it.

When the carrier gives the green light, make sure you comply with their direction. Auto transporters will refuse to ship your car if you do not follow their rules.

We suggest keeping your personal belongings to the trunk. That way no one can see from the outside that the car is packed. This will reduce the risk of theft.

Then carefully consider what you will pack. Pack items that are lighter and fluffier. Things like clothing, towels, and linens are a smart choice.

Do not pack your bowling balls and weights in the trunk. Do not pack your inherited grandmother’s fine china either.

The extra weight will add to the weight issue for the truck. The carrier will then have you remove the heavy items.

Hire Professional Auto Transport

Instead of trying to find a transport company that lets you pack your car, look for one that provides high-quality service. You want a professional auto transport company that is going to have you and your car’s best interest in mind.

Here at Greyers towing we pride ourselves on having the experience and equipment to ship your vehicle from Maryland to Florida and everywhere in between.

Schedule your vehicle shipment today and let us help you move your car.

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