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Shipping a Car with Personal Items: What to Know

A man puts a cardboard box in his trunk.

While the process of shipping a car is simple and straightforward, there are still many things to consider, and a handful of preparational steps for you to see through.

These steps are simple, but they will ensure that your vehicle is taken care of in the way you want. That can remove a lot of stress from your mind related to this process.

Taking the proper steps before having your car shipped will also answer some of the questions you might have about the process, or how to prepare for it. For example, a few common shipping questions often come up for our customers:

  • How do I ship my car with stuff in it?
  • Is shipping a car with personal items inside even an option?

Simply put, yes, it is an option. And overall, it is understood why someone would want to ship their car and belongings together. After all, you’re already taking advantage of a shipping service for your vehicle.

So, why not fill the vehicle with some personal items and save yourself some hassle elsewhere? Sure, this makes sense, but again, it comes with additional considerations to be aware of.

Here are a few things to know about transporting a car with personal belongings:

Prepare

A woman inspects her trunk alongside a carrier professional.

Any time you ship a car, there are preparations that need to be made. For instance, you will want to take photos of the car before it is handed off to a carrier. This will help make sure that you have a record of any damage that has or has not happened. Things like this are not difficult, nor do they add a bunch of time, but they are important for both you and the carrier.

If you are planning on transporting your car with personal items inside of it, then it is important to take photos of these items as well. That way, you have a record of everything that was in the vehicle during the time of shipment. However, this is not all.

You should also make sure the items are secure in the vehicle. While it’s true that your vehicle itself will be secured onto the transport trailer for shipping, you still don’t want to have loose items rattling around in your car. This includes the trunk.

Items can move and shift during transit. Make sure that when shipping a vehicle with items in it, those items are protected and placed in a responsible way. This helps prevent damage to the items as well as your vehicle.

Cost

The size of your vehicle plays a role in shipping costs, just like distance, the type of carrier your vehicle requires, and other factors. Therefore, if you are planning to ship a car with stuff in it, be mindful of how much stuff you want to include. If you start loading up your car, thinking that this will save you money by avoiding the use of another shipping service for your belongings, that might not be the best approach.

Shipping your vehicle and your belongings together will certainly add weight to your vehicle, and therefore, likely add additional cost to your overall shipping price.

This might not matter to you, as you are knocking out two birds with one stone, so to speak. However, it is a consideration to be aware of nonetheless.

Valuables

It’s true that there is no legal regulation that prevents you from shipping a car with personal items inside of it, but does that mean you want to?

Sure, some things might make more sense than others, but what about valuable items? Even if you pack them in carefully so they won’t get damaged in transit, there are other factors to consider, such as security.

When shipping your car with a professional carrier service, they will have insurance policies in place for protection. And while these insurance measures are there to protect against an unlikely risk, they are in place in the event that something does go wrong. But these insurance policies don’t make sure that valuable items in your vehicle are hidden out of sight. This falls on you.

To be clear, shipping your vehicle is a safe practice, and something that happens every day for customers all over the country. But if something is valuable, then you shouldn’t leave it in plain sight. This is just a common best practice of life in general, and should be applied to this instance as well.

Prohibited

Every transport company is not the same, and various companies might have different policies on which types of belongings can be shipped together with your car. If an item is dangerous, for instance, then a carrier might not want to be responsible for that item.

Don’t think you can sneak a prohibited item by a carrier. If you are wondering whether they search your car when they ship it, the answer is yes. This is not an invasive search, and in fact, it works to your benefit as well as the carrier’s.

You will go through the vehicle with the carrier and make sure everything is adequate and as you like it. Any items in the car will be recorded, so that you have a list to compare to on the other side. Because of this, don’t try to sneak anything into the car that should not be in there, and was not part of the agreement between you and the carrier.

Get a Free Car Shipping Quote!

Before booking a car transport service, do yourself a favor and get a free car shipping quote.

Only by getting a free quote will you know where you stand, and it will help inform your decision on whether or not to ship your car and belongings together. As mentioned, there is a lot of consideration that goes into shipping your vehicle, but getting an idea of what it costs doesn’t have to be one of them.

Get a free car shipping quote today!