Auto Shipping FAQ: Can I Put Stuff in my Car?
The question, “can I put stuff in my car while it is being transported?” is probably the one we hear most from our customers (aside from how much it’ll cost, of course). And every time, we give them the same answer. Ever time.
That answer? “Depends.”
Depends? On what? Well, to be fair, on quite a few different things. Shipping personal items in your car is sort of frowned upon in the car shipping industry, mainly because auto transporters aren’t licensed to carry household goods. This means that they aren’t licensed to carry things like furniture, electronics, or, you know, non-automobiles. There’s a reason they call it “auto transport,” not “ship whatever the hell you want.”
Car transport carriers drive around in giant trucks designed to haul smaller vehicles. And that’s really all they do – they haul cars. And trucks, and SUV’s, but they can’t be too big or else they need a flatbed carrier, and they can’t be too nice because then you’ll want them shipped enclosed.
Car transporters sort of do one job, and they can actually get in trouble by trying to do someone else’s job (that job, in your case, being the moving company’s). Seriously, even if they say it’s completely fine, auto shippers have been known to have the cars on their transport truck shipped because they were over the government-mandated maximum weight for their trucks.
Weight plays an incredibly important role in the car transportation process, one that most people are not aware of. And it’s not just car transport – it’s just more prevalent in this logistics industry than many others because the freight is all controlled by individual customers and not giant warehouses.
We aren’t shipping boxes with pre-determined weight; we’re shipping cars, and all cars have different net weights, and that can cause problems for auto transporters. Add to the equation a bunch of stuff in everyone’s car, and the weight piles up quick.
Think of it this way: if each car on a ten-car carrier has a hundred pounds of extra stuff, that’s a thousand pounds more weight than what the carrier was anticipating. That’s a whole car’s worth of weight! All that extra weight will need to be accounted for at the next weigh station.
You know what happens when a truck is overweight at a weigh station? The officials at said weigh station rummage through literally all their freight and find what isn’t supposed to be there. And once they do, they’ll throw it on the side of the road, because it’s not allowed on the trucks. If you absolutely have to put stuff in your car it’s fine – just keep it below a hundred pounds and keep it in the trunk.
Since 2007 Dave has written all the content and blogs for American Auto Shipping and during this time added the duties of customer support and transport logistics.
He currently resides in Washington with his three kids and their mom and cat. A fan of Marvel movies and good stories, when not shipping cars Dave can be found working on his novel, enjoying a good book or playing some tournament HALO.
Latest posts by Dave Armstrong (see all)
- The Slow Demise of Terminal to Terminal Car Shipping - July 19, 2019
- The Importance of Auto Transport Owner-Operators - July 11, 2019
- Senate Mulling Over New Speed Limiter Mandate - July 5, 2019