Are you shipping your car this festive season? If so, you might feel tempted to pack it full like Santa’s sleigh. You probably think that filling your car with personal belongings (or gifts) can save you money because you won’t have to pay for extra airline baggage or moving companies. Most cars have plenty of space for things, so it would be useful if you could it while shipping your car.
Customers often ask about what may and may not be in the car while it’s being shipped. So here’s everything you need to know about having personal belongings in your car while it’s being shipped.
Can My Car Be Packed Full?
Customers often think that shipping a full car will help them save a lot of money. Unfortunately, most auto transport will refuse to ship a car that’s full of things.
Car carriers can carry a set amount of weight. Carrying too much weight is both unsafe and illegal. Determining the weight of every individual vehicle is already a bit tricky. Weight will differ depending on what car model a customer owns and how full the tank it. Because of this, most auto transport companies quote customers based on what car model they own. That way the company has a rough estimate of how many cars they can transport on a single carrier while still remaining within the legal weight.
In reality, you’re already paying for weight when you ship a car. You can’t fill a car with heavy things and still expect to pay the same price. When heavier vehicles are being shipped, the car carrier can’t transport as many cars in a single load, which will make auto transport more expensive.
To save on weight, your car should ideally have very little gas in its tank when you hand it over to the auto transporters. If it’s possible in your case, you can even take off the spare wheel so your car will be a bit lighter.
What Can I Have In My Car?
Despite the fact that extra weight will cost you more, you might still be interested in shipping a car with things in it. A few little things surely couldn’t do any harm, right? Especially if the things in your car barely weigh anything. Unfortunately, even that can be a problem.
By law auto shippers aren’t allowed to transport personal belongings. A licensed auto transport company is only licensed to carry vehicles such as motorcycles, cars, SUVs and pickup trucks. An auto shipper caught transporting cars that have personal belongings in them will be fined. Because of this, most auto shipping companies will tell you to empty the car before handing it over.
Some people put a few things in their trunk, mistakenly believing that it’s okay to have things in a car as long as it’s less than 100lbs. But actually the car should be completely empty.
It’s okay if you forget to take out a CD, or a small notebook in the cabinet. Most auto transporters won’t mind if you forget things that are very little, but don’t intentionally leave things in your car. Not only is that illegal, it isn’t covered by insurance. Any goods you leave in your car will be at your own risk. The auto transporter will assume no responsibility for damages and losses of goods you left in the car before handing it over. Only damage to your car itself is covered under the company’s insurance. Because of this, you should avoid forgetting even small things in your car if they have great value to you.
Things You May Never Ship
As mentioned before, your car should be empty before shipping. If you forget something, that usually isn’t much of a problem, but there are things that auto transport companies cannot ship under any circumstances. It’s strictly forbidden for your car to contain firearms, hazardous materials and contraband while it’s being shipped.
You should also remove anything that could potentially damage your car. Your auto transport company won’t assume responsibility for damage to your car if it was caused by something you left in the car before handing it over. For instance, if you left a bottle on liquid in your car seat and it leaked and spilled while your car was being shipped, the damage won’t be covered by the auto company’s insurance.
To avoid any losses and damage your auto transport company can’t cover, you should remove even things that you normally consider as part of your car. It’s easy to forget items like your jack and owner’s manual before can handing over your car. Many people think of these objects as if they were part of the car itself, but insurance companies won’t always cover the costs if they go missing, so make a note to take them out as well.
What should be clear is that the less things you have in your car before handing it over, the better. In some places in the world, car owners even have to dissemble and reassemble their cars for shipping! Luckily that’s not the case in the US. You’ll be safe shipping your car without removing any of its parts as long as it’s empty. Talk to a trustworthy, licensed auto transport company if you have any other questions regarding items in your car and insurance.