One of the more common questions when it comes to shipping a vehicle is, “Can I put personal items in my car?” After all, you’re moving to another state, maybe even across the country and you have literally TONS of stuff to take with you. Why not lighten your load and pack that baby full? There are some pretty major pros and cons when it comes to shipping personal items with your car. But before we get to those, let’s take a look at this from the Auto Transporter’s point of view. The auto carrier, after all, will be the person driving your vehicle on and off the car hauler. There are some pretty steep angles in navigating your car on the carrier that would be very difficult if the view were obstructed by Aunt Claire’s special family heirlooms. Shippers need a clear line of sight all around them in order to safely load and unload the cars they’re moving. Next, believe it or not, most of the vehicles that get shipped on these transporters go unlocked. This is a pretty standard safety precaution that allows the transporter quick access to your vehicle should the need arise. Don’t worry, your vehicle is still safely chained to the car hauler so it’s not going anywhere, but your personal items might – so no valuables should go in your car!
Another thing to consider is the extra weight. It seems trivial, but in an industry that’s measured and regulated “to the pound” a couple hundred extra pounds will likely mean the difference between moving on at the next weigh station or getting a citation for being overweight. Full-sized car transporters have a dry weight of around 40,000 pounds. Different trailer setups, truck setups, chains and equipment can cause this weight to vary significantly. The goal is to transport 10 vehicles at a time. Now, let’s take a Chevy Suburban as an example. This big daddy weighs about 5,800 pounds. The maximum permitted weight of an auto transporter is 80,000 pounds. So you can quickly do the math x 10 and see the transporter is usually pushing the weight limits just to carry the vehicles.
So let’s quickly recap. Permission to ship personal items with your car is always at the driver’s discretion. He knows if he has weight capacity. Never ship anything valuable or breakable because items shipped with your car are not covered by the transporters insurance. Soft goods, blankets, pillows and things of that nature are usually your safest bet if you just can’t let that car go empty, but make sure the items are out of sight and definitely below the tops of the seats so drivers can safely maneuver your vehicle on and off their transporters. Beyond that, we need to leave the shipping of household goods to those professionals and let us focus on getting your vehicle safely to its new home!