Skip to main content

Shipping Your Car and Personal Items: Is it Possible and What You Need to Consider

Moving to a new home can be an exciting adventure. However, it can also be stressful, especially when transporting your belongings, including your car. Shipping your car can be convenient whether moving across the country or to a neighboring state. But what about packing personal items inside your vehicle? While it may seem like a practical solution to transporting your possessions, it’s essential to understand the potential risks involved. In this article, we’ll explore the various factors to consider when shipping your car and personal items and what steps you can take to ensure a safe and secure move. 

Understanding Car Shipping Regulations and Guidelines

Before you decide to ship your car, it’s crucial to understand the various regulations and guidelines that apply. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides guidelines to ensure that auto transport companies operate lawfully and safely. All car shipping companies must have a valid Motor Carrier (MC) number, which they receive after registering with the FMCSA. Additionally, car shipping companies must carry liability insurance and provide proof of insurance upon request.

Furthermore, car shipping companies must adhere to strict regulations regarding transporting vehicles. For example, they must use specific equipment, such as trailers and tie-downs, to secure cars during transport. They must also follow specific loading and unloading procedures to avoid damage to the vehicle. However, these regulations do not apply to personal items in the car. It’s important to note that any items packed inside the vehicle are not covered under the car shipping company’s insurance policy.

Potential Risks and Consequences of Shipping Personal Items

While it may seem convenient to transport your belongings, packing personal items inside your car can cause several risks and consequences. First, it can add unnecessary weight to the vehicle, impacting fuel efficiency and causing additional wear and tear on the tires and suspension. Additionally, any loose items can shift during transport, potentially causing damage to the vehicle’s interior or even scratching the paint.

Another potential risk is theft. Shipping your car with personal belongings can attract unwanted attention from thieves. In some cases, the car shipping company may not be responsible for losing personal items, leaving you at risk of losing valuable possessions. Additionally, if the car is damaged during transport, it can be challenging to determine whether the damage was caused by personal items or the shipping process itself. That can lead to issues with insurance claims and disputes with the car shipping company.

Insurance Coverage for Car Shipping

When shipping your car, it’s essential to understand the insurance policies the car shipping company offers. Most car shipping companies provide two types of coverage: liability insurance and full coverage. Liability insurance only covers damage caused by the carrier’s negligence, while full coverage protects damage caused by accidents or other unforeseen circumstances.

However, it’s important to note that neither liability nor full coverage applies to personal items packed inside the car. If you fill personal items inside your vehicle during transport, you may need additional insurance coverage to protect your belongings. Alternatively, you can transport your personal items separately, using a moving company or shipping service specializing in personal items.

Alternatives to Shipping Personal Items with Your Car

If you need to transport personal items during a move, several alternatives exist to pack them inside your car. One option is using a moving company or shipping service specializing in personal items. Depending on your needs and budget, these companies can provide various shipping options, from ground transportation to air freight.

Another option is to rent a shipping container or storage unit to store your personal items until you arrive at your destination. That can be a more affordable option, especially if you’re moving a long distance. Additionally, it can provide greater peace of mind, knowing that your personal items are secure and protected.

Tips for Preparing Your Car for Shipping

If you decide to ship your car, preparing your vehicle for transport is essential. First, remove personal items from the car, including loose change, electronics, and other valuable possessions. Additionally, clean the vehicle thoroughly, both inside and outside, to make inspecting for any pre-existing damage easier.

Before the car is loaded onto the carrier, take photos of the vehicle from all angles. That will help you document any damage that may occur during transport. Disable any car alarms or anti-theft devices, as they can cause unnecessary delays during loading and unloading.

How to Choose a Reliable Car Shipping Company

Choosing a reliable car shipping company is essential for a safe and stress-free move. When researching car shipping companies, read reviews and check their ratings with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Additionally, make sure to get multiple quotes and compare prices, but beware of companies that offer prices that seem too good to be true.

When speaking with car shipping companies, ask about their insurance policies and procedures for handling damage claims. Additionally, ask about their loading and unloading procedures and experience transporting vehicles similar to yours.

Common Myths and Misconceptions about Car Shipping

Several common myths and misconceptions about car shipping can lead to confusion and misunderstandings. One myth is that car shipping is always more expensive than driving the car yourself. However, when you factor in gas, lodging, and food costs, shipping your car can often be more affordable, especially for long-distance moves.

Another myth is that car shipping is not safe. While there are risks involved with any transportation, car shipping is generally safe when you choose a reputable company and take steps to prepare your vehicle for transport. Additionally, car shipping can be a more secure option than driving, especially if you’re moving to an unfamiliar area.

What to Do If You’ve Already Shipped Your Car with Personal Items

If you’ve already shipped your car with personal items, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself and your belongings. First, make sure to document any damage to the vehicle and the personal items during transport. Additionally, file a claim with the car shipping company’s insurance provider.

If the car shipping company denies your claim, you may need to take legal action to recover your losses. In this case, it’s essential to have documentation of the damage and the personal items packed inside the car. Additionally, make sure to consult with an attorney who specializes in transportation law to ensure that your rights are protected.

Conclusion: The Importance of Prioritizing the Safety of Your Car During Shipping

Shipping your car can be a convenient option when moving to a new home. However, it’s crucial to prioritize the safety of your vehicle during transport. Packing personal items inside your car can cause unnecessary risks and consequences, including damage and loss of valuable possessions. You can ensure a safe and secure move by understanding the regulations and guidelines for car shipping, choosing a reliable car shipping company, and preparing your vehicle for transport.

The Original Car Shipping Quote Calculator

Direct Express Auto Transport originated the instant car shipping quote calculator in 2004. It is still the best, most sophisticated, reliable tool available anywhere online. We offer three options that we call tiers of car shipping estimates. The standard rate is the cheapest car shipping quote, but it may take longer. Use it if you are patient. The expedited car shipping rate is most recommended, and we have countless satisfied customers because the shipping process tends to go quicker. The rush rate is our highest level of car shipping service, and many customers are glad they went with that method.

auto transport tips, Car Shipping Quote Calculator