Preparing your car for shipping
In the auto transport business you get many of the same questions from customers. Is insurance included? Do you use terminals to store the cars? Can I use a car cover while in transport? and the hot topic of the week is…. Can I put personal items in my vehicle? If there was ever a grey area in auto transport this one is a doozy! The law: car carriers are typically only licensed to move vehicles (i.e. Freight) NOT household goods, We are licensed to move household goods (ex. Bekins, Mayflower, North American). All carriers must stop at weigh stations along the interstate. Those weigh stations have DOT officers that make sure they are not overweight (the fine is $1 per pound) they also make sure they are not knowingly or unknowingly transporting illegal drugs or stolen goods.
There are some officers that will make the driver completely unload the vehicle (that means your personal items are on the side of the street) so they can check the vehicle and the items for illegal drugs. If the items were stolen or lost the insurance of the carrier would not cover these items. The carriers are usually okay with taking a car with minimal items (less than 100lbs) remember the fines are $1 per pound overweight. We have had people attempt to “move” in their vehicle. This is risky because the carrier can legally and rightly so, refuse to take a packed car and some drivers will charge a fee for items in the vehicle. With all of that being said, items are placed in vehicles all of the time. Snowbirds will place their golf clubs or athletes will put a few suitcases. This is a common practice with the customer fully aware of the risks. We give the same speech to each customer when they ask this question. Hopefully, this helps with your decision when preparing your vehicle for transport.