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Can I Ship My Household Goods Inside My Car During International Shipping?

Can I Ship My Household Goods Inside My Car During International Shipping?
Can I Ship My Household Goods Inside My Car During International Shipping?

How to know if I Can Ship My Household Goods Inside My Car During International Shipping?

This is a very common question posed when arranging for international auto transport, but the answer is not entirely straightforward. Short answer is yes, you can ship household goods in your vehicle during international shipping, but it is greatly discouraged. You are more than welcome to include a suitcase in your trunk weighing up to 100lbs for free, but anything more than that comes with additional costs and inherent risks. The following is a list of reasons why you should not exceed that 100lb suggestion.

Weight Limits

Transport trucks are uniquely calibrated to hold the a certain amount of weight and anything above that weight limit can pose a safety risk. It also carries hefty fines if a truck is found to be in excess of the maximum weight allowance. If you vehicle is filled with heavy personal items, you can expect to pay additional fees to the moving company as well, so it is a costly decision, in addition to a potentially dangerous one.


An auto transport carrier rarely takes a straight route from point A to point B when shipping your vehicle, in order to allow for additional cars to be loaded and unloaded as necessary. These multiple stops, and in very long distance transports, overnight stays, allow for the probability of theft of valuables. Although not extremely common, the threat is real and a vehicle packed full of expensive household goods makes a very obvious target. All the more reason to avoid packing household goods in your vehicle during transport.


A trip aboard a transport truck is far from a smooth ride, which is why you don't see people riding along with their vehicles. It is bumpy and items inside are subject to vibrating and shifting along the way. This is why it is recommended your 100lbs be confined to the inside of a suitcase. Not only would a heavy item moving in the back seat potentially cause damage to your vehicle, but the item itself could break in transit as well. It is also important to note that although your vehicle is fully insured, any personal or household goods inside are not. Also, if your vehicle suffers damage, ie broken window or the like, and it is determined to be caused by the items inside, then you will most likely be denied an insurance claim and left to pay for the cost to fix the vehicle out of pocket.

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If after hearing all the reasons why it is not in your best interest to pack household goods in your vehicle during transport, you still want to do so, then remember to adhere to the strict rules of conduct.

  • Make sure all items stay below window level. This will help guard against potential theft and damage that can be sustained if and when your personal belongings shift. Even better, the trunk is a safer option, because it is impossible to see inside and greatly reduces chance of theft. More often than not, theft occurring on a transport vehicle is a crime of opportunity, motivated often by valuables being in plain view of a passerby.
  • Leave driver's seat and floorboard completely empty. This will allow for easy access during the loading and unloading process. If you have opted to use the RORO method, this will allow the transport driver easy access in order to perform this common transport procedure.
  • Recognize that you are fully responsible for anything transported inside your vehicle. As previously stated, your vehicle is fully insured by your international auto transport company, but anything you pack inside is not. This means that if something were to happen, the shipper will take no responsibility for your personal items or household goods.
  • Consider utilizing closed container transport. Although usually reserved for higher-end vehicles or classic cars, enclosed car shipping is a viable option if you do choose to fill your vehicle with household goods. This adds an additional layer of safety from theft and keeps your entire vehicle out of public view, which in turn will likely keep your belongings better protected. Keep in mind that enclosed car shipping is pricier than open carrier, so you will see a significant cost increase if this is the route you choose to take.
  • Reconsider your decision. Although it seems like it would make sense to have your personal belongings and household goods ride along with your vehicle, since they will eventually end up at the same place anyway, in this situation, the risks far outweigh the benefits, and it is your best interest to make alternative arrangements. Ask your international auto transport company for suggestions if you are having a hard time finding another option. Many companies provide all-inclusive moving packages where they can also handle the transport of all your personal items, valuables, and household goods in additional to transporting your vehicle.
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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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