What can I leave in my car during a cross-country move?


While throwing a few moving boxes or household items into your car when you move it across the country might seem like a good way to save time and money, it can be a costly and potentially dangerous idea. Moving your car isn’t like loading a moving truck – your car isn’t designed like a freight container.

Consider the following if you’re thinking of adding a few items to your car before dropping it off.

Damage to your goods

Items stored inside your car are not insured. Even though your car is securely fastened during the move, items can shift and move inside the car. Trucks aren’t immune to bumps in the road and car carriers do have steep ramps. Furthermore, while your service provider might have years of experience moving and securing cars for transport, they may not be experts in packing boxes of household items. The vibrations caused by the railcar can even cause small items like sunglasses or GPS systems to become dislodged. If you want your belongings to arrive safe and undamaged, you’re better to pack and move them securely with the rest of your household goods.

Damage to your car

Those same shifting boxes can not only damage whatever is in them, they can also damage the interior of your car, causing scratches to your upholstery or even damaged glass.


Most service providers strongly recommend that you remove all personal belongings from your car prior to shipping. Exceptions to this recommendation may include the following:

  • Snow tires, properly stowed in the trunk or hatch area of the vehicle and not exceeding the height of the rear seatback (if all of the tires do not fit in the trunk or hatch area, the remaining tires should be stowed behind the front seats in the rear passenger footwell area)
  • Child car seats, properly secured to the vehicle
  • Booster cables, wheel wrench and jack, properly secured in the trunk
  • Vehicle emergency and first aid safety kits, properly stowed in the truck or glove box
  • Factory roof racks, as long as they do not surpass the railcar maximum dimensions

Although the above exceptions may be allowed in the vehicle during transit, these contents may not be insured. Always confirm with your service provider exactly what can and can’t be moved, and what is and isn’t insured, before your move.

Canada’s choice for vehicle transportation

For the safest and most secure vehicle transportation experience, it’s best to move an empty vehicle. To learn more about what you can and can’t pack in your car when you move it with Livingston, contact a representative today. If you’re ready to get a quote for moving your car, fill out our convenient online form.