Clever tips on packing your boot safely and efficiently

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We've all been there - at some point in our lives we've had to pack up our worldly possessions and attempt to cram them into the family car. Whether you’re moving house, taking the kids to university or just bought a few too many boxes of flat pack furniture, this feat of familial engineering is as trying as it is ever-present. But is there really any room for a room inside your family car?

It’s all about technique

Our cheeky video may be a bit of light-hearted fun (seriously, give it a watch above) but it does actually bring a familiar issue to life: the inevitable puzzle that arises around the best way to load up the car (safely, of course). Do you cram in all the small stuff and rest the big furniture on top? Or ensure the bulky items fit and squeeze the small, softer items in all the holes and spaces? It's amazing how creative you can be and, as our video shows, subtle changes in approach can make all the difference.

Child helping parents load their car boot

DOs & DON’Ts

If you want to avoid the blood, sweat and tears or that horrifying moment when you realise you need to take everything out of the car and start over again, then here are some DOs and DONTs you can use to get it right the first time:

DO make a list of what you’re attempting to fit in, then you can get on with packing things effectively which will save you time in the long run.

DO get yourself a tape measure and work out what space you’re playing with. And remember to put the seats down at the back if you’re only taking one passenger.

DO put your bigger items in first and then fit the smaller and softer things into the nooks and crannies that are left. The technical term is ‘smoosh’, if anyone asks.

DO utilise putting small items in boxes and bags to help you get sense of how much actually needs to go in the car. You can pack these smaller things outside of the car to make it easier to load into the car.

DO check what’s covered in your car insurance – remember personal items are only covered in certain circumstances and for a set limit. Here's what's covered within personal effects.

DON’T feel like you have to get everything moved in one trip, if it’s not going to fit, you can always reorder things in terms of importance or urgency, and leave less essential items for another time.

DON’T cram bulky items into the boot when you can purchase and use a roof box – there’s a whole lot of space on the top of that car that you shouldn’t ignore.

DON’T overload your vehicle. You shouldn’t carry more weight than is recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer.

DON’T place more importance on the cargo than the passengers. Their safety comes first, so if you need to take family with you especially kids in car seats, make sure that you can strap them in comfortably and that you’ll be able to drive safely. If you'd like more info on car safety, have a look at our handy checklist .

DON’T forget to prepare your car– check your tyre pressure. Remove your parcel shelf (and seats if they’re removable) before you set off and make sure your water, oil and obviously your fuel levels are topped up! But in the meantime, place your bets, and enjoy seeing who wins our car packing challenge…

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