Roof Box on a Ferry - What You Ought To Verify First

Roof Box on a Ferry - What You Ought To Verify First

You might wonder if there are additional costs to take a roof box on a Ferry, but the starting point for this query is the fact that you may find various types of ferries, depending on the destination.

Some ferries only carry individuals from one area to another, while others allow individuals to drive their car onto the ferry, as they transport both people and vehicles.

There are rules that one should follow when choosing ferries as a means of transportation. There may be rules regarding how to make a reservation or rules that specify the maximum height of a vehicle that can embark on a ferry.

Height limitations and other rules are set usually because ferries offer limited space for transporting people and vehicles. And if you have a bike rack or a rooftop carrier mounted on your car, you should be especially careful when gathering information regarding the rules for a ferry ride.

Common Knowledge About Ferries

If you plan on riding a ferry, you should keep in mind that most ferry companies have one common general rule, regarding height restrictions that apply to the vehicles that embark on their ferries.

If your vehicle exceeds the maximum height limit, you will not be allowed to embark. You may expect to find height limits ranging from six feet to eight feet, depending on the ferry company and the type of ferry.

If your travel plans include a ferry ride, it is always recommended to find out what rules and limitations you might encounter beforehand, so make sure to check out the ferry company’s website for information on how to properly utilize their services.

If you find yourself in the situation in which your car surpasses the maximum height limit, which happens often if there is a rooftop carrier or a bike rack installed, do not worry, as you will be able to embark, but only after you pay a surcharge. It is good practice to inform the ferry company ahead of time of this situation, by providing them with information, either by phone or fax.

These rules may not apply if you have a rear-hitch carrier or a bike rack, because there is usually no weight limit specified, and as long as the height falls below the limit, you will not have to pay extra.

However, commercial vehicles are a different category. Large trucks and other similar vehicles may also be subjected to a weight limit. Visiting a ferry company’s website or reading their informative materials will offer insight on all exceptions and special categories.

Be Mindful of the Rules and Limitations

There are quite a few variations when it comes to rules, based on the ferry you chose to embark. Some ferry companies allow vehicles that are up to six feet tall without a rack installed, as for cars that have a rack attached, the maximum height limit can be either seven or eight feet.

It is important to know that the rules for passengers whose cars go over the height or weight restriction are different from one ferry company to another.

There is a difference when it comes to surcharges as well. Some will ask you to pay extra and some will not. You can even encounter companies that are so strict regarding the rules for weight and height limitations that they will not let you load your car onto the ferry no matter how much you are willing to pay extra. That is why you should always try to contact the company if such a situation arises, either by phone, email, or fax.

The prices for riding a ferry can also vary. Charges are usually based on the distance that you are going to cross on board of the ferry, as well as other factors such as for how many days or weeks you are planning on riding that ferry, and the weight and dimensions of your vehicle, especially the height.

For example, you may find that one ferry line has a rate of 10 dollars for one ticket to your desired destination. But if you plan to ride the ferry 10 days in a row, for the same route, you will be surprised to find out that they charge you around 70 dollars for the entire period, which would mean you only pay around $7 per day, instead of 10 dollars, the price for a single trip.

You should take advantage of the discounts they offer for riding with the ferry on a regular basis, even if the usual prices are not that high anyway. This is also the case for the surcharges they apply when you have a rooftop box or rack attached. The charges are not exaggerated, but you can get an idea of what the overall cost will be by contacting the company in advance and finding out what offers are available and what special rates you could benefit from.

What to Do BEFORE Riding the Ferry with a Roof Box Installed

The first thing you want to do, given that every ferry company is different and applies different rates, restrictions and even schedules, is to check their website or give them a call prior to scheduling a ride.

Bigger cities, like Seattle, provide ferries that you can ride towards many different destinations, so it is imperative that you should verify the schedules and rates for each route, so you avoid any unpleasant surprises when loading your car onto the ferry.

Imagine that on the day of your trip you discover that you will be charged extra due to one of those rules regarding the size of your vehicle, or even worse, that you cannot embark at all, because your vehicle is too heavy or has a height way over the maximum limit specified by the ferry company.

To make sure that you can travel by ferry with your bike rack or rooftop mounted on your vehicle, just check the company’s website or contact them by phone or email, and be ready to pay extra for the freedom to keep your extra storage space on top of your car.

The Takeaway

Before you load your car onto the ferry, you should make sure that your carrier is installed properly and that it is tightly fastened. Since travelling over water can be bumpy, you need to take all the necessary measures in order to avoid dangerous situations, such as the roof rack or roof box to come loose or fall off and injure you or the other passengers of the ferry.

Just make sure that the storage unit is mounted and fastened perfectly before embarking on a ferry ride.

Other Questions

How much height does a roof box add?

First - Google the height of your car.
Second - Add the height of the roof bars
Third - Add to this the height of the box

So Mercedes-Benz E-Class is about 4′ 8″, roof bars are about 4 inches, and 20" for the roof box give us 6’ 8" total height.

As a rough estimate, add 2’ to the top of your car. (depending on the roof box you have, it may be less)

How much extra fuel does a roof box use?

Drivers are spending approximately 10% to 25% more on fuel in their car, because of the roof box. Increasing the frontal area stops the aerodynamics.

Do you have to drive slower with a roof box?

You have to drive slower with a roof box. However, as long as you drive with the speed limit you should be OK.


If you require more information, please check these references

Car With Roof Box , article, "www.stenaline.nl", retrieved on, Sat 03-October-2020

Vehicles , article, "www.dfds.com", retrieved on, Sat 03-October-2020

Ferry Ports , article, "www.aferry.ca", retrieved on, Sat 03-October-2020


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Nicholas le page

Detail-orientated Auto Finance Manager who is adept at meeting customer expectations and resolving issues in a timely, professional manner.

Skilled at tracking customer balances, approving loan applications and verifying customer information. Specialise in establishing productive relationships with customers seeking financing options.

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