How Do You Transport a Kayak in a Car?

Transporting a kayak in your car can seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be done safely and easily. In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about transporting your kayak in your car.

Step 1: Prepare Your Kayak

Before you start loading your kayak into your car, you’ll need to prepare it for transport. Begin by cleaning any dirt or debris off of it and removing any loose items such as paddles or seats. If your kayak has any removable parts such as rudders or skegs, take them off and store them safely.

Step 2: Choose the Right Roof Rack

To transport a kayak on top of your car, you’ll need a roof rack that’s designed for kayaks. Look for a rack that’s sturdy, adjustable, and fits your specific make and model of car. Many racks come with straps or tie-downs that will help keep your kayak secure during transport.

Step 3: Load Your Kayak

To load your kayak onto the roof rack, start by placing one end of the kayak onto the back of the rack closest to the rear window of your car. Then lift the other end of the kayak onto the front of the rack. Make sure that both ends are securely placed on the rack before moving on to securing it.

Step 4: Secure Your Kayak

Once your kayak is in place on the roof rack, use straps or tie-downs to secure it tightly to the rack. Start by securing both ends of the kayak first before working towards the middle. Use at least two straps per end and tighten them until there is no movement in the kayak.

Step 5: Transport Your Kayak Safely

When driving with your kayak on top of your car, it’s important to drive at a reasonable speed and avoid sudden stops or turns. Be aware of any low clearance areas such as parking garages or bridges and avoid them if possible. It’s also a good idea to periodically check the straps or tie-downs during your trip to ensure that they are still tight and secure.

Alternative Method: Transporting a Kayak Inside Your Car

If you don’t have a roof rack or prefer not to transport your kayak on top of your car, you can also transport it inside your car. The first step is to fold down the back seats of your car so that you have enough space for the kayak.

Then place the kayak inside with one end resting on the dashboard and the other end extending out through an open window. Use straps or tie-downs to secure the kayak tightly in place.


Transporting a kayak in your car can be done safely and easily with the right tools and techniques. Whether you choose to transport it on top of your car with a roof rack or inside your car, make sure that it’s securely fastened and always drive safely. Now that you know how to transport a kayak in your car, get out there and enjoy some paddling!

Photo of author

Daniel Bennet