Looking for advice on protecting my cars in the mail

ShannonBR Friday, 8/20/2021

Hi Everyone,

Shannon from Down Squad Racing here. I've had a few cars arrive with at their races with a little damage. One had a paint chip. Another a had a bent axle. I'm now wrapping the cars in paper towel and the putting them in bubble wrap to the point they barely move but not squishing the car. Seems to be working but I question it every time I send a car off. I tried once to send a car the plastic that the car comes in originally but the axle bent on that shipment. How do you pack your cars for shipment to races? Thanks for any advise you have.

I didn't see this subject in previous conversations. Sorry if I missed it.


Great topic! Theres a lot of ways to protect cars during shipment. Theres plastic crayon boxes that can hold two wrapped cars fairly snug. I like to use those. I'll usually wrap a packing peanut under the chasis to "suspend" the axles somewhat. I know of someone that ships in a paint can i just cant remember who it is. I also know that some hosts dont like to have a hundred crayon boxes to sort through come tournament time lol. I've recently started tapeing "fragile" stickers to the outside of the boxes and i think thats helped a lot. I got those from the online shoppers running around walmart with the blue carts. If you look at the cart, there are rolls with diffrent stickers on them. One roll will say fragile. A little sweet talk, and the worker will roll off 10-15 and just give them to you. I think it adds a little extra "protection" during shipping and handling. 

View member profile
redlinederby 8/20/21
Site manager

The plastic crayon boxes are really nice, IMO. They don't need a lot of extra packing to keep the car snug. And personally, as a host, I don't mind them because that saves me the effort/worry of packing them for the return trip. The boxes can be found at your local dollar store. But I do recommend you write your name on the box with Sharpie or a sticker.

The only real downside to the plastic box is that you'll (probably) need to ship it in a box rather than a bubble mailer. The Bubblewrap Burrito in a bubble mailer is usually pretty safe but not 100% if you're really worried about it. You can probably use the blister plastic with a bubble mailer too, might help.

Now when it comes to paint, I'm not sure if any one way is better than any other. The biggest thing you can do to protect your paint job is to wait until it is 1000% dry and cured. I've received many a car that comes in bubblewrap (or even in a box) that after, sitting squished for what could be days in god know's what type of weather, the paint can come off or just have indents or whatever. But honestly, if your wheels and axles are safe, then that's what matters. It doesn't have to be pretty to win!

Hey there! The best protected cars I've received have showed up along the lines of this picture. Each car surrounded by foam, inside a sealed rubbermaid type container, which itself is wrapped in bubble wrap, inside the shipping box. Not the cheapest method, but pretty bombproof. As a race host it's super fun to receive cars, especially ones that are wrapped interestingly well.

View member profile
Mattman213 8/20/21

I wrap mine in little bubble wrap pouches, roll the excess around the car and then put it in a box.  Mainly just try to make sure its secure and not shaking around loose and then send it.


  • And your cars usually get here just fine...and win! So yeah, you don't need to go bomb-proof to get your car somewhere safely. — redlinederby
  • I will say that I avoid the USPS at ALL COSTS if I can. When shipping to a PO Box I send flat mail in a padded envelope. I put my cars in a small box very snug, then the box into the mailer and then snug that up and ship it off. — Mattman213
View member profile
SpyDude 8/22/21

Tape a couple of popsicle sticks between the wheels to get the car totally off the ground. This will (theoretically) protect the wheels, as any impacts to the package will be transmitted through the solid body and chassis of the car rather than the fragile axles and wheels. You can also use one of the large Tic Tac containers, as they are the right size to fit a Hot Wheels car inside.

Can't help you on the paint - I just chalk it up to battle damage.

View member profile
NDeavers80 8/23/21

Pencil cases. I've used the hotwheels ID boxes. Tupperware, dollar store "Tupperware" I've seen prescription bottles. Of course bubble wrap and foam. 

View member profile
PoBoy_Racing 8/23/21

Hi, I got this idea from Nero 62 and Red Pill Racing.  They each have older videos on this subject.    For shipping cars, I use the plastic tackle boxes from Flambeau.   They are usually on sale at WalMart in the fishing section.  You can git any size you want for as many cars as you want to send.  They are also on Amazon/

   I put a styrofoam peanut underneath the car to protect the wheels.  Then i wrap the car in bubble wrap and tape it with the "Blue" Lo-Tack Painters tape.  It's easier to git into the car so that you dont hafta fight with the tape and bubble wrap.    I have shipped cars as far as Austarlia and have never had a car arrive damaged.   Hope this helps!

I just use old Hot Wheels cards! Or Matchbox.

View member profile
Papa_Pugsley 1/23/24

As a racer and race host, I feel the crayon boxes work best. Never seen a car show up with damage when in one. I don't mind as a race host dealing with the extra boxes.

View member profile
Crazy_Canuck 1/24/24

I've seen some threads where hosts complain about the plastic boxes...but personally...it's WAY easier as a host to keep things organized for return shipping when a plastic box is included. I learned early on that the plastic boxes were the way to go with the bubble mailers. Once I switched to that combo, I didn't have any issues with lost/wandering packages (touch wood) and my ritual for shipping got super quick as it's the same routine for every package...no rooting around for a box...price is always the same...and it just keeps things organized...I typically spend 50 cents in a container, 50 cents on the bubble mailer, recycled packing peanuts and bubble wrap, and $12 tracked shipping from Canada to the continental USA...

to join the conversation or sign-up now