Is It Possible To Drive With an Empty Cargo Box?

Yes, driving with an empty cargo box is possible and safe as long as the box is securely attached and does not pose any hazards to the vehicle or other drivers. However, it’s important to ensure proper fastening to prevent potential damage or accidents.

Can You Drive With an Empty Cargo Box?

Every roof cargo box has its maximum weight capacity. So you have to make sure that you are not loading too much load in the box. If you load items in the box more than its capacity, then it can damage your roof box or the roof of your car.

But if you are not loading anything in the box and your box is fully empty, but you still want to keep the box on the roof of your vehicle, there some questions rise like can you drive with an empty roof cargo box, is it safe or not?

No. Driving with an empty roof box is not safe at all. If you want to know more details, then you can read this article. Here we are describing why driving with an empty box is not safe.

Driving With an Empty Roof Box


The first reason you should remove the box from your vehicle’s roof after using it is roof boxes increase your car’s drag, and the drag increases your fuel economy. Like the roof boxes that are fully loaded with stuff, the empty roof box still affects your vehicle’s mileage. So if you want to lessen your fuel economy and want to get good mileage, you have to remove the box from your vehicle’s roof every time after using it.


Most of the roof cargo boxes of the market are easy to install and remove. So you do not have to do so many things to remove the box when it is not in use. Moreover, removing a box can save you a lot of money by increasing your vehicle’s mileage because having anything weighted down on top of your car will cause you to use more gas or diesel to operate your vehicle.

Weights of roof racks are not so much to increase your fuel economy. Moreover, often these are permanently attached to the vehicle, so you can’t remove them. The roof racks may have some small impact on your fuel economy, but these are not so noticeable at all.

What About a Spare Tire in Your Carrier?

Many people claim they’ve read the recommendation of placing a spare tire in the roof box when it isn’t being used. But this technique is useful in reducing the noise of an empty box because empty roof boxes often make Whistling noises when you are driving. So putting something heavy such as a spare tire can help you to reduce that annoying noise while driving. Moreover, placing a spare tire in the roof box is also recommended so that your roof box does not stay so light.

So removing the roof box from the roof of your car is far better than leaving it with a spare tire inside the box. It also makes the look of your vehicle aesthetically pleasing, especially if you don’t like the shape and color of your roof box.

Some Practical Suggestions

But still, if you want to drive with an empty roof box, we are recommending you to make sure that all of the bolts are tight enough to keep the box secured with the roof of your car. Moreover, you have to make sure that your roof box is fully closed so that water cannot leak into it and damage the box’s interior.

rooftop bag carrier

These suggestions are for roof boxes only. Because roof boxes are hard and you can’t fold them. But roof bags are super easy to install and remove. They are flimsy and lightweight. Even they are very easy to store. Storing a roof bag does not require so much space. You can fold a roof bag and store it anywhere you want. Because of being so light, these roof bags does not create so much difference in the fuel economy as roof boxes.

But after all, it is best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations about empty roof cargo carriers. By doing this, you will not have to worry about what you did – if it was right or not, and you can rest easy.

-our editorial board has reviewed this article and has been approved for publication according to our editorial policy.

Automotive products are like an addiction to me. Years ago, I started my job at a Roof Box installation co. Then I realized that I have a passion for cars. It is a perfect scope to share my different experiences about automotive products.