Can a Dishwasher Fit in A Hatchback?

Finding the right dishwasher model for your kitchen doesn’t mean much if you can’t take it home with you. So, if you own a hatchback or another type of compact car, is it possible to fit a dishwasher in its trunk?

A typical dishwasher will have a 24 × 24-inch footprint and stand roughly 35 inches tall or take up almost 12 cubic feet. Meanwhile, a hatchback usually has around 25 cubic feet of cargo space with its rear seats lowered. With the proper precautions, it is possible to transport a dishwasher in a hatchback.

So, how do you go about transporting a dishwasher in the trunk of a hatchback? And just because you can, should you? I’ll answer these questions and more down below.

Standard Dishwasher Size

When installed in a kitchen, dishwashers don’t appear very large. However, when you open the front door and take a good look at how much stuff it can wash in a single cycle, you’ll come to the realization that dishwashers are a lot larger than they appear.

To be more precise about what size a dishwasher is, it’s a good idea to record its measurements. The industry average for dishwasher sizes is 24 inches wide, 24 inches deep, and 35 inches tall, giving it a total volume of 11.66 cubic feet. However, its box will usually measure 27 × 27 × 38 inches or take up about 16.03 cubic feet.

Another popular dishwasher size is 18 inches wide. The box itself will take up roughly 11.87 cubic feet, which is significantly smaller than the 24-inch variety I spoke about earlier.

Standard Hatchback Trunk Size

Standard Hatchback Trunk Size

Now that we know what the common dimensions of a dishwasher are, let’s take a look at hatchback trunks.

The following table will describe the maximum cargo space in some of the most popular hatchbacks today.

Hatchback Model Maximum Cargo Volume
2022 Honda Civic 24.5 cu. ft.
2022 Mazda Mazda3 20.1 cu. ft.
2022 Toyota Corolla 17.8 cu. ft.
2023 MINI Cooper 34 cu. ft.
2022 Nissan Leaf 30 cu. ft.
2022 Subaru Impreza 20.8 cu. ft.
2022 Toyota Prius 50.7 cu. ft.
2022 Toyota Prius Prime 36.6 cu. ft.
2022 Chevrolet Spark 27.2 cu. ft.
2022 Hyundai Ioniq 23 cu. ft.
2022 Hyundai Veloster N 44.5 cu. ft.
2022 Kia Rio 17.4 cu. ft.
2022 Mitsubishi Mirage 47 cu. ft.
2022 Volkswagen GTI 34.5 cu. ft.

As you can see from the table above, modern-day hatchbacks have tremendously large trunk spaces. While ideal for traveling with family and friends across the country, can we say the same thing for transporting large home appliances like dishwashers?

Can a Dishwasher Fit in a Hatchback?

Ignoring the smallest hatchbacks in the table above (the 2022 Toyota Corolla and the Kia Rio), it’s possible that a dishwasher could fit inside a hatchback. For the truck and SUV owners out there, you might be happy to learn that a dishwasher will almost definitely fit inside your vehicle without issue.

However, there’s a bit more to it than just comparing the size of a dishwasher to the size of a hatchback’s trunk. One of the first things you should figure out is how much vertical clearance is inside your hatchback’s cargo space. After all, the best way of transporting a dishwasher—or any home appliance, for that matter—is by standing it upright.

So, just because a 24-inch-wide dishwasher can theoretically fit inside the trunk of a 2022 Volkswagen GTI doesn’t mean it will.

Of course, that’s only assuming you want to prop it upright throughout the trip back to your residence.

Can a Dishwasher Rest on Its Side?

Here’s some good news for anyone out there who doesn’t want to rent a truck to take home a dishwasher with them. It’s completely fine to rest a dishwasher on its side when transporting it from place to place.

Unlike refrigerators, dishwashers do not require compressor oil or a refrigerant like Freon to operate. So, leaving a dishwasher on its side will not cause internal fluids to pool and possibly leak where they shouldn’t.

While laying a dishwasher on its side during travels is fine, the ideal method of transporting it by vehicle is by laying it on its back. The dishwasher door should be pointed toward the ceiling to prevent it from swinging open and causing damage to your car or itself.

How to Safely Transport a Dishwasher

Here are the proper steps for transporting a brand-new dishwasher from the store to your home inside a hatchback:

Measure how much trunk space your hatchback has. Pay close attention to height measurement—i.e., the distance between the floor of the trunk to the ceiling of the car. It should be at least 2 inches taller than the width of the dishwasher’s box.

Line the trunk with pillows and blankets. The Styrofoam inside the box will only do so much to prevent dents from forming on the surface of your dishwasher. You can further improve the safety of your dishwasher by lining the cargo space of your car with pillows and other soft materials. However, do not place any pillows directly underneath the dishwasher’s box.

Insert the dishwasher box top-first into your trunk. The bottom of the box should be closer to the trunk’s door than the box’s top. That way, you will not have to re-orient the box when unloading it from your car.

Use a hand truck dolly when transporting the dishwasher to and from your car (optional). A hand truck dolly will keep help keep the dishwasher balanced as you load and unload the box from your car. While optional, it’s highly recommended that you have one on hand for use at home.

If you want to transport a pre-owned dishwasher from one place to another, you’ll have to do the following:

Drain the dishwasher. That way, no leftover moisture will seep into your car’s carpeting.

Wash the filter assembly. You don’t want old bacteria from your dishwasher getting all over the inside of your car, do you?

Unload the dishwasher. There’s no point in making things harder for ourselves. Unload the dishwasher and pack the dishes and place settings in a separate moving box.

What Size Dishwasher Do I Need?

Like TVs, it’s highly recommended that you get the largest dishwasher your budget will allow. Of course, this might not be feasible since you also have to take into account how much space you have in your kitchen, as well as whether or not you can actually fit a dishwasher inside your vehicle.

In my guide on “How Heavy Is a Residential Dishwasher,” I explain the various types of dishwashers and their weights. Generally speaking, the less a dishwasher weighs the less space it occupies, and the greater the likelihood that it’ll fit inside your car.

Should I Rent a Truck to Transport a Dishwasher?

Whether you’re moving homes or picking up a brand-new dishwasher from the store, you should definitely consider renting a truck. You can check out U-Haul’s truck rental rates here, but on average, at least according to the guys at Moving Labor, renting a truck will cost up to $29.99 per day for a 10 to 17-inch bed and up to $39.99 per day for a 20 to 26-inch bed.

If you’re going to rent a truck for transporting a dishwasher, make sure you have the appropriate straps in place, enough cushioning (optional), and the appropriate amount of space on the truck bed. When in doubt, larger is almost always better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *