Should I Ship My Car Open or Enclosed?

Shipping your car somewhere else can be done in many different ways. The best method of shipping your vehicles depends on your particular needs. When choosing an auto transport carrier, you have several factors to weigh in. One of them is the type of carrier that will be used to ship your car, and the two main categories are open-air and enclosed.

If you are not sure whether a pricier enclosed carrier is worth it or not, read below and make an informed decision when hiring your transporter.

Should I Ship My Car in an Open-Air or Enclosed Carrier?

This depends on your budget, the type of vehicle that you want to carry, and the road conditions. If your car is a luxury vehicle with a very expensive paint coat that would be difficult to repair, it’s definitely wise to choose an enclosed carrier.

But for most personal vehicles, an open-air carrier is the most easily available and cheap option.

  • Open-air Auto Transport

Open carriers are easier to find available and they will cost less than enclosed ones. If your move is urgent or during the peak season, you have limited options, as auto transport companies are so busy. This can affect your decision and influence the budget and time frame you have established initially.

Another advantage of open-air carriers is that they fit more cars in one go, which means that the cost of transportation will be split between more customers. It’s obviously a more budget-friendly solution

The wear and tear from being carried in an open-air trailer should not affect the integrity of your car at all, but accidents are more likely to happen. For example, the carried vehicles could get damaged by flying stones and debris, harsh weather like hailstones or microabrasions from sand or salty water.

Theft is also a risk that comes with having your car shipped in an open-air trailer, especially if you decide to transport some of your personal belongings with it. This is why auto transport companies insist to have as little personal belongings as possible (some don’t allow it at all) and have them sheltered from bad-intentioned looks. If you do have to carry your things in the car, put them inside the trunk or make sure that they are not visible through the windows of the car.

Although legit car transport companies are covered by insurance, there are things that cannot be replaced by money.

  • Enclosed Auto Transport

Enclosed vehicle carriers are certainly safer when it comes to the integrity of your vehicle and your personal belongings. Shipping your car in an enclosed trailer will cost more, as it can fit fewer cars. It could also be harder to find an open-air carrier, and that may limit your options. But, besides making sure that your car will arrive at its destination the same way you left it, you are also getting a more experienced driver, since they need strong skills to maneuver such a trailer.

Another factor that contributes to the higher price of enclosed carriers is the fact that they are less fuel-efficient than open-air trailers. This means that they will use more fuel, which clearly costs more.

If you have a luxury vehicle that must arrive in pristine condition, open-air carriers are not an option. If your budget allows it, you can also opt for a “white glove” service. This means that you will receive constant updates about the transport, your hired driver will take special care of your vehicle and you can choose to have your car shipped by itself, not with other vehicles.

What Types of Open-Air Carriers Can I Choose From?

Here are the types of open-air carriers you can find:

  • Dully truck: mostly used for local deliveries;
  • Single-level carriers: more suitable for luxury, sports vehicles;
  • Multi-level carriers: the most common and most affordable option.

What Types of Enclosed Carriers Can I Choose From?

Here are the types of enclosed carriers you can find:

  • One car carriers: they can be used for luxury and antique vehicles, but they also give you the advantage of not having to flex your schedule according to other customers’ timeframe;
  • Two car carriers
  • Multi-car carriers: the cheapest form of enclosed transportation for vehicles

Contact Us for Any Type of Transport You Need

Whether you need an open-air carrier or an enclosed one, we always make sure that your vehicle is delivered unharmed and on time. We also focus on keeping our customers in the know and maintaining open communication with them.

If you are still not sure what type of transportation you need and how would that affect your budget and timing, contact us to get a free quote and realistic, proactive advice from one of our experienced agents from Ship Vehicles.