Enclosed vs Open Car Shipping

When it comes to shipping a car, choosing between enclosed and open transport can be a daunting task. Enclosed transport is the more expensive option and is often chosen for high-end vehicles or classic cars. On the other hand, open transport is the most common option and is generally used for regular vehicles.

It is important to consider various factors such as the condition of the vehicle, the distance of the move, and the budget when deciding between the two options. This article will discuss the differences between enclosed and open car shipping, the pros and cons of each, and what to look for in a car shipping company when hiring them for the job. By the end of this article, you will be equipped with the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision about which type of car shipping is right for your needs.

What is Open Car Shipping?

Open car shipping is a popular and cost-effective way to transport your vehicle from one location to another. As the name suggests, this method of transport involves loading your vehicle onto an open trailer along with other cars and transporting it to your desired destination.

Open car shipping is the most common method used in the car transport industry due to its affordability and availability. Since the trailer is open, it can accommodate a large number of cars at once, making it a more cost-effective option for both the customer and the carrier.

One of the main benefits of open car shipping is its affordability. Since the transport company is transporting multiple vehicles at once, the cost of shipping is divided among all the customers, making it much cheaper than other methods such as enclosed car shipping.

However, it’s important to note that open car shipping does come with a few potential risks. Since your vehicle is exposed to the elements during transport, it may be susceptible to damage from debris or weather conditions. Additionally, since the trailer is open, there is a chance that your vehicle may become dirty or dusty during transit.

Overall, open car shipping is a great option for those looking to transport their vehicle on a budget, as long as they understand the potential risks involved.

What is Enclosed Car Shipping?

Enclosed car shipping is a premium service in which a vehicle is transported in an enclosed trailer. This is in contrast to open car shipping, where the vehicle is transported on an open trailer exposed to the elements. Enclosed car shipping is the preferred method for transporting high-end, classic, and exotic cars, as well as motorcycles, boats, and other valuable vehicles.

An enclosed trailer is a completely enclosed and sealed container that provides maximum protection from the elements. The trailer is typically equipped with specialized equipment to secure the vehicle in place during transit, including straps, braces, and ramps. This ensures that the vehicle does not move or sustain any damage during transport.

Enclosed-car shipping is more expensive than open-car shipping due to the added level of protection and security provided. However, it is worth the extra cost for vehicles that require extra care and protection during transport. In addition to the added security, enclosed car shipping offers the following benefits:

  1. Protection from weather conditions: Enclosed trailers protect the vehicle from rain, wind, snow, and other weather elements that could damage the vehicle.
  2. Protection from road debris: Enclosed trailers protect the vehicle from rocks, gravel, and other debris that could cause dents or scratches.
  3. Increased privacy: Enclosed car shipping offers increased privacy since the vehicle is not visible to other drivers on the road.
  4. Added security: Enclosed trailers are equipped with security features such as locks and alarms to ensure that the vehicle is secure during transport.

Overall, enclosed car shipping is a reliable and safe method for transporting valuable vehicles. It provides the highest level of protection and security during transport and is the preferred method for transporting high-end, classic, and exotic cars.

What Are The Differences Between Open and Enclosed Car Shipping?

Shipping a car can be a daunting task, especially when you consider all the different options and choices available. One of the most significant decisions you’ll need to make when shipping your car is whether to use open or enclosed car shipping. While both options will transport your car from one location to another, they have distinct differences that you should consider.

Open car shipping is the most common way to transport a car. With this method, your car is loaded onto an open trailer along with several other cars. Your car will be exposed to the elements, including rain, dust, and road debris during transportation. While this option is less expensive than enclosed car shipping, it is less secure.

Enclosed car shipping, on the other hand, involves transporting your car in enclosed car carriers. This method provides a higher level of protection for your car as it is shielded from the elements and road debris. Enclosed car shipping is often the preferred choice for transporting high-end, luxury or classic cars. However, it is also more expensive than open car shipping.

When deciding between open or enclosed car shipping, it’s important to consider the value of your car, the distance of transportation, and your budget. If you have a valuable car or need to transport it over a long distance, enclosed car shipping may be the better choice. However, if your car is a standard vehicle and you need to keep costs down, open car shipping may be the way to go.

Ultimately, the choice between open and enclosed car shipping comes down to your individual needs and preferences. By understanding the differences between the two options, you can make an informed decision that will ensure the safe and reliable transportation of your car.

Enclosed Auto Transport Pros and Cons

Enclosed car transport is a popular car shipping method for people who want to ensure maximum protection for their vehicles during transport. Here are some pros and cons to consider before choosing enclosed auto transport:


  1. Protection from the elements: Enclosed trailers protect your car from rain, hail, snow, and other elements that can cause damage to the exterior of your car.
  2. Increased security: Enclosed trailers are less accessible to potential thieves, reducing the risk of theft or damage.
  3. Higher insurance coverage: Enclosed auto transport usually comes with higher insurance coverage, ensuring your car is fully covered in case of any damage or loss during transport.
  4. Better for exotic or classic cars: Enclosed trailers are the best option for transporting exotic or classic cars because of their high value and unique features.


  1. Higher cost: Enclosed auto transport is generally more expensive than open transport due to the added protection and security features.
  2. Limited availability: There are fewer enclosed trailers available compared to open trailers, which may result in longer wait times.
  3. Longer transport times: Enclosed trailers may take longer to load and unload due to the added security features, resulting in longer transport times.
  4. Limited visibility: Because the trailer is enclosed, you won’t be able to see your car during transport and may have limited communication with the driver.

Open Auto Transport Pros and Cons

Open car transport is a popular way to ship vehicles across long distances, and it has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the pros and cons of open auto transport:


  1. Cost-effective: Open auto transport is generally less expensive than enclosed auto transport because it can carry more cars at one time.
  2. Faster delivery: Because there are more open carriers on the road, you can expect faster delivery times than with enclosed transport.
  3. Easy to find: Finding an open auto transport carrier is easy, as they are widely available and offer more flexibility in terms of scheduling.
  4. Visibility: Open carriers allow you to keep an eye on your vehicle throughout the journey, which can give you peace of mind.


  1. Exposure to weather: Open carriers leave your vehicle exposed to the elements during transport, which can lead to damage from rain, snow, and wind.
  2. Road debris: Your vehicle will be more susceptible to damage from rocks, debris, and other road hazards during open transport.
  3. Limited protection: Open carriers do not provide the same level of protection as enclosed carriers, leaving your vehicle vulnerable to scratches and dents.
  4. Limited security: Open carriers are easier to access, making them more vulnerable to theft or vandalism.


How much does it cost to ship a car in an enclosed trailer?

The cost to ship a car in an enclosed trailer depends on various factors such as the distance, the type of vehicle, the time of year, and the chosen transport company. Generally, enclosed auto transport can be more expensive than open auto transport due to the added protection it provides. The cost can range anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 or more. It’s important to get quotes from multiple companies and compare the services and prices to find the best option for your specific needs and budget. Additionally, some companies may offer discounts for certain situations such as military personnel or multi-car shipments. It’s important to ask about these discounts when getting quotes.

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What Affects The Cost Open Vs Enclosed Car Shipping?

The cost of auto transport depends on several factors, including the distance between the pickup and drop-off locations, the type of vehicle, the time of year, and the type of transport. When it comes to open vs. enclosed transport, enclosed transport generally costs more than open transport. This is because enclosed trailers provide better protection from weather and road debris, and they typically carry fewer vehicles per shipment to allow for extra space and protection.

Other factors that can affect the cost of open vs. enclosed transport include the level of insurance coverage, the reputation of the transport company, and any additional services such as door-to-door delivery or expedited shipping. It is important to compare quotes from multiple auto transport companies to ensure that you are getting a fair price for the services you require. Ultimately, the decision between open and enclosed transport will depend on your budget, the value of your vehicle, and your personal preferences for protection and security during shipping.

What to Look for in a Car Shipping Company while Hiring?

When looking for an auto transport company to hire, there are several things to consider. Look for a company with a good reputation and track record for safe and timely deliveries. It’s also important to ensure they are licensed and insured. Consider their level of experience, the type of transport options they offer, and their pricing. Make sure they offer transparent and clear communication throughout the shipping process and have a responsive customer service team to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Additionally, read reviews and ask for references to get a better understanding of their past performance and customer satisfaction.

Here are some benefits of choosing a reputable car shipping company.

Should I Ship My Car Open Or Enclosed?

The decision to ship your car open or enclosed depends on several factors such as the value of the car, the distance it is traveling, and the weather conditions. If your car is valuable or rare, it is recommended to choose enclosed shipping as it provides better protection and security. However, if your car is a regular one and you want to save money, open shipping is a more cost-effective option. Ultimately, the choice depends on your preferences and needs.

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