If this is your first time transporting a vehicle you should know that there a two types of service for transport, open car shipping and enclosed auto transport. In order to choose the right transport method for your vehicle it is important to be informed of the options available to you. Understanding the differences between open vs enclosed will give you better idea of which option best suits you and your vehicle’s transport needs. And although each service has its benefits the following explains what sets the enclosed service apart from the open service.


The number one reason why clients opt to go with the enclosed carrier vs open carrier is for vehicle protection. Carriers are covered and the risk of damage to vehicles is practically eliminated. Unlike the open carrier, vehicles are not exposed to any elements of the weather and the road such as rain, dust, hail, road debris, sun etc. In addition, enclosed car carriers carry a minimum of $250,000 and up to $1,000,000 of coverage insurance while the open car carriers carry only a minimum of $100,000.


Due to the limited amount of carriers offering enclosed service and the demand for the service, transporting vehicles enclosed is a bit more costly. On average, enclosed car carriers cost approximately $300-$1,000 more than the open car carriers. The extra cost is also attributed to the operating of the carriers. Since the enclosed auto carriers are the best available in the industry they are also more expensive to operate, service and maintain.


Enclosed car carriers are smaller and limited in space. Normally a covered carrier is only able to accommodate 2-7 vehicles compared to the open carrier which can handle sometimes up to 10 vehicles. This means that an enclosed carrier will have less vehicles to pickup, less vehicles to deliver and faster delivery times. Contrary to open carriers, most enclosed carriers are equipped with either lift gates or low profile ramps. Enclosed carriers are able to handle any low clearance vehicle with a clearance as low as 1″ without damaging the bottom while loading and unloading.

Nationwide United Auto Transport wants you to feel confident no matter what option you decide to go with. With over 15 years of experience in the auto transport industry, we’ve transported thousands of vehicles via enclosed and open carriers. If the extra cost is not an issue, then we suggest to transport your vehicle enclosed. Either way, have peace of mind knowing that you have a reliable auto shipping company taking care of your vehicle’s move.