Open vs Enclosed Car Transport

Difference between open and enclosed car transport

Key Takeaways:

  • Car carrier type – With enclosed transport, cars are loaded into a fully enclosed trailer or container
  • Protection while in transit – Enclosed transport offers safeguarding, shielding vehicles from weather and road conditions
  • Cost – Open car transport is generally more cost-effective
  • Availability – Open car transport services tend to be more readily available

It’s good to have choices. When it comes to auto transport, you have many service types. Two you’ve probably heard of a open car shipping and enclosed auto transport. Generally speaking, the difference between open and enclosed transport services includes vehicle protection, transit times, service costs, and full insurance coverage.

Let’s take a closer look at each service type to see how they’re alike, how they differ, and how you can choose the type of service that meets your needs.

classic auto transport and shipping

Enclosed Car Shipping

Enclosed car transport protects your vehicle during transport against the same weather and road elements you would be faced with if you were driving the vehicle to its destination. These include rain, sun, dust, tar, bugs, debris and others. Enclosed shipping carriers are made up of boxed enclosures that surround your vehicle typically with solid or curtain walls. There are few reasons to opt for an enclosed trailer, but the most significant reason is to maintain pristine condition of your vehicle.

Some other key points about enclosed auto transport:

  • Transit times are generally faster
  • Insurance coverage is $250,000 per vehicle
  • Non-stack carriers are available
door to door auto transport

Open Car Shipping

Open car shipping is the standard service type for auto transport. As the name suggest, vehicles travel uncovered to weather and road conditions during transport. Your vehicle is exposed to the same elements you encounter while driving, such as sun, snow, dust, debris and others. An open car transport is the more inexpensive car shipping service type. Insurance covers up to $75,000 per vehicle. 80-90% of autos are shipped via open auto transport carriers.

Open Vs. Enclosed Car Protection

The number one reason why clients opt to go with the enclosed car carrier vs open car 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 $75,000.

Cost Difference

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.

Open Vs. Enclosed Car Carriers

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.

Open Vs Enclosed: What is Best for Luxury Cars Transport?

Enclosed transport is the best option if you want to protect your car from the elements. This type of transport is more expensive than open transport, but it’s worth the extra cost if you want to keep your car in pristine condition. Luxury vehicles should get extra attention while transported.

Why Our Nationwide United Auto Transport Services are Best?

  • Most Experienced: We’ve been in the business for nearly 20 years, so we know what it takes to get the job done right.
  • Most Reliable: We have a 97% on-time delivery record, so you can rest assured that your car will arrive when you need it.
  • Affordable: We offer competitive rates that are backed by our price match guarantee.
  • Excellent Customer Service: Our team is dedicated to providing you with the best possible experience, from start to finish.

Nationwide United Auto Transport wants you to feel confident no matter what option you decide to go with. With nearly 20 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 transporting 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.

Our expert professionals will handle the job perfectly than other car shipping companies does. Contact us today to get started or call for more details.