If this is your first time shipping a car, you will soon find that there are two different shipping methods to consider: open or enclosed auto transport. As a first-time car shipper, you may be wondering about the differences between these two options and which is best for you. Both are common methods for auto transport and each has its advantages. Here we will take a closer look at these two options so you best understand which will meet your needs.
Both open and enclosed transport are common methods for shipping a vehicle. Open transport typically refers to a two-level trailer that can haul multiple vehicles at once. As the name suggests, this type of trailer is open-air, meaning your vehicle will be exposed to the outdoor elements. Enclosed transport, on the other hand, refers to a fully enclosed trailer. Typically only a few cars can fit into an enclosed trailer and this type of trailer offers a higher degree of security and protection for your vehicle.
Pros: Open transport is by far the most common shipping method and is cheaper and faster than enclosed transport. Since this is a more popular option, there are more open-air carriers available, meaning you have more shipping options and it’s easier to book a preferred shipping and arrival time. In addition, open transport is cheaper, so this is a great way to save money on car shipping services.
Cons: Since the trailer is open-air, your vehicle will be exposed to the outdoor elements. Your vehicle is also susceptible to potential damage from road debris during transport. Though it is unlikely, there is also the possibility that vehicles on an open trailer are subject to theft.
Pros: Your car will be shipped in a fully enclosed trailer, which will provide maximum protection against outdoor elements, road debris, and theft. This is a preferred option when shipping luxury, classic, or antique vehicles.
Cons: Since enclosed trailers can carry fewer cars, you can expect to pay more for shipping. Similarly, there are fewer enclosed carriers on the road, meaning you may have to wait longer for pickup and delivery.
There is no right or wrong answer as to whether you should choose open or enclosed transport. It really comes down to what kind of vehicle you are shipping. For owners of classic, exotic, antique, or luxury cars, enclosed transport is usually the best option. Open transport typically works just fine for everyone else. If you are trying to choose the best option, consider the value of your vehicle with the cost difference between the two choices. Take some time to weigh the pros and cons of each option and discuss any further concerns with your auto transport company.