Here’s another consideration for first-time car shippers: which kind of car carrier to select.
There are two different types of car carriers: open trailers and enclosed trucks.
Those new to the car shipping industry may assume an enclosed truck is the better option, but there are many good reasons to choose the open carrier over the enclosed. In fact, the open carrier is the most common method for cross country transports and it’s the most affordable as well.
On the open carrier, your vehicle is driven into place and shares a ride with 6-7 other vehicles on a two-level trailer. The carrier is stable, secure, and insured - but open to the elements.
The enclosed carrier however, is a truck with solid walls and your vehicle is loaded and secured inside it. Typically the enclosed carrier carries fewer vehicles. Because there are fewer cars on each enclosed run and because of the refined nature of the service, the cost is typically at least a few hundred dollars higher.
The main reason to choose an enclosed carrier over an open carrier is the monetary value of your vehicle. For vehicles worth over $50,000, an enclosed carrier should be considered (but is not a necessity). Enclosed carriers hold more insurance to cover higher value vehicles.
The open carrier, by contrast, while fully insured, easily carriers enough coverage for each vehicle worth less than $50,000.
Sometimes the prospect of an enclosed carrier just seems safer to a potential customer, but the truth is both methods are perfectly safe.
One common fear about open carriers is that random road debris will dent the vehicle, but that is not what really happens on the road.
Road debris does not “fly up” or “fly sideways” – any road debris kicked up flies straight into the front of the rig.
Your vehicle may arrive a little dirty or get rained on, but it’s nothing that a good detailing can’t fix on the delivery end. And the price of shipping by an open carrier followed by a good detailing is hundreds of dollars cheaper than the price of shipping by enclosed carrier.
If you have any other questions about types of car carriers, please give us a call at 866-221-1664! We love explaining your options.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.