Take the Stress Out of Moving Long Distance with a Vehicle
Open Carrier Car Shipping Moves Your Car for You
Open auto transport services take the hassle out of driving your car across states during long distance moves. Save the mileage, the time, and the headache — let Ship a Car Direct handle everything.
What is Open Car Transport?
Open car carrier transport involves a semi-truck bed that is configured so cars can be stacked on it.
There are several options available to you if you decide to ship your car. Auto transport companies often offer both open and closed car carriers. We can help you decide which is best.
Ship a Car Direct offers a white-glove service for moving your car long distances. We help you decide if open carrier car transport is right for you.
Benefits of Open Carrier Auto Transportation
Open car transport quotes are often far below closed car transport quotes.
That is because the bed itself is less costly to create, and it is lighter than the sealed containers. Because they weigh less, the engine does not have to work as hard to move the load. Less motor work translates into less fuel expense.
Open carriers are also more cost-effective because the driver can haul more vehicles per trip
Save Your Car’s Wear and Tear
Mileage, wear and tear, and strain on your motor can be costly.
Save your miles and wear for times when you are actually using your vehicle versus when you are just transporting it. Shipping autos can save money in the end.
Moving takes time — delegating some of the tasks, such as moving the vehicle, can give you time to pack up your house and move into your new one.
If your family has two cars but wants to drive together, you can have your other vehicle shipped. If you are traveling with babies or young children, having an extra helper will come in handy, especially during long drives.
Speed of Delivery
Often, open car transports deliver quicker than closed carriers. There are not as many closed trucks on the road, so you may have to wait for one to get an open position. During that time, you will have to store your vehicle somewhere if you have to leave.
Most of the time, our open transports can be booked at your convenience, and you may not have to wait at all.
Ship a Car Direct is insured to move vehicles and we only deal with open car transport companies we trust.
Open transporting is a safe, fast, and cost-effective way to move one car or many. We are insured against damages that might happen to your vehicle while loaded on the truck and have the infrastructure to handle the unique challenges that come with long-distance transport.
What are the different types of open car carriers?
The three main types of open car carriers include the following:
- Single level with multi cars - These companies transport high-end vehicles and the typical sports car.
- Two levels with multi cars - Most people choose this type of car transport, which is ideal for the kind of cars you drive every day.
- Single tow trailer with one level on a dually truck - This carrier is great when your car only needs transporting to the next town or nearby city.
Still have questions? Take a look at our video series or the answers below.
Enclosed vs open car shipping - how to decide?
The obvious difference between the two car carriers is that one has sides and a roof, and the other does not, but that does not mean that your car will show up squeaky clean when it goes enclosed, nor that your car will get damaged on an open car carrier. Enclosed will always be more expensive (think: flying first class) but it will also come with higher insurnace coverage amounts, which is where we find it easiest to make your decision. If you're shipping a car whose value is higher than $50k, then you want to start considering enclosed carriers, it's not necessary but just to make sure that you have all of the coverage you need in the extremely rare (but not unprecedented) even of a total loss. If you're shipping a car that's valued higher than $100k, then definitely go with an enclosed carrier. Cars less than those amounts can go open, have all the coverage they need, have many more carriers available but just know that it's going to need a car wash when it gets to it's destination
Is open auto transport safe?
Yes, it's perfectly safe to ship your car on an open carrier. It most likely made it's first trip to the dealership on an identical open carrier, so if it was safe enough before you bought it, you can put your full trust in an open car carrier for your move.
Is open auto transport the cheapest?
Yes, it is definitely the most cost effective way to transport your car. Not only are there more open car carriers out on the road looking for your business, which keeps prices competitive, an open car carrier also holds more vehicles than an enclosed car carrier and can therefore afford to charge a little less per vehicle.
What is the difference between open and closed transport?
Open transport is on an 8 to 10 car hauler like you see out on the road hauling new cars to the dealerships. An enclosed carrier will look just like a standard moving truck, maybe a bit larger and will have one or two levels inside and hold anywhere from 2 to 6 vehicles inside. The best way to think about it in terms of cost and service is that open is like flying in coach and enclosed is flying first class.
How do I find out what car transport costs?
It's a good idea to shop around and get prices from at least two or three car shipping companies to get a good idea of car transport costs. At Ship a Car Direct we have a Free Car Shipping Cost Calculator that does not require your personal info if you'd just like to know a ballpark for any particular route at any time of the year.
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.