Shipping Your Car: Open vs. Enclosed Transport


In the vast expanse of the United States, from the bustling cities of New York to the serene landscapes of Wyoming, car transportation plays a crucial role in many people’s lives. Whether you’re a snowbird escaping the cold, a military family moving to a new base, or simply relocating for a job, shipping your car safely and efficiently is a top priority. When it comes to car shipping, one of the key decisions you’ll face is whether to opt for open or enclosed car transport. Let’s delve into the intricacies of each option to help you make an informed choice for your next journey.

Open Transport: Efficiency and Affordability

Open transport is the most common and cost-effective method for shipping cars across the country. Picture the highways dotted with trucks carrying rows of vehicles under the open sky—that’s open transport in action. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Open car transport is generally more affordable than enclosed transport. With multiple vehicles loaded onto a single trailer, the cost per vehicle decreases, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious customers.
  • Efficiency: Since open carriers can accommodate more vehicles, they are often readily available for pickup and delivery, reducing waiting times for customers. This makes open transport ideal for those with tight schedules.
  • Visibility: With your vehicle exposed to the elements during transit, there is a possibility of it collecting dust or road debris. However, reputable carriers take measures to minimize these risks, such as regular cleaning and protective coverings.
  • Suitable for Most Vehicles: Open transport is suitable for the majority of vehicles, including sedans, SUVs, and trucks. Unless you have a high-value or classic car requiring extra protection, open transport may be the best choice for you.
  • Enclosed Transport: Protection and Peace of Mind

Enclosed transport offers an extra layer of protection for your vehicle, shielding it from the elements and road hazards. While it comes at a higher price point, the added security may be worth it for certain circumstances:

  • Enhanced Security: Enclosed carriers provide a fully enclosed environment for your vehicle, protecting it from weather conditions, debris, and potential theft. This makes it the preferred choice for owners of luxury, vintage, or exotic cars.
  • Protection from Elements: If you’re shipping your car across long distances or through inclement weather, enclosed transport ensures your vehicle arrives in the same pristine condition as when it was loaded. This is particularly important for sensitive paintwork or convertible tops.
  • Peace of Mind: For owners who are particularly attached to their vehicles or have invested significant time and money into them, enclosed transport offers peace of mind knowing that their prized possession is in safe hands.
  • Specialized Handling: Some vehicles, such as low-clearance sports cars or motorcycles, require specialized handling and equipment. Enclosed transport providers often have the expertise and equipment necessary to safely transport these vehicles.

Choosing the Right Option for You

When deciding between open and enclosed transport, consider the following factors:

Value of Your Vehicle: If your vehicle holds significant sentimental or monetary value, or if it requires special care due to its make or condition, enclosed transport is likely the best choice.

Distance and Route: For short-distance moves or routes with favorable weather conditions, open transport may suffice. However, for long-distance or cross-country journeys, enclosed transport provides added protection against unpredictable elements.

Budget: While enclosed transport offers superior protection, it comes at a higher cost. Evaluate your budget and weigh the benefits of added security against the extra expense.

Timeline: If you require expedited shipping or have strict delivery deadlines, open transport may offer quicker turnaround times due to its higher availability.

In Conclusion

Whether you’re a snowbird escaping winter’s grasp, a military family embarking on a new adventure, or simply relocating for a fresh start, shipping your car is a crucial aspect of the journey. By understanding the differences between open and enclosed transport and considering your specific needs and priorities, you can ensure your vehicle arrives safely and securely at its destination. From the bustling streets of urban centers to the serene landscapes of rural America, your car’s journey begins with the right choice of transport.