Difference Between Enclosed And Open Auto Transport
Enclosed auto transport
When your vehicle is shipped in enclosed auto transport, it is covered from the top to bottom as well as the sides. This will protect your car from road debris and the elements such as rain and snow.
Enclosed auto transport, also known as covered auto transportation, is the most used type of auto transport. This is due to the increased cost and decreased availability of these types of carriers.
Enclosed auto transport can cost you an additional $400-$700 depending on the distance you're shipping your car, the type of car you're shipping, and whether you choose a multi-car enclosed carrier, single-car enclosed trailer, or both. Because your car is the only one being shipped, single car enclosed trailers are more expensive.
If you are shipping classic or high-end luxury cars, then enclosed auto transport is best. However, enclosed shipping can be an option if your car is very valuable and you are able to afford it.
The only exceptions might be larger vehicles. These trailers are typically slightly smaller than open-air trailers so some vehicles may not be eligible for transport on these haulers. Before you book an enclosed shipment, ask your car shipping professional about the width of your vehicle.
It will take longer for enclosed auto transport to deliver your vehicle. These carriers are rarer so you may have to wait longer to get a place for your car. However, it is worth the wait if your car is fully protected from the elements and road debris.
You should book enclosed car shipping as soon as possible. This applies to all types of auto transport. You have a better chance of getting the delivery time you desire the sooner you book.
Drivers who have more experience with classic cars and higher-end vehicles can also be included in enclosed auto transport. This ensures that your vehicle is handled with care throughout transport.
Two types of enclosed auto transport are available:
- Soft-sided enclosed transport refers to when a canvas is attached to the trailer sideways like curtains that are pulled tight to protect your vehicle. In addition to the canvas sides, the trailer will also have a hard roof.
- Hard-sided enclosed transport refers to trailers that have outside walls. These walls protect your vehicle against the elements and road debris like pebbles and tree branches. This is the best option for cars with high-end features.
We will always refer to enclosed hard-sided transport for our purposes when we say "enclosed auto transportation." Soft-sided enclosed vehicles don't offer maximum protection from the elements or road debris.
However, it provides better protection than an open-air transport trailer. These are primarily used at Mercedes-Benz car dealerships. If you're considering enclosed auto transport, another question to ask is "Is it soft-sided or strong-sided?"
Open auto transport
Open auto transport, also known as standard car shipping, is by far the most popular type of auto transportation. Open auto transport is used for 90% of all car shipping. These are the most common types of auto carriers that you will see on highways, with two decks of cars. This truck measures approximately seventy-five feet in length and hauls a two-level trailer that has a row of vehicles at the top and a smaller row at the bottom.
This car shipping option is much cheaper than enclosed auto transport. That's because there are so many of them. Prices drop when there is a greater supply.
There are three types of open carriers that transport vehicles:
- A trailer with one level
- Two-level trailers
- Dolly trucks are vehicles that can be towed by a trailer and carry one vehicle.
Because of the many open carriers and ease involved, open auto transport is also moderately more efficient than enclosed auto transport. They are also in high demand so they can fill the trailer with seven to ten cars, which makes them an affordable option. Open auto transport vehicles can often hit the roads a little sooner than enclosed transporters.
Which should you choose?
It is up to the customer whether they prefer enclosed or open auto transport. Let's sum it all:
- Prices may be a little higher
- It takes longer to deliver your car
- Protects your vehicle from road debris and the elements, as well as any theft possibility.
Open auto transport:
- Always the cheapest option
- We will get your car delivered as quickly as possible
- This offers less protection against the elements and road debris
You might consider enclosed auto transport if you own a high-end vehicle. This would provide the best protection for your car.
Your car might not be eligible to ship on open carriers if it has a low ground clearance. To get your car onto an enclosed transport vehicle with hydraulic ramps, you'll need one that is enclosed. Shipping any type of low-rider vehicle will likely result in this situation.
Open auto transport is what the vast majority of people who ship cars end up choosing.
To discuss the best option for you and your vehicle, it is a good idea to call your auto shipping company. You can contact us.