Open vs Enclosed Car Transport
On average, open-air auto transport costs 33% less than enclosed shipping. Open car carriers that can carry more vehicles than enclosed ones can accommodate 8-10 vehicles, while most enclosed carriers can only hold 6. This is the main reason for the cost difference, but there are also other factors. 97% of auto transport shipments are made in open cars.
Customers must decide whether to ship their vehicle openly or enclosed. Enclosed car carrier shipping has a higher cost. This is the most important consideration. A regular sedan can be shipped by an open carrier from coast to coast. It may cost around $1,000. Enclosed car shipping can increase the cost by $500. This will cause some concern and raise the question: Is it really necessary? Sometimes it is.
There are three types of car carriers: open, hard-side enclosed, and soft-side enclosed
It is often a binary decision whether to choose Open Car Carrier or enclosed auto transport. Enclosed carriers can be found in two different forms, but they are the same for car shipping customers. Both enclosed carriers are considered one and the same, with no option for the customer to choose between them. There is one difference that should be mentioned.
Car carriers enclosed are often hard-side and appear the same as semi-trailer or moving company trucks. They can be made from tin, aluminum, or fiberglass shells. The vehicles inside are protected from the elements.
Soft-side trailers are another type of enclosed car transport. They have hard shells at the top, bottom, and front, with a soft canvas on the sides. Although it protects the cars from the elements, dirt can still get in.
What is an Open Car Carrier?
You will most commonly see open carrier auto transport rolling down the highway. This is open-air transportation or exposure to the elements. Car dealerships typically receive their vehicles in open cars carriers. Open car carriers are exposed to rain, snow, hail, and dirt.
The vast majority of vehicles are shipped openly vs. enclosed auto transport. Move Car Auto Transport surveyed the number of trailer shipments to Central Dispatch, and found that 97% were open-air auto transport.
It is very safe, which is why many car manufacturers will ship their inventory open carriers to dealers. There are rarely any physical damage complaints. It is rare that there are any physical damage complaints. Open auto transport damage complaints are reported to occur in about half a dozen shipments.
What is an enclosed car carrier?
Enclosed auto transport is often overlooked on the highway due to the fact that the vehicles are not visible from the road. Enclosed car carriers keep the vehicles safe from rain, snow, hail, rocks, and other elements. Vehicles arrive in exactly the same condition as they left. It will arrive in a clean condition if it is properly loaded. Drip pans are added protection for enclosed carriers to prevent transmission fluids from getting onto the bottom rack.
Only 1/33 of vehicles are shipped in an enclosed car carrier. It is important to know the difference between car transport enclosed and open. Cars that are enclosed cost 33% more than open-air carriers. An auto transporter will pay the same amount to haul either an enclosed or open carrier. An enclosed vehicle may hold 33%-40% more vehicles so he must charge the same percentage per vehicle. The enclosed car transporter will likely lose money if he does not charge more.
Is it a good idea to ship your car enclosed?
For two reasons, an enclosed carrier should be used if a customer ships a vehicle valued at more than $75,000 Why risk something this valuable? Consider enclosed transport as an additional insurance policy. We also know that open car transporters are reluctant to haul very expensive vehicles due to the risk they face. Open car carriers will always choose the cheaper option if they have to pick between a $35,000 Honda Accord and an $85,000 Audi A8. To persuade an open carrier to take on the risk of a high-end vehicle, there would need to be a substantial difference, perhaps $100. It is more beneficial for everyone to ship $75,000+ vehicles in an enclosed transport.
Clearance Sale - Low Ground
A carrier should be enclosed for low ground clearance vehicles less than 4 inches. Low ground clearance vehicles with a minimum of 4 inches will not be able to drive onto an open carrier. This could cause damage to the vehicle's undercarriage. This is not something anyone wants. A lift-gate is included in the enclosed car carrier for safer and easier loading.
Collector Cars & Antique Vehicles
Some collector cars are difficult to replace. For obvious reasons, they should use enclosed shipping. Open car carriers also consider whether the vehicle can make it. Open car carriers can cause damage to older cars by allowing them to bang and vibrate down the road. Even if they are not valuable anymore, older vehicles can pose a risk to open carriers. Open transporters will opt for more recent models to haul. It would be smarter to ship any vehicle older than 50 years in enclosed car transport unless the customer doesn't really care which is difficult to imagine.
To get a quote for shipping your car open or enclosed, go here to the Move Car Auto Transport website or call us during normal business hours to speak to a customer service representative.