Open and Enclosed Auto Transport – Which One Is Safer?

January 31, 2018Car Shipping Essentials
Kate Holland

A true grunge and rock music fan born in Seattle, Kate has moved across the country and started writing about her experience.

Driving your car when moving long-distance can be exhausting, and that’s why many people opt for car shipment. You’re probably wondering what the difference between car transport, open vs enclosed, is. Let us provide you with detailed information on both solutions, so you can choose the option that fits your needs and your budget.

Every relocation comes as a great challenge, and it takes a lot of planning and overall effort to do it properly. With all the packing, choosing the right neighborhood to live in, and searching for a reliable moving company, taking care of your car is equally important. Sure, driving it all the way to another state is an option, but you need to know that it is an energy-draining process, which can cost you more in the end. Driving such a long distance can not go without thorough planning, as you will have to put reservations on hotel rooms, so you can rest along the way, among other things. With all the other organizing you will have on your hands, it may prove to be too much. It may even be a greater problem if you are a newbie and wondering how to drive a car for beginners. That’s where a good and reliable car shipping company comes to the rescue, to move the car to another state.

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A Good Auto Shipping Company Offers Different Types of Shipment

The movie franchise Fast & Furious destroyed a car every 33 seconds during filming, and they have spent about 1 million dollars for transportation from one set to another. Among cars used during filming was Toyota Corolla – the most sold car in the world. It’s sold every 40 seconds somewhere around the globe, and it’s the No. 7 most shipped car in the US. But what matters most to Toyota aficionados and all others – whether you are a classic car enthusiast, a collector of undamaged vehicles used in movies, or you simply drive your vehicle to commute to work and finish your daily errands with it – is that every owner loves their car. That’s why it’s important to take good care of it, especially when you have a long-distance moving planned for the near future. The first step in relocating is deciding where to move and hiring a moving company to help you achieve this with as little hassle as possible. The next step is to avoid driving stress and pick a company to send your vehicle to your new address.

When you choose an auto transport company, you’ll have several options to transport cars from state to state. Auto transport companies usually offer several types of shipment. If you choose terminal to terminal car shipping, you’ll pay less. With this option, you will have to drive your car to a designated storage facility, called a terminal, and later pick it up at a terminal close to your new address. Door-to-door auto transport is the pricier type of shipment, but with this option, the professionals you’ve hired will pick the car right at your doorstep and leave it in front of your new home.

Handing the keys hand to hand
With a reputable company, your automobile will be safely delivered

Should I Ship My Car Open or Enclosed?

After you’ve decided on how you would like your vehicle to be delivered, it’s time to choose car shipping services that will fit both your needs and budget. Having choices is a good thing, especially when relocating because your overall budget planning will depend on considering every option. That’s why it’s important to find good car shipping advice from an eligible company. We’ll show you a comparison of open vs enclosed auto transport, and all the differences between them, so you can easily decide what’s best for you and your car.

What Is Open Car Shipping?

The most common option that people tend to use is shipping a car cross country in a truck with an open carrier. But if you’ve never used this option before, you’re probably wondering what does open transport mean? With this solution, your car will travel on a long, two-level carrier, fitted for up to 10 vehicles. This type of trailer has no walls, ceiling, or solid floor. It’s used for shipping all types of vehicles, no matter if it’s the best cars for women or the best cars for city driving.

Pros and Cons of This Type of Carriers

The con of having your car shipped this way is the exposure to all weather conditions, as well as the dirt and road debris. And, since the vehicles aren’t individually covered, they will need washing after they arrive. Also, it’s a common misconception that your car may get damaged by small rocks during shipment. There are pebbles on the road, but they fly towards the front of the truck and not sideways.

The pros of an open trailer are affordability and availability. There are far more carriers of this type on the road, so they are easier to book. The fact that they can carry more vehicles makes them cheaper, and that’s why they are fit for a tighter budget. What also lowers their price is that they are lighter, resulting in lower fuel costs. With this type of transportation, the driver can easily check up on any car and see if there is any damage.

How Does the Enclosed Auto Transport Function?

If you are a proud owner of a sports car, a luxury, or a vintage model, you will definitely consider transporting your vehicle in an enclosed carrier. This may also be the case if you have to move during the winter months or in bad weather and prefer to keep your vehicle more secure. Maybe you have a dilemma about classic cars and modern cars, but when it comes to shipping them, make no mistake and choose to have your vehicle properly cared for with enclosed trailers. With these types of trucks, shipping is performed in carriers covered from all sides, a perfect solution for moving the most expensive cars in the world. There are usually much fewer cars loaded (up to 4,) and some carry only one or two vehicles.

Pros and Cons

Cons of this type of carrier are its expensiveness since fewer vehicles can be loaded on them and that they are heavier and less fuel-efficient. Also, the truck driver can not regularly inspect the vehicles during transit. Because there is a higher demand for more affordable options, enclosed carriers are fewer and harder to book. That’s why the waiting time is also longer.

The pros of an enclosed trailer are that your vehicle is absolutely secure from any weather conditions or road dirt, and you can literally exhibit them in the best car shows after transportation. Also, the drivers that drive these types of trucks are experienced in taking care of high-end vehicles.

usa auto transport truck
Your automobile is protected from the road condition in a closed trailer

Getting a Quote – Understanding What Affects the Price

So, how much does it cost to ship a car enclosed? Is an open carrier the cheapest way to ship a car? Most companies take several things into consideration before giving you a quote:

  • Type of shipment is one of the first choices you have to make when considering hiring professionals to move your vehicle. We’ve already mentioned terminal-to-terminal, and door-to-door option, where the latter is more convenient (your car is picked up and brought to your address) but is the pricier option.
  • Choosing the carrier, where the open one is more common and affordable.
  • When shipping cars, the distance and location are also calculated into the cost. If you need a long-distance shipment, the price will be higher, although it’s actually cheaper per mile. If the location is a major city, this service will be more affordable due to the freeway access and truck availability.
  • Car make, model, and year are taken into account when estimating the shipment. Larger and heavier vehicles are harder to ship than smaller ones, as they take up more space in the trailer. It will also be weighed prior to loading, and a smaller and lighter car will be less expensive to ship.
  • The condition of your vehicle is important – if it’s inoperable, it may require a truck to winch it, and that adds to the cost.

Several other things may affect the quote. Choosing to ship during the summer season, when there’s lower availability, will cost you more. People usually tend to move during warmer months, so if you postpone it until the off-season, you will save money. If you require a faster delivery time, or if you book only a day or two before (always call at least seven days beforehand), it will also add to the overall price and affect the quote. An example of how to properly clean and prepare your car for transport can be seen in the video below.

YouTube video

Preparing Your Vehicle for Transportation

Before handing your keys to the company that will transport your car for you, there are a few things you should know about preparing the car for shipping. Prepare all the documentation regarding your vehicle, and clean it inside and out. Note all the damage that it already has, like scratches and dents. What you’re probably wondering about is what are the things to keep in your car? The answer is simple – before the company takes it over, your car should be emptied of all personal possessions. The things that should be left include a tire repair kit and spare tires.

Car wash
Clean and empty your car before transportation

Will I Be Covered by Insurance?

Choosing to ship the car instead of driving it over a long distance will definitely spare you of driving anxiety. But nevertheless, giving it to someone else to transport it will probably spark some worry, especially if you haven’t used this service before. That’s why it’s good to know that auto transport companies are legally bound to insure your car. Such insurance covers any exterior damage that may occur during shipment. However, a good company will always encourage you to take a third-party policy, just to be on the safe side.

Damage from the hail
Insurance will cover any exterior damage

Find a Reliable Company, and They’ll Help You Choose Your Car Transport – Open vs Enclosed

Relocating process involves many preparatory steps, from packing a car for moving, finding a job in a new city and a perfect neighborhood, to learning how to register your car in a new state. All of these steps require good planning and organization and can cause a lot of stress. That’s why it’s a smart move to avoid driving to your new home because you’d be straining yourself too much. Find a reliable and reputable professional service, and have your car shipped, whichever method you choose. Think thoroughly about what exactly fits your needs and your budget. In the end, when you move, your car will be safely delivered, and you can use it right away to scout around and enjoy your new surroundings properly.

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