Open or Enclosed Auto Transport: What You Need to Know Before You Decide

Whether moving out of town or across the country, you’ll need to decide whether to transport your car through an open or enclosed carrier. Auto transport is often more expensive than enclosed, but it is also more secure. There are things you should note before you decide.


There are two significant types of transportation services: open and enclosed. These services differ in how much they cost, how much protection they provide, and how fast they can get your car to your new home. Choosing the best car shipping companies and the auto transport type for your vehicle can take time and effort.

Open car shipping involves moving your vehicle by truck. It is less expensive than enclosed transport, but the cars are exposed to weather elements. It also allows more flexibility in scheduling. You can pick a preferred delivery date. You can also have the car washed and fixed if it is dirty.

Open car carriers have a maximum capacity of nine or ten cars. The cost is lower because fewer vehicles are needed to haul the load. However, it is more common for open carriers to load only one or two cars at a time.

If you are shipping a luxury or rare car, consider using an enclosed carrier. An enclosed transport is made of aluminum or fiberglass and provides extra protection.


Depending on your budget and car, you can decide whether open or enclosed auto transport is the best option. Both are safe and convenient ways to move your vehicle. However, they have their advantages and disadvantages. For the most part, open car transport has the edge over enclosed.

Open car transport is quick and easy. It is also affordable. Most carriers will allow you to have up to ten vehicles shipped at once, which means fewer costs for the transit. It also allows you to use fuel-efficient options.

Open car carriers can also carry more vehicles than enclosed carriers. However, open carriers are not as protective from the elements. This means that your car is more vulnerable to road debris and weather.

On the other hand, enclosed auto carriers are fully covered and provide an excellent shipping experience. They also protect your car from weather and road hazards.

However, they are also a little more expensive than open carriers. The average cost of enclosed transport is about $1,500. That is about 40% more than open transport.


Choosing between open and enclosed auto transport comes down to a few factors. The main advantage of using an enclosed carrier is that it provides a higher level of protection. It also offers greater peace of mind. The downsides are that it is more expensive and less fuel-efficient than open carriers.

Another downside is that it may need help accommodating your special vehicle requirements. Also, there are fewer carriers available for enclosed transportation. This can make scheduling and book more difficult.

Open transport is faster and cheaper, but it offers a different level of protection. It also exposes your vehicle to weather, road debris, and other elements. This can result in damage.

On the other hand, enclosed carriers have a roof, four sides, and a hydraulic lift. These features allow them to load 7-8 vehicles at a time. The hydraulic lift can drop to the ground for a horizontal load. These carriers also offer a gentler loading slope.

An enclosed carrier also has a dedicated customer service representative. This person will ensure that your car is handled carefully.


Choosing the correct auto transport method is a crucial decision to make. Two popular methods are available to car owners: open and enclosed car transport. Each method has its benefits and drawbacks. Depending on your needs, one may be right for you. But it’s a good idea to understand the differences before making your choice.

Open auto transport carriers are the most common way to transport vehicles. They use a special trailer to protect cars from the weather and road debris. These trailers are made of aluminum, fiberglass, or metal. They have two main tiers, the upper deck that is top-loaded and the lower deck that is not.

Open auto transport carriers are also the cheapest way to transport a vehicle. But they are less secure than enclosed auto transport carriers. They are exposed to various potential weather problems, such as rain, snow, and hail.

The main advantage of enclosed auto transport is its safety. An enclosed carrier offers a dedicated customer service representative, extra insurance, and a higher level of protection.

Oversized Vehicles

Whether you are shipping a car or another type of vehicle, you must decide between open and enclosed auto transport. The two methods of transport have different costs and benefits. They are also different in their ability to protect vehicles from the elements.

Oversized vehicles can be difficult to transport. If you need your oversized vehicle shipped, you will have to look for a different form of transportation.

Open auto transport carriers are the most common carriers. They charge less per vehicle. Open carriers can also provide a faster service. These carriers usually have hydraulic lift gates that can help move cars. They are also handy for moving low-clearance vehicles.

Enclosed carriers are more expensive than open carriers. They have a smaller customer base. They also offer fewer cars at a time. This makes them less fuel efficient. In addition, there is a lead time involved.


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