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Open vs. Enclosed Car Transport: What’s The Difference?

Open vs. Enclosed Car Transport: What's The Difference?

When you are moving to a different city or purchasing a vehicle online, you may not want to drive your car across several states. Instead, hire a reputable transportation company to ship it to your location. But when it comes to open vs. enclosed car shipping, which is better? 

Our drivers at Auto Transport Professionals explain the ins and outs of each transportation option to help you decide which shipping method is right for you.

Open Car Shipping: The Basics

Open car transportation ships your vehicle to a designated location via an uncovered double-decker freighter. This shipping method is ideal for standard cars, such as sedans, SUVs, hatchbacks, etc. Most open-car trailers can haul up to ten vehicles at a time.

Due to the shape of open freighters, some people worry that their vehicles may fall onto the highway during transportation. However, this shipping method is incredibly secure. Accidents rarely happen when you partner with a reputable and registered transportation company.

Advantages of Open Car Shipping

Open car transportation is a cost-efficient solution when shipping vehicles across state lines. Most people choose this option because it is easy to book a shipment, and deliveries usually arrive within a week.

These trailers are also lightweight and require less gas than enclosed transportation. This advantage makes it a more sustainable option for the environment.

Disadvantages of Open Car Shipping

Many people worry that open car shipping is bad for their vehicles. Dust, rainwater, and other harmful debris can damage cargo en route. Fortunately, most people can run their vehicles through a car wash to remove surface stains after delivery.

Enclosed Car Shipping: The Basics

Enclosed car shipping is an alternative solution for getting your vehicle from point A to B. Most people hire these services to shield their new or expensive cars from road debris.

Most of these carriers hold a single vehicle for maximum protection. However, some transportation companies use trailers that hold up to three.

You don’t need to have an expensive car to utilize enclosed shipping. For example, many customers pay for enclosed transport just to protect their vehicles during winter. A professional transportation company can help you find the right solution for your budget.

Advantages of Enclosed Car Shipping

When deciding between open vs. enclosed car shipping, the latter offers greater protection and security for high-end vehicles. Closed carriages prevent people from seeing the cargo inside, so these trailers reduce the risk of theft and damage during stops.

Many shipping companies that offer enclosed auto transport also use extra care when loading and unloading vehicles. They may frequently check cargo for damage during transportation and deliver updates to customers along the way.

Closed transportation also prevents wind, water, and other harmful elements from fading a vehicle’s paint job.

Disadvantages of Enclosed Car Shipping

It may take longer for your car to arrive with enclosed transportation.

These solutions may also be more expensive, especially if you pay for white glove service. Remember that you are not splitting the price of gas and labor between seven or eight other vehicles. A shipping company may also place you on a waitlist for this service.

Open vs. Enclosed Car Shipping: Which Is Right for You?

Consider these factors when choosing the right shipping carriers for your vehicle:


How much are you willing to spend on your transportation? If you are shipping a new car, enclosed transport may be the best way to receive it in factory condition.

Shipping your car sometimes saves you more money than driving it. Refilling your fuel tank and paying for repairs after a long drive can add up quickly. Consider open shipping if you want to avoid these expenses during your move.


Open transportation is practical for short-range travel. If you’re moving just a couple of states away, an open carriage can deliver your vehicle in just a few days. For a long-distance move, enclosed transportation may be a better option.

Your Car

No matter how old your vehicle is, enclosed car carriers guarantee safe travel. Still, you may not want to pay extra for these services if you are okay with dirt on your car during shipping.

Partner with a Reliable Car Transportation Company

You deserve world-class transportation during your next car or motorcycle shipment. Whether you own an old or luxury vehicle, hiring a licensed and insured auto transport company is the best solution.

Schedule a delivery with Auto Transport Professionals in Naples, FL. Learn more about open vs. enclosed car shipping at (239) 259-8198.


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