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What's In This Article?

  1. What is the Difference Between Open vs Enclosed Car Shipping?
  2. What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Open vs Enclosed Transport?
  3. Which is Best for Shipping a Car Enclosed vs. Open?
  4. How do I Choose Open vs Enclosed Auto Transport?
  5. Open vs Enclosed Car Shipping Comparison Cost

What is the Difference Between Open vs Enclosed Car Shipping?  

The two most famous shipping options are enclosed transport and open transport. We’ll look at both shipment methods to help give you a better idea of the best method for your situation. We will start with the more popular open transport. To explain the difference between open vs enclosed car shipping, we will begin with the more popular open transport.


Open car transport  Enclosed car transport
  • Open car transport moves your vehicle on an open air car carrier exposed to the elements. 
  • Because of this, your car will likely be more susceptible to weather and road debris damage. 
  • Most models are okay with open vehicle transport, but one of the cons of open car shipping is that problems are more likely to arise.
  • Open auto transport services are standard because they’re the cheapest option. More cars can be hauled at once on an open-air trailer, making it a cost-effective choice for truckers and customers.
  • Dealerships often ship new cars using open shipping due to the service’s relative reliability and affordability.
  • It is when your vehicle gets shipped inside an enclosed car trailer.
  • this method is typically used for high end sports and classic cars since it offers extra protection.
  • Enclosed auto transport is less popular since there’s less demand for moving expensive vehicles. 
  • The enclosed car shipping option comes at a higher overall price.
  • Car haulers can ship fewer cars at a time with enclosed shipping, a crucial reason it’s priced significantly higher.
  • What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Open vs Enclosed Transport?

    The advantages and disadvantages of open vs enclosed transport are here:

    Advantages and disadvantages of enclosed car shipping

    Enclosed car shipping is the recommended auto transport service for valuable cars needing that extra protection layer. However, it usually takes longer and is more expensive than open car shipping.

    Open vs enclosed car shipping


  • Provides complete security and protection during transportation.
  • It opens up access to more experienced carriers with high end vehicles.
  • Removes the risk of damage due to flying road debris or lousy weather.
  • We have increased insurance coverage.
  • Extended racing ramps and hydraulic lift gates, perfect for cars with low ground clearance, tend to be used. 
  • It is possible to ship more than one vehicle at a time.  
  • Disadvantages 

  • Costs between 32% and 43% more than open car shipping.
  • Carriers could be more fuel efficient.
  • Car transport can take longer. 
  • Advantages and disadvantages of open car shipping:

    The standard method for shipping a car to another state. It’s less expensive, but you might be worried that your car is exposed to the elements. Your vehicle might also be dirty when it arrives at the final destination because the open trailer provides minimal protection from dirt or debris. 


  • Faster and more affordable.
  • More fuel efficient.
  • To make booking your preferred shipping date and time more manageable, more open transport options exist.
  • Here, an option is top load placement that will provide more protection. The carrier loads your vehicle on the top deck of the trailer. Your car is far from the dust, grime, and road surface. No vehicles are also loaded above yours, so there is no risk of fluids leaking onto your car.
  • Suits all kinds of vehicles.
  • More eco-friendly options. 
  • Disadvantages 

  • No protection against lousy weather conditions or debris
  • Less security and defense for expensive vehicles.
  • Which is Best for Shipping a Car Enclosed vs. Open?

    For most vehicle owners, open car transport is the best option. It’s the least expensive, and the average vehicle owner tends not to own a vehicle that warrants enclosed transportation expenses. In addition, because there are many more open car carriers than enclosed ones, you are more likely to get your vehicle shipped quickly.

    Your vehicle is exposed to the weather, elements, and road debris, which is only a disadvantage, and it’s a small one. However, it’s no worse than driving your car on the highway; damage from these things is infrequent. The worst that could happen is you’ll have to wash your car when it arrives.

    Open vs enclosed car transport

    On the other hand, Enclosed auto transport provides total protection from the elements. Therefore, if you don’t want to expose your car because it’s rare, valuable, old, or precious, you should choose enclosed auto transport.

    Enclosed auto transport is also better if your car has low ground clearance. Some enclosed car trailers have special equipment that safely lifts cars with four inches or less of clearance. The most significant disadvantage of this option is the cost. For many people, this is a substantial downside to the service.

    As mentioned, you can pay between 30% and 40% extra. Another disadvantage that might be a deciding factor is that it could take a little longer because fewer enclosed carriers are available. 

    How do I Choose Open vs Enclosed Auto Transport?

    Choosing an open vs enclosed carrier is primarily based on personal preference and budget. An open air trailer is the standard method of auto shipping. Here, we have listed a few scenarios in which individuals typically use an enclosed carrier instead.

    When classic car shipping –

    To preserve the value of an antique or classic vehicle, many collectors will opt to ship their car over a long distance. By using an enclosed trailer, you can rest easy with a bit of added security.

    When transporting a high end model –

    Using an enclosed carrier may be less stressful if you own a high priced luxury or exotic model. You will not have to worry about other natural road elements and dirt possibly getting on your brand new car.

    When shipping in poor weather –

    Unfortunately, there is no way to control the weather. If you intend to ship at a time when there may be bad weather, choosing Enclosed Vehicle Transport can relieve some of your worries.

    Additional reasons to use an enclosed trailer include:

  • Garage kept vehicles
  • Cars that have been stored covered
  • Automobiles that have never seen rain
  • Newly painted vehicles
  • Open vs Enclosed Car Shipping Comparison Cost 

    When it comes to car shipping, the cost is a significant factor that influences the decision of open vs enclosed car shipping. The methods of  Open and enclosed car shipping come with different cost points, and understanding each option's cost implications is essential. 

    At Get Auto Transportation, Below is the approximate cost comparison of open vs enclosed car shipping. 

    Average Distance  Open Car Shipping Cost Enclosed Car Shipping Cost 
    0 to 100 miles  $58 to $211 $75 to $353
    101to 300miles $103to$311 $127 to$403
    301 to 500miles $217 to $453  $253 to $505
    501to 800miles $233 to $533 $307 to $ 643
    801 to 1000 miles $315 to 645 $423 to $953

    We Understand that you love your Car so do we love our Car transportation work.
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