Open vs. Enclosed Auto Transport: How To Choose

Rochdi Rais Rochdi Rais · Updated: May 16, 2023 / Published: April 12, 2023

Open vs. Enclosed Auto Transport: How To Choose

As you prepare to move your vehicle, you must choose the right type of auto transport to ensure a smooth and safe transportation process. However, choosing between open and enclosed auto transport can seem overwhelming.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the differences between the two and help you choose the best one for your car shipping needs.

Open Auto Transport

Open auto transport is a more affordable and commonly used option. Your vehicle is loaded and transported on an open trailer or car carrier. This type of transport is the most popular for shipping all types of cars, including sedans, coupes, SUVs, and trucks. It is often used for shipping multiple vehicles at once, making it more cost-effective for consumers.

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One of the advantages of open auto transport is that it allows your vehicle to be shipped relatively quickly. However, since your car is exposed to the environment during transportation, it is more susceptible to dings, chips, and scratches from rocks and debris on the road.

Enclosed Auto Transport

Enclosed auto transport, on the other hand, is more expensive than open transport, but it offers better protection for your vehicle during transportation. Your car is shipped in an enclosed carrier, shielded from the elements and possible roadside debris. Collectors or owners of luxury, classic, or exotic cars often choose this type of transport.

The latter takes longer than open transport because fewer vehicles are being transported at once. However, with extra protection comes extra care and attention. Your vehicle is more secure with an enclosed transport, meaning that damages during transit are less likely to occur.

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Choosing the Right Option

Choosing the best option depends on several factors, such as the type, value, and condition of your vehicle and your budget and time constraints. Here are some scenarios where one option might be preferable over the other:

When To Choose Open Auto Transport

  •  Choosing open auto transport is cost-effective if your car is a standard daily driver or a more affordable vehicle.
  • Open transport is a good choice if you need to ship multiple vehicles. Since it can transport more cars at once, it can save you money compared to enclosed transport.
  • If you need your vehicle to be shipped quickly, open auto transport is your best bet, as it is the most common method available.

When To Choose Enclosed Auto Transport

  • If your car is an exotic, luxury, or classic car, it requires the extra protection, making open auto transport a bad idea.
  •  If you’re concerned about the safety of your vehicle during transportation, choose enclosed transport. Your car will be well-protected from outside elements, meaning it’s more secure.
  • Finally, if you have the available budget and want the peace of mind of knowing that your vehicle will be given extra attention and handled carefully, enclosed transport is the best option.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Auto Transport Options

When deciding between open and enclosed vehicle transport, consider the following factors:

  1. Vehicle Type and Value: For luxury, classic, or exotic vehicles, enclosed transport offers superior protection. For daily drivers and standard vehicles, open transport is a cost-effective solution.
  2. Budget: Open auto transport is generally more affordable than enclosed transport. Determine your budget and choose an option that fits within your financial constraints.
  3. Time Constraints: Open auto transport is more widely available, making finding a transporter with a schedule that aligns with your needs easier. Enclosed transport may have longer wait times due to limited availability.
  4. Protection and Security: If safeguarding your vehicle from potential damage during transit is a top priority, choose enclosed auto transport for added peace of mind.
  5. Shipping Multiple Vehicles: Open auto transport can accommodate more vehicles at once, reducing the cost per vehicle. Enclosed transport has limited capacity, potentially leading to higher costs for shipping multiple vehicles.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Main Difference Between Open and Enclosed Auto Transport?

The main difference between open and enclosed auto transport is the type of carrier used. Open transport exposes your vehicle to the elements and roadside debris, while enclosed transport protects it within a covered carrier.

Is Open Auto Transport Safe for My Vehicle?

Yes, open auto transport is safe for most vehicles. However, it does leave your car exposed to the elements and potential road debris, which could result in minor cosmetic damage.

When Should I Choose Enclosed Vehicle Shipping?

Choose enclosed auto transport if your car is a luxury, classic, or exotic vehicle or if you want added protection and security during transportation.

How Does the Cost of Open Auto Transport Compare To Enclosed Shipping?

Open auto transport is generally more affordable than enclosed transport due to its higher availability and the ability to ship more vehicles at once.

Can I Ship Multiple Vehicles With Enclosed Car Transport?

Yes, you can ship multiple vehicles with enclosed auto transport, but the capacity is usually lower than open transport, which could result in higher costs.

Bottom Line

Choosing whether to use open or enclosed auto transport depends on several factors. Open auto transport is the best choice if you’re looking for an affordable option and your vehicle is a standard daily driver.

However, if you’re shipping valuable or luxury cars, enclosed auto transport will offer more security and protection for your vehicle. Both open and enclosed auto transport is safe, efficient, and reliable methods for transporting your vehicle, but it’s up to you to decide which is best for your situation.

Now that you know the difference between open and enclosed auto transport, you can decide which option best fits your needs. For reliable and hassle-free car shipping, consider booking with CitizenShipper. We provide cost-effective and reliable car movers and haulers services, whether you require open or enclosed transport.