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Open Air Vs. Enclosed Car Transport: Understand Your Options

When it comes to shipping your car, you will have to decide between open and enclosed transport. This choice will depend on your budget and the type of carrier you prefer. Maybe you bought an expensive car and need it shipped. Or you could be moving to another state. Either way, the question of car transport has come to your mind. Both modes of transport have their own pros and cons, so it's important to choose what suits your vehicle and shipping needs best.
By · October 30, 2023
Open Air Vs. Enclosed Car Transport: Understand Your Options

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When it comes to transporting your vehicle, there are several options to consider. One of the main decisions you'll need to make is whether to choose open-air or enclosed auto transport. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, and understanding them can help you make an informed decision. In this blog, we will explore the open and enclosed auto transport methods, discussing the benefits and drawbacks of each. Whether you are transporting a classic car, luxury vehicle, or everyday car, this article will help you determine which option is best for your specific needs.

Car Transport Services

The major contrast between open-air and enclosed auto transport lies in their ability to safeguard the cars during travel. Open-air carriers leave vehicles subject to weather conditions and potential hazards such as road debris, offering limited protection. On the other hand, enclosed auto transport provides superior protection, ensuring peace of mind when entrusting your cherished vehicle to a reputable transporter.

Open Air Auto Transport

Open air auto transport is a method of shipping vehicles in an open-air trailer, exposing them to various weather conditions and dirt. It is the most cost-effective choice for transporting vehicles and is widely preferred by auto transporters. Your vehicle will be collected from your residence, loaded onto an open-air trailer, and transported to the destination. Common examples of open auto transport include flatbed tow trucks, car hauliers, and rollback carriers that load vehicles onto trailers for transportation purposes.

When to Use Open Air Transport

One of the main advantages of open-air auto transport is the cost savings it offers. Compared to enclosed auto transport, open-air car transport is significantly less expensive. This is because open-air carriers can transport multiple vehicles at once, allowing the cost to be shared among customers. This cost-effective option is especially beneficial for individuals or businesses that need to ship multiple vehicles at once or have a tight budget.

Availability is another key consideration. Open air transport is widely available and easy to find. There are numerous carriers that specialise in this service, making it easier to find a transporter that can accommodate your specific shipping needs. On the other hand, enclosed auto transport is not as readily available and may require more time and effort to find a carrier that meets your requirements.

Speed is also a factor to consider when deciding whether to use open-air transport. Open-air transport tends to provide faster shipping times compared to enclosed carriers. This is because open-air carriers often have more frequent departures and can accommodate more vehicles in a single shipment. If you need your car to arrive at its destination quickly, open-air transport may be the better choice.

Despite the advantages of open-air transport, there are some drawbacks to consider. One of the main concerns is the safety of your vehicle. With open-air transport, your vehicle is exposed to the elements, including weather conditions and road debris. This means that there is a higher risk of potential damage to your vehicle during transit. However, it is important to note that carriers take precautions to secure vehicles properly and minimise the risk of damage.

In conclusion, open-air auto transport is a cost-effective and readily available option that offers faster shipping times. However, it is important to weigh the benefits against the potential risk of damage to your vehicle. Ultimately, the decision to use open-air or enclosed auto transport will depend on your specific needs and budget. It is recommended to research and compare different carriers to find the best option for your vehicle shipping needs.

PRO TIP: Overall, open auto transport services offer outstanding value for money, flexibility, and safety, making them a wonderful solution for anyone wishing to relocate their car quickly and economically.

Enclosed Auto Transport

Enclosed auto transport is a specialised service that focuses on transporting vehicles in fully enclosed trailers. Unlike open car carriers, which are commonly seen on highways, enclosed trailers offer an additional layer of protection from the elements and other potential hazards. This method of transportation has gained popularity among car enthusiasts, high-end car owners, classic car collectors, and those who value the utmost security and protection for their vehicles.

When to Use Enclosed Auto Transport

One of the primary reasons to choose enclosed auto transport is its ability to shield vehicles from the unpredictable conditions of the road. While open car carriers may expose your vehicle to various weather conditions like rain, snow, hail, or even UV rays, enclosed trailers provide a secure environment, keeping your prized possession safe from any outside elements. This protection is particularly crucial for vehicles with delicate finishes, vintage cars, or vehicles with sentimental value.

Moreover, enclosed auto transport also offers enhanced security measures. These enclosed trailers are specifically designed to prevent any potential theft or damage to the vehicles being transported. The trailers are equipped with advanced security systems, including GPS tracking, which ensures constant monitoring and a swift response in the event of any unfortunate incidents. Additionally, the enclosed nature of the trailers adds an extra layer of anonymity, making it difficult for anyone to determine the specific vehicles being transported.

When it comes to insurance coverage, enclosed auto transport also boasts higher levels of coverage compared to open car carriers. Due to the increased value and typically higher price tags of the vehicles being transported, enclosed transport companies generally offer insurance coverage that aligns with the vehicle's worth. This ensures that in the rare event of any damage or mishap during transportation, vehicle owners can rest easy knowing that their investment is adequately protected.

Another significant advantage of enclosed auto transport is the discretion it offers. If you own a valuable luxury car or a high-priced vehicle, you might prefer to maintain privacy and not draw attention to your expensive possession. Enclosed transport provides a more discreet option as the vehicles being transported are securely tucked away within the customised trailers, making them less visible to prying eyes.

Moreover, enclosed auto transport companies usually have experienced and trained professionals who are well-versed in handling and transporting high-value vehicles. These experts understand the intricacies involved in preserving the condition of luxury and classic cars during transit. From employing specialised loading techniques to strategically securing the vehicles within the trailer, their meticulous attention to detail ensures the safe arrival of your prized possession.

PRO TIP: Enclosed car transport is the way to go if you want your vehicle to be safe and secure during travel.

Upmove Recommendation

The choice between open-air transport and enclosed auto transport services depends on your specific car shipping needs and budget. Open air transport is popular among consumers because it is cost-effective, fast, and easily accessible. Nonetheless, it does come with the risk of physical damage from weather conditions and road debris.

On the other hand, enclosed auto transport provides a higher level of security and protection for your vehicles during transportation. This option is ideal for classic cars or high-end vehicles that require extra care. However, it's important to consider that enclosed trailer services may be up to 40% more expensive and take longer to deliver.

In general, if you have a limited budget or are transporting a regular vehicle, open-car shipping would be the most convenient and affordable choice for you. Only if you have a substantial budget or need to transport a rare or expensive car to a distant location should you consider an enclosed trailer service. Ultimately, the decision should be based on your individual requirements and financial considerations.


How Much Does Open and Enclosed Auto Transport Cost?

The pricing for open-air auto transport typically averages 40% lower than enclosed auto transport. This is because enclosed auto transport offers additional safety features. However, the specific rates will vary based on various factors such as distance, size/weight of the vehicle, pickup/delivery location, type of vehicle, and desired delivery timeframe. Only about 10% of customers use enclosed auto transport.

Are Additional Facilities Accessible for Enclosed or Open Vehicle Transportation?

Many car transporters offer additional services to complement their services, like expedited shipping, door-to-door delivery, guaranteed pickup and delivery times or unique handling options.

How Long Does Open or Enclosed Auto Transport Require to Deliver My Vehicle?

The duration of shipping a vehicle through open or enclosed auto transport can vary based on several factors, including the distance, type of vehicle, and carrier availability at different points during the journey. In most cases, shipments are usually completed within 7-14 days.

What Types of Vehicles Can Be Shipped Using Open or Enclosed Auto Transport?

Both methods of shipping can accommodate all types of vehicles. However, certain vehicles may necessitate special handling or equipment, such as the use of trailers for oversized vehicles. For added protection during transit, delicate cars may benefit from enclosed shipments.

Are There Any Limitations Regarding the Contents That May Be Shipped in My Vehicle?

It is important to note that the majority of carriers have policies in place that prohibit the transportation of items such as televisions. Additionally, many transporters have restrictions on hazardous materials, pets or animals, and perishable goods like food. To ensure compliance with these regulations, it is advisable to consult with your selected carrier regarding their specific limitations prior to loading your vehicle for transport.

How Can I Guarantee the Safe Delivery of My Vehicle Via Either Option?

It is essential to conduct thorough research on your selected carrier prior to booking your shipment to mitigate any potential complications during transit. It is advisable to meticulously record any preexisting damages to your vehicle before shipping, as this will guarantee appropriate reimbursement for any damages that may occur during the transportation process if deemed necessary.

What Type of Auto Transport Insurance Coverage Is Required, Open or Enclosed?

It is expected that reputable carriers include insurance coverage in their quotes. However, it is important to carefully review the policies to assess whether additional coverage would be advantageous based on your individual circumstances.

Should I Observe Any Specific Guidelines When Making Arrangements to Convey My Vehicle Using Either Option?

In order to ship a car, certain requirements must be met. Typically, cars should be empty, without any personal items inside. Additionally, the petrol tank should not exceed a quarter of its capacity. It is important to have functional brakes and steering systems, as well as checking all fluids before shipment. Furthermore, it is crucial to properly secure any aftermarket accessories to prevent any potential damage during transit.

Are you looking for reliable car transport?

We are experts at car transport anywhere across Australia. Trusted by thousands of vehicle owners, buyers and sellers. Door-to-Door Transport. Any Car Type. Fixed Prices.
9.8 · 979 reviews

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