Open vs Enclosed Auto Transport

Open vs Enclosed Auto Transport

You can use auto shipping to get your car to anywhere in the US, or even to other countries. But there’s more to auto shipping than simply going your nearest car shipping company and booking to have your car shipped a specific time. Choosing between open and enclosed auto transport is an important step in shipping your car. There are benefits and disadvantages to both open and enclosed auto transport, and knowing the difference will help you make the right choice for your vehicle.

Open vs Enclosed Auto Transport: What’s the Difference?

The difference between open auto transport and closed auto transport is straightforward. With open auto transport, your car will be transported on an open carrier. With open auto transport, your car will be transported in the same way that you normally see cars being shipped. This means that the carrier trailer that takes your car will have two layers of decks to carry cars, but no side coverings.

With enclosed auto shipping, on the other hand, your car will be in a trailer that’s closed at the sides. This provides extra protection against things like dust, rain, hail and snow. No one can see your car when you use enclosed auto shipping, as the trailer carrying it is completely closed off on all sides.

What Kind of Auto Shipping Should You Use?

Whether you use open or enclosed auto shipping is entirely up to you. However, because there are pro’s and cons to both, customers tend to use them differently depending on their needs.

Enclosed Auto Shipping

While it might seem like enclosed auto shipping is better in every way than shipping your car in an open carrier, that’s not always the case. Even though enclosed auto shipping is a wonderful way to keep your car safe while it’s being shipped, this option has its downsides. Firstly, you’ll have to book your shipping much further in advance to get space on a carrier, as there are fewer enclosed carriers available than there are open carriers. And because enclosed trailers are less common, this enclosed car transport is considered a premium service, making it more costly.

But even though enclosed auto transport is more expensive, there’s still a time and a place for it. Some instances where customers prefer to ship their cars with enclosed auto shipping include:

  • Classic cars: A classic car that’s still in a good condition is a sentimental possession. And while not all classic cars are extremely expensive, owners usually want to do everything they can to protect their timeless masterpieces.
  • Sports cars: Paying more for enclosed auto shipping makes a lot of sense when the car that’s being transported is worth hundreds and thousands of dollars. For this reason, sports cars are often shipped using enclosed auto transport.
  • New cars: Owners who order brand new cars from another state and have them shipped might prefer using enclosed transport just to be sure the car arrives spotless on the other side.
  • Car shows: Show cars are usually either sports cars or classic cars. But really any car that’ll be on show can be shipped with enclosed transport to ensure it arrives on the other side ready for action.

What should be clear is that most customers use closed auto shipping only as a specialty service in cases that justify booking transport further in advance and paying more for that transport.

Open Auto Shipping

Open auto shipping is the everyday popular choice to have your car transported. Customers who make use of this service are looking for a fast, cost-effective way to transport their cars over a long distance.

Typically, you don’t have to book open auto shipping quite as far in advance, and a month or two weeks can often be just fine, depending on where you’re sending it. If you’ve never shipped a car before, however, it’s best to book as far ahead in advance as you can. Just so you can get an idea of how popular different shipping routes are. As a general rule, it will be easier to get space on carriers when you want to send your car on a popular shipping route, as these routes will have more carriers traveling to ship cars.

Some instances where customers prefer to use open auto shipping include:

  • Long distance moves: Families that have multiple vehicles often need to ship the ones they can’t drive down. There are also people who prefer to book a flight to their new home while having their car shipped. Doing so is usually more convenient and helps to keep the mileage on a car down.
  • College students: College students often attend university far from home. It’s not always practical for students to drive back home for the holidays, as driving to down could mean a few days on the road and spending a few nights in hotels. This makes car shipping is a good option for students who return home from university during the summer holidays, for instance.
  • Business trips: Employees who have to go on long business trips far from home can often take advantage of car shipping rather than renting a car at the new destination.

The great thing about open auto shipping is that it’s convenient, and often even very cost-effective compared to renting a car for an extended amount of time, or stopping at hotels every night for a drive that takes a few days to complete.

What’s clear is that both options are suitable in certain cases, and there’s no one option that’s always best. Choosing between enclosed and open auto shipping is all about your personal preferences and individual needs.

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