Open vs. Enclosed Car Shipping – Which Option is Right for You?

difference between open and enclosed car shipping

Choosing the right method to transport your beloved vehicle can be a daunting task. With so many options available, it’s important to understand the differences between open and enclosed car shipping. Whether you’re moving across the country or simply need to transport your prized possession for a special event, making an informed decision is key. So let’s dive in and explore the pros and cons of both open and enclosed car shipping methods, helping you find the perfect fit for your unique needs! Get ready to hit the road with confidence as we break down the difference between open and enclosed car shipping.

What is Open Car Shipping?

Open car shipping, also known as open-air transport, is a popular and cost-effective method of transporting vehicles. In this method, your vehicle is loaded onto an open trailer or carrier with other cars. These trailers typically have two levels where cars can be securely attached for transportation.

One of the key advantages of open car shipping is its affordability. Since multiple vehicles are transported at once on the same trailer, costs can be shared among customers, making it a more budget-friendly option compared to enclosed shipping.

Additionally, the widespread availability of open car carriers means that you’ll have greater flexibility in terms of scheduling and delivery times. This can be particularly beneficial if you’re working within a tight timeframe or need to transport your vehicle quickly.

While open car shipping offers convenience and affordability, it is important to note that your vehicle will be exposed to external elements during transit. This means that it may come into contact with dust, debris, or weather conditions such as rain or sun exposure.

However, reputable auto transport companies take measures to protect your vehicle by securing it tightly and using protective equipment like straps and covers. So, while there may be some exposure during transit, the chances of damage are relatively low.

Open car shipping provides an economical option for transporting your vehicle over long distances. It offers flexibility in terms of scheduling and delivery times but exposes your vehicle to external elements during transit. However, with proper precautions taken by professionals in the industry, any potential risks can be effectively minimized.

What is Enclosed Car Shipping?

When it comes to shipping your car, there are two main options: open car shipping and enclosed car shipping. While open car shipping is the more common choice, enclosed car shipping offers a higher level of protection for your vehicle.

Enclosed car shipping involves transporting your vehicle in a fully enclosed trailer. This means that your car will be shielded from the elements and protected from any potential damage during transportation. Whether you have a classic or luxury vehicle, choosing enclosed car shipping can provide you with peace of mind, knowing that your prized possession will arrive at its destination safe and sound.

One key advantage of enclosed car shipping is the added security it provides. With an enclosed trailer, your vehicle will be hidden from view, reducing the risk of theft or vandalism during transit. Additionally, because the trailer is sealed off from outside elements such as dust and debris, there is less chance of damage occurring to your vehicle’s exterior.

Another benefit of choosing enclosed car shipping is the extra care taken by transport companies when handling vehicles in these trailers. Drivers who specialize in transporting high-end or delicate vehicles are typically assigned to handle these shipments. They understand how important it is to handle each vehicle with extreme caution and ensure its safe arrival.

While open car carriers are often seen on highways carrying multiple cars at once, an enclosed carrier usually transports fewer vehicles due to space limitations within the trailer. This means that when you choose enclosed car shipping, you can expect more personalized attention for your specific needs.

If protecting your valuable investment is a top priority when transporting your vehicle, then selecting an option like enclosed car shipping may be right for you. It offers enhanced security and protection against potential damage caused by external factors during transit compared to open-carrier services.

The advantages of open car shipping.

When deciding between open car shipping and enclosed car shipping, it’s important to consider your specific needs and priorities. If you’re looking for a cost-effective option and are not overly concerned about potential exposure to the elements or minor cosmetic damage, then open car shipping may be the right choice for you. It offers convenience, affordability, and efficiency.

On the other hand, if you have a high-end luxury vehicle or a classic car that requires extra protection from the elements, dust, debris, or potential road hazards during transit, then enclosed car shipping would be worth considering. While it comes with a higher price tag compared to open car shipping, it provides peace of mind knowing that your precious vehicle will arrive at its destination in pristine condition.

The decision between open and enclosed car shipping depends on your personal circumstances and preferences. Consider factors such as budget constraints, vehicle value and condition, delivery timelines, and any special requirements before making your final choice.

Whether you opt for open or enclosed car shipping services – both options have their advantages – make sure to choose a reputable auto transport company that has experience in handling vehicles securely and safely. With proper research and understanding of each option’s benefits and drawbacks in relation to your unique situation, you’ll be on track towards ensuring a smooth transportation process for your beloved vehicle!


1. Open car shipping is generally less expensive than enclosed car shipping.
2. Open car shipping is more readily available than enclosed car shipping.
3. Open car shipping is more efficient since there are fewer restrictions on what can be transported.


1. Open car shipping is more exposed to the elements, meaning that the vehicle could be damaged in transit.
2. Open car shipping is not as secure as enclosed car shipping, meaning the vehicle could be more vulnerable to theft.
3. Open car shipping is more likely to be prone to delays due to inclement weather or other external factors.


1- What is the difference between open and enclosed car shipping?

Open car shipping typically involves transporting a vehicle on an open-air trailer, while enclosed car shipping involves transporting a vehicle in a fully enclosed trailer for extra protection from weather and road hazards.

2- Is open car shipping cheaper than enclosed car shipping?

Yes, open car shipping is generally more affordable than enclosed car shipping due to the different types of trailers used and the reduced level of security offered.

3- Does open car shipping offer any protection from the elements?

No, open car shipping does not offer any protection from the elements, such as rain, hail, snow, or wind.

4- How long does it take to transport a vehicle using enclosed car shipping?

Enclosed car shipping typically takes longer than open car shipping because of the added security measures taken to protect the vehicle during transit.

5- Can I track my vehicle while it is being shipped with enclosed car shipping?

Yes, most car shipping companies offer tracking services so you can monitor your vehicle’s progress throughout the entire shipping process.


1. Cost: Enclosed car shipping is generally more expensive than open car shipping as it provides an extra layer of protection against weather and road debris.

2. Security: Enclosed car shipping offers greater security and protection than open car shipping. This is because the car is completely covered and secure from any kind of external damage.

3. Timeframe: Open car shipping is usually faster than enclosed car shipping as it requires less time to load and unload the vehicle.

4. Weather: Enclosed car shipping offers greater protection against the elements and is ideal for transporting cars in inclement weather.

5. Damage: Open car shipping is more prone to damage due to road debris and weather conditions than enclosed car shipping.

6. Insurance: Enclosed car shipping typically includes more comprehensive insurance coverage than open car shipping.