Which Is Better: Open Or Enclosed Car Shipping? [Infographic]

Long Cargo Truck, Vehicle, Car, Cargo, Transport

Are you planning to relocate to a new state or across the country? If you say yes, it’s better to get your vehicle shipped than drive it by yourself. The reason is that driving to a new state far away from your current location can be exhausting. Moreover, you would probably want to use the time on some other crucial tasks rather than investing it in driving while moving to another state.

You will be surprised to know that the car shipping industry is essential in the United States. As per a research report by IBIS World, the US market size in terms of vehicle services shipping is expected to reach $10.8 billion by 2022. Moreover, the vehicle shipping industry in the US is also predicted to grow by a rate of 3.4% this year.

With all these statistics, it is clear that you are not only the one who would be thinking of having your car shipped across the country. Now, the question is, how would you get it done?

Currently, there are mainly two prevalent car shipping methods: an open car transport service or an enclosed car transport service. But what’s the difference between the two car shipping methods? Moreover, which would be the best option for your vehicle?

This blog has summarized all the crucial details of both the car shipping methods that will help you decide on the right method according to your budget and needs.

What Is Open Car Shipping?

As the name suggests, open car shipping is the method by which your vehicle is shipped on a trailer having no ceiling, walls, or rigid floor. Technically, the trailer would be wide open and fully expose all its carrying objects. Typically, these truck trailers are long and two-tiered, having a capacity to accommodate up to ten vehicles at one time, depending on the shape, size, and weight of each vehicle.

  • Shipping Time

It’s generally hard to provide specific shipping delivery times. Although typically, an open car-carrying trailer can move across the country in 4 to 5 days. However, it has to make stops along its way in order to pick up and drop off vehicles at different locations. Sometimes, the cars to be shipped are in different cities, which usually takes more time than usual as your car might be delivered later than the others.

However, most car transportation companies offering open car shipping ensure that your vehicle is delivered quickly to your place. Moreover, since the availability of open car carriers is greater than the enclosed ones, consumers can get their vehicles delivered faster.

  • Shipping Cost

The open transport shipping service usually costs between $500 and $1000. This cost is almost 50% less than what you will pay for an enclosed car transport service. However, regardless of what shipping method you opt for, some specific factors can significantly affect your final price of the shipment. These are:

  • Distance:

    The longer the distance, the lesser the cost per mile. However, overall it will be expensive anyway.

  • Source and Destination:

    The more popular the shipment pick up and drop off location, the cheaper the shipping price.

  • Vehicle type, make, and model:

    Heavier and luxurious cars would cost more to be shipped than the smaller and lighter ones.

  • Type of Shipment:

    Door-to-door shipment is typically more expensive than terminal-to-terminal one.

  • Condition of Vehicle:

    Generally, an operable vehicle costs far less than the inoperable one. Hence, you can expect additional charges in the latter.

  • Protection:

    In terms of protection, an open car shipping service is usually not the preferred one. In the case of open transportation, your vehicle will be exposed to extreme weather conditions. Moreover, damage from road debris is another thing to worry about. In addition to this, your vehicle might also arrive dirty upon delivery. Therefore, if you want to ship your luxury vehicles or a sports car, open car shipping might not be the right choice.

Types of Open-air Carriers You Can Choose From

Generally, there are three types of open-air carriers available for shipping a vehicle:

  • Two-level, multi-car carrier: It is one of the most popular choices among consumers.
  • Single-level, multi-car carrier: It is often used for moving sports, opulent autos, or quick deliveries.
  • Dually truck with a single-level tow trailer: Consumers usually choose this type of transport for local or short-distance deliveries.

What Is Enclosed Car Shipping?

Enclosed car transport service or enclosed shipping service is the method by which your vehicle is shipped on a completely enclosed and protected trailer. These truck trailers have a solid ceiling, walls, and floor. Compared to open car shipping service, this transportation mode offers more security to your vehicle. However, these trucks can generally accommodate a maximum of three vehicles at a time, compared to open trailers that can have around 7-10 cars at one time.

  • Shipping Time

Generally, the enclosed car shipping service takes longer than the open car transportation as the number of carriers available for the former is pretty low compared to the latter.

  • Shipping Cost

It is one of the primary disadvantages of opting for an enclosed car shipping service. As already mentioned, the shipping cost incurred in an enclosed trailer will be 50% more than the open-air carrier. The average price for an enclosed car transport service ranges between $1000 and $2000. Moreover, the additional factors that influence the final price of shipment are also applicable in the case of this car transportation service.

  • Protection

With an enclosed trailer, you get an optimal level of protection and security for your vehicle. Although an enclosed car shipping service is costlier than open-air carrier transportation, it’s worth it if you want your classical and luxurious car models to be delivered safely.

Types of Enclosed Carriers You Can Choose From

While choosing an enclosed car shipping service, you can have:

  • Multi-car enclosed trailers: These carriers can hold up to seven cars and are usually the most budget-friendly choice if you want an enclosed car shipping service.
  • Two- or one-car trailers: These types of trailers are more expensive and are often used for antique, luxurious, or rare vehicle deliveries.

Which One Is Better?

Well, this depends on your car shipping needs and budget. Most consumers prefer open car transport service as it is inexpensive, quicker, and easily accessible. However, this method may make your vehicles more vulnerable to physical damage from weather conditions and road debris.

On the contrary, car transportation companies offering enclosed trailers ensure that your cars are shipped safely and securely from any damage caused by adverse weather conditions or road debris. This method is suitable for classic cars and opulent vehicles. However, the cost and time of the delivery might be the major causes giving it a red flag.

Wrapping Up

Therefore, unless you have a huge budget or you want to ship a rare or expensive car model to some different place, an open car shipping service would be the most convenient and affordable choice for you. Eventually, the type of shipping service you want will solely depend on your personal needs and the budget you have to spend.

Still have doubts about the best car shipping choice for you? Contact a professional transportation company, such as National Dispatch, and receive a shipping quote instantly through their simple 4-field form.