What Is the Difference Between Open and Enclosed Car Shipping?

When it comes to shipping your beloved vehicle, there are two primary options to consider: open-car shipping and enclosed-car shipping. Each method has its own set of advantages and considerations, making the choice between them an important decision for any car owner.

This blog post’ll explore the key differences between open and enclosed car shipping across various factors, including convenience, availability, cost, security, and more. By the end, you’ll better understand which option best suits your needs.

Convenience And Availability

  • Open Car Shipping: Open car shipping is the more common and readily available option. Open trailers can transport multiple vehicles simultaneously, allowing for greater efficiency in scheduling and routing. This availability often translates to shorter waiting times for pickup and delivery.
  • Enclosed Car Shipping: This one, offers a more limited capacity due to the nature of the enclosed trailers. This can result in longer wait times for scheduling, as fewer vehicles can be transported at once. Additionally, enclosed carriers might be less available in certain regions, particularly in less densely populated areas.


  • Open Car Shipping: One of the primary advantages of open car shipping is its affordability. The cost per vehicle is generally lower because open trailers can transport multiple cars. This makes open shipping an attractive option for those who prioritize cost-effectiveness.
  • Enclosed Car Shipping: It is typically more expensive than open shipping due to the added level of protection it offers. The premium cost is justified by the higher level of care, security, and protection your vehicle receives during transit.

Security And Protection

  • Open Car Shipping: Open car shipping exposes your vehicle to the elements and road debris, such as dirt, rocks, and weather conditions. While most carriers take precautions to secure vehicles properly, there is still a greater chance of your car being exposed to potential risks during transit.
  • Enclosed Car Shipping: Enclosed car shipping offers a significantly higher level of protection. Your vehicle is shielded from external elements, including weather conditions, dirt, and debris. This makes enclosed shipping ideal for classic cars, luxury vehicles, or any car requiring extra care and attention.

Vehicle Type

  • Open Car Shipping: Open car shipping is suitable for most types of vehicles, including everyday sedans, SUVs, and trucks. It’s a great option when your primary concern is getting your vehicle from point A to point B without requiring specialized handling.
  • Enclosed Car Shipping: Enclosed car shipping is recommended for high-value, luxury, vintage, or collector vehicles. If your vehicle is susceptible to external elements, such as harsh weather conditions or road debris, enclosed shipping is the safer choice.

Parting Words:

Open car shipping offers convenience and cost-effectiveness, making it a practical choice for many situations. On the other hand, enclosed car shipping provides superior security and protection, making it the preferred option for valuable or delicate vehicles.

Consider factors such as budget, vehicle type, and your level of concern for your vehicle’s safety when making your decision. Whichever option you choose, reputable auto transport companies can guide you through the process and ensure your vehicle arrives at its destination safely.