Weigh Open Car Transport vs The Enclosed Shipping Method

Car shipping services offer car owners two methods for transporting vehicles. You can either use an open carrier or an enclosed trailer. Open transport is the most common and preferred for car owners and carriers.  

These are more accessible, cost-efficient, and fast modes of transport. Visit + to learn more about the benefits of open-car shipping.

There are fewer enclosed trailers available. These are much more cost-intensive than the open carrier, but they offer stellar protection in comparison. The enclosed trailer is entirely closed on all sides and has no outdoor exposure.  

The carrier is open on all sides, leaving the vehicles exposed to road debris, weather events, pests, and the potential for intrusion. Which fits your needs most will depend on your car type and the level of protection that you prefer for that vehicle.

As a rule, the enclosed trailer is usually reserved for high-end luxury cars, classic or antique vehicles, exotic autos, motorcycles, and expensive cars. Open carriers usually haul standard or daily drivers.  

That means car owners of both types can use whichever transport method they choose, regardless of their type.

The Differences Between Open and Enclosed Auto Transport

An open-carrier car transport hauls multiple cars on a lightweight dual-level trailer commonly used by auto transport companies and favored by car owners and carriers. The drivers favor these because of their low weight and fuel efficiency, which means a better price point for car owners.

The downside is the exposure to the outdoors with little protection from road debris, weather events, pests, and the possibility of intrusion. Fortunately, with the most reputable, reliable car shipping services, damage with this transport method has been minimal to none.


Car owners with daily drivers or standard vehicles find the method to be the most efficient, secure, budget-friendly, expedient, and hassle-free.

Enclosed auto transport is less common than open auto shipping. This is considered a premium service, with car owners receiving more personalized protections and extra security, “white glove” treatment as far as how the cars are taken care of.

This means a much higher price point than the open carrier. It’s why car shipping providers often recommend that the service be considered for more expensive or classic cars.

Fewer enclosed trailers are available from auto transport companies, making them more difficult to access. Also, the trailer hauls fewer cars than the open carrier, usually less than 10. Owners will reserve an enclosed carrier that hauls only one or two vehicles for the most exclusive cars.

These are top-of-the-line transport services, highly personalized. If you spare no expense when it comes to your valuable asset, you’ll have no question as to whether you’ll need an open carrier or an enclosed trailer for added protection and personalized treatment.

Is An Open Carrier the Right Transport Method for You

Open carriers are the most common method for transporting cars from one location to the next. These are also the favored modes for drivers and car owners for many reasons. Visit here for car shipping tips and to learn which methods are the best.

For car owners who commute daily in their vehicle, the car is exposed regularly to the outdoors. Most reputable car shipping service providers offer insurance coverage if damage occurs out of the driver’s control, including road debris or weather events.

In reality, traveling by open transport means these cars have greater protection than on a typical day’s routine driving. It’s a practical solution for moving a vehicle to a new location, relatively safe, efficient, and affordable. It saves the car owner time, adds vehicle wear and tear, and provides extra mileage.


The truck driver finds the open transport method a lightweight, fuel-efficient, and fast method for transporting many cars at once. They can load vehicles of varied sizes, weights, makes and models, on one load, traveling to the same area, saving much time and effort.  

These cars are secured stably to reduce the risk of shifting or vibration while moving. Because open carriers are so accessible, car owners are often able to schedule relatively easily for the pickup and drop-off dates they prefer.  

Is Shipping Open Carrier or Enclosed Trailer A Better Fit for Your

As mentioned, you’ll need to consider the investment in your vehicle, the type of car you have, and the level of protection you prefer. A daily driver or standard vehicle driven regularly for commutes and road trips transported for a long-distance travel will do well with an open carrier.

While it’s exposed to the outdoors, a car is better protected with the construction of this trailer than it is in its daily driving routine.

Enclosed car transport gives an exclusive, expensive car that extra something special that this sort of investment warrants. These are usually cars that aren’t driven routinely, where an owner wants to receive an added layer of protection and security.

In either case, a reputable car shipping service will protect and deliver the cars safely.