What Sets Open and Enclosed Car Shipping Apart – Understanding the Key Differences

what is the difference between open and enclosed car shipping

Are you planning to transport your car across long distances? Whether it’s for a relocation, a classic car purchase, or shipping a vehicle to a loved one, there are two main options you can consider:

open car shipping and enclosed car shipping. But what exactly sets these two methods apart? In this blog post, we will delve into the key differences between open and enclosed car shipping. By understanding these distinctions, you’ll be able to make an informed decision that best suits your needs and ensures the safe delivery of your prized possession! So let’s dive in and explore what makes these two approaches unique.

Open Car Shipping

Open car shipping is a popular method used for transporting vehicles. As the name suggests, it involves shipping your car on an open trailer, exposed to the elements and visible to passing traffic. This type of transportation is widely chosen due to its affordability and availability.

One of the primary advantages of open car shipping is its cost-effectiveness. Since multiple vehicles can be loaded onto a single trailer, the overall expenses are divided amongst all customers, making it more budget-friendly compared to other options. Additionally, because there are more open carriers available than enclosed ones, scheduling pickup and delivery dates tends to be faster and more flexible.

However, it’s important to note that opting for open car shipping means accepting some level of exposure during transit. Your vehicle will be subject to weather conditions such as rain or sunlight which may cause minor wear and tear over time. There’s also a chance of road debris hitting your vehicle during transport although this risk is relatively low.

Despite these potential drawbacks, many people still choose open car shipping due to its affordability and convenience factor. If your vehicle isn’t extremely rare or valuable or if you’re simply looking for a practical way to transport your everyday car without breaking the bank, then this option may suit you perfectly.

Enclosed Car Shipping

When it comes to transporting your beloved vehicle, you want the utmost protection and peace of mind. That’s where enclosed car shipping comes into play! Unlike open car shipping, which exposes your vehicle to the elements, enclosed car shipping offers a higher level of security.

With enclosed car shipping, your vehicle is transported in an enclosed trailer that shields it from any potential damage caused by weather conditions or road debris. This means no worries about rain, hailstorms, or flying rocks causing any harm to your precious ride!

Additionally, because the trailers used for enclosed car shipping are fully covered and sealed, they provide a layer of privacy and added protection against theft or vandalism. Your vehicle remains safe and secure throughout its journey.

While open car shipping may be more cost-effective for standard vehicles that can withstand exposure to the elements, if you own a luxury or vintage automobile, investing in enclosed car shipping is a smart choice. It ensures that your prized possession arrives at its destination in pristine condition.

So whether you’re relocating across the country or sending your dream sports car to an auto show halfway across the world – consider choosing enclosed car shipping for ultimate peace of mind and top-notch protection for your valuable wheels!

What distinguishes open and enclosed car shipping?

When it comes to transporting your vehicle, understanding the key differences between open and enclosed car shipping is crucial in making an informed decision. Both options have their own set of advantages and considerations, which ultimately depend on your specific needs.

Open car shipping is the more common and cost-effective method. Your vehicle will be loaded onto an open trailer along with several other cars. While this option offers a greater exposure to external elements such as dust, debris, and weather conditions, it is ideal for everyday vehicles or those that are not considered high-value or luxury.

On the other hand, if you own a classic car, exotic vehicle, or any automobile that holds sentimental value, enclosed car shipping provides superior protection during transit. With this method, your vehicle will be securely placed inside a fully covered trailer away from potential hazards like road debris or adverse weather conditions. Although it comes at a higher price point compared to open transport services due to its added level of security and exclusivity.

Before making your final decision on which option suits you best in terms of budget and safety concerns for your precious ride! It’s recommended to weigh out these factors carefully!

Remember! Whether you choose open or enclosed transportation services! Always make sure to do thorough research! Ask questions! And work with reputable auto transport companies who can provide reliable service tailored specifically for your needs!


– Open car shipping is generally more affordable than enclosed car shipping
– Open car shipping allows for faster shipping times, as cars can be loaded onto the truck more quickly than with enclosed shipping
– Open car shipping is the more commonly used method of car shipping


– Open car shipping offers less protection for cars from the elements, such as extreme temperatures, dust and dirt
– Open car shipping is less secure than enclosed car shipping, as the cars are exposed and visible on the truck
– Open car shipping is not suitable for antique or classic cars, as the elements can cause damage to these vehicles


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

Open car shipping is the most common type of car shipping, with the vehicle transported on an open-air carrier. Enclosed car shipping offers extra protection for your vehicle from dirt, dust, road debris, and other elements while in transit.

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

Yes, typically open car shipping is less expensive than enclosed car shipping because it requires fewer resources to transport the vehicle.

3. How long does it take to ship a car using open or enclosed car shipping?

The time it takes to ship a car depends on the distance being traveled and other factors. Generally speaking, open car shipping can take anywhere from two days to two weeks, while enclosed car shipping may take longer due to the added security precautions taken.

4. Are there any restrictions on what can be shipped using open or enclosed car shipping?

Yes, open car shipping typically has weight limits, size restrictions, and certain types of vehicles that cannot be shipped. Enclosed car shipping usually also has these restrictions, but may have additional requirements depending on the carrier.

5. What are the benefits of each type of car shipping?

Open car shipping is the most cost effective option and is ideal for short distance travel. Enclosed car shipping provides the highest level of protection for your vehicle during transit, making it best suited for high value vehicles or long distance shipping.


1. Type of Service: Open car shipping services use flatbed trucks while enclosed car shipping services use custom-made trailers or containers to transport vehicles.
2. Cost: Open car shipping is generally cheaper than enclosed car shipping due to the fact that flatbed trucks are more efficient and less secure than custom-made trailers or containers.
3. Security: Open car shipping offers less security than enclosed car shipping as the vehicles are exposed to the elements and other potential hazards.
4. Speed of Shipping: Open car shipping is generally faster than enclosed car shipping as the flatbed trucks can cover more ground due to their size and lack of protection from the elements.
5. Protection from the Elements: Enclosed car shipping offers better protection from the elements as the vehicles are enclosed in a trailer or container and not exposed to the elements.