The Pros and Cons of Open vs. Enclosed Auto Transport

Nov 01, 2023

When it comes to transporting your vehicle, you have two main options: open auto transport or enclosed auto transport. Each method has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and it's important to weigh them carefully before making a decision.

Open Auto Transport

Open auto transport is the most common and cost-effective method of shipping vehicles. With this option, your car is loaded onto an open trailer along with several other vehicles. It is then exposed to the elements during transit.

Pros of Open Auto Transport

  1. Cost: Open auto transport is generally more affordable than enclosed transport. This is because the carrier can transport multiple vehicles at once, spreading the cost among customers.
  2. Availability: Since open transport is the standard method used by most car shipping companies, it is easier to find a carrier and book your shipment.
  3. Efficiency: Open trailers can accommodate more vehicles, which means faster delivery times compared to enclosed transport.

open auto transport

Cons of Open Auto Transport

  • Exposure to the elements: Your vehicle will be exposed to weather conditions, road debris, and other potential hazards during transport. While most carriers take precautions to minimize damage, there is still a risk of scratches or dings.
  • Limited protection: Open trailers do not provide the same level of protection as enclosed trailers. If you have a high-value or classic car, you may prefer the added security of enclosed transport.

Enclosed Auto Transport

Enclosed auto transport involves shipping your vehicle in a fully enclosed trailer. This method provides maximum protection from the elements and other external factors.

Pros of Enclosed Auto Transport

  • Enhanced security: Enclosed trailers offer a higher level of security and protection for your vehicle. They provide a barrier against weather, road debris, and potential theft.
  • Reduced risk of damage: With your vehicle fully enclosed, the chances of scratches, dents, or other damage during transport are significantly minimized.

enclosed auto transport

Cons of Enclosed Auto Transport

  1. Higher cost: The added protection and security of enclosed transport come at a higher price. If budget is a concern, you may find open transport to be a more affordable option.
  2. Availability: Since enclosed transport is less common, it may take longer to find a carrier and schedule your shipment.
  3. Extended delivery times: Enclosed carriers typically transport fewer vehicles at a time, which can result in longer delivery times compared to open transport.

Ultimately, the choice between open and enclosed auto transport depends on your specific needs and budget. If your vehicle is of high value or sentimental importance, enclosed transport may be the best option for peace of mind. However, if cost and efficiency are your primary concerns, open transport is a reliable and cost-effective choice.