When it comes to auto transport, carriers prioritize protecting the car, a safe and secure delivery. The car shipping service recognizes the investment a car owner has in their vehicle and how valued the asset is. When transporting a car, transport companies offer either an open-air trailer or an enclosed container.

The primary difference between open and enclosed carrier transport is that the open trailer is exposed on every side with an open floor and roof. The closed container is precisely that. There are walls, a closed floor, and a ceiling.  

In the open carrier, vehicles are exposed to any number of threats, whether harsh conditions like severe weather, road debris, tampering or vandalism, and the risk of loss. No one knows what the enclosed carrier is hauling; the vehicles are entirely protected from outside elements with a locked, secure door.

Does that mean the open-air carrier is a less-than-secure method for transporting a vehicle? Here are a few more facts about the transport method to allow for more informed decision-making.

What Is Open-Air Car Transport

Open-air car shipping services involve transporting autos on a carrier with open sides. These trailers come in a few variations, including the following:

1. Single-level tow: These are ideal for short distances, usually local transfers

2. Single-level, multi-car: These can haul multiple cars but are usually reserved for expedited services and will often transport luxury autos

3. Two-level, multi-car: This trailer is a favored choice because it can haul as many as ten cars. The carrier is relatively light, requires less fuel, meaning lower costs.

The open-air carrier is popular for its affordable price point. The primary factors when calculating the costs for shipping include the distance to be traveled and the transport method. If you choose the open-air carrier, you can use the following rough estimates for expenses:

· $700 – 500 miles

· $800 – 500 – 1000 miles 

· $1100 – 1000 –1500 miles 

· $1350 – 1500 – 2000 miles 

· $1400 – 2000 –2500 miles 

· $1350 for distances greater than 2500 miles 

Many variables play into the costs associated with shipping, including the car’s size, the time of year, distance, the timeframe. With enclosed shipping, the prices range as much as 40 percent higher than open-air.  

As an example, if you were shipping a large, heavy vehicle with the open air, you could expect a rough estimate of approximately $1100 for shipment. In contrast, an enclosed carrier rough estimate would be approximately $1500.

Will A Car Transported on Open-Air Transport Get Damaged

Regardless of which shipping method you choose, there’s always a slight chance of damage, and that’s particularly true with open transport. Learn whether open or enclosed transport is better at https://www.industrytap.com/open-vs-enclosed-car-shipping-which-is-better/67825.

The primary consideration is to weigh the advantages against the downsides of the carrier along with other methods. In many cases, the benefits of open air outweigh the risks. Here are some advantages.


· If you want an affordable approach to car shipping, open-air is a cost-efficient choice since the carrier can haul more autos in a single transport.  

That means you don’t need to pay for a solo shipment or divide the cost among only a couple of other car owners. The more vehicles, the lower your fees.

· These trailers are more accessible because they’re popular. Since they’re the favored choice, there are more of them. That means you can get a spot on the carrier more readily than you could with a different transport method.  

If you get a spot quickly, you’ll have your car delivered sooner rather than later.

· Your car is a daily driver that doesn’t need any special handling. It’s not a luxury vehicle, a classic or antique car; it’s not a rare or expensive auto but a standard option. 

The open carrier is secure, stable, and safe for vehicles, but the enclosed carrier is usually reserved for those that require a special kind of handling.

Something else to consider if you’re concerned about damage to your auto during transport is that most car shipping services offer insurance in some form to cover vehicles while in transit.

It’s important to ensure the auto transport company you work with has a plan that will cover your auto if extensive damage were to occur. Go here for a guide to choosing the right auto transport service.

Final Thought

Open and enclosed carrier transport are safe and secure methods for shipping vehicles. The enclosed carrier offers a greater degree of protection with the closed container and lack of exposure to the outside.  

Generally, the enclosed trailer is reserved for expensive, luxury cars or classic, rare vehicles that require special handling.  

While the open-air carrier is exposed to the elements, it’s rare for a reputable car shipping service to have claims of damages from clients. Drivers prioritize protecting their cars and delivering them safely, avoiding hazards with their best efforts.