Open and Enclosed Auto Transport

Open vs Enclosed Car Shipping

If you’ve never shipped a vehicle before, you’re probably wondering how it will be shipped. Open transportation can come in different sized trailers. Open transport can range from 3 car trailers used for short distance moves, to 9 car trailers used for cross country auto shipping. Enclosed car transport usually only comes in one or two sizes, either 1-2 vehicles can fit on an enclosed trailer, or 5-6. Keep reading to find out more about the differences between open and enclosed auto transport.


Overall, the price of open and enclosed auto transport is decided by the weight and size of your vehicle as well as the distance it needs to be transported. The price may be higher or lower than you might think but it is what’s needed to have a driver physically drive a truck with about 7-8 cars on it from Point-A to Point-B.

Open: With that being said, open is always the best economical choice. The availability of open car trailers is a lot greater than enclosed trailers making it about 40% cheaper. Open transport is still safe and very reliable. You’ve probably seen these open trailers on the highway carrying a load of brand vehicles to the dealership.

Enclosed: Trailers are not as available since there are fewer of these on the road and typically don’t carry as many cars. Enclosed trailers also carry higher insurance policies which is why ultimately enclosed transport ends up being more expensive.

Insurance Requirements

Different types of vehicles cost different amounts. The more luxurious and sporty a vehicle, the more expensive it is. Since cars come in all shapes and sizes, so do our insurance coverages! With open transport, the insurance provided is for any vehicle up to $100,000. If a vehicle is worth more than that, it would actually be required to travel on an enclosed trailer. Enclosed trailers cover vehicles worth up to $250,000. Supplemental insurance can be added if a vehicle is worth more than $250k. Make sure you let your shipping agent know if your vehicle is a rare or special vehicle so we can assess your auto transport needs that best fit you.


When a vehicle is shipped on an open trailer, there are some risks being taken on. The open road itself can present many dangerous elements. Depending on the type of vehicle being shipped, these elements can really be a hazard. Any vehicle being shipped should be protected and kept safe, but some vehicles NEED to have extra measures taken to ensure a safe and smooth shipping process. With enclosed auto transport, the additional protection a vehicle receives is detrimental. Due to the low profile of enclosed trailers, vehicles that sit low to the ground can be loaded onto the enclosed trailer without fear of damage to the front or back’s lowest clearance point.

Oftentimes, enclosed trailers come equipped with lift gates as well. Once a vehicle is loaded on, the wheels are secured using 3-point nylon straps across each tire. This protects from the vehicle shifting about in transit. The trailer itself is completely cut off from any elements like rocks, road debris, rain, salt, snow and any other dangers the open road might throw at you. Vehicles that are high in value also benefit from the privacy that enclosed trailers offer. While all of the drivers we work with have extensive experience in this industry, we vet enclosed carriers at a more microscopic level to ensure that your vehicle’s transport needs are not only met but exceeded.

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