When it comes to auto transport, there are many different auto transport services available, and most are just a phone call or two away. Auto transport services come in multiple varieties: there are auto transport brokers, auto transport open carriers, auto transport enclosed carriers, overseas carriers, and flatbed carriers; these are the main car transport services available. While each one operates individually, we will run down what these different auto transport services entail and what they can do for you.

Open Auto Transport Truck
An Open Auto Transporter

Brokerages provide auto transport services for customers and are not car transport carriers. They process all the paperwork, authorize transactions, organize transportation between you and the car transport carrier, and much more.

These brokers should be used whenever booking your auto transport, as they are easier and cheaper to book auto transport services with than carriers. The car transport carrier types described below are used more for what exact shipping services you require depending on what type of vehicle you are shipping.

Enclosed Auto Transport Truck
An Enclosed Auto Transport Carrier

Open car transport carriers provide auto transport services for almost 90% of vehicles shipped today. They are the standard, the go-to carriers, and they are everywhere nowadays.

They can provide auto transport services for most cars, small trucks and SUV’s, minivans and small cargo vans. For more specific auto transport services that open carriers provide, consult your auto transport representative before shipping.

Enclosed carriers provide auto transport services at a premium price for premium vehicles. Open transport is generally safe, but it doesn’t protect your vehicle from inclement weather conditions and common road hazards.

Enclosed auto transport is recommended for customers looking to ship an incredibly expensive, classic, collectible or valuable vehicle, as these vehicles are not driven every day and need special auto transport services when being shipped.

While enclosed auto transport is generally more expensive than open transportation, they are also safer and provide more protection from the elements and common hazards of the road, so the money is well worth it if your vehicle is more valuable.

We don’t recommend enclosed auto transport services for customers shipping daily drivers, as it’s generally not worth the extra cost because your vehicle is already exposed to inclement weather and the hazards of the road on a near-daily basis.

Flatbed Auto Transport Truck
Flatbed Auto Transport Truck

Flatbed or lowboy auto transport services are reserved for very large vehicles, construction equipment, and things of that nature.

Finding flatbed or lowboy auto transport is usually difficult if you are a customer, so it’s best to go through a brokerage if your vehicle is incredibly large and requires a flatbed or lowboy carrier.

Flatbed auto shippers generally charge an even higher rate than an enclosed car transport carrier, but that is because there are very few flatbed or lowboy carriers operating on interstate highways – most flatbed car transport carriers are more local, servicing smaller regions as opposed to the entire country.

While flatbed auto transport services are definitely available, they usually come at a higher rate, as only about 1-2% of all auto transport freight needs to be shipped by a flatbed or lowboy car transport carrier. If you are worried that your vehicle is too large for an open carrier, it is best to speak to your auto transport representative about flatbed or lowboy auto transportation, as well as what it will mean in terms of price and pickup/delivery times.