Differences Between Open and Enclosed Auto Transportation Services
As you likely know by now, even if you’re new to the car shipping scene, there are several different types of auto transport trucks on the road today, and not all of them provide the same type of services.
While all of them will provide you door-to-door auto transportation, the protection that your vehicle gets from an open carrier as opposed to an enclosed carrier will be much different, and carrier availability will depend very much on where you’re shipping from and to and also the time of year and what type of vehicle you are shipping.
These different factors can play a major difference in the prices that you pay and the services that you receive, as well as how well those services are performed (though this has more to do with the competency the employees of the company you hired exhibit and less to do with what type of carrier you choose to ship your vehicle, so there is that).
The type of auto shipping carrier truck that is the most common on the road today is what is known as an open auto transport carrier. Open carriers are the ones that you see taking new cars to dealerships, or not even to dealerships – just the huge trucks that look like someone played a crazy game of car Tetris to load them onto the back of the truck.
These are the standard auto transport trucks on the road today, and this generally means that you’ll find the cheapest prices with the fastest pickup times via an open carrier because of how prevalent they are on the road today. As the standard shipping method of an entire industry, it’s not all that surprising that it would be cheaper and faster than the major alternative.
Speaking of alternatives to open vehicle transportation, enclosed auto shipping services are exactly that: an alternative to open car shipping. Enclosed carriers aren’t as common as open shippers, namely because their services aren’t required nearly as often as an open carriers’ is.
Open carriers are standard in the industry because they’re so much cheaper than any of the alternatives. Enclosed transportation is used mainly be people who need transportation services for really rare, nice or expensive vehicles (or a combination of all three), as enclosed transport trucks help to protect the vehicles they are hauling much better than open services. Enclosed transportation literally takes place on a truck that encloses all the vehicles in a trailer, to protect them from the elements.
The main difference between open and enclosed, aside from the price, is the level of protection they give the vehicles that they transport. Though open carriers expose the vehicles that they ship to the elements, they do offer some basic protection, along with the fact that you won’t see any mileage or other wear and tear put on the vehicle’s engine.
Most any problems that come with open transport will be cosmetic in nature – dents, dings, and scratches from spending five or ten or fifteen days on the road. Enclosed carriers prevent a lot of those minor dings and dents by putting walls and a roof over the vehicles. Damage is fairly rare on an open car shipping carrier anyway, but there are some vehicles where even the risk of damage isn’t worth it, and it would be better to spend a bit more money to ensure no damage will be done to the vehicle.
Most regular cars, though, can be shipped via a standard open carrier, since their values are still fairly low (remember, cars tend to depreciate in value before they start appreciating, and not all vehicles appreciate in value) and damage, if any, will almost always be minimal and cosmetic in nature.
If you’re interested in shipping your vehicle, you can get a free quote to ship it by filling out our free online quote request form. If you do, you’ll get in touch with us right here at American Auto Shipping. We know all the ins and outs of the industry, so you can rest assured that the quote you get will be competitive and priced to ship. Have questions before getting quotes? You can also contact us at 800-930-7417 toll-free to speak to one of our live agents, who can answer your questions and help you get started today.
Since 2007 Dave has written all the content and blogs for American Auto Shipping and during this time added the duties of customer support and transport logistics.
He currently resides in Washington with his three kids and their mom and cat. A fan of Marvel movies and good stories, when not shipping cars Dave can be found working on his novel, enjoying a good book or playing some tournament HALO.
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