Is enclosed auto transport worth the extra cost?



Enclosed auto transport is completely different then open auto transport. Compare the trucks used:

Open Auto Transport Trailer ………………….. Enclosed Auto Transport Trailer
Open auto transport trailer  Enclosed auto transport trailer

Open auto transport happens on 10 car carriers with 5 cars on the bottom and 5 cars on the top. This does leave the cars exposed to the elements, although not as exposed as if they were being driven. The elements that the cars are exposed to are wind, dirt, dust, tiny pieces of rocks, dust and twigs, snow, ice, rain and once in a while hail.

Enclosed auto transport will cost between 75% and 100% more then open auto transport so the cost benefits may vary from person to person and may depend upon the newness of the paint job. New cars are shipped from Detroit and the ports to dealers on open auto transport trucks because the factory paint jobs are very tough. New or Candy paint jobs may be softer and more prone to catch dust.

Do wintry conditions call for enclosed transportation? If my car is not shipped enclosed, will it get covered in sand from the road?

Enclosed auto transport happens in containers that are completely enclosed and locked down. There are no more than 2 or 3 cars per truckload. There is no exposure to the elements. To load extra cars, the trailers must be equipped with special equipment for the vehicle bay, as pictured below.

Two-tiered Enclosed Auto Transport Trailer
Enclosed auto transport trailer

Enclosed Auto Transport Quotes

Before you make your final decision, our website is designed to help you accurately price vehicle shipping costs. By filling out our online form for enclosed auto transport quotes, you will get a fantastically low price. If you just can’t wait, call us now at 800-930-7417. We think you will be surprised by how affordable shipping with American Auto Shipping can be!

Get free enclosed vehicle shipping quotes now!

Enclosed Sports Car Transport Trailer
Enclosed sports car transport trailer

More About Enclosed Auto Transport

Enclosed transport is one of two methods of transporting a vehicle. In this case, as opposed to open transport, enclosed transport is when the cargo (in this case, the vehicle) is enclosed in a container and shipped much like any other cargo would be by a freight hauler (those big 18-wheelers on the road). However, there are some key differences between enclosed and open transport.

3 Key Differences with Enclosed Auto Transport:

  1. Enclosed carriers cost more. Because of the scarcity of enclosed transporters, they tend to be more expensive  (75-100%)  than a traditional open transporter, mainly because they aren’t in high demand and the costs of operating an enclosed transporter is much more expensive.
  2. The  securing mechanisms  are different on each. On an open transporter, the car is typically secured by one or two chains wrapped around the car’s tires. This is standard and quite safe because of the design of the truck, cars aren’t meant to go anywhere. However, because an enclosed trailer is much smaller  and able to accommodate less, there needs to be special safety harnesses to keep the vehicle inside from sliding around and becoming damaged. Heavy-duty ropes secure the car to the floor,  allowing no motion from the vehicle.
  3. Some  enclosed carriers offer a cloth overcoat  to be placed on the vehicle, protecting it even further from dust, dirt, and anything unsavory that may or may not be in the container.

Enclosed transport isn’t for everyone. If you have a classic, exotic, or high-end luxury car, it may be worth it, but for your average Joe, it’s not.