FaqFrequently Asked QuestionsOpen Vs Enclosed Car Shipping

Open Vs Enclosed Car Shipping

What Is Open Car Shipping?

Open car transport uses trucks that expose the vehicles in transit to the open air and other elements like snow, particles in the wind, and rain. It is the most commonly used method of car shipping. 97% of car transport carriers are open trucks. 


Pros of Open  vs Enclosed Car Shipping

  • Cars are shipped faster. Companies have more open carrier trucks than enclosed carriers available. Thus your order will be assigned to a carrier and start the journey within a few hours. 


  • Available and at better rates. Since there is a high supply of open car shipping services, the rates are less expensive as compared to the enclosed carrier service. 



  • Open carriers can ship 10 vehicles at a go. Are you considering shipping multiple vehicles? Open carriers can carry between 8 and 10 vehicles. These trucks have two tiers as you may have seen some on the highway. It will be cheaper for you if you ship multiple cars at the same time rather than separately. Dealerships prefer open carriers due to their transport capacity. 




  • Open carriers expose your car to weather elements and road debris. Your car will not be individually covered thus you may need to clean your car after shipping.


Request your carrier service to load your vehicle on the upper deck. This will protect it from possible leakages of the vehicles above and the road debris. If your car is loaded on a  carrier with a single tier, you will not need to worry about potential leakages just the road debris. 


Ideal for


Clients who want to save on costs

Clients transporting multiple vehicles

Shipping of second-hand vehicles


What is Enclosed Car Shipping? 

Enclosed car transport involves the use of a covered truck to transport your vehicle. Your vehicle is completely hidden that’s why these trucks are less conspicuous on the highway than open carriers. 1 in every 33 cars being transported used enclosed car transport. 

Pros of Enclosed Car Transport

  • Your car will be protected from contact with elements like hail, rocks, snow, and rain. The company will deliver it in the same condition the car had during pick up. 
  • Enclosed transport has better security. Your vehicle is not visible which possesses minimal security threat. 
  • Enclosed transport carriers have a drip pan that protects a vehicle in the lower deck from fluid leakages. 



  • It is costly. An enclosed carrier will transport 33% to 40% fewer vehicles than open car transport carriers. Moreover, the vehicles are not fuel-efficient. The costs add up to higher operations costs as compared to open transport and companies will charge more for it. 



Ideal For

  • Expensive vehicles. You would be able to add an extra insurance policy when transporting a vehicle of about $75,000 or more.


  • Low ground clearance. Open carriers may damage the undercarriage of Vehicles which have a maximum of 4 inches of ground clearance. Enclosed trucks have lift gates which make loading safer and easier. 


  • Antique and collector cars. Collector cars have pretty old and unique engineering and design. They may get banged up if carried with open carriers. Their spare parts are hard to find which makes it riskier in open carriers than in enclosed carriers.



Which one of the car transport carriers suits your needs better? Vehicles in transit are rarely damaged. North America Car Shipping drivers are highly experienced in transport and provide care for your vehicle. Get a personalized car freight quote on our home page


In conclusion Car shipping companies offer Open and enclosed car hauling services. You get to choose which one will suit your car needs and budget. 

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