What is the difference between an open vs. closed car hauling?

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What is the difference between an open vs. closed car hauling?

What is the difference between an open vs. closed car hauling? – Thanks for reading another blog article by CarPilot Transport. We wanted to answer the question “What is the difference between an open vs. closed car hauling? ” – we hope you enjoy reading this and find the information useful. So let’s jump right into it.

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What is the difference between an open vs. closed car hauling? Blog article by CarPilot Transport

If you’ve never transported a car before, you’ll quickly discover there are two shipping methods to consider: open and enclosed auto transport. What is the difference between open and enclosed car shipping? Which option is best for your vehicle? This article will provide answers to both questions so let’s dive in!

First off, let’s quickly look at the difference between open and enclosed transport options in the big picture. In terms of damage, there is not a huge difference between the two options. However, on a means of open transport, the vehicle is exposed and would, therefore, be subject to weather conditions and wear-and-tear on the road (just as if you were driving it yourself) as opposed to the enclosed trucks, which protect the vehicle from the elements.

For open transport, a car hauling service will transport vehicles on the car carriers you see on the highways (the stacked double-decker-like trailers). On enclosed transport, vehicles are transported in fully-enclosed semi-trucks but with the interior designed to secure vehicles (from the outside they look like the typical cargo or moving truck).

What is Open Car Shipping? – What is the difference between an open vs. closed car hauling?

Open car shipping, or open auto transport, is when your vehicle is shipped on a trailer without any walls, ceiling, or solid floor. The vehicle is shipped on a trailer “in the open,” fully exposed to the elements. These types of trailers are typically long and two-tiered and can accommodate up to 10 vehicles depending on the size and weight of each vehicle. The photo at the top of this article is an example of an open transport trailer.

It is the most common shipping method for a few reasons. Car haulers like open trailers because they provide the most profit potential as they can fit more vehicles than they can in enclosed trailers. They are also far cheaper for car haulers to invest in to expand their fleet and are cheaper to operate and maintain. Finally, carriers tend to invest in trailers that are in the greatest demand. Most consumers don’t need or want enclosed transportation as they demand open transportation.

16-foot trailer is an excellent compromise between accommodating most cars, and not being unwieldy to tow. Flatbed trailers are most commonly 16-20 feet long, and enclosed trailers are most apt to fall in the range of 20-24 feet. More important than length is the total load capacity.

Open Car Trailer

  1. They offer more space and flexibility than a tow dolly
  2. They don’t limit you to a confined space like an enclosed trailer
  3. Open trailers are affordable
  4. You can carry a modern sized vehicle
  5. Cargo is exposed to the elements and possible damage from debris.

Consumers like open trailers because shipping vehicles on them is the least expensive shipping method. It is about half the cost to transport a car on an open vs enclosed trailer.

What is Enclosed Auto Transport? What is the difference between an open vs. closed car hauling?

Enclosed auto transport, or enclosed car shipping, is when your vehicle is shipped on a trailer that is completely enclosed and protected. It has solid walls, a ceiling, and a floor. These types of trailers obviously provide more security and protection than an open trailer can provide. If a collectible car is your desired vehicle to be shipped, we recommend a trailer that’s at least 8 ½ feet wide and 16 feet deep, with double axles.

There are far fewer enclosed car carriers on the road than there are open car carriers. There is a reason for that. Car hauling companies prefer open trailers over enclosed trailers because they can make more money with open trailers because they can haul more cars at a time. Most enclosed trailers fit only 1-3 cars whereas open trailers typically fit 7-10 cars.

Enclosed Car Trailer

  1. It is perfect for long distances
  2. You can use it in all types of weather
  3. Keeps cargo safe from debris
  4. Enclosed trailers are a popular option
  5. It sometimes gets difficult to store all your cargo depending on shape

How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Car Enclosed?

Because car carriers can’t haul as many cars in an enclosed trailer, they have to charge a lot more to make a profit. In addition, enclosed carriers tend to be specialized carriers who have a lot of experience handling rare and expensive cars so they can charge more. You’ll pay approximately 50% more to ship a car in an enclosed trailer vs. an open trailer. Use our car shipping calculator and get a free instant quote for an open transport and then add 50% to the quote; that’s what you’ll likely pay for an enclosed trailer.

Should I Ship My Car Open or Enclosed?

Most consumers choose open transport because it’s the least expensive option and they don’t have vehicles that require enclosed transportation. And because there are far more open car carriers than enclosed carriers, consumers can get their vehicles shipped quicker.

The primary disadvantage of open car transport is your vehicle is exposed to the elements, both the weather and the road elements. While damage from the weather is rare it can happen. Likewise, damage from road debris is rare but can happen as well. At the very least, your car may arrive dirty upon delivery but that is easily fixed with a quick car wash.

Enclosed auto transport provides total protection from the elements. It is an ideal option if you’re shipping a car that you don’t want to be exposed to any weather or road debris. Most consumers that choose enclosed car shipping have restored classic cars or rare expensive cars (think Ferrari’s, Porsche’s, Lamborghini’s, etc.).

The main disadvantage to enclosed transportation is the cost. As mentioned earlier, you’ll pay approximately 50% more for enclosed vs open shipping. Another disadvantage is it usually takes longer to get a car shipped in an enclosed trailer because there aren’t as many carriers available that offer enclosed shipping.

Unless you’re shipping a restored classic car or a rare expensive car, open transport is usually the best option. You’ll get your vehicle shipped the quickest and for the least amount of money. At the end of the day, however, the choice between open vs enclosed transportation will depend on your shipping needs and budget.

Open Transport Review:

The most common open transport trailers we dispatch are the stacked, dual-level, 18-wheel trailers that can be frequently seen on the freeways. These trailers fit 8-10 vehicles at a time and typically go longer distances. For shorter routes, vehicles are transported on flatbed trailers that can fit anywhere from 2-4 vehicles at a time.

Mostly, customers with standard vehicles elect for this option since it is the cheaper option, but by no means is this a compromise on CarPilot Transport’s quality service; the drivers are well-trained and professional and the trucks are well-maintained and in good running condition. One unique feature we offer on these trailers is we secure vehicles to the floor by using soft straps over the wheels, instead of chains over the suspension, which can cause misalignment and tire damage.

Enclosed Transport Review:

The most common enclosed trucks we dispatch are dual-level, hard-sided, semi-trailers that come equipped with extended ramps or hydraulic lift-gates that accommodate low ground-clearance vehicles since they minimize the incline on loading/unloading. These trucks typically fit 5-6 cars at a time and are used for both long and short routes.

For the exclusive specialized exotic vehicles, CarPilot Transport will dispatch single-2 car hard-sided trailers that are pulled by pickup trucks. Known in the industry as ‘hot shots’, these trailers offer a more dedicated service and have a faster transit time on the road than the standard trucks.

Thanks for reading this CarPilot Transport Blog Article!

Again – Thanks for reading this blog article by CarPilot Transport. We wanted to answer the question “What is the difference between an open vs. closed car hauling?” – we hope you enjoyed reading this and find the information useful. So keep up with us on Facebook or learn more about our company now by checking our home page. Thanks for reading this blog article!