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Car Carriers, Open vs. Enclosed & How to Choose

Here’s another consideration for first-time car shippers: which kind of car carrier to select.

There are two different types of car carriers: open trailers and enclosed trucks.

Those new to the car shipping industry may assume an enclosed truck is the better option, but there are many good reasons to choose the open carrier over the enclosed. In fact, the open carrier is the most common method for cross country transports and it’s the most affordable as well.

On the open carrier, your vehicle is driven into place and shares a ride with 6-7 other vehicles on a two-level trailer. The carrier is stable, secure, and insured – but open to the elements.

The enclosed carrier however, is a truck with solid walls and your vehicle is loaded and secured inside it. Typically the enclosed carrier carries fewer vehicles. Because there are fewer cars on each enclosed run and because of the refined nature of the service, the cost is typically at least a few hundred dollars higher.

The main reason to choose an enclosed carrier over an open carrier is the monetary value of your vehicle. For vehicles worth over $50,000, an enclosed carrier should be considered (but is not a necessity). Enclosed carriers hold more insurance to cover higher value vehicles.

The open carrier, by contrast, while fully insured, easily carriers enough coverage for each vehicle worth less than $50,000.

Sometimes the prospect of an enclosed carrier just seems safer to a potential customer, but the truth is both methods are perfectly safe.

One common fear about open carriers is that random road debris will dent the vehicle, but that is not what really happens on the road.

Road debris does not “fly up” or “fly sideways” – any road debris kicked up flies straight into the front of the rig.

Your vehicle may arrive a little dirty or get rained on, but it’s nothing that a good detailing can’t fix on the delivery end. And the price of shipping by an open carrier followed by a good detailing is hundreds of dollars cheaper than the price of shipping by enclosed carrier.

If you have any other questions about types of car carriers, please give us a call at 866-221-1664! We love explaining your options.

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