4 Essential Differences Between Open And Enclosed Car Shipping

There are many reasons to have a car shipped to you, but more than the reasons, there are concerns about the whole process. After all, we all want the best for our cars, whether it’s an antique, a family SUV, or a superior monument to modern technology. There are two methods of shipping a car, open and enclosed shipping. Each method has its own pros, cons, and uses. This article will help you understand all that you need to know in order to decide what’s the best way to ship your beloved vehicle.

1. Safety

The main difference between open and enclosed shipping is, as the name suggests, the condition in which the car gets shipped. Open shipping means that your vehicle will be placed on a two-tiered truck, along with other cars, without any external forms of protection other than the belts keeping the tires in place. As for enclosed shipping, it is a much more protective way of transporting a car. Picture a boat loaded with shipping containers. Your car will be placed inside a similar type of container, but larger to fit more cars. It will be completely protected from any external factors that might, in the least bit, damage your car.

Regardless of the method you use, as long as you use the services of a reliable transportation company, your car will be safe. However, some things a shipping company can’t control, like top-tier cars dripping their fluids on bottom-tier cars. That’s why it’s always advisable to insist that your car be placed at the top, that way you’d minimize the risk of staining the top of your car. Needless to say, this goes double for a soft-top convertible or a completely roofless car. Not to mention, your car will also be exposed to loose gravel and road debris. As for enclosed shipping, you get to completely side-step these risks as your car will be placed inside four walls, protected from sun, rain, snow, dust, and anything else you can imagine.

2. Price

You can already tell that enclosed shipping is overall better and safer than open shipping which means it’s more expensive. No one can debate that fact, although the cost varies according to several details. As stated on this website, the make and model of your vehicle, as well as the shipping route, can greatly influence the final cost, in addition to your choice of shipping method, of course. Keep in mind that each method comes with options, too. You have the choice to upgrade from two-tiered to one-tiered open shipping which is a little more expensive. If you decide to opt for closed-shipping, you’ll find that multi-car closed-shipping is a little more affordable than single-car shipping given that the transportation costs are divided across the other cars.

3. Delivery Time

When it comes to time, open-shipping has the advantage. In the transportation business, open trailers are much more common and readily available. Meaning, once a company fills up their car quota, the trailer starts moving. On the other hand, closed-car shipping is not as common of a choice, and so, most companies have a limited number of trailers. You won’t necessarily struggle to get a date, but during certain times of the year where the demand is high, it will be harder to find the shipping date you want at short notice. Either way, it’s important to remain flexible as transportation operations can get delayed due to weather conditions and other factors out of a company’s control.

4. Uses

Open car shipping is highly recommended if you don’t mind hosing off your car. Granted, your car will get dirty on the way if shipped in the open air, but in most cases, it’s nothing that can’t be washed off. If the value of the car you’re transporting won’t suffer if it’s subjected to the sun for a long while or if it gets caught in rain, opt for open shipping. On the other hand, if you’ve got a car that you would rather keep in a pristine condition, untouched by anything, closed shipping is the way to go. This is the best way to ship antique cars, soft-top convertibles, and race cars.

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This is all you need to know to make a decision. Open shipping is cheaper, but it is not as safe as closed shipping. Ultimately, your priority should be your needs, rather than the price. The cheap price you pay for open shipping will mean nothing next to a permanent stain on the roof of your Corvette or Mustang. Similarly, there’s no need to go all out on transporting your trusty Corolla in its own trailer because she can take the road.

Written by Eric

37-year-old who enjoys ferret racing, binge-watching boxed sets and praying. He is exciting and entertaining, but can also be very boring and a bit grumpy.