When you’re getting a car transport service, you’ll have many variables to adjust depending on your needs. It’s just like a subway; you have to choose what you want in your sandwich, from lettuce to sauces and more.
So in car shipping, one factor that you have to think very carefully about when making the decision is the type of container used for moving your vehicle. There are two of them – open and enclosed. Let’s read about the differences between both so you can decide which one fits your car.
Security – The Biggest Differentiator
The main thing that separates enclosed containers from open car shipping is security. With the enclosed car transport, your vehicle is parked inside a container that’s covered from every side. This offers two main benefits. The first is your car will be protected from any potential damages that may occur during the transit, like the trailer bumping into another car and putting a dent in your vehicle.
Secondly, your vehicle will be covered so no dust, dirt, or rain will touch it. Your vehicle will arrive in the same shiny condition you sent it in. This is the main reason why enclosed auto transport is used for high-end, luxury, or sports cars as they’re very expensive and require extra care.
There’s a very minimal risk of damage with open car shipping, depending on how careful the trucker is on the road. But 99% of the time, nothing happens, and even if something does, liability insurance from the carrier covers the damages.
If you have a regular car that you use on a daily basis, transporting it using an open carrier should not be a problem. However, get ‘top-load’ shipping where the vehicle is placed at the open carrier’s top ramp, so it’s protected from fluid leaking from cars parked above.
Cost – Bigger the Budget, Better the Service
This is another factor that differentiates between open and enclosed vehicle shipping. Since the enclosed auto shipping offers extra security and care, it costs higher. Plus, fewer cars are placed on the trailer under an enclosed container as compared to an open carrier, which is also the reason for the price increase.
Moreover, the enclosed car container’s insurance coverage is higher than the open carrier, which also ramps up the cost to ship a car.
With an open carrier, the cost is significantly lower as more cars can be parked onto the trailer, but there’s a potential for getting your car damaged in case the trailer bumps into nearby vehicles.
Availability – Delays Can Occur With Enclosed Ones
Since open car transport is a widely used service, these are readily available at every service provider. Hundreds of open carriers are used to move cars daily, so you won’t have to wait for the broker to arrange one for you.
The enclosed containers are a different story. They’re not as frequently used as their open counterparts, so not all truckers have them. This means the broker has to hunt for the carriers that have them. This can cause some delay, but if your car is very expensive, a little bit of wait is always better than an absolute disaster.
There’s a clear distinction between both of these carriers, and depending on your car type, budget, and risk appetite, you’ll have to select one. However, most of the time, open containers are enough to safely get your car across, especially if it’s a regular use one. For more expensive, high-end vehicles, you can be extra protected with the enclosed container.