Is Enclosed Auto Transport Really Worth the Extra Cost?

Brantley Kendall

19 Apr 2023 1 year ago

Traveling is fun especially when you have your own conveyance, wherever you go. But does that mean you need to drive your vehicle along everywhere you plan to go? Not necessarily. We understand that it could become very hectic and sometimes even unreasonable to drive your own vehicle to other places or states.

That’s when you can rely on auto shipping services like ours. We offer you various car shipping options depending on your needs and requirements. Usually, the cost also varies depending on the type of transport you choose for your car.

The two available types of transport are open auto transport and enclosed auto transport.

Open Auto Transport

A type of auto transport under which your car is loaded onto an open trailer truck. This truck can be loaded with up to 10 cars at once depending on the size and weight of the cars. The cars are neatly secured with tools so that there is enough distance between various cars that are loaded on the truck.

It is also one of the most commonly used modes of transport in the country. You will often be greeted by such trucks on expressways if you frequently travel across the cities and states.

Enclosed Auto Transport

Under this mode of transport, your car is loaded onto an enclosed trailer truck. A truck that opens with an opening from one end to load the cars inside. Once all the cars are loaded, the trailer is closed. It protects the car well from all the sides and any jerks that might come during the transit.

Open auto transport VS enclosed auto transport

Open auto transport is a cheaper shipping alternative as compared to enclosed auto transport.

Open auto transport exposes your car to possible external elements like dirt, dust, mud, and debris; whereas enclosed auto transport is completely closed from all ends so it protects your car from all the external elements.

Enclosed auto transport only loads up to 4-5 cars depending upon the size of the vehicle whereas, an open trailer can load up to 10 vehicles at once.

Enclosed auto transport is less readily available as compared to open auto transport.

You can pick the one that suits your preference depending on various factors such as cost, delivery time, type of car, and location.

Which vehicles should be transported through enclosed auto transport?

While it is your choice to make between open and enclosed auto transport but here are a few vehicles that often require enclosed transport to ensure optimum protection.

  1. Luxury cars

When you own a luxury car then it definitely needs appropriate care while transporting to another place. The external look of the car is the most prized feature of such cars and so it must be protected.

  1. Expensive sports or vintage cars

Various expensive, high-end sports cars or vintage and limited edition cars are owned by people as an indicator of success or simply due to the passion for creating a collection of exquisite cars. These cars definitely require extra care and attention to retain their essence of true luxury or vintage charm.

  1. Specialty vehicles

Some mid to large-size vehicles such as ambulances, trucks, and trailers are often loaded with more materials within them for transport. It is necessary to ensure the safety of its contents, hence, enclosed auto transport is a preferred form of transport for such vehicles.

Benefits of enclosed auto transport

There are a host of reasons to choose enclosed auto transport for shipping your prized possession. Let’s understand why enclosed auto transport should be definitely an option to consider as it can help in a smooth pickup and delivery of your car.

  • Protection for external elements

As opposed to open transport, enclosed auto transport offers a greater level of protection to your car by shielding it against external conditions. An enclosed trailer ensures safety against sunlight, rain, or other extreme and bad weather that can damage or impact the initial condition of your car.

  • Improved security for your vehicle

Enclosed auto transport offers more reliable security to your vehicle as it is covered from all sides during the transit. The enclosed trailer can offer a great safety net for your vintage or sports cars.

  • Better insurance policy limits

Since an enclosed trailer guarantees better protection, the insurance coverages offered against this type of transport are higher than the coverages offered for open car shipping. So, if you wish to secure your car’s transport at better coverage then, enclosed auto transport should be your preference.

  • Safety in loading and unloading

It is comparatively easier to load and unload the car onto the enclosed trailer as there is no risk of the car tumbling around during the process.

Enclosed auto transport – A safe option for high-value cars

If you own some high-end, luxury cars that constitute a big part of your emotions, then you must look for options that protect them at all costs even during transit. Enclosed auto transport definitely offers such protection and safety for your dearest cars without fail.

As these trailers are huge, they require highly experienced carriers to handle them, so rest assured if you choose to go for the enclosed auto-shipping method then your car is in safe hands.

Despite all the protection, if something ungrateful happens on the way, it can be fairly compensated through higher insurance coverages offered by auto shipping companies for customers who opt for enclosed auto shipping.

Cost of enclosed auto transport vs open auto transport

Enclosed auto transport is up to 40% more expensive than open auto transport. But if the protection of your car is concerned then the cost is totally worth it. The cost of enclosed transport can vary due to many factors such as the size and weight of the vehicle. A rough estimate for hiring an enclosed trailer is somewhere between $500 to $200 more than open auto transport.

Is it worth the extra cost?

Everyone is posed with the most important question is paying more for enclosed auto transport really worth it? Well, this totally depends on the condition and type of your car and how much you are willing to pay for the safety of your car during transit.

If you feel you can afford the excess money to ensure a safer trailer for your car then, it is totally a matter of one’s choice.

However, in its entirety, yes enclosed auto transport definitely adds a layer of protection for your car so it is worth spending a bit over your budget if you are able to do it.

Types of auto shipping

Door-to-door auto shipping

If you are a beginner at auto shipping experience, then door-to-door auto shipping should be your go-to option. Under this method, the carrier will pick up and drop off at the given addresses, without you having to do anything for the shipping. All you need to do is keep your vehicle ready for shipping and receive it at the delivery location.


  • It is a convenient option for people who have busy schedules or are trying the auto-shipping service for the first time.
  • It is a very viable option for inoperable cars.


  • It is definitely an expensive choice as more fuel will be required by the company to load and unload your car from the given addresses.
  • Door-to-door shipping may not be a wise choice if you stay in a gated society or high-security area, as it will be difficult to sort the permissions for a large trailer truck to enter the premises.

Terminal-to-terminal auto shipping

Every auto shipping service provider has multiple terminals in all their active areas. It’s a checkpoint from where all the shipping trucks leave after analyzing the condition of the truck. Under terminal-to-terminal auto shipping, you are required to drop off the car at your nearest terminal for loading and then, pick it up from the terminal closer to your destination.


  • It is a cost-effective pickup and delivery option for your car.
  • A convenient option for people who live in a high-security area.


  • If the terminal is far from your location, then driving or transporting the car to it can be a costly affair.
  • If you don’t pick up your car from the destination terminal, a fee will be charged by the shipping company to secure and store your car at the terminal.

International auto shipping

International auto shipping is when you decide to ship your vehicles overseas. This kind of shipping involves going through customs and import rules and regulations. Every country has its own set of restrictions when it comes to shipping a car so it is necessary to follow the rules and regulations laid down by the country. International auto shipping also requires a lot of documentation at various stages of shipping.


  • If you transfer to a new country, you can have your car alongside you when you reach.
  • You do not have to part ways from your prized possession just because you are flying overseas.


  • It is a very tedious, time-consuming, and expensive process.
  • International auto shipping needs a lot of verification and documentation at each step and hence, it must be planned well in advance.

How to Choose a Reliable Car Shipping Company

Once you understand various types of transport services and the factors that impact the cost of shipping your car, it is necessary to know how to find the best auto shipping service provider.

Here are a few pointers that you must check before finalizing a shipping company for transporting your car.

  • Researching Auto Transport Companies

Firstly, do your research, and read more and more about the auto transport services in your city to know what to expect when you reach out to one. It’s better to have an overview of the service providers to clearly understand everything.

  • Years of experience

As you are willing to trust a company with your vehicle, it is recommended to go for experienced auto shipping companies as these have a long list of past work for you to analyze the quality of services offered by them.

  • Registration/ license details

Once you see that the company has been well-established for the past few years, check for the authentication by checking their registration and license details issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) – an agency to regulate the country’s trucking industry by the Department of Transport (DOT).

This verification will establish the reputation and help you to rely on the auto shipping company.

  • Online reviews/ past customer testimonials

Once you are assured about the credibility of the shipping company, look up customer reviews and testimonials on the website and other review websites. If possible connect with some past customers to know about the services offered by the particular auto shipping company. Every auto shipping company will share why they are the best in business but you will get the real picture only through real-life testimonials by past customers, so always prioritize this part during your hunt for a good auto shipping company.

  • Available types of shipping

Always look for various shipping options offered by a company so that you know to choose the one that suits you for shipping your car. Even if a company has a lot of options but nothing works for you, there is no point in chasing an auto shipping service provider like that.

  • Insurance coverage

When you are looking for an auto transport company, always check for the insurance coverages offered by them. If the information is not clearly available, get in touch with their support team to get insurance coverage details.

  • Hidden Fees and Charges for Auto Transport

Some companies often give a very reasonable quote at the beginning but till the time of delivery, they add multiple charges and fees that can affect your initial budget. So be aware and keep your eye out for any surprise charges. Ensure that the final quote has the entire cost breakdown to avoid any scope of additions later.

  • Comparing Quotes for Auto Transport

Once you have done enough research, read about the leading auto shipping services in your area. Analyze them as per your needs and shortlist up to 3 shipping service providers to request quotes from them. Multiple quotes will help you in gauging the competitive prices in the market.

After all the available auto shipping services pass through the above parameters, you are sure to make a smart choice of shipping company for transporting your car within the desired budget and expected timeline.


There can be many reasons to opt for enclosed auto transport for shipping your favorite car as it will be even more protected than open trailer shipping. But it definitely hikes your budget to a major extent. But then, we hope we have shared all the possible pros and cons of choosing enclosed auto transport for your car.

We believe that the final decision rests with you and all the above information helps you make an informed decision in the favor of protection of your car during transit. If you still have any queries then don’t shy away from reaching out to us and getting a detailed understanding of the costs involved in different types of shipping methods.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much does it cost to ship a car with enclosed auto transport?

A rough estimate for hiring an enclosed trailer is somewhere between $500 to $200 more than open auto transport.

What types of vehicles require enclosed auto transport?

Different category vehicles qualify for enclosed auto transport. These include luxury cars, special editions, vintage and sports cars, and specialty vehicles.

How long does enclosed auto transport take?

Enclosed auto transport takes around 2-3 days for inter-city or inter-state transport whereas it can take more than 7 days for shipping across the country.

How do I choose a reliable car shipping company?

You can find a reliable auto transport company by checking the registration details, online testimonials, available shipping options, and insurance coverage offerings, and comparing quotes from multiple companies.

Is enclosed auto transport safer than open auto transport?

Yes, it offers better protection to your vehicle during transit.

Brantley Kendall