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3 Types of Car Shipping Services

Published by Joe Webster.

3 Types of Car Shipping Services

If you want to ship your vehicle from one location to another, then you might consider using a car shipping service. These companies offer various options for transporting vehicles across the United States or internationally.

Which auto transport company is more suitable? What kind of services do they offer? What car shipping service will suit you best? These questions are important to ask before choosing a car shipping service.

Looking for a reliable car shipping service? This article covers three types of car shipping services: open-air, enclosed, and door-to-door delivery.

Types of Auto Transport Services

There are various kinds of auto transport services available. Some companies offer open-air shipment, while others use enclosed auto transport. Still others offer door-to-door shipping.

If you want to make sure your vehicle arrives safely, it’s important to understand what each option entails.

Let's take a look at the pros and cons of open-air shipping, enclosed auto transport, and door-to-door auto transport services.

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Open-Air Car Shipping Services

Open-air car shipping is a cost-effective method of transport that allows you to ship your vehicle on an open truck trailer. You can ship your vehicle loaded or empty.

If you opt for an empty shipment, you’ll save money because you won’t pay for packing materials. This method of transportation is ideal for cars that don’t require special care while being shipped.

Open car shipping is typically cheaper than enclosed car shipping, too. While enclosed car shipping is often priced based on weight, open car shipping doesn't have a specific weight limit.

Pros and cons of open-air car shipping

Open car shipping is one of the most popular ways to transport automobiles. With it, you don't pay extra fees for packing and transporting the vehicle, and there are no limits on how many miles you can travel.

But what do you lose when you choose open-air car shipping over enclosed transport? Let's take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of open-car shipping.


1) Lower costs

When you use open car shipping, you won't have to pay additional fees for packing and transporting your vehicle. You may save hundreds of dollars a trip by doing this.

2) Faster delivery

Because you're not paying for packaging materials, you'll receive your shipment sooner than if you used enclosed transportation.

And because you're not paying for the driver to pack up the vehicle, you'll avoid waiting days for the truck to arrive.


1) Possible risk of damage

Open-air shipping exposes your vehicle to the elements, road debris, and bad weather. As a result, it may sustain minor damage from debris and arrive slightly dusty.

2) Car must be inspected before shipment

The auto transport company needs to inspect the vehicle before they transport it. They also want to ensure that the car has no hidden damage or problems.


Enclosed Auto Transport Shipping Services

Enclosed auto transport shipping services include the use of specialized containers to protect the vehicle from environmental factors such as heat, cold, moisture, dust, etc.

Furthermore, the container protects against theft and prying eyes.

There are many options for enclosed carrier transportation. Each option offers its own benefits.

Pros and cons of enclosed car shipping

Enclosed car shipping is one of the most popular methods of transporting vehicles across the United States. Here are some pros and cons of enclosed transport you might want to consider before making a decision.


1) Offers more protection

Enclosed transport protects cars from all outdoor elements that may cause damage to the vehicles within. This makes it the perfect transport for expensive or classic cars.

2) Transports seven to eight cars at once

While enclosed carriers are the same size as open carriers, enclosed carriers still load fewer cars.

This is a significant advantage because it prevents the car from moving and shaking during transportation, which makes it safer for the vehicle.


1) It is more expensive than open-car shipping

Enclosed auto transport generally costs up to 40% to 60% more than open shipping. This is due to this transport being considered a "white glove" service, as the majority of these clients are shipping luxury vehicles.


Door-to-Door Auto Transport Shipping Services

Door-to-door transportation eliminates the loading and unloading of cars multiple times during transit. This means your vehicle will stay on the same car carrier throughout the entire journey.

Door-to-door shipping enables you to transport your vehicle without having to worry about traveling to a pickup area or collecting your vehicle, making it far more convenient.

Your vehicle will be picked up from a convenient place and delivered to you as close as you prefer. It is not necessary for you to travel to a pickup location or to collect your vehicle.

Pros and cons of door-to-door auto transport

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of door-to-door auto shipping:


1) It is the best option for non-running vehicles

If your car is not able to drive, you can have the auto transport company's truck come to you and pick it up instead. This way, you won't have to invest in getting it to the terminal.

2) You don't have to worry about damage or theft

There is no damage or theft in door-to-door shipping because the carriers are secured with locks and chains.

And since the shipping company picks up and delivers the car at the locations you specify, there is less time when the car is unattended.

3) You can schedule delivery at a time convenient for you

Door-to-door auto transport has been designed to help you plan the most convenient time to receive your shipment.


1) Time

Door-to-door shipping takes longer than most people think. It depends on what the shipping distance is. It may take 12-15 days to deliver a vehicle cross-country door-to-door in the US.


How to Determine Which Vehicle Shipping Service Is Best

There's no right or wrong choice when it comes to choosing the best car transport type.

You'll need to consider several factors, including the size of your vehicle, how much protection you want, and where you plan on taking your ride.

Aside from the previously mentioned auto shipping options, other auto shipping services include terminal-to-terminal transfer services, luxury vehicle shipping services, and electric vehicle shipping services.

The customer must drop off and pick up their vehicle at a terminal or depot when doing terminal-to-terminal shipping. The cheapest option right now is through open-air terminal-to-terminal shipping.

If you have a luxury or classic vehicle, you may want your vehicle to be handled with the utmost care so that it arrives in good condition. In this case, you should consider additional insurance if it is a valuable vehicle.

Preparing Your Car for Shipping

Here are some things you should do before having your car shipped.

1) Have all required documentation ready at the pickup and drop-off locations

Documents such as the bill of sale, title transfer, insurance policy, registration, maintenance records, etc., must be present at the pickup or drop-off location.

2) Remove personal belongings from your vehicle prior to shipping

Personal items can scratch or dent the vehicle during transit. Before the automobile is delivered, make sure that you remove these items from the vehicle.

3) Inspect every part of the vehicle before delivery

Before shipping your car, check for any damage to the exterior paint, interior upholstery, tires, windows, windshield wipers, headlights, taillights, turn signals, brake lights, horn, etc.


The Benefits of Using A-1 Auto Transport for Car Shipping

Car transport companies provide many benefits to customers. They offer affordable rates, 24/7 customer support, and reliable transportation. However, it is critical to understand which types of auto shipping best suits your needs.

A-1 Auto Transport offers several different car shipping services, including door-to-door delivery, open car shipping, enclosed auto transport services, luxury car services, and terminal-to-terminal services.

To learn more about our auto transport company and the best auto transport methods for your car, contact us at any time.

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Joe Webster always knew the auto transport industry would be a great career option. And with decades of experience, Joe is now an established consultant for A1 Auto Transport.

Joe was born in Santa Cruz, California. During high school, Joe worked as a mechanic; a job continued to work part-time during his bachelor's degree.

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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.
★★★★★ choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

A1 Auto Transport... From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

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Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them... Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport.

David Osallo
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We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd,
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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