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Best Way To Transport Car

Published by Joe Webster.

What's in this article?
  1. Introduction
  2. Open Transport
  3. Enclosed Transport
  4. Other Methods of Car Transportation
  5. Choosing a Car Transportation Service
  6. Preparing Your Car for Shipping
  7. Understanding Delivery Options
Best Way To Transport Car

The best way to transport a car largely depends on your specific needs, the car's value, the distance it needs to travel, and your budget. Generally, using a professional auto transport company is considered the most effective and secure method, especially when shipping a car cross country.

Two common methods provided by car shipping companies include open transport and enclosed transport. Open transport is often the cheapest way to ship a car and is commonly used by auto transport companies. It involves transporting your vehicle on an open trailer along with many others, making it a cost-effective choice. However, it does expose your car to weather conditions and potential road debris.

On the other hand, enclosed transport provides extra protection for your vehicle, shielding it from external elements. This method is typically preferred for high-value or classic cars, although it can come with higher car shipping costs.

Choosing the 'best' method, therefore, involves considering these factors and selecting a reputable car shipping company that offers quality service at competitive car shipping prices.


Transporting a car, whether it's across the state or cross country, requires careful planning and consideration. The method you choose to ship a car can significantly impact not only your wallet but also the safety of your vehicle during transit.

Car shipping companies offer various services to accommodate different needs. The two primary options are open transport and enclosed transport. There's also the choice between door-to-door and terminal-to-terminal delivery, each with its pros and cons.

This article will delve into these methods, helping you make an informed decision about the best way to transport your car. We'll consider factors such as the type and value of your car, the distance of the journey, your budget, and the credibility of the auto transport company.


Open Transport

Open transport is the most common method used in the auto transport industry, and it's often the cheapest way to ship a car. When you opt for open transport, your vehicle is loaded onto an open trailer along with several others. These large carriers can haul anywhere from 5 to 10 cars at once, making this method highly efficient and economical.

The main advantage of open transport lies in its cost-effectiveness. Since multiple vehicles are shipped together, the car shipping costs are distributed among several customers, resulting in cheaper car shipping prices. This method is typically sufficient for standard vehicles and is a popular choice for customers looking for cheap car shipping.

However, open transport does have its drawbacks. The most notable is that your car is exposed to the elements throughout its journey. Weather conditions, road grime, and potential debris can pose risks, although significant damage is rare.

It's also worth noting that while open transport is the most common, not all car transport companies offer the same level of service. It's crucial to choose a professional auto transport company with a solid reputation for reliability and customer satisfaction. Look out for companies that offer insurance coverage, have experienced drivers, and maintain their carriers well.

When shipping a car cross country or over long distances, open transport can be an excellent option for those seeking a balance between cost and service quality. It's widely used, economical, and generally reliable, making it a go-to choice in the auto transport industry.

In conclusion, open transport is a practical and affordable method offered by many car shipping companies. While it may lack the added protection that enclosed transport provides, it remains a viable option for many customers, especially those looking to minimize car shipping costs.

Enclosed Transport

Enclosed transport, as the name suggests, involves shipping your vehicle in an enclosed carrier. This method is often chosen by individuals who need to ship a classic car, luxury vehicle, or any automobile of significant value. Enclosed auto transport offers superior protection against weather conditions, road debris, dust, and other potential damages.

While this method may not be the cheapest car shipping option, it provides peace of mind that your vehicle is receiving the highest level of care during transit. Notably, companies like Montway Auto Transport and Sherpa Auto Transport have been recognized for their exceptional enclosed car transport services12.

Enclosed carriers usually carry fewer vehicles at a time compared to open carriers. This means your car will be among a select few being transported, reducing the risk of damage from other vehicles.

Additionally, many enclosed auto transport services offer door-to-door service, adding an extra layer of convenience. With door-to-door service, your vehicle is picked up from your specified location and delivered right to your destination, eliminating the need for you to travel to a pickup or drop-off location.

If your vehicle holds significant monetary or sentimental value, investing in enclosed transport can be well worth the additional cost. While it might not be the cheapest car shipping company's method, the added protection and personalized service can prove invaluable.

Other Methods of Car Transportation

While open and enclosed transports are the most common methods used by car transport companies, there are other ways to ship a car. These include driveaway services and towing.

Driveaway service is a unique method where a professional driver drives your car to its destination. This method can save money as it eliminates the need for a carrier. However, it does add mileage to your car and exposes it to the usual risks of being on the road.

Towing is another alternative, commonly used for short distances or for non-operational vehicles. While it can be cost-effective, it's not suitable for long distances or for cars in good working condition as it could cause wear and tear.

Each of these methods has its pros and cons, and the best one for you will depend on various factors including the distance, your car's condition, and your budget.


Choosing a Car Transportation Service

Choosing the right car transport company is crucial when you need to ship a car. The company you choose should not only offer the services you need but also provide assurance that your vehicle will be handled with care.

When selecting a car transport company, consider factors such as reputation, experience, pricing, and customer service. Websites like Forbes and MarketWatch regularly review and rank car shipping companies, providing valuable insights.

Companies like Montway Auto Transport, Sherpa Auto Transport, and American Auto Shipping have consistently been recognized for their reliable vehicle shipping services. They offer various car transport services, including open and enclosed transport, and door-to-door service.

It's also important to inquire about insurance coverage. A reputable car transport company will include insurance in their quote, ensuring your vehicle is covered during transit.

Additionally, consider the transparency of the company's pricing. The cheapest car shipping company might not always provide the best value. Look for a company that provides a detailed breakdown of costs and can explain their pricing structure.

Lastly, consider the company's customer service. A company that values its customers will be responsive, helpful, and willing to address any concerns or questions you may have.

In conclusion, finding the right car transport company requires careful consideration of several factors. Remember, the goal is not just to save money, but to ensure your vehicle arrives at its destination safely and securely.

Preparing Your Car for Shipping

Once you've chosen your car shipping service and determined a fair market shipping price, the next step is to prepare your vehicle for transport. This involves several steps to ensure that your car arrives at its destination safely and securely.

First, clean your vehicle thoroughly, both inside and out. This will make it easier to identify any existing damage and provide a clear baseline for your vehicle's condition before shipping.

Next, remove all personal belongings from your vehicle. Most auto transport services have strict policies against including personal items in the car during transport due to safety and regulatory reasons. These items can shift during transit, potentially causing damage to your vehicle or others on the car shipping carrier.

It's also recommended to disable your car alarm to prevent it from going off during transit. Additionally, check your vehicle for leaks and address any mechanical issues. Inform the transport service about any quirks or special instructions needed to operate your car.

Finally, document your car's condition. Take photos of your car from various angles and note any existing damage. This serves as a record should any dispute arise about the condition of your vehicle post-shipment.

Understanding Delivery Options

Understanding your delivery options is crucial when choosing a car shipping service. The two main types of delivery offered by auto shipping services are terminal-to-terminal and door-to-door.

Terminal-to-terminal shipping involves dropping off your vehicle at a predetermined location, often a secure parking lot or facility, where it will be loaded onto the car shipping carrier. You'll then pick up your vehicle from a similar facility near your destination. This option is usually cheaper but can be less convenient as you'll need to arrange transportation to and from these terminals.

On the other hand, door-to-door shipping offers more convenience. The transport service will pick up and deliver your car as close to your specified addresses as legally and safely possible. While this option is typically more expensive, it can save you time and effort.

When weighing your options, consider your budget, schedule, and convenience preference. Reputable companies will provide both options, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your needs.

In conclusion, understanding your car shipping options, preparing your vehicle properly, and knowing your delivery options are all crucial steps in ensuring a smooth auto transport process. By doing your research and choosing a reputable auto transport service, you can rest assured that your vehicle will be in good hands.

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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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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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