Before we cover whether or not you need an enclosed car transport services, let's break down what you'll receive by ordering this type of service.
The need to transport cars is relatively common—especially for long distance moves.
Let's say you live in Washington D.C. and are needing to transport your car to Los Angeles for work relocation. If you're not driving your car cross country, you're going to have to ship it. The main perk of shipping a car is you can get it sent out before you move, travel to your destination quickly through transportation such as a plane, and have your vehicle waiting for you when you touch down.
When you approach a company to have your car shipped, you'll be presented with two transportation options:
- Open auto transport
- Enclosed auto transport
Open auto transport involves loading your car onto a carrier that's not protected from outdoor elements. While your car won't be protected from inclement weather remains a downside, the upside of open auto transport is that you'll be spending less money on this service than enclosed auto transport.
Opting for enclosed auto transport means that you're spending the extra money to have your vehicle fully covered by a truck carrier. Full enclosure guarantees higher protection against bad weather and other undesirable outdoor elements, including dust and dirt.
It's easy to see how enclosed auto shipping is more desirable than open car transport, but is it worth it?
Is Enclosed Car Transport Worth the Extra Cost?
When you have the space in your budget, enclosed car transportation is worth the added cost since it's the safest way to ship a car. Road debris and bad weather can all hurt your vehicle while it's in transit. Fully enclosing your car immediately solves those problems and allows you to have more peace of mind.
If you own a vehicle that's your pride and joy, it's natural that you'll want to protect the car's value. Modern sports cars and classic cars are two classes of vehicles that can benefit significantly from enclosed car transport.
Services that offer enclosed auto transport feature drivers with training and knowledge regarding how to transport high-value vehicles. Even if you're not carrying a Ferrari or Lamborghini, most cars are expensive and can cost a lot of money to repair. Through enclosed auto transport, your vehicle will be dropped off at your destination in optimal condition.
All the benefits of enclosed car transport sound good, but you're probably wondering how the process works.
How Does Enclosed Car Shipping Work?
Life-gate technology helps you safely load your vehicle onto the carrier via hydraulic lifts. The technology utilized by enclosed car carriers performs better than open carriers since open carriers use slanted ramps to load vehicles.
The drawback of using slanted ramps to load a vehicle onto a carrier is their decreased ability to load cars with low clearances safely. Many modern sports cars sit low to the ground, so if your car contains a low clearance, it's best to opt for enclosed car shipping.
Your car will go through inspection during drop-off and after pick-up to ensure that no damage occurs during transport.
When working with a professional enclosed car shipping service, you'll be offered complete protection.
Here's what's complete protection means:
What Will My Enclosed Car Transport Protection Policy Be?
As mentioned earlier, your car will be secure during the loading process, thanks to lift-gate technology. Once your vehicle is onto the carrier, it'll be secured down using advanced tie-down systems. When the transport vehicle travels on the highway or bumpy areas that might cause movement, your car will be fastened with thick straps that link to the base of the trailer and go around the tires.
Many enclosed car transport companies offer customers the ability to communicate with the driver and check in on their vehicle's status. If your car travels a long distance, direct communication with the driver can be a valuable asset.
Even though you might already be sold on enclosed car transport, here are a couple of quick reasons why you can keep considering open car carriers.
What Are the Advantages of Open Car Transportation?
You're still going to maintain proper vehicle security when hiring an open car transportation service. Like enclosed car carriers, your vehicle will be strapped down within the carrier to minimize movement during transport. One perk of open carrier transportation that's often overlooked is that it's easier and faster to acquire this service than enclosed car shipping.
Open car carriers are in higher demand due to the service price being lower than enclosed transport. Higher demand means there's more driver availability to book an appointment at the time you desire.
There are some other options for shipping your vehicle outside of typical open and enclosed truck carriers.
Let's take a look.
Are Open and Enclosed Truck Transport My Only Options?
There are other options outside of open and enclosed truck carriers. Airfreight carriers are the quickest, safest, and, therefore, the most expensive way to transport your vehicle. People usually use air freight shipping for high-value cars going long distances such as cross-country or overseas moves. Rail freight shipping is an additional form of enclosed car transport. While rail shipping isn't the fastest way to transport a vehicle, it is one of the safest due to its auto-rack secure placement.
Auto-racks are specially designed cars that have been transporting vehicles back to the original Ford Model-T. Nowadays, rail freight shipping cars have evolved to hold and transport multiple racks of cars safely.
With all of these options available, open and enclosed truck carriers remain the most commonly utilized mode of car transport due to their ease of use and reasonable costs.
After covering the necessary information related to enclosed car transport, it's time to give our final verdict on whether you need this type of service.
Do I Need Enclosed Car Transport?
The only types of cars that need enclosed car transport are high-value vehicles that include vintage models, supercar models, and perhaps, modern sports cars such as a Corvette.
You need enclosed car transport for these vehicles since paying for maintenance on a damaged vintage, or modern supercar is extremely expensive. Even minor damage on a supercar or a vintage car will run you a pretty penny due to limited parts or other maintenance supplies that often need to be shipped in from parts outside the United States.
If your car contains low ground clearance, enclosed auto transport is a necessity so your vehicle doesn’t suffer damage while being loaded onto and unloaded from the carrier.
While other types of cars don't necessarily need enclosed auto transport, you'll be paying the extra money to help ensure that your vehicle doesn't suffer damage along the transit route stemming from bad weather and other parts of nature that could include flying rocks.
Enclosed car transport is exceptionally beneficial for long-distance moves as the longer the trip is, the higher the likelihood is that your car can suffer damages.
The chances are high that your car will be safe with either an enclosed or open car carrier. The drivers of these vehicles are well-trained and understand the value of the cargo they're transporting.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.