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Enclosed Car Transport Cost

What's in this article?
  1. How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Car In An Enclosed Carrier?
  2. Factors That Determine The Enclosed Auto Transport Cost
  3. How Much Does Enclosed Car Shipping Cost Per Mile?
  4. Advantages Of Enclosed Car Transport
  5. Limitations Of Enclosed Car Transport
  6. Bottom Line
  7. Reasons Why Enclosed Auto Transport Costs More Than Open Auto Transport
  8. Related Information & Faq
Cost To Ship A Car

How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Car In An Enclosed Carrier?

As you may or may not be aware of, the two main shipping methods for domestic shipping in the United States are Open Transport and Enclosed Transport.

In dealing strictly with enclosed carriers, as the more expensive option of the two, it's important to understand both its cost and the factors that can subsequently affect it.

The truth is, when you're provided with a shipping quote by an auto transport company, the way in which it is derived depends on a few different aspects, all of which are combined together. The more reputable auto transport companies will be able to provide you with as accurate of a quote as possible at the very beginning, something which A-1 Auto Transport can do.

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Factors That Determine the Enclosed Auto Transport Cost

The first thing to note is that, on average, the cost of enclosed auto transport is around $1.00 per mile, which is around twice the amount that open auto transport costs. However, this is not something that should be relied upon when determining the actual cost, as it doesn't always come out to this rate. Instead, there are many other determinants that can affect the final enclosed auto transport cost, which are the following:

Make The Cost Rise In Most Instances
  • Weather: If you're choosing the enclosed transport option during the winter, in which your automobile has to be transported in areas of the country that experience snowy or harsh weather, that'll make the cost rise in most instances. That's because not only are there less scheduled routes around this time, but there are also more security measures that have to be taken due to the increased risks involved. When a truck is driving in areas with low visibility due to snow, as well as roads that are covered in ice, it's much more dangerous and costs more to insure.
  • Location: Another aspect that can drive up costs is the location if you live in a remote location or one that isn't easily accessible. This is often the case in door to door shipping if one doesn't live near a city. In order to lower the costs for enclosed shipping in this matter, one can drive the vehicle to a more cost-effective location, as can be arranged with the auto transport company.

Costs can be lowered if you're located in a city or a near a city where there is a large population or a heavily-used traffic route. The more popular the area is, the more transport trucks pass by or are located near it, thus leading to lower costs for you. Costs can decrease by up to 50% in some instances for enclosed auto transport in high-traffic volume areas.

Even yet another aspect of location that plays a part is the elevation of the area. If you live in the mountains, this will lead to higher costs. Not only does the transport truck that's required for enclosed shipping have to take extra security measures, but it also will mean that the transport time increases. For example, if the road is particularly steep, the transport truck will have to drive much more slowly (especially if it's winter) both to the top and the bottom. This can result in a few extra hundred dollars in costs.

How Much Does Enclosed Car Shipping Cost Per Mile?

We’ve already explained how the cost of car transport, especially covered car transport cost varies due to the details of the car being transported, the distance, time of the year, and so on. But if you’re looking for an exact estimate for enclosed car transport cost, then let's talk money.

According to the figures for 2021, which are subject to change, the average car transport rates are $2 per mile and higher. This applies to transportation projects that are covered within 200 miles or less, if your project is long-distance, i.e. over 1,500 miles, you'll have to pay considerably less per mile.

On average, the dip can be as low as $0.58 per mile.

But this is only true for regular car transport, the enclosed car transport cost per mile is greater because of the container. Usually, the rates are 40% higher than the base rates because of the added element of the container.

While the per-mile rate may drop for long-distance transport, the overall enclosed car shipping cost will still be higher.

Benefits Of Enclosed Car Transport

Advantages Of Enclosed Car Transport

Why pay extra for covered car transport costs?

Enclosed transport is the superior option when compared with open car shipping, in several regards, such as:

  • It offers a much greater level of protection against environmental excesses
  • No need to worry about low hanging branches and whatnot
  • Almost negligible chance of any damage to your ride during the transport
  • It affords peace of mind especially for shipping cars with great sentimental or materialistic value
  • You can ship multiple vehicles within a single container

Overall, enclosed car transport offers much more than traditional vehicle transport options, but the added element of greater protection stands out the most. With your car sealed safely inside a container during the transport, environmental extremes, tree branches, and more.

The perfect way to ship a valuable ride!

Limitations Of Enclosed Car Transport

Some might debate against enclosed car transport, and this is understandable too.

Mostly, they’d bring up the following:

Closed car transport is pricier in comparison, 40% more than the cost of transporting a vehicle via open-air transport. But the increased cost is not without good reason, your car will be much safer than otherwise.

Another limitation with enclosed car transport is the level of difficulty on part of the transporter. The driver will have to face a ton of trouble when inspecting the car during the ride, thus the added cost.

Also, in comparison with open transport, this mode of vehicle shipping is less efficient in terms of fuel usage. Normally, an open carrier can transport a greater number of vehicles in one go, thus making that mode of transport more fuel-efficient and environment-friendly.

Lastly, this mode of car transport is more complex, demands greater labor, and works well only if you’re shipping a valuable car.

Otherwise, open car transport is just fine.

Charge To Transport A Car

Bottom Line

The cost to transport a car fluctuates depending on the shipping option you pick and all the other factors that come with it. Enclosed shipping is comparatively pricier, but the cost difference is justifiable, and your car will receive extra protection in return for the expense hike.

People usually opt for enclosed car transport, overland and overseas, if their vehicles are materialistically valuable or if they associate sentimental value with the ride. While open transport can get the job done, the added protection afforded by enclosed car transport makes it a much more practical option when shipping vehicles of greater value.

But of course, this comes with a higher price.

The trade-off is between overall cost and protection afforded for your vehicles.

A1 Auto Transport offers complete freedom to all clients regarding their options for overland (local) and overseas vehicle transport. Our staff is highly competent and experienced enough to offer the best level of personalized service, no matter what package you choose.

Call us today, and we’ll get started!

Reasons Why Enclosed Auto Transport Costs More Than Open Auto Transport

Besides the aforementioned factors that can affect enclosed auto transport costs, it costs more than open auto transport because of a few reasons:

  • Enclosed auto transport carriers only hold between 2 to 3 vehicles as opposed to 8 to 10 on open auto transport carriers. More vehicles = cheaper costs.
  • Enclosed auto transport carriers utilize special shipping trailers / containers that require specialized security equipment and measures to be taken to both secure the vehicle and protect it from the elements. This includes certain harnesses and ropes to minimize vehicle movement and road shock.
  • Enclosed auto transport carriers are used less. This is basic supply and demand, meaning that costs are higher for the carrier due to less demand.
  • Enclosed auto transport carriers have to be equipped with certain outer layers to add an extra layer of security to protect the containers from the elements.
Auto Transport Costs More Than Open Auto Transport

Due to the above factors, one shouldn't just rely on an automatically-generated quote from an online formula that many auto transport companies use. Instead, one should use any instant quote as just a rough guide. The best way to find out the actual cost of enclosed auto transport is to speak to a representative and to provide your exact location details. A-1 Auto Transport offers live customer service help that will be happy to assist you in determining an accurate price BEFORE you make any commitments.

Related Information & FAQ

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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.

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

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
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
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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