Enclosed Auto Transport Services
A-1 Auto Transport offers top-of-the line enclosed auto transport and car shipping services! Whether you need a vehicle moved across the state, country or even internationally, A-1 Auto Transport offers an easy solution. Having connections to all the leading carrier authorities, we ensure your auto ships in a timely and secure fashion. With the added level of protection and security that only comes with enclosed auto transport, you can rest assured your car will arrive safe and sound.
Your car is important, and shipping an automobile can be a stressful experience. Especially for those doing this for the first time! Choosing to have your auto transported in an enclosed carrier is ideal for anyone first and foremost concerned about safety.
For that reason those with high-end, luxury vehicles, exotic sport cars, vintage hotrods, and antique autos prefer enclosed carriers over alternative shipping methods. Whether your everyday vehicle or a valuable one-of-a-kind restoration, closed container shipping with A-1 Auto Transport provides the most sensible and affordable option.
Enclosed Auto Transport Examples
|St. Louis, MO to Kansas City, KS||$560-$1120||248||2-4|
|Detroit, MI to Chicago, IL||$590-$1150||282||2-4|
|Las Vegas, NV to Salt Lake City, UT||$790-$1200||421||2-4|
|New York, NY to Indiana, IN||$850-$1550||708||3-5|
|Phoenix, AZ to Denver, CO||$900-$1600||865||3-5|
|Los Angeles, CA to Dallas, TX||$995-$1900||1436||4-6|
|Louisiana to Montana||$1510-$1930||1854||5-7|
|Oklahoma City, OK to Portland, OR||$1560-$1950||1909||5-7|
|California to Delaware||$1700-$2600||2849||5-7|
|Seattle, WA to Miami, FL||$1730-$2700||3298||7-9|
- *Prices and times are estimated. They can vary depending on the season and what type of vehicle you are shipping.
- *Prices can vary depending on the availability of enclosed carriers in your area.
Why Use Covered Car Shipping Carriers?
The primary advantage of using covered auto shipping over other options (such as open carrier transportation) is it provides the highest level of security and protection. Not only is the vehicle safeguarded from weather, rocks and other road debris that may be kicked up by the road, it will also be out of view from prying eyes. Should your vehicle be transported over land, the enclosed carrier prevents any unwanted passersby from tampering with or having access to it. This is especially important when shipping high value, rare or classic cars.
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With well over half a million cars stolen annually in the United States, and $4.5 billion lost as a result, any extra security that can be provided is a good investment when considering an auto transport service. Even with existing auto insurance in place - an absolute must when shipping your car - haggling with an insurance company over a claim is a headache. Avoid all that by using a highly competent, professional vehicle transport service like A-1. We are one of the leading auto transport carrier companies for a reason!
In the event that you do want the shipped vehicle insured privately, using an shipping service often times can actually lower your premium. Insurance companies are aware that enclosed shipping is the safest way to get an auto from point A to point B with little risk of damage or theft. In fact, many companies that insure auto shippers will offer a discount to companies that use trucks for transport and, in turn, pass that savings along to you.
Different Types of Enclosed Carriers
While enclosed carriers offer a secure environment for the vehicles they transport, there are several types to choose from including single and multi-car carriers and you will need to determine which one works best for you.
Single Enclosed Car Trailer
A single car trailer can haul one car and it is usually only used for local or short distance relocation. These enclosed trailers are usually reserved only for extremely valuable, high-end luxury cars, exotic cars, race cars and other valuable cars that need to be delivered quickly. One car will fit inside a single level enclosed trailer.
In some instances, you can find single car carriers with padded interiors to offer more protection during delivery. This is not a common occurrence however, so if you need a padded carrier, you need to request one early so the agent can locate one that can be in your area to pick the car up when needed.
Multi-Car Enclosed Trailer
A multi-car enclosed trailer can haul one or more cars and the trailer often comes as a double decker where two levels of cars can be stacked. Just as the single enclosed car trailer is, multi car trailers are reserved for expensive vehicles and the fact that they are enclosed on all sides prevents the cars from being exposed to the elements during shipment.
Why Enclosed Transport Is More Expensive
If you have priced enclosed auto transport and compared the rates with open auto transport services, you probably noticed that enclosed transport costs more. There are a few reasons for this.
- One reason that enclosed auto transport is more expensive than open auto transport is that there are fewer enclosed auto carriers available on the road. Most of all auto transport carriers are open carriers and they are easy to book for fast shipment. With fewer enclosed carriers available, there are often waiting lists for service depending on where in the country you are located.
- Shipping with enclosed transport usually means that the company or driver has offered a guaranteed delivery date whereas with open transport, you may need to wait several days or even weeks longer for delivery. You get a higher level of personal attention for your car when you use enclosed auto transport services.
- Many drivers who deliver motor vehicles own their own carriers and open carriers are cheaper to buy than enclosed carriers. Due to the cost, there are fewer enclosed carriers available.
- Enclosed carriers simply cannot compete with open carriers when it comes to the number of vehicles that can be hauled at one time. When an enclosed carrier may have anywhere from one to four cars loaded for delivery, an open carrier can haul up to nine or ten cars at one time. This means that even when a customer pays a higher fee for delivery with enclosed services, the driver and company are making less money because fewer vehicles can be loaded for delivery.
- Weather can play a big factor in cost with enclosed auto transport. If you are shipping during the winter in areas where there may be snow and ice on the ground there is a chance that many roadways may be closed for safety reasons and if so, this can cause the rate to increase.
Open vehicle transport is safe, but if you can spare the money for enclosed auto transport and you own an expensive luxury or exotic car or a rare, collectible, classic or antique car, enclosed is the best way to ship the car.
Why You Will Love Enclosed Auto Transport
There are many reasons that our customers love enclosed auto transport, and if you have a car that needs added protection during relocation, you’re going to love it as well.
Guaranteed Pickup and Delivery Dates
With enclosed auto transport, you can have guaranteed pickup and delivery dates, so you will know when your car will be picked up and delivered. If anything occurs on the route that would create a delay, you will be contacted immediately.
Open auto carriers do not have hydraulic lifts which are necessary to load and unload vehicles that have low ground clearance. Enclosed carriers are the only carriers that have hydraulic lifts to ensure your undercarriage is safe when the car is loaded or unloaded.
You will be able to contact the driver directly, so you can stay on top of everything about the delivery of your car.
We offer real time tracking that you can check on your computer, Smartphone or other internet capable device.
Higher Insurance Coverage
All motor vehicles are covered during auto transport, but when you have a very expensive car to ship and you use enclosed shipping services, the coverage amounts may be higher than if you were to use open transport. Be sure to inquire about the insurance coverage amount when you get your quote and book service.
White Glove Service
When we say ‘white glove service’ we mean it! Many of our drivers will put on the gloves to make sure your vehicle arrives with no dust or dirt just as it was when it was loaded for delivery.
Benefits of Covered Shipping
- A stress-free shipping experience with a trusted and accountable auto shipping leader
- Protection against inclement weather during transport
- Ensure the safety of your vehicle’s body and paint from dust, dirt and road debris
- Additional theft protection; an important consideration for valuable vehicles
- Safeguard the value of your vehicle throughout the shipping process
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does Enclosed Vehicle Transport Work?
Enclosed vehicle transport works exactly how it sounds: Your car is moved from one location to another inside of an enclosed carrier, offering superior protection against hazards along the way.
A-1 Auto Transport can help you to benefit from three different types of enclosed carriers:
What Are Soft-Sided Enclosed Carriers?
This transportation method involves an open air carrier that has been covered in either vinyl or canvas. While this method provides some protection, it can still leave cars vulnerable to damage from road debris. It usually isn’t recommended for more expensive cars that need greater protection.
What Is A Multi-Car Enclosed Trailer?
These hard-sided trailers are equipped to carry multiple cars at the same time, oftentimes using a double-decker system that allows cars to be stacked on top of each other.
The hard sides of these trailers prevent damage from any debris that might get kicked up during the trip. It offers superior protection from the elements. For an additional charge, your car can also be covered while it’s inside the carrier, as well.
What Is A Single Enclosed Car Trailer?
Just like the multi-car trailers, the single car version is also hard-sided—and in some cases, they’re padded on the inside for added protection.
Because they only carry a single car, these trailers are typically the most expensive way to transport vehicles. They’re best used for moving very expensive cars over short distances, like high-end classic or luxury cars, exotic vehicles, and race cars.
Why Should I Choose an Enclosed Carrier?
No matter what kind of vehicle you have, there are advantages to transporting your car versus simply driving it yourself. Aside from avoiding excess miles on your car and the risk of being involved in an auto accident on a long (and exhausting) drive, car shipping companies make moving cars over long distances much less complicated, especially for families or people who have other pressing obligations, like members of the military.
When it comes to transporting their vehicle, most car owners are only concerned about the price, which is why they usually have their cars shipped on open air carriers. While these carriers are typically the cheapest option, they also leave cars vulnerable to a number of hazards, including:
- Damage from snow, rain, and hail
- Highway debris, like rocks and detritus from previous accidents
- Nosy strangers who are a little too interested
Enclosed vehicle transport, on the other hand, offers superior protection against all these threats. While it tends to cost more than using an open air carrier, it’s still an affordable option for those who are wanting a more secure way to transport their cars.
We will help you to ensure that your car arrives at your destination undamaged, with the body protected from weather, dust, and dirt. Your highly valuable car will have additional theft protection over an open air carrier. Most of all, you can rest assured that your car is in the hands of professionals when you partner with our team for services.
Do I Need Enclosed Car Transport for My Vehicle?
The most important thing to consider when you’re deciding between open-air and enclosed vehicle transport is the balance between the amount of protection you need and the added cost to ship your car.
For many vehicles, open-air carriers will be sufficient, but for owners with luxury, vintage, classic, or other high-value cars, you’re more likely to want the added protection of an enclosed carrier.
Will My Vintage/Exotic/Classic Car Be Safe?
When you work with one of the partners of A-1 Auto Transport, you can feel confident that your car is in good hands. We only work with reliable, professional auto transport companies that we trust to handle the most valuable vehicles.
Enclosed carriers offer a number of features that help to protect your car from damage. In addition to the protection provided by hard-sided trailers, many enclosed carriers come equipped with hydraulic lifts, which are not available on open-air models.
Hydraulic lifts protect cars with low clearances and will protect your vehicle’s undercarriage from damage.
Enclosed carriers also tend to offer higher levels of insurance coverage than open-air carriers, since they tend to carry more valuable vehicles. Any time you hire auto movers, you should inquire about their insurance coverage levels to ensure that your vehicle is fully protected in the rare event that something were to happen to the carrier.
When Should I Book My Enclosed Auto Transport?
Ideally, you should book your car transport services as early as possible. Because there are far fewer enclosed carriers on the road, there is more competition to secure their services, so wait times tend to be longer. Add in the fact that these carriers are also smaller than their open-air counterparts, and you can see why an earlier booking is better!
Of course, we realize that sometimes, you need a car transported on short notice, and when that happens, we’ll do our very best to try to meet your needs. Contact one of our logistics experts as soon as you know you need your car shipped, and we’ll work with you to find the best solutions possible.
How Much Will It Cost to Ship a Car in an Enclosed Carrier?
It’s almost impossible to say from one day to the next how much it will cost to ship a car in an enclosed car carrier. The cost of vehicle transportation varies depending on a range of factors, including:
For the most part, the farther you have to ship a car, the more it will cost. This may not always be the case, since locations along well-traveled routes may cost less than a shorter trip that’s off the beaten path. But in general, a longer journey means a larger bill.
The Kind of Car Transported
There are two reasons why you have to supply your make and model when requesting a quote. The first is to see how big your vehicle is—the larger your car is, the fewer cars your carrier can transport overall.
The second reason is to get a sense of the value of your car. A more expensive car requires more levels of protection, as well as more insurance coverage. Those additional costs usually translate into a higher price tag.
There are far more open-air carriers on the road than there are enclosed trailers for a number of reasons. Open-air carriers are cheaper to purchase and cost less to maintain, and they carry up to three times as many cars at once.
Since most car movers own their own trucks, they tend to purchase open-air carriers so they can handle higher volumes with less overhead.
This means that you’re competing with other car owners for open spots on the carriers that are available, and that can drive up costs. This is especially the case if you’re not located near a large city.
Car shipping rates tend to fluctuate throughout the year, based on a number of factors. In the summer, for instance, there’s an increased demand and that can lead to higher prices. In the winter, on the other hand, there’s less demand for car shipping in most of the country, but snow and ice can cause significant delays in shipments.
Can I Get Auto Shipping from a Car Auction or a Dealer?
Absolutely! If you purchase a car from a dealer that’s not near your home, they will often offer to set up transportation for you. While this may be convenient, you usually end up paying a premium for allowing them to set up the shipment for you. This typically gets rolled into the price of the car.
Instead, you can work with A-1 Auto Transport directly and we’ll set up your car relocation for you. We work with dealers, private sellers, and others to ensure your car is transported safely. Online car buyers are especially likely to benefit from our services, as are buyers at classic, vintage, or luxury car auctions.
How Long Does Enclosed Vehicle Shipping Take?
Federal law limits truck drivers to no more than 500 miles per day and imposes additional limits on how many days in a row they’re allowed to drive. This limits how fast we can get your car to its destination.
However, at A-1 Auto Transport, we plan our routes for maximum efficiency, which means that you’ll get your car as soon as possible. You can track your car’s progress in real-time on any internet-capable device. If we experience any delays, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.
How Do I Prepare a Car for Shipping?
When shipping your car, the first step is to remove all personal items in order to comply with Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. Beyond legal liability, extra items increase the weight of the car, which can cause problems for the carrier. In addition, these items aren’t covered under the carrier’s insurance policy.
The second thing to do is make sure your car has only ¼ tank of gas or less. This helps to ensure your car isn’t carrying any extra weight and reduces the chance of an accidental fire. It’s also important to make sure you don’t have any fluid leaks coming from under your car, which could damage the carrier or any cars placed beneath your vehicle.
The final step is to secure or remove external elements from your car, like bike racks or non-retractable antennas. These items could potentially come loose during transit, damaging other vehicles or your own.
Can I Leave Items in My Car During Shipping?
According to the DOT, car transport companies are not permitted to ship cars with personal possessions left inside. All car carriers must pass through weigh stations and inspection locations, and any violations of this policy discovered during these stops can result in a fine of up to $10,000.
While the fine is a reason to avoid leaving personal belongings in your car, there are other reasons, as well. Extra items in your trunk or backseat can add extra weight to your car, and with enough added weight among all the cars on a carrier, it’s possible to overload the transport, which can also result in fines.
These items are also not covered by the carrier’s insurance policy, so you’ll have no recourse if those items are lost, damaged, or stolen.
Do I Need to Add Insurance on My Vehicle?
In order to operate a car transport service, a company must provide insurance coverage for the vehicles they carry. While enclosed carriers often come with increased insurance coverage, you may want to ensure that it will cover the cost of replacing your vehicle. Otherwise, you may want to purchase additional coverage.
Will There Be a Lot of Paperwork?
Not much at all! When your car is picked up, you’ll receive a bill of lading, which is a statement describing the condition of your vehicle and stipulating where your car will be delivered. You’ll also receive a copy of your insurance coverage so you have documentation of what is and is not covered during transit.
Depending on your state and locality, you may be asked to provide additional documents, including title and registration and a copy of your photo ID, as well as an authorization form for lienholders and owners who are not physically present.
Do You Offer Door to Door Car Transportation Services?
Yes! For a small additional fee, A-1 Auto Transport will ensure that your car is picked up and dropped off at a location of your choosing -- usually at your home. While this service is also available with open-air carriers, because enclosed trailers are smaller, they can usually fit into much more compact areas, making them better suited to driving in neighborhoods.
Will You Pick Up or Deliver My Car If I’m Not There?
We cannot pick up or deliver a car without either the owner or a designated representative present to take possession. You’ll need to sign the bill of lading acknowledging pick-up or delivery. This requires someone to be physically present.
If you are unable to be there yourself, you’ll need to contact A-1 Auto Transport before the carrier arrives to let them know who will be there instead. However, if you do need to make a last-minute change, be sure to let us know as soon as possible. Be aware that any changes made from your original order may result in a small fee.
Can You Guarantee My Delivery and Pick-Up Date?
For open-air carriers, it’s difficult in even the best of times to be specific about when your car will arrive. We can give you an estimate within a couple of days, but because of variables like traffic, weather, and the number of stops along the way, that range can vary considerably, sometimes by up to two to three days.
But with enclosed shipping, you can have your pick-up and delivery dates guaranteed, which means that you’ll know exactly when your car will be available. We offer terminal to terminal shipping. For an extra fee, you can receive door-to-door service. And in the event of delays, we’ll notify you as soon as possible.
How Will I Know My Car is Ready for Pick-Up?
Whether you have a guaranteed delivery date or not, you will receive a call from your driver 12 to 24 hours prior to when your car is ready to be delivered, allowing you to schedule pick-up at a time that is most convenient for you.
We will do our best to ensure that your car arrives within the delivery window you provide. If we encounter any delays due to weather or traffic, we will let you know as soon as possible.
My Car Doesn’t Currently Run. Will You Still Transport It?
There are many cases in which a car owner wants to transport a vehicle that is not currently running, especially for cars bought at auction or classic cars that are being restored. We are happy to work with you to transport these cars— because these vehicles require specialized equipment and logistics, however, there are usually additional fees.
Be aware that non-running cars don’t only include cars whose engines won’t start. Steering problems, non-functional brakes, and other problems all classify a car as non-running. Basically, if you couldn’t drive it on the road, then you should contact A-1 Auto Transport to set up specialized equipment and receive a quote.
Can I Have My Car Shipped Internationally?
Not a problem! We have years of experience transporting cars overseas, and we’re well-versed in every step of the international shipping process. Every country has its own laws and regulations for importing foreign vehicles. We’ll help you navigate the process with as little stress as possible.
We’ll make sure you have the paperwork you need to get the car into the country and onto the road as quickly and efficiently as possible.
How Long Will You Honor Auto Transport Quotes?
The cost of transporting a car shifts from day to day, and while we’re almost always able to honor our quotes until the end of the current business day, you’ll need to get a new quote after that timeframe.
We will do our best to honor the quote you receive, but we also reserve the right to make adjustments if conditions change or we receive new information.
What Methods Can I Use to Pay for Car Transport Services?
We take pride in our flexibility, and that’s why we accept a number of different forms of payment. If you have questions about how you can pay for shipping your vehicle, contact us and we’ll help you find the answers you need.
Will My Car Be Transported by Professional Carriers?
At A-1 Auto Transport, we believe in our mission to get the job done right without ever cutting corners. We strive to embody our core values of expertise, authority, and transparency, and we hold our drivers to the same high standards.
Our company started in 1988 with just one tow truck. In the 20+ years since then, we’ve become one of the biggest shipping and logistics companies in America, coordinating auto transport on a local, interstate, and international scale. Thanks to our many years in the business, we know how to get your car from here to there safely -- all at an affordable rate.