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How long does enclosed car transport take?

Published by Joe Webster.

What's in this article?
  1. Factors Affecting Transport Time
  2. Enclosed vs Open Transport
  3. Preparing Your Vehicle for Transport
  4. Choosing the Right Transport Company
  5. Conclusion
How long does enclosed car transport take?

When you're looking to ship a car using enclosed auto transport, the most pressing question is often: "How long does enclosed car transport take?" Generally, the timeframe for enclosed car shipping can range from a few days to two weeks. However, this is a broad estimate and can vary significantly based on specific circumstances.

For shorter distances, such as within the same state or to a neighboring state, enclosed car transport typically takes between 1 to 3 days. For cross-country car shipments, the journey can extend up to 7 to 14 days. It's crucial to communicate with your auto transport company to get a more accurate estimate based on your specific needs.

Enclosed auto transport, while providing superior protection for your vehicle, follows a similar timeline to open transport. The key difference lies in the added security and care for your vehicle, making it a preferred choice for luxury, classic, or high-value cars. When planning to ship a car, it's advisable to book in advance and discuss the timeline with your chosen car shipping company to ensure your vehicle arrives when you need it.


Factors Affecting Transport Time

Several factors play a crucial role in determining how long enclosed car transport takes. Understanding these can help you set realistic expectations for your car shipment.

  • Distance: The primary factor affecting transport time is the distance between the pickup and delivery locations. Longer distances naturally require more time, especially for cross-country car shipping.
  • Route: The route taken by the auto transport company can also impact the duration. Highways generally allow for quicker transport, but if your destination is in a remote or difficult-to-access area, this can add to the transport time.
  • Traffic and Weather Conditions: Traffic congestion and adverse weather conditions can cause delays in car shipping. Enclosed auto transport is less affected by weather compared to open transport, but severe conditions can still lead to postponements.
  • Time of Year: Certain times of the year, like summer and the holiday season, tend to be busier for car shipping companies. Increased demand can lead to longer wait times for pickup and delivery.
  • Vehicle Condition: The operability of your vehicle also influences transport time. Inoperable vehicles require additional equipment and labor to load and unload, which can extend the overall timeframe.
  • Carrier Availability: The availability of carriers for enclosed car shipping can vary. Enclosed carriers are less common than open carriers, so finding an available slot might take longer, especially during peak seasons.

By considering these factors, you can better anticipate the time it will take to transport your vehicle and plan accordingly.

Enclosed vs. Open Transport

When deciding to ship a car, one of the key decisions is choosing between enclosed auto transport and open transport. While the primary concern for many is how long does enclosed car transport take compared to open transport, there are other factors to consider.

Enclosed car shipping offers a higher level of protection for your vehicle. Your car is shielded from external elements like weather, road debris, and dust. This makes enclosed transport an ideal choice for luxury, antique, or high-value vehicles that require extra care. Although the perception might be that enclosed transport takes longer due to its specialized nature, the reality is that the time difference between enclosed and open transport is often minimal.

Open transport, on the other hand, is more common and generally more affordable. Cars are transported on an open trailer, exposed to the elements. This method is efficient and safe for most standard vehicles and is typically quicker to arrange due to higher availability.

However, the choice between enclosed and open transport should not be based solely on time. Enclosed auto transport provides peace of mind, especially for those who own cars that warrant extra protection. While both types of transport are reliable, the added security of enclosed transport can be worth the potential for slightly longer transport times.

In conclusion, when choosing a car shipping company, consider the level of protection you need for your vehicle along with the timeframe. Enclosed car shipping, while similar in duration to open transport, offers unparalleled protection, making it a preferred choice for many car owners.

Preparing Your Vehicle for Transport

Before your car embarks on its journey with an auto shipping company, proper preparation is key to ensuring a smooth shipping process. This preparation can influence the car shipping delivery time, especially in enclosed vehicle shipping.

Firstly, clean your vehicle inside and out. This not only helps in quickly inspecting for any pre-existing damage but also ensures that your car is ready for immediate use upon arrival. Remove all personal items and any custom accessories that could be damaged during transport.

Check fluid levels, battery charge, and tire pressure. While your car won't be driven extensively, maintaining it in operable condition is essential for loading and unloading from the enclosed carriers. If your car has any peculiarities, like a tricky ignition or a specific way to close the doors, inform the car shippers. This information helps them handle your vehicle correctly.

Lastly, document your car's condition with photos before handing it over. This will be crucial if you need to file a claim for any reason.

By taking these steps, you not only safeguard your vehicle but also assist the car transport company in adhering to the expected car shipping time frame, ensuring a hassle-free experience for both parties.


Choosing the Right Transport Company

Selecting the right car transport company is crucial in determining the efficiency and safety of your vehicle's journey. When evaluating auto transport companies, consider their reputation, experience, and the services they offer.

Look for auto shipping companies with positive reviews and testimonials. These often provide real insights into the company's reliability and customer service quality. Ensure that the company is licensed and insured, providing protection for your vehicle during transport.

Discuss the car shipping route and delivery location specifics with potential car shippers. A good auto shipping company will be transparent about their routes, car shipping order processes, and delivery times. They should also offer tracking options, allowing you to monitor your vehicle's journey.

Consider the type of transport offered. If you opt for enclosed transport, ensure that the company has experience with enclosed car carriers and understands the nuances of enclosed vehicle shipping.

The right car transport company will not only meet your specific needs but also provide peace of mind throughout the shipping process. Their expertise can significantly influence the car shipping delivery time and the overall experience.


Understanding the factors that affect how long enclosed car transport takes is crucial for a smooth shipping experience. From preparation to choosing the right auto transport company, each step plays a vital role in ensuring timely and secure delivery of your vehicle.

Ready to experience hassle-free and secure car shipping? Contact A1 Auto Transport today for more information and to schedule your enclosed car transport. Trust us to deliver your vehicle safely and on time. Let's get your journey started!

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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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