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What Are the Options for Shipping My Car?

When you decide to ship your car there are two options you need to think through? Most auto transporters offer you the option of open shipping or closed shipping.

Open or Closed?

You have probably seen a trailer full of cars pass you by as you are driving on the highway. Normally these are newly manufactured cars headed to a car dealership, but sometimes an auto transport company is shipping the cars in transit.

The trailer usually has two levels. Each level has four or five cars on it. These cars are not enclosed, but exposed to the open air. Now this does not necessarily mean that they will be damaged, but obviously the risk for damage is greater than if they were transported in an enclosed trailer. Since they are exposed to the elements, such as a hailstorm or a loose object, they face a greater potential for harm. But there is no greater risk than you driving down the road yourself.

Auto transporters use this option since it allows them to ship the cars at a lower cost. So they are able to provide the car shipping service to the consumer at a better price. The bottom line for you is the open-air method saves you money over the enclosed shipping option.

Closed Car Shipping

Basically, if you saw this as you were driving down the highway you may not even notice because the car is enclosed in the back of a trailer. It looks like any other 18-wheeler or tractor-trailer truck on the road. But instead of hauling produce or auto parts, the truck is hauling one or more cars. Since you only have one level of cars, the truck carries less cars then the open trailer. This means it costs more for the company to ship the cars across the country and that means it will cost you more to ship your car this way. For example, if you were shipping your car from New York, NY to Los Angeles, CA you would pay about $1300 to transport your car by open trailer and $2000 to ship your vehicle by closed trailer.

Saving Money Is Not Everyone’s Top Priority

The fact is most people want to save money, especially if they are buying the exact same product or service. In this case, you are not. So here are a few things you need to consider as you decide between open or closed auto transport.

  • Is saving money your top priority? If so, go with the open-air transport as it offers significantly lower rates over closed transport.
  • Do you have a vintage or classic car? If you are an auto collector or have a one-of-a kind vehicle it may make sense to pay the additional cost for extra protection.
  • What is the value and condition of your car? If your vehicle is a few years old and not valued extremely high, the open transport should work fine. If you have a brand-new car, one in perfect condition or a highly valued vehicle you may opt for the higher-priced, but more protective closed shipping.

Obviously, these are personal decisions that come down to your own individual preferences and how much money you want to spend so consider the options carefully. Also, get quotes for both options so you can compare the price differences. Finally, think through your priorities. You really can’t go wrong either way. Shipping your car is just as safe as driving your car across the country, so now you simply need to decide which shipping method you prefer.

Our shipping experts can help you by answering your questions and providing you with the best available rate quotes from some of the most reputable shipping companies. Simply fill out this easy form to get a quote. It’s free and there is no-obligation to use our recommendations.