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Is Enclosed Shipping Worth The Cost? (Spoiler Alert: Yes.)



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You’re ready to ship your car. It’s valuable. Really valuable. Now you’re wondering if enclosed shipping is worth the added cost. 

Maybe you’re thinking, “Why does enclosed shipping cost so much more in the first place?”

Here’s a rundown of why enclosed shipping costs more, how it can actually be an investment, and why it’s the best auto transport method when you’re shipping an antique, classic, or exotic car.

What’s enclosed shipping, again?

Enclosed auto shipping means that your car is transported securely inside a specially designed, fully enclosed box-style trailer, minimizing any potential for damage and keeping it protected from sun, rain, dirt, and other road debris. Your vehicle will be transported in a container alone or with up to several other vehicles, depending on the size of the trailer.

We’ll cover this in more detail, but in a nutshell, enclosed auto shipping is hands down the best option if what you’re shipping is an antique, classic, or exotic car. Since enclosed offers the most protection of any style of auto transport, expect a higher price quote – but if you really need your vehicle to maintain its pristine condition, the extra cost will be easily justified as an investment in peace of mind.

Different enclosed auto trailer styles have different prices

You have several trailer options when you’re choosing enclosed auto transport. If you want to protect your classic car from the elements but are still budget-conscious and have a somewhat flexible delivery date, a multi-car enclosed trailer could be the best option for you.

These larger box-style trailers can usually hold up to seven cars, so your vehicle will ‘have company’. (Pro tip: The premium placement for your valuable vehicle within this trailer is known as “First Position”, meaning that it will be tucked away in the back, and not need to be moved until its being delivered to you. Ask your carrier if they offer this if it sounds like something you need.)

Catching a ride on a trailer with multiple other vehicles headed in the same direction cuts down on the cost since you’re essentially sharing the expenses with other customers. The downside to this type of auto transport is that with more vehicles, the carrier driver has less opportunity to do thorough inspections. However, a good auto transportation company will ensure that their drivers are using best practices in properly securing every vehicle, every shipment.

When you need your vehicle quickly – say you have an antique car and there’s a car show coming up, purchased online and need it in a hurry – or if you just want a more exclusive shipping experience, a one- or two-car enclosed trailer is your answer. It will cost more without others sharing the cost, but the investment is worth it when your car arrives in the same jaw-dropping condition it left in, on time, and ready to be shown off.

What makes car shipping costs vary so much, anyway?

You’ve probably noticed that the cost of shipping an antique, classic, or exotic car varies. 10 customers can have up to 10 different price quotes, and there are many reasons why.

Here are the main factors involved in the calculation of your final auto transport cost:
  • Distance can affect the shipping cost, and so can fuel usage. Mileage for longer transports is better, equating to lower fuel costs. (For that matter, enclosed auto transport trailers are less aerodynamic, making them heavier and use more fuel.) Short distance trips can use as much fuel, mainly from idling and sudden starts in traffic. Even though distance can affect shipping costs, auto transport services can base their pricing on fuel costs.
  • Pick-up and delivery location. Where your vehicle is picked up and the delivery location will affect the cost. This often applies to rural pick-up and deliveries when the carrier might not be able to get easily to the location. Crossing state lines or shipping internationally? There are often fees involved with this that will affect your final price.
  • Auto weight and size. Smaller, lighter vehicles will have lower shipping costs than heavier autos. (Think golf cart compared to a Humvee.) And its overall shape can determine how many other vehicles can fit alongside it, or even what type of trailer it has to go in. (Think Captain Nemo’s Nautilus from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.) Before the vehicle is picked up, it will be weighed so you’ll know the exact shipping cost before the classic car leaves its
  • Additional Assistance. Costs can be added on if the car isn’t operable really low to the ground and can’t use a ramp without scratching a fender. If a forklift or other machinery is needed to get the car onto the trailer the transport cost will increase.
enclosed car shipping

Invest In White Glove Enclosed Auto Shipping With ShipLux

When you’re investing in premium enclosed vehicle shipping services for an antique, classic, or exotic car, you want to make sure you select an auto transport company who not only treats your car with respect, but also treats you with respect.

At ShipLux, we love luxury cars. That’s why we created a service for getting them safely from place to place, with open lines of communication at every turn. Some companies charge extra for White Glove Service, which is all about handling vehicles with the utmost care and attention. We can’t imagine separating that from what we do naturally, so when you ship with us, White Glove Treatment is included as an integral part of the ShipLux experience.

So if you’re thinking of shipping your highly valuable vehicle, and all you care about is that it arrives in perfect condition, you definitely need enclosed shipping. Whatever stage you’re at in the process of finding an enclosed vehicle shipping service, tell us about it and we’ll give you an accurate price quote.

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