Moving? Buying or selling out of state? You need to get your vehicle from point A to B. You don’t have the time to drive it, and you don’t want to put all the extra wear and tear onto it. Most importantly, your vehicle has to arrive in the condition it left in.
The answer: Ship it.
Great! Now what?
When shipping vehicles, there are two options: open or enclosed, both of which use a specifically designed vehicle transport trailer.
Here’s a breakdown of the differences between these two types of auto transport:
Open shipping uses a trailer that is open on the top and sides. This is typically either a flatbed or multi-tier trailer, and depending on the style and configuration, can hold from 1-3 or up to 9 vehicles at once. The open design of this trailer is more aerodynamic than a box-shaped enclosed trailer, which makes it lighter, faster, and cheaper – because it requires less gas to tow.
This is a tried-and-true process: Many car dealerships use open trailers when transporting loads of brand new vehicles to their showrooms. All the vehicles are secured and safe, using soft straps across the wheels to keep them in place. Though they are exposed to the elements and potential road debris, in most cases whatever a car picks up en route can be easily managed with a wash upon arrival. Nothing more than what it would be exposed to if you were driving it on the highway yourself, and most likely less, since the vehicles are on a raised truck bed.
If you want to ensure the most protection during the open shipping process: request “top load.” Top Load refers to a spot on the highest level, meaning farther away from stones kicked up by the tires of passing vehicles, and out from under any other vehicles on the trailer that might leak fluids during the trip.
With a larger capacity, open shipping is the most common option, making it easier to schedule. Being the more affordable choice makes open shipping the answer for shipping a standard or used vehicle.
Enclosed shipping requires a trailer that has coverage on all sides. This style of trailer generally accommodates 2-3 vehicles at a time. Since the trailer is fully enclosed and shaped like a box, it’s heavier and uses more gas in towing, but each vehicle is completely protected from all elements, ensuring a pristine arrival.
Some enclosed auto transportation companies offer “First Position” loading, which is when your vehicle gets loaded in first and the remaining vehicles are brought in behind it. This means your vehicle is able to stay in place until it arrives at your destination, reducing the amount of time spent loading and unloading as other vehicles are delivered.
A good question when deciding between open and enclosed auto shipping is whether or not you would be comfortable driving the vehicle in rain, snow, and temperature fluctuations. For owners of highly valuable cars, from classic to high-end luxury vehicles, to the rare, one-of-a-kind paint jobs (Janis Joplin’s “History of The Universe” Porsche, anyone?), the idea of this might make you cringe. If that’s the case for the vehicle you want to ship, you probably want to choose enclosed shipping.
With the exclusive nature of enclosed shipping comes a higher price tag, making this the solution for transporting valuable vehicles, like antiques, collectibles, and high-end models. Drivers of enclosed trailers have more experience with these special automobiles, as it’s often the only type of cargo they transport.
Although the drivers aren’t able to perform routine inspections as easily as in an open trailer, you know your vehicle is in good hands and safe from potentially damaging weather and road debris. An added layer of protection is that in a fully enclosed trailer, nobody can see inside, which is a great deterrent from would-be thieves.
While both open and enclosed car shipping methods are safe, the extra security and exclusivity of enclosed shipping is invaluable when transporting highly prized vehicles. With enclosed shipping, you can rest assured that your vehicle is being transported with the highest level of protection and security.
Like a visual? This handy diagram is a simple guide for deciding what type of shipping is best for your vehicle transport situation.
However you choose to ship, you want your vehicle to be treated with care. Now that you know how you want to ship your car, the next step is to find a carrier – or better yet, a company who will take care of all the details for you, like ShipLux.
From the moment you request a quote until your vehicle has arrived at its destination and beyond, we’re here to make your auto shipping as seamless and stress-free as possible.
Contact us today and let us take care of the rest!