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Enclosed Auto Transport vs. Open Auto Transport

Auto Transport

What are the differences between enclosed and open auto transport? Neither is necessarily better, but each is better for particular circumstances. Enclosed auto transport means that your vehicle will be transported inside a container. Open means that it will be transported via flatbed. Vehicles are never shipped by tow truck because this stresses a vehicle’s suspension and the wheels that are on the ground over long distances.

Enclosed Car Carriers

Enclosed car carriers ensure that your vehicle is protected by four walls, a floor and a ceiling. They’re defended from the weather, and from bad road conditions like grit and gravel getting kicked up. They also transport cars by one layer, so you don’t have to worry about leaking fluids. Smaller vehicles like motorcycles, dirtbikes, and ATVs may be transported on two layers inside a container by pallet, unless specified otherwise. Larger vehicles will always be transported on a single layer when shipping by enclosed car carrier.

Open Car Carriers

Open car carriers are made to transport, 3, 7, or 10 vehicles at a time. You’re probably most familiar with seeing 7- or 10-car carriers on the road. This is less expensive, since more cars are shipped per trip. Cars will be exposed to weather and road conditions. Vehicles on the bottom row can sometimes see fluids leak from vehicles on the top row. All vehicles are checked for leaks before shipping, but because open car carriers expose vehicles to some road hazards and some of these problems aren’t fully developed when checked, there’s still a very slight chance leaks can occur. Be aware that contingent cargo insurance does not cover vehicles transported this way for road hazards encountered.

Both of these options are less expensive than driving a vehicle long-distance, especially when factoring in the long-term maintenance costs this accelerates. Enclosed auto transport is a safer because there’s less risk to the vehicles involved. Open auto transport is more economical.

Enclosed Transport Advantages

The advantages to enclosed auto transport include this protection. There will be fewer stops. Any unloading and offloading along the transport chain is done to the container, not the vehicles themselves, so the vehicles will be handled less. This is idea for expensive cars, luxury, antique, or collector cars, and generally any cars you wish to keep protected from road hazards. For expedited shipping, enclosed is the better option.

Open Transport Advantages

The advantages to open auto transport revolve around some saved cost. It can be slightly faster in some circumstances, if the route is brief. For longer routes, open auto carriers make more stops. Vehicles will also be handled more often because they aren’t contained and they need to be off-loaded individually. Dealers choose this because they move in bulk and can afford the occasional car exposed to road hazard – these kinds of things are already written into their budgets.

It depends on what your need is, what your budget is, what kind of car is being transported, and whether you’re transporting a personal car or cars for a business. Talk to PPlus Global Shipping about what’s right for you.

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