Did you know that approximately 31 million Americans relocate every year? That's nearly ten percent of the population. 

Many of these individuals rely on professional auto transporters to move one or more of their vehicles. After all, who wants to deal with a long-distance move AND unnecessary road trips?

The same goes for individuals who have recently won a car at auction or purchased one online. Why take time off work and spend money to DIY move an automobile when experts can handle it?

Professional car movers even provide specialized enclosed transport options. These services offer the owners of investment-worthy vehicles peace of mind when moving automobiles between states or coast-to-coast.

Keep reading to learn more about enclosed transport and whether or not it's right for your vehicle.

What Is Enclosed Car Transport

Enclosed auto transport services move cars using trailers that have roofs and walls. That way, the vehicles getting transported remain shielded from the elements.

Enclosed transport means your car or truck is one of only a few automobiles that gets moved at a time. Consider it the equivalent of flying first class for your vehicle. 

What Are the Main Differences Between Open and Enclosed Car Shipping?

One of the most critical decisions you'll make is whether to go with an open or closed carrier. It will impact everything from how much you pay to how quickly your vehicle gets moved.

Most car owners opt for open car carrier transport. Why? Because this service remains the most affordable and quickest way to transport a vehicle. 

And it's a fantastic option if the car getting moved is a daily driver or commuter. Potential exposure to the elements and wear and tear on an open carrier prove comparable to a road trip.

What are open carriers? Those freight behemoths you regularly see on the road, carrying between eight and ten vehicles. Car dealerships use them regularly. As a result, they transport millions of automobiles each year.

They have well-trafficked networks providing plenty of supply for the demand that's out there. Find out more about how car shipping works

The main difference between open and enclosed carriers remains how shielded vehicles are in transit. 

Why Enclosed Transportation Is the Safest Way to Ship a Car

The most discerning customers rely on enclosed auto transport. Why? Because these individuals possess the most unique and expensive cars on the road today. Some even own irreplaceable rides. 

Unlike open carriers, enclosed trailers fully shield vehicles from the elements, providing car owners peace of mind and security. Enclosed trailers also keep prying eyes from seeing your vehicle. 

How Much Does Enclosed Auto Transport Cost?

How much does enclosed auto transport cost? Expect to pay 30 to 60 percent more for enclosed car transport than an open carrier. Yes, that's a significant markup but consider what these happy customers have to say about enclosed transport. 

Why does it cost so much more? Because the extra structure that makes these carriers enclosed (e.g., roof and walls) proves heavier. This added weight makes them less fuel-efficient and more expensive to transport. They also transport fewer cars at one time, which means gas charges get spread between fewer customers. 

You'll also find less availability when it comes to pickup and delivery dates, although you'll get definitive ones. Why the limitation on dates? Because these services prove much less common, so there aren't as many drivers on these routes.

What's the ballpark for enclosed auto transport? For cross-country moves like California to Delaware (approximately 2,849 miles), expect to pay anywhere from $1,700 to $2,600. Seattle to Miami will cost you between $1,730 and $2,700. 

How Long Does It Take to Ship a Car Using Enclosed Transport?

Pinpointing how long it'll take for your car to ship depends on a handful of variables. Many automobiles get relocated within two to seven days on an open carrier. Enclosed auto transport services usually take longer.

Why? Routine inspections prove more difficult. Unlike open carriers, the drivers of enclosed freight must go through more steps to comply with inspections.

Enclosed transport drivers also take their time, ensuring your vehicle's safety every step of the way. And there are far fewer of these drivers and trailers, so if you hit a high-demand season, plan on longer relocation times. 

How long should you anticipate an enclosed car transport will take? Between six to 12 days within the lower 48. 

Should I Ship My Car Via Open or Enclosed Transport? 

For many Americans, the most expensive item they own is a house, followed by a car. However, for a particular class of automobile owners, the "most costly spot" proves a neck and neck race. 

In 2018, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO garnered a bank-breaking $48.4 million on the auction block! This figure makes it the most expensive vehicle ever sold at auction.

The average cost of a luxury home is a measly $2 million. Although the market ranges from $750,000 up to $8 million in the poshest areas of Beverly Hills, the Ferrari wins by a long shot!

If you're the owner of a vehicle that James Bond has driven in a movie, or your car goes from 0-60 in a handful of seconds, go with an enclosed carrier. After all, the most prized cars require superior transportation solutions. 

When Do You Need Enclosed Car Transport?

Enclosed carriers aren't reserved solely for million-dollar vehicles. But the stats above do drive home the importance of finding an excellent car transporter for investment-worthy vehicles.

Consider exotics for a moment. The average exotic car falls into the $400,000 to $500,000 price range. Although significantly below the million-dollar mark, you don't want to leave these cars' transportation to chance.

Instead, make arrangements to have them moved on a trailer shielded from the elements. It should also provide the necessary precautions for loading vehicles with low clearance. And the driver should have specific training when it comes to working with investment-worthy automobiles. 

Your car is a significant investment, and you must ensure it arrives safely at its final destination. Opting for an enclosed auto transport service represents your best way to do this. 

Enclosed Car Shipping Is Perfect for Classic Cars

You'll also want to go the enclosed carrier route for classic cars. Why? Because enclosed car transport ensures classic and custom vehicles remain in tip-top shape throughout the relocation process. 

Many of these vehicles prove quite rare or even one-of-a-kind. Car owners put their hearts and souls into restoring these rides, and the last thing they want are dents from hail or road gravel.

With an enclosed carrier, you'll know without a doubt that your car will arrive at your home or an auto show without a scratch. And it won't require expensive detailing upon delivery, either. 

Peace-of-Mind Protection With a Closed Trailer

The peace of mind you'll get from going the enclosed carrier route will prove well worth the extra money.

After all, enclosed carriers protect your automobile from more than just road grime and dust. They also shield cars from hail, road gravel, dents, and paint scratches. 

What's more, you can rest assured drivers have special training in transporting the most expensive vehicles. You'll even get the driver's cell phone number so you can stay in touch throughout the process.

Many companies now offer shipment tracking, too. That way, you'll never wonder what's going on with your ride. 

Extra Car Protection During Transport Services

The number one reason car owners opt for enclosed auto transport is the extra protection it provides to vehicles. You'll never have to worry about dents or cracked windshields due to extreme weather or road hazards.

You won't have water damage on the interior due to rain or melting snow. The extra car protection your car will enjoy makes it well worth paying more for this specialized shipping. 

Ship Cars With Low Ground Clearance

Enclosed auto transport also ensures a safer loading and unloading experience. Enclosed car haulers come with special equipment designed to deal with the needs of the highest-end vehicles. These include hydraulic lifts that lower to the ground to load cars. 

These hydraulic lifts act as elevators that move your car up to the carrier platform. They work well with low clearance vehicles like sports cars. Otherwise, you could end up with a scraped or damaged undercarriage.

Enclosed trailer transport drivers will safely navigate your vehicle right onto the lifts and into the trailer. That means none of the risks associated with angled loading ramps. 

Extra Insurance

Enclosed carriers also shield vehicles from freak accidents and "acts of God" in a way that open carriers cannot. Remember that damage from such phenomena isn't covered under your auto insurance policy.

Fortunately, enclosed carrier transport companies take out extra insurance on the high-end vehicles they transport. They specialize in working with the most valuable cars in the world, and their insurance policies reflect this. 

Personalized Approach

You should also go with an enclosed carrier if you want pickup and delivery dates set in stone. Many customers don't realize standard open carrier services provide date ranges for pickup and delivery.

You'll have a four-day window on either side of your transport service. These standard shipping ranges aren't very convenient or personalized.

But they permit companies to keep costs down. They also provide drivers with the wiggle room they need to get all eight to ten cars delivered in a practical progression.

Of course, not having a set date for pick up and delivery could leave you feeling anxious as the owner of an expensive car in transit.

For a personalized approach, go with an enclosed auto transport service. Not only will you know precisely when your car will leave your possession and return to it, but you'll also stay in touch with the driver throughout the process. 

Types of Enclosed Car Haulers

Besides knowing the ins and outs of enclosed transport vs. open carriers, you must understand the different types of enclosed car haulers available. These options include:

  • Single enclosed car trailers
  • Multi-car enclosed trailers
  • 5-6 car enclosed carriers
  • 2-3 car enclosed trailers
  • Soft-sided vs. hard-sided trailers 
  • Enclosed stacking and enclosed non-stacking auto transport trailers

As you can see, you have options for how many cars ship with your vehicle.

Single Enclosed vs. Multi-Car Enclosed Trailers

Single enclosed car trailers provide optimal protection. Your driver places all of their time and attention on your ride alone. But you'll pay a premium for this level of service.

If you don't mind having your automobile ship with other cars, you have options when it comes to multi-car enclosed trailers. For the most significant savings, go with an auto enclosed carrier that accommodates five to six cars. 

That way, more clients will carry the costs of labor and fuel, reducing the final price. But if you require personalized service and don't have the money for a single trailer, consider a two to three-car enclosed trailer.

Your car will still receive plenty of one-on-one with the driver, but you won't bear the brunt of all the transport costs alone. 

To make the best decision, consider your budget and how many cars you'll ship. If you have more than one to move, sending them together on one trailer will set your mind at ease. It'll also prove most convenient in terms of scheduling. 

Soft-Sided vs. Hard-Sided Trailers

Soft-sided trailers shield your car from the elements and prying eyes by utilizing vinyl tarps. These carriers typically transport between seven and nine vehicles. The tarps keep out road debris, rock chips, and extreme weather.

But your vehicle will arrive needing a detail. Why? Because of exposure to dust and dirt.

What about hard-sided carriers? These fully enclosed carriers protect your car from everything. They use hydraulic lifts to get cars into the trailer instead of ramps.

Many of these trailers carry four (or fewer) cars at a time. Because of the closed trailer, your vehicle will arrive in pristine condition.  

Enclosed Stacking and Enclosed Non-stacking Auto Transport Trailers

Think carefully about whether you feel comfortable with a stacking trailer. Yes, you'll save money by going this route, but some car owners don't want to risk it.

Why? For one, they fear the car stacked above theirs could leak. This leak could damage their car's exterior and interior.

There are also added concerns should a traffic accident occur. You must weigh your budget carefully against these factors before making a final decision. 

Can You Ship Your Car With Things in It?

Some car owners have questions about whether or not they can ship personal belongings in their vehicles. Many carriers don't allow this practice, although some will permit you to place a suitcase or box in your car's trunk.

Why? Carriers must bear in mind weight limitations, and they must also think about the liability associated with taking personal belongings into their custody. Theft risk also represents a significant issue.

We don't recommend shipping anything of value with your car, even if a carrier permits you to place it in the trunk. You should also consider any damage that could occur by having extra items in your car. 

Even hitting a speed bump a little too fast could cause jostling and interior damage. As a result, keep your car as clean and clear as possible. Remember, auto insurance policies don't cover damage from loose belongings in your car.

Why Use Carshipguru to Get an Enclosed Auto Transport Quote?

Now, you have a better concept of the differences between enclosed transport and open carrier hauling. You understand when enclosed carriers make the most sense, and you've learned about options such as soft-sided and hard-sided carriers. 

You also recognize the importance of selecting an experienced, reliable enclosed car transport company like Carshipguru for a quote. Contact us now to receive an instantaneous live quote and get answers to your most frequently asked questions.