Open Carrier Car Shipping: Safe and Affordable Vehicle Transportation Method

open carrier car shipping safe and affordable vehicle transportation

Open car shipping has become a popular choice for individuals and businesses looking to transport vehicles cost-effectively in an open/uncovered carrier/truck. This method involves loading vehicles onto an open air carrier or trailer, securely fastening them, and transporting them to their destination.
While open car shipping or open auto transport method exposes the vehicles to external elements and potential road debris, reputable shipping companies take measures to ensure their safety. With advantages such as affordability, wide availability, and visible inspection throughout the process, open car shipping offers a reliable option for moving vehicles both short and long distances.
By understanding the benefits and considerations of open car shipping option, vehicle owners can make informed decisions when it comes to transporting their valuable assets.

What is Open Carrier Car Shipping or Open Car Shipping?

Open carrier car shipping is a transportation method used to move vehicles from one location to another. It involves transporting vehicles on an open trailer or carrier. These carriers are designed to carry multiple vehicles at once, securely fastened and exposed to the open elements during transit.

Advantages of Open Carrier Car Shipping


Open carrier car shipping is often more affordable compared to other methods, making it an attractive choice for individuals and businesses alike

Wide Availability

Open carrier services are widely available, allowing for greater flexibility in terms of scheduling and pickup locations.

Efficient Transport

Open carriers can accommodate multiple vehicles at once, enabling efficient transportation and reducing the overall transit time.

Visible Inspection

The open design of the carrier allows for easy inspection of the vehicles during loading, transit, and unloading, providing peace of mind to the vehicle owners

Established Safety Standards

Reputable open carrier car shipping companies adhere to strict safety protocols, ensuring that your vehicle is handled with care throughout the shipping process.

Factors to Consider

Before opting for open carrier car shipping, there are a few factors to consider:

Vehicle Exposure

As the vehicles are transported in an open carrier, they are exposed to external elements such as weather conditions, dust, and road debris. While carriers provide some protection, there is still a minimal risk of potential damage.


Although vehicles are securely fastened onto the carrier, they are more susceptible to theft or unauthorized access compared to enclosed carriers.

Weather Conditions

If you are transporting your vehicle during extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rain or snowstorms, it is important to discuss the potential risks with the shipping company.

How to Choose a Reliable Open Carrier Car Shipping Service

To ensure a smooth and secure transportation experience, consider the following when choosing a reliable open carrier car shipping service:

  1. Reputation and Experience: Look for top car shipping companies, renowned for their solid reputation and extensive experience in the industry. To make an informed decision, read customer reviews and testimonials that reflect the level of satisfaction among previous clients.
  2. Licensing and Insurance: Verify that the shipping company holds all the necessary licenses and insurance coverage required for transporting vehicles. This ensures that your vehicle is protected in the event of any unforeseen circumstances.
  3. Transparent Pricing: Request detailed pricing information, including any additional charges or fees. Compare quotes

Open Car Shipping vs. Enclosed Car Shipping: A Comparison

When it comes to transporting your vehicle, you have two primary options: open car shipping and enclosed car shipping. Both methods have their advantages and considerations. In this section, we will explore the differences between open car shipping and enclosed car shipping to help you make an informed decision.

Open Car Shipping?

Open car shipping is a method of transporting vehicles on an open carrier or trailer. Multiple vehicles are loaded onto the carrier, secured in place, and transported to their destination. During transit, the vehicles are exposed to the open elements and potential road debris.

Enclosed Car Shipping?

Enclosed car shipping, on the other hand, involves transporting vehicles in an enclosed carrier. These carriers provide a fully enclosed and protected environment for the vehicles, shielding them from external elements such as weather conditions, dust, and road debris.

Security and Protection

One of the main differences between open car shipping and enclosed car shipping is the level of security and protection provided to the vehicles. In open car shipping, the vehicles are exposed to the open elements and are more susceptible to potential damage from weather conditions, dust, or road debris. However, reputable open car shipping companies take measures to secure the vehicles and minimize the risk of damage.

Enclosed car shipping offers a higher level of security and protection. The vehicles are placed inside a fully enclosed carrier, providing a shield against external elements. This method is often preferred for transporting high-value, classic, or luxury vehicles that require extra care and protection.

Cost Considerations

Cost is another factor to consider when choosing between open car shipping and enclosed car shipping. Generally, open car shipping tends to be more cost-effective compared to enclosed car shipping. The availability of open carriers is higher, resulting in more competitive pricing. This makes open car shipping a popular choice for individuals and businesses looking for a budget-friendly option.

On the other hand, enclosed car shipping is typically more expensive due to the added security and protection it offers. The limited capacity of enclosed carriers and the specialized nature of the service contribute to the higher costs. Enclosed car shipping is often chosen for valuable or delicate vehicles where the extra cost is justified to ensure their safety.

Vehicle Types and Personal Preferences

The type of vehicle you are transporting and your personal preferences also play a role in deciding between open car shipping and enclosed car shipping. If you have a regular vehicle that doesn’t require extra protection or if you are comfortable with the minimal risks associated with open car shipping, it can be a suitable option.

However, if you own a luxury vehicle, a classic car, or a vehicle with sentimental value, enclosed car shipping may be the preferred choice. The added protection and peace of mind offered by enclosed carriers can outweigh the higher cost.


Is open car shipping safe for my vehicle?

Open car shipping is generally safe for vehicles, as reputable shipping companies take precautions to secure the vehicles during transit. However, it’s important to note that there is a minimal risk of potential damage from external elements or road debris. If you have concerns about the safety of your vehicle, you may consider enclosed car shipping for added protection.

How long does open car shipping take?

Toggle ContentThe duration of open car shipping depends on various factors such as the distance, route, and any unforeseen circumstances. Generally, it takes between 5 to 14 days for domestic shipments and can vary for international shipments. It’s advisable to consult with the shipping company to get an estimated timeframe based on your specific requirements.

Can I ship personal belongings along with my vehicle during open car shipping?

It is generally recommended not to ship personal belongings inside the vehicle during open car shipping. Shipping companies primarily focus on transporting vehicles and may have restrictions or regulations regarding the transportation of personal items. It’s best to consult with the shipping company beforehand to understand their policies and guidelines.

Do I need insurance for open car shipping?

While reputable open car shipping companies carry insurance to cover potential damages, it’s advisable to check the insurance coverage provided. In some cases, additional insurance may be recommended for added peace of mind. Review the terms and conditions of the shipping company’s insurance policy or consult with them to ensure your vehicle is adequately covered during transit.

What should I do before handing over my vehicle for open car shipping?

Before shipping your vehicle, it’s essential to take a few steps to prepare it for transportation. This includes thoroughly cleaning the vehicle, documenting any pre-existing damage, removing personal belongings, ensuring the fuel tank is not more than a quarter full, and disabling any toll tags or electronic devices. Following these preparations will help ensure a smooth shipping process.

Similar Posts