There are essentially two types of vessels that can be used to transport vehicles: open carriers and enclosed carriers. If you're looking car shipping for the first time, it is important to know what kind of vessel you'll need to transport your vehicle. Before making your auto shipping decision, it is important that you speak to an expert in the field. You should first call American Auto Transport at (866) 327-7863 today to find out what kind of vessel will work best for transporting your vehicle.
Here is a basic description of open and enclosed auto transports that will be helpful in helping determine what kind of vessel should be used:
Open carriers are the most common way to transport vehicles. An open carrier is a carrier that leaves your vehicle exposed to the elements. Unlike enclosed carriers, there is little between the weather and the surface of your vehicle. Chances are that you've seen the standard 10-car open hauler on the highway. These are 18-wheel double-decker tractor trailers that carry between 8 and 10 cars. This will most likely be your best option for auto shipping.
More availability. Most transport vessels are open carriers, so your odds of finding an available driver quickly are higher than enclosed.
Cheaper. More availability translates into prices that are cheaper than enclosed carriers.
Your vehicle will be exposed to the elements. While your vehicle will most likely arrive in the same condition that it was transported in, it may have an accumulation of road dust at the time of delivery.
Depending on where your vehicle is loaded on the open carrier, you may have fluids leak onto your vehicle. Keep in mind that convertibles and vehicles with cloth tops are generally loaded on the top rack.
Enclosed carriers are another way to satisfy your car shipping needs. Vehicles loaded in enclosed carriers are not exposed to the elements, nor are they placed on two racks a la open carriers. This may be an option if you're looking to transport a high end vehicle, a low ground clearance vehicle, or a vehicle that has an exposed interior.
Greater insurance coverage. Enclosed carriers often carry up to $250,000 or more of insurance per vehicle.
Protection against the weather. Weather related damage is generally not covered by the carrier's insurance. Enclosed carriers will protect your vehicle from the weather.
Can transport low clearance vehicles. Enclosed carriers can carry low clearance vehicles because they use scissor lifts rather than ramps.
Less availability. Because there are less enclosed carriers than open, it takes longer to arrange auto shipping via enclosed carrier. Make sure to give as much notice as possible if you're interested in shipping your vehicle in an enclosed carrier.
More expensive. Enclosed carriers are often 50-100% more expensive than open carriers. Make sure to speak to an American Auto Transport team member at (866) 327-7863 to make sure that you aren't over spending.
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