Open vs. Enclosed Car Shipping Costs

 Open vs. Enclosed Car Shipping Costs

As mentioned above, enclosed auto shipping costs more than open car shipping for the same distance—the limited availability of enclosed carriers results in increased prices.

Below are car shipping quotes we’ve received from two of the top shippers that demonstrate this cost difference. Each is based on moving an operable 2018 Honda Civic about 1,600 miles.

What Affects the Cost of Car Shipping?

Your choice of open vs. enclosed car shipping plays a significant role in final prices, but other factors affect costs as well. Here are a few of the biggest ones:

Type of vehicle: Larger and pricier models typically cost more to ship at equal distances. Operable cars are also easier to handle and receive much cheaper shipping prices.

Distance: Long-distance car transport will cost more, though the cost per mile will be less than with short-distance shipping.

Pickup and dropoff locations: Terminal-to-terminal transport options are cheaper than using door-to-door shipping.

Gas prices: If fuel is expensive when you’re planning to have a vehicle moved, that will increase the cost of your car transport service. Enclosed car shipping carriers are less fuel-efficient, which is another reason why it’s a pricier choice than open shipping.

Time of year: It’s generally pricier to have a car hauled over the summer months or in January versus at other times of the year. That’s because those are usually when the demand for auto shipping is at its highest.

Open vs. Enclosed Car Shipping: The Bottom Line

Open and enclosed shipping complete the same job but in very different ways. We strongly recommend that owners of luxury vehicles or classic cars consider enclosed car shipping vs. open car transport. For others, however, the much lower prices of available transport may be worth the risk of possible damage.

Recommendations for Car Shipping

The top auto transport companies we reviewed based on reputation, cost, services, and customer experience. Still, it’s wise to shop around and get car shipping quotes online if other options suit your needs and budget better.

This is our methodology.

With the goal of providing consumers with accurate and objective information, we developed a comprehensive rating system for our ranking of the best car shipping services. Several factors were assessed to grade dozens of auto transport companies. After a thorough evaluation, each provider was assigned a score, with the highest-scoring providers ranked first.

As a result of our ratings, we consider the following factors:

The most competitive auto shipping companies in this category are those that offer affordable rates, locked-in pricing, and discount opportunities.

Those organizations that provide a variety of options for car transportation, substantial insurance coverage, and a variety of additional benefits are more likely to satisfy consumers.

It considers customer satisfaction ratings and additional features like GPS tracking to calculate this score. In addition, based on our analysis of shopper feedback, we evaluated each transporter’s customer service team’s friendly and helpful nature.

When determining a business’ reputation, our researchers considered availability, ratings from industry experts, and its years in business.

When determining a business’ reputation, our researchers considered availability, ratings from industry experts, and its years in business.

Aaron Healy