Enclosed Auto Transport: How it Works

Posted on December 9, 2022

To transport a car in an enclosed auto transport or in an open one - everyone decides for himself. After all, in fact, the question is only in the aesthetic component. Using open platforms, when unloading a car, you should not be surprised at the presence of several new scratches from midges, mosquitoes or road dust (at high speed, these small particles turn into a powerful abrasive that can harm the exterior of the car). This is especially important if the car is being transported between states for the purpose of selling or participating in an exhibition. And if the buyer of an average car may not notice a couple of scratches on the car body (although this is of course unlikely), then for rare cars, even minor damage can cause a significant reduction in price.

Enclosed vehicle transport has a lot of advantages (we will consider them in the article) and is widely used by various transport companies. In this article, we will also focus on the types of vehicles that can be used to transport cars, boats, etc., the pricing procedure for transportation services, as well as documentary support for this process.


1. What is better to choose Open vs Enclosed Auto Transport?
2. How enclosed auto transport works?
3. What trailer types are used for enclosed transportation?
4. Enclosed auto transport rates. How much does it costs & What affects rates?
5. How to compare enclosed auto transport quotes?
6. What documents are required for enclosed transportation?
7. FAQs

What Is Better To Choose Open VS Enclosed Auto Transport?

What is better to choose Open vs Enclosed Auto Transport

If we compare open and covered carriers, then the latter definitely have more advantages. These include:

a higher level of vehicle stability, which is achieved by securely fixing the car in the car transporter;
the presence of enhanced protection for expensive cars (this is true for those cases when it comes to transporting elite and rare cars to various exhibitions);
a higher level of vehicle protection from road debris, adverse weather conditions. In winter, this is generally the only true option, because open car transporters will not save your beloved iron horse from frost, snow and ice crust. This is especially important for those who, after delivering the car, should immediately get behind the wheel and drive on.

Transportation of a car in a covered car transporter is a reliable method of transportation that stands out from other options. With such auto-delivery, the risk of mechanical damage to the paintwork and glass, as well as the development of corrosion, which is not always possible to avoid during transportation, is eliminated.

However, closed car carriers are not without a disadvantage. An important and significant disadvantage is the higher cost of transportation. On average, the price rises by 500-2000 dollars for delivery. Enclosed auto transport quotes are really higher.

How Enclosed Auto Transport Works?

First, you need to find the best enclosed car shipping. After all, it is very important that the car or other vehicle is in good hands and not damaged during operation. It is worth entrusting the transportation of such a valuable reward only to those companies that have a high reputation and have proven themselves in the market for services of this type.

In order to avoid any problems during the transportation of the car, you should carefully monitor the process of preparing vehicles for transportation. For this you should:

How Enclosed Auto Transport Works
turn off the alarm. A working alarm can cause a delay in loading the car and delay the delivery of the vehicle. It is worth noting that if more than one car is transported, then no one will play – the carrier will not want to violate the terms of delivery under other contracts;
clean up the car and wash it;
check tire pressure;
remove all accessories from the car (flavors, video recorders, etc.) before transportation;
block the car to protect the car from potential robbers during transportation;
take care of the optimal amount of fuel or gas etc.

What Trailer Types Are Used For Enclosed Transportation?

Transport companies may have different types of vehicles at their disposal. Each of which has its own characteristics (carrying capacity, permissible dimensions of transported vehicles). For transportation can be used:

What Trailer Types Are Used For Enclosed Transportation

Single-level closed trailer for one car

These trailers are usually small and are designed to transport valuable cars and small trucks over short distances.

5-6 Car Enclosed Carrier

Vehicles are loaded and “stacked” inside a hard side enclosed trailer that has an upper and lower deck.

2-3 Car Enclosed Trailer

This single level “non-stack” trailer is often referred to as a ‘hotshot’ carriеr.  If we compare it with the aforementioned trailer, then it is more maneuverable and faster delivery of cars (this is easily explained, because loading is faster and the cars themselves weigh less, respectively, the speed of the carrier is higher). But, the owner should be prepared for the fact that the price will be higher.

Soft-Side Covered Carrier

As the name suggests, soft-side covered carriers have soft sliding tarps for walls. This type of transport is suitable for transporting various cars, as well as motorcycles, boats and more.

Oversize Enclosed Trailer

The Conestoga trailer is the larger of all enclosed trailers. Its retractable soft-side cover allows it to transport different oversize vehicles that are too wide or too tall to transport on a regular enclosed carrier. It can be different boats, huge autos, ATVs. 

This method of transportation is becoming increasingly popular, and this is easily explained by the many advantages that are inherent in it. When transporting cars by van, thanks to a strong frame and panels made of plastic or metal, the car is securely fixed inside the space and protected from the negative effects of external factors.

Enclosed Auto Transport Rates.
How Much Does It Costs & What Affects Rates?

Many factors influence the pricing procedure, so it’s hard to say right away how much it will cost to transport your car from state to state or transport your favorite boat to a recreation center. When calculating the cost, the following criteria are taken into account:

Enclosed Auto Transport Rates
vehicle type. In an enclosed car hauler, cars and small boats, ATVs, etc. can be transported;
the weight and size of your machine. The larger and heavier you need to transport the car, the higher the price of such a service will be;
the type of car that will be transported;
the distance over which the vehicle will be delivered;
your shipping dates, season and weather can highly affect the enclosed vehicle shipping cost.

How To Compare Enclosed Auto Transport Quotes?

In order for the choice of a transport company to be successful and for the owner of the car to have only warm memories of cooperation with it, it is required to approach it as responsibly as possible. When choosing a transport company, the customer should pay attention to the following points:

availability of insurance. This is interesting for owners of cars and other vehicles, whose own insurance does not cover such things as delivery;
reviews of people who have already used the services of the company and evaluate the quality of its work. Who better can tell you about whether the company complies with the agreed deadlines, does not sin with hidden payments and delivers the car in integrity, if not the person who ordered this service earlier? Usually people are willing to share their experience with someone (especially when it’s negative). However, in any case, it is worth analyzing the information received and not accepting it as an irrefutable truth;
the possibility of delivery to the desired point (some companies provide delivery to a specific point and do not take into account the individual wishes of the owner of the vehicle);
the quality of the cars used by the company. There are different types of cars and they can be used for long distance towing;
driver experience. This is important, because the speed of loading and unloading operations, the timeliness of delivery, and the safety of the car depend on it;
availability of a license (license can be checked on this site).

At the same time, the pricing policy of the transport company is of no small importance. It is worth noting that roadside assistance costs can be higher in big cities than in small towns. If your car breaks down in a rural area away from cities, you may not be able to spend as much money. The same applies to cases when you live far from metropolitan areas and you need to transport a car or other vehicle to another destination. Companies registered in small towns and not “popular” states don’t pay as much for rent and may charge lower fees.

What Documents Are Required For Enclosed Transportation?

Finding a transport company is not all that a vehicle owner will have to take care of.

To transport a car, you need to take care of the preparation of such documents as:

What papers Are Required For Enclosed Transportation
Bill of lading;
Absent Owner Authorization;
Insurance. Not all insurance companies cover damage that can be caused to a car during enclosed car shipping. This point is very important, so before you transfer the vehicle for loading into the car, make sure that your insurance company or the carrier’s insurance company covers all cases of damage to the car during transportation and zero-deductible. Also, before loading the car, we advise you to take high-quality photos of the car from all sides.
Title and Registration.


Should I ship my car open or enclosed?

It all depends on your desire, financial capabilities and features of the car. If you do not want to spend extra money and a little dirt on the car after delivery, you can not overpay and choose an open platform delivery.

How Much Does Enclosed Auto Transport Cost?

It is depending on the vehicle size, type of transportation, and distance, etc. In each case, the issue of pricing for the services of a transport company is decided individually.

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