Enclosed Auto Transport – Everything You Need to Know

September 3, 2017 / Posted in Car Shipping
Michael Vaughan

Moving through the Bay Area, Michael works as a freelance writer in the moving and transportation industry.

Getting organized to move means you’ll need to make some choices. Sometimes, it can be a real nightmare to coordinate the process and make sure everything runs smoothly. If you chose not to drive your car, you have to decide how to ship it: enclosed auto transport or an open car carrier.

enclosed auto transport truck
If you have expensive or valuable car use enclosed trailers

After you find a reliable moving company and you have your move booked and all your papers in order, you have to make the final decision regarding your car. Even if you prefer to have everything figured out by someone else, this is your vehicle that we are talking about – you should know what the best option is for your car.

If you are determined to have your car shipped in a closed auto carrier instead of open, read the tips below that will help you make an informed decision. Don’t rush into anything – plan according to your relocation budget, circumstances, the time of the year, whether you’re relocating in the summer or winter, and the type of vehicle you own.

black sports car
Enjoy the perks of the enclosed shipping options.

Shipping Your Vehicle: Enclosed Auto Transport vs. Open Car Transport

If you have finalized your decision about choosing and hiring an expert company and you are sure that you don’t want to drive after you’ve coordinated the packing service along with the long-distance moving services, you have to pick the right car carrier. You might not even be moving to a new home at all – maybe you want to have your car shipped because you are about to attend a show in another city.

Whatever the reasons may be, the decision should be based on the type of vehicle you are transporting. In the end, everything boils down to the services you should select. Before you even choose the type of car shipping service you need, you have to be sure that you want to have your car moved by someone else, i.e., by a professional company.

Two major options involve different equipment and methods:

  • Enclosed Auto Transport– It is usually booked for the transportation of a luxury, classic, or custom-made car. The main feature of this kind of carrier is a closed trailer that has a covered freight area, and the automobiles are completely protected from the adverse weather and other outside influences.
  • Open Auto Transport– This is the most common method and it usually comes at a lower price. It can carry up to 12 automobiles. Nonetheless, the cars are not shielded from the weather here, and in case of snow, rain, dust, or hail, your car won’t be fully protected. For this kind of option, you need to be extremely careful because you are exposing your car to all these elements.

Pros of Enclosed Auto Transport

The main reason people go for this option is the best possible protection of the car from any external factors:

  • Automobiles are protected from road dust and debris, rocks, and dirt.
  • The closed carriage transportation process is usually shorter.
  • The level of security is higher – there is no road hazard or risk of damage during the trip.
  • The trailers have lift gates or hydraulic ramps that go all the way to the ground. The vehicle can be loaded in a horizontal position, which means that even the low-clearance automobiles will be safe. The bottom of the cars won’t be damaged during the loading and unloading.
  • Moving during the winter holidays is never an issue with this type of service.

Cons of Open-Air Car Shipping

Even if you are on the verge of saying yes to the cheaper car carriers, think twice before you settle for riskier transportation just because you don’t want to pay more:

  • Your car will be exposed to the weather – moving in the winter means your vehicle will get dirty.
  • The automobiles are also exposed to the dust and debris on the road.
  • You will probably need to wash your car after it’s delivered – the cars shipped in an open trailer are not separately covered.
  • The method is less secure.

Car Carriers: Do You Have the Information You Need

Finalizing the decision takes some time. The more you know about transporting cars from state to state, the easier it gets. If you know some people who have had their cars shipped, you should talk to them. Check reviews from different companies and get first-hand information from people who have already gone through the process.

Your main concerns will revolve around the safety, and efficiency of the method you want to choose, but also the cost of shipping. When it comes to transportation costs, you have to take into account that every experience is individual. The distance between the old and the new address, how long will it take to ship, and the number of vehicles you are moving play a vital role, followed by the shipping method you choose.

Don’t rush into anything and make hasty decisions. If you are unsure, give it some time and consider your options.

How Do Enclosed Auto Shipping Quotes Work?

You don’t doubt that the closed car carrier is the only viable method for you. Nonetheless, you are not sure how much money you need, and how much will it all cost. The good news is that you can get an auto transport quote even before you make the final decision. There are no fixed costs for every shipment – different factors bring different relocation quotes. Make sure you use the cost calculator or reach out to professional movers to get a more precise price quote.

person using mobile and laptop
How far do you have to go?

When Should You Choose Enclosed Auto Carriers?

There are many benefits of shipping in an enclosed carrier. This should be your first choice when you are moving antique, collectible, luxury, sports cars, or any type of car that has an exposed interior. You should also pick this option in case of:

  • Expensive or brand-new automobiles
  • Protection from the weather– both sunshine and snow
  • Your peace of mind– it might be expensive, but it pays off in the long-term

Your Car Is a Classic

If you have recently bought a vintage car or you are a collector of the vintage editions, it’s best to have the car moved with the fully covered car option. Whenever you are shipping old, delicate vehicles or old-timers, this is the best method to move them safely. Sometimes, companies use chains to secure the car for an open carrier method and to avoid any potential injury. These are usually put over a car’s axle, which puts a lot of strain on that car. In case the chains loosen, they can bang against the car whenever a bump is encountered on the road. Your classic automobile is safer in a fully-covered space with a roof.

If Your Car Is Inoperable, We Recommend Shipping with a Transport Company

Even if your car is in inoperable condition but you still need to transport it while you’re relocating from Los Angeles to Austin, you can have it shipped. In that case, you should apply for covered car carriers and minimize any possible risk while your machine is being transported. Having your old car moved with an open trailer might cause additional dysfunctions due to poor weather conditions and circumstances. With the covered car option, cars are shipped in a fully covered container – there are four sides and a roof that limits any outdoor risks. This is the safest option for long-distance moving, especially if you plan to move from California to Florida.

black auto on the street by the park
Make sure everything is removed from the car.

Preparing Your Automobile for Enclosed Car Shipping

The first step would be to pick the company. Once you have that covered, check the quote and proceed with the additional paperwork. Ask anything you are not one hundred percent sure of.

Make sure there is little gas in the tank and that your battery is fully charged so the car can be driven on and off the trailer. Whether you are moving your car in an open carrier or a covered one, make sure the car is empty inside. Things in the trunk can cause a lot of damage to your four-wheel regardless of the trailer you choose, while movers won’t move certain types of items. Also, check for any existing damage to your machine before you hand it over to movers.

Transporting a non-running car can be a bit more expensive than an operable one. This will include a team that already has experience with such cars and owns trucks equipped with winches and trailers to accommodate a non-operable car. Your part of the job is to clean the car out, hand it off and pick it up once the new destination is reached. If you are aiming for some special type of protection inside the trailer, you need to request that before the company starts off the process. Once you hand over the car, your part of the job is done.

person signing a contract
Get your car insured.

Don’t Ship Without Insurance

Whichever option you choose, you should also insure the car before shipping it. Most companies will offer relocation insurance for the vehicle, but they cannot guarantee for the items you have inside the car. In case you are moving an old-timer, you need proper insurance. Get in touch with the company before you start with the moving day preparations or look for an additional insurance provider.

person filling out a form
It won’t take as much time as you think to get your auto insured

Enclosed Car Shipping Delivery Time

It’s time for the delivery of your four-wheeler. Once your car reaches the destination, inspect everything and note any possible damage made during the process. If you have chosen an enclosed carrier, it is highly unlikely that you will have to face any issues at the end of the process. Nonetheless, double-check everything before you finalize the deal. In case of any damage, you should submit a claim to the auto carriers. By choosing this type of transportation, your vehicle is likely to arrive much faster than with the standard services. There are fewer stops and no more than five cars together with your car inside the trailer. In the end, don’t forget to update your driver’s license at your new state’s DMV.

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