What's in this article?

  1. Types of Auto Transport
  2. Open Car Transport Service
  3. Enclosed Car Transport Service
  4. Flatbed Car Transport Services
  5. Types of Auto Transport Delivery Methods
  6. What is the Most Cost-effective Method for Shipping a Car?
  7. What are the Factors That Affect the Cost?

Types of Auto Transport

There are various types of auto transport available.

Various auto transports are available for transporting vehicles from one location to another. Here are several commonly encountered types of auto transports:

  • Open car transport service
  • Enclosed car transport service
  • Flatbed car transport services

Open Car Transport Service

Open Car Transport is a widely used and cost-effective method. The process entails loading vehicles onto an open trailer or car carrier, which exposes them to the elements during transportation. This method suits many cars, such as sedans, SUVs, and motorcycles.

Benefits of using open car transport service

Open car transport, also called open-air car shipping, is a widely used and favored vehicle transport approach. There are several benefits associated with open transport car shipping, including:


Generally, open transport car shipping is more affordable than enclosed transport. Open transport carriers are a cost-effective option for shipping cars because they can accommodate multiple vehicles simultaneously.

Wide availability:

Open car transport carriers are readily accessible, with a vast network of carriers operating on numerous routes. This means that you are more likely to find a carrier who can transport your vehicle at a time and location that is convenient for you.

Improved transit times:

Open car transport carriers generally have faster transit times compared to enclosed carriers. Open transport carriers can transport multiple vehicles, leading to more frequent departures and shorter delivery times.

Improved visibility:

When using open car transport, your vehicle is susceptible to the elements and other vehicles on the road. Although it may appear as a drawback at first, it provides a higher level of visibility.

Carriers and drivers can effectively monitor the condition of vehicles during transport, thereby minimizing the likelihood of damage or theft going unnoticed.

High safety standards:

Open transport carriers strictly adhere to safety standards to protect the vehicles transported. The cars are securely loaded onto the carrier and properly secured to prevent movement or potential damage while being transported.

Insurance coverage:

Reputable car shipping companies that offer open transport services provide insurance coverage for the vehicles they transport. This means that if there is damage or loss, which is unlikely to happen, you can file a claim to cover the cost of repairs or replacement.

 types of car haulers

Enclosed Car Transport Service

This method loads vehicles onto a fully enclosed trailer or container. It offers protection against various external elements such as weather conditions, road debris, and other factors. Enclosed transport is famous for luxury, classic car, or high-value vehicles requiring additional care and protection.

Benefits of using enclosed car transport services

There are several benefits associated with using enclosed transport methods. There are several notable advantages of using enclosed transport, including:

Enhanced Protection:

Enclosed car transport offers an additional level of protection for your vehicle. The enclosed trailer or container protects the car, shielding it from potential damage caused by road debris, adverse weather conditions, and other external elements.

This service is especially advantageous for luxury, classic, vintage, or high-value vehicles requiring additional care and preservation.

Weather Protection:

Enclosed transport protects your vehicle against extreme weather conditions, including heavy rain, hailstorms, snow, and intense sunlight. Using a car cover helps to protect the car's exterior paint, windows, and other delicate components from potential damage.

Security and Privacy:

Enclosed car transport provides a higher level of security and privacy when compared to open transport. The enclosed trailer or container offers a protective barrier that prevents unauthorized individuals from seeing your vehicle. This significantly reduces the chances of theft or vandalism while your car is transported.

Reduced Risk of Damage:

Enclosed transport is a method that eliminates the risk of damage caused by flying debris, loose rocks, or other objects that may come into contact with a vehicle during open transport.

Additionally, it reduces the likelihood of scratches, dings, or dents caused by nearby vehicles or accidental collisions.

types of car carriers

Flatbed Car Transport Services

Flatbed trailers are commonly used to transport oversized vehicles, heavy machinery, or vehicles that cannot be driven onto a conventional carrier. The car is carefully loaded onto the flatbed and securely fastened in place.

Benefits of using flatbed auto transport services

Flatbed auto transport services provide numerous advantages for vehicle transportation, such as:


Flatbed carriers are suitable for transporting various vehicles, such as cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, and even heavy machinery. These parking spaces are highly versatile, accommodating vehicles of multiple sizes, shapes, and weights.


Flatbeds are advantageous compared to enclosed trailers or other carriers because of their open design, which simplifies the process of loading and unloading vehicles.

This accessibility is particularly beneficial for cars that are not drivable, have low ground clearance, or require special handling when being loaded.

Safety and Security:

Flatbed carriers offer exceptional visibility and accessibility for both drivers and shippers. This ensures that vehicles are carefully handled throughout loading, transporting, and unloading.

Furthermore, flatbed carriers often come equipped with secure tie-downs and straps, essential for ensuring the safety and security of the vehicles transported.

Preventing Damage:

Flatbed transport offers a lower risk of damage from debris, road hazards, or other vehicles. The open design of flatbeds enables drivers to quickly identify any potential issues and make necessary adjustments while in transit. Transporting cars can be made safer by reducing the likelihood of damage.


Flatbed auto transport services frequently provide competitive pricing compared to other specialized transport options. Due to its affordability, this option is widely favored by individuals, dealerships, and businesses seeking to transport vehicles over long distances.

Types of Auto Transport Delivery Methods

Door-to-Door Delivery: This method entails the transport company collecting the vehicle from its current location and delivering it directly to the designated destination. It provides convenience and time-saving benefits for vehicle owners, as they are not required to personally drop off or pick up their vehicles from a terminal.

Terminal-to-Terminal Delivery: Under this method, the vehicle owner is responsible for dropping off and picking up the vehicle at designated terminals. It could be a viable choice for individuals seeking a more cost-effective transportation option. However, it necessitates additional effort and coordination on the owner's part.

Expedited Delivery: If you're in a hurry, you can choose expedited delivery. It gives priority to the shipment and guarantees faster transit times. However, opting for expedited delivery usually costs more than standard delivery.

What is the Most Cost-effective Method for Shipping a Car?

Opting for open auto transport is the most cost-effective car shipping method. Open carriers, such as the ones commonly used to transport new cars to dealerships, can hold multiple vehicles simultaneously.

Although this may result in a longer travel time for your car, it enables the carrier to offer a lower rate as you will share the transportation with other vehicles that must be delivered along the route.

types of auto transports

What are the Factors That Affect the Cost?

Understanding the factors affecting car transport costs can empower you to make well-informed decisions and save money on your vehicle shipping requirements.

Distance and Location

The distance between the origin and destination is the main factor determining the auto transport cost. In general, shipping costs tend to increase as the transportation distance increases. Furthermore, fees for remote or inaccessible locations such as rural areas or islands may be increased.

Type of Vehicle

The make and model of your vehicle also influences the shipping cost. Larger and heavier vehicles may require specialized equipment or vehicles, leading to higher prices.

Luxury or high-value vehicles may also necessitate extra insurance coverage or enclosed carriers, which can further affect the overall cost.

Type of Transportation

There are two main types of auto transport: open and enclosed. Open carriers are a more prevalent and typically more affordable option.

However, it is essential to note that they expose your vehicle to potential damage from weather conditions and debris on the road. Enclosed carriers provide excellent protection against environmental elements but also have a higher price tag.

Time Frame

The pricing can also be affected by the speed at which you require your vehicle to be delivered. If you need to make an urgent move, you can choose expedited shipping.

However, it's important to note that expedited shipping typically incurs higher fees. By planning your move and booking, you can save on costs and have more flexibility in scheduling.



Rapid Auto Shipping

Want to Start Shipping With The Best?

If you would prefer to speak to one of our experienced Transport Specialists, feel free to give us a call at


Copyright © 2018- 2024, Rapid Auto Shipping - All Rights Reserved.