Even if for a car enthusiast, everybody knows that shipping a car can be very stressful. It is a highly complicated process that requires many steps and precautions to be taken in order to avoid damage or theft. That being said, if you’re moving your car across the country, you’ll be met with two popular options: open-air and enclosed auto transport. What’s the difference between the two? How does it work? Which one is better? Everything might seem like a blur at first but worry not. All your questions will be answered by the end of this read. First, this article will talk about open-air shipping.
What is Open-Air Auto Transport?
Simply put, open-air auto transport is the transportation of vehicles via a trailer or truck open to the elements. This means no roof or walls – just plain open air.
It works by loading your car onto a truck with other vehicles. The truck then travels to the destination, often taking a predetermined route to reduce cost. In most cases, the carrier will drop your car off at a terminal, and you will have to pick it up.
This type of transport is often used for long-distance moves and can be less expensive than enclosed transport.
Advantages of Open-Air Auto Transport
Open-air is the most cost-effective method to go when it comes to auto transport. It’s also an excellent option for those who need to move their car quickly, as there are fewer restrictions on when and where it can be delivered. These conveniences make it the best go-to option for owners looking to save on shipping their regular sedans.
Disadvantages of Open-Air Auto Transport
Of course, nothing is ever perfect so expect some disadvantages with open-air transport. For one, your car is vulnerable to bad weather conditions and road debris. Additionally, if your vehicle is transported over a long distance, it may experience more wear and tear than if it were transported in an enclosed trailer. Even dust and dirt accumulation over transit can cause minor issues with the paint later on. For a more detailed breakdown, check out this comprehensive article on the Cons of Open-Air Carriers.
Benefits of Enclosed Auto Transport
There are several reasons why you might choose to use enclosed auto transport:
- Security: An enclosed trailer provides an extra layer of protection for your car, resulting in better peace of mind.
- Protection from Damage: Cars traveling in open trailers are susceptible to damage from road debris, vandalism, and bad weather conditions. An enclosed trailer will help keep the car safe from these hazards.
- Privacy: If you’re shipping a luxury car or another high-value item, you may prefer the privacy that enclosed transport provides. This reduces the leakage of info that there’s a high-value cargo inside.
- Reduced Chance of Theft: Enclosed trailers are harder to break into than open trailers, so there is less chance of your car being stolen during transport.
Disadvantages of Enclosed Auto Transport
The only disadvantage to enclosed car transport is that it tends to be more expensive than open transportation. However, you get added security, protection from weather and debris, and privacy in return for the extra cost. If these factors are important to you, then enclosed transport is definitely the way to go.
Should You Ship Your Car Open or Enclosed?
Here comes the ultimate question. Is it better to go with an open-air or enclosed carrier when shipping your car? Start by reviewing the basics. Open-air carriers are exactly what they sound like: cars are transported on top of a truck and are exposed to the elements. Enclosed trailers, on the other hand, offer protection from inclement weather and other road conditions.
So which is better for you? It depends on a few factors:
- Consider how much you’re willing to spend. Open-air transport is usually cheaper than enclosed transport.
- Think about the condition of your vehicle. If it’s not in great shape, you may want to opt for enclosed transport to protect it from wind and rain.
- If you’re shipping an expensive car, you might feel more comfortable with enclosed transport for added security.
Tips for Preparing Your Car for Transport
The transport method is just one-half of the equation for a successful car shipment. Preparation is key to a smooth car shipping experience. If you want your car to arrive in one piece, it’s essential to take care of some basic steps before handing it over to an auto transport company. Whether the journey involves open-air or enclosed transport, you’ll want to make sure that your vehicle is ready for its long trip. Here are a few tips you should keep in mind:
- Remove any personal belongings from the car. This includes items like CDs, DVDs, jewelry, and gadgets. Your carrier will most likely not be held liable for damage and loss of these objects.
- Wash and wax the car. This will help protect the paint job from scratches and other forms of damage.
- Check fluid levels, brakes, and tires. Ensure that the car is in good condition before shipping it across the country.
- Have a recent photo of the car. This will come in handy if you need to make a claim for damages. Document any and all existing damage to the vehicle with this photo.
- Check and adjust tire pressure. Properly inflated tires reduce the risk of leakage and blowouts while it is being transported.
Most importantly, make sure that you work with a reliable carrier to ensure your car’s integrity and safety. Don’t hesitate to ask the right questions and scrutinize your potential shipping company’s credentials. It’s all for your own good in the end!