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How Open Auto Transport Really Works

You need to move your vehicle to a new destination, whether for work or school, buy or sell a car, or take that well-deserved vacation. You’ve done your homework and figured out that auto transport is the best option for moving your vehicle. And you’re pretty sure you want to use open carrier auto transport. But what exactly does that mean? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Is it safe? How much does it cost? And most importantly, is it the right option for you? 

At Direct Express Auto Transport, you should have all your questions answered to feel confident in your decision.

What Does “Open Transport” Mean?

There are two kinds of auto transport carriers, open and enclosed. Their titles are dead giveaways; open auto transports move your vehicle on an open trailer that is exposed to the elements. Enclosed auto transport puts your car inside a trailer with sides and a roof to protect it from potential debris or weather. Open auto transport is far and away the most common, making up 95% of transport carriers. While there is some variety in size, the most frequently used trailers can transport ten vehicles.

What are the Advantages of Open-Air Car Transport?

There are two primary advantages of open-air auto transport, and they tend to hit two of the most important things customers are looking for in auto transport:

  • Car Shipping Cost. Open transport is unquestionably the most affordable way to transport your vehicle over the road. Because they can fit more cars per transport, the cost per vehicle goes down. And because many more cars are available for open-air transport, and so many more used vehicles, it’s easier to fill those transports. More vehicles per load and more customers in pick-up and drop-off locations mean open transport is more cost-effective for both the customer and more profitable for the transporters. Compared to enclosed transport, open transport costs on average 33% less. That can significantly impact your moving cost, vacation spending money, profit made, or the amount spent on a car sale.
  • Speed. Because open transports are so much more common, getting assigned to a carrier and having it picked up and delivered to its destination happens much faster. Even if you’re not in a hurry, no one wants to wait an overly long time for their vehicle to be transported.

What are the Disadvantages of Open Carrier Auto Transport?

The possible disadvantages of transporting your vehicle by an open carrier are also essential. To give you all the information and let you make the right choice for you. And really, there’s only one potential disadvantage, if you can even call it that. 

Open carrier auto transports leave your vehicle exposed to the elements, just like they would be if you were driving it. So there is a slightly higher risk of unexpected debris or weather causing minor cosmetic damage. But if that does occur, remember that your vehicle is insured and will be repaired. So yes, it is subject to becoming dirty or encountering bugs, rain, hail, snow, road debris, or other things beyond the driver’s control. But for as small a risk and such considerable savings, it’s no wonder 97+% of vehicles transport this way.

Is Open Transport Safe?

You may also wonder if open-air car transport is safe. Yes, absolutely and undeniably. Dealers and manufacturers ship most of their vehicles through open carriers, and you know they’re not risking damaging their products or profits by using an unsafe option. The cars are strapped securely to the trailers. All carriers used by Direct Express Auto Transport have been thoroughly vetted and are licensed and insured. You can trust that your vehicle is in competent hands when you book with us.

How Much Does Open-Air Transport Cost?

A few factors play into how much your specific transport will cost, such as the make and model of your vehicle, if it’s in running condition, where you’re leaving from and heading to, and when your car is being transported. (Time of year and total distance are two of the biggest factors.) Using the online calculator is a great way to determine your specific cost. But remember, you’ll save approximately 33% shipping open instead of enclosed.

Why Choose Direct Express Auto Transport?

Direct Express Auto Transport photo of Customer Service Staff woman

The Original Car Shipping Quote Calculator

Direct Express Auto Transport originated the instant car shipping quote calculator in 2004. It is still the best, most sophisticated, reliable tool available anywhere online. We offer three options that we call tiers of car shipping estimates. The standard rate is the cheapest car shipping quote, but it may take longer. Use it if you are patient. We recommend the expedited car shipping rate and have countless satisfied customers because the shipping process tends to go quicker. The rush rate is our highest level of car shipping service, and many customers are glad they went with that method.

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