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How Open Auto Transport Really Works

You need to move your vehicle to a new destination, whether for work, school, bought or sold a car, or are taking that well-deserved vacation. You’ve done your homework and figured out the best option for moving your vehicle is through auto transport. 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, we firmly believe you should have all your questions answered in order to feel confident in the decision you make.

What Does “Open Transport” Mean?

There are two kinds of auto transport carriers, open and enclosed. Their titles are pretty much dead giveaways, open auto transports move your personal vehicle on a trailer that is open and exposed to the elements. Enclosed auto transports put your vehicle 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 10 vehicles.

What are the Advantages to Open Auto Transport?

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

  • Cost. Open transport is unquestionably the most affordable way to transport your vehicle over the road. Because they can fit more vehicles per transport, the cost per vehicle goes down. And because there are so many more available and so many more used, it’s easier to fill those transports. More vehicles per load and more customers in pick up and drop off locations all mean open transport is more cost effective for both the customer and more profitable for the transporters. When compared to enclosed transport, open transport costs on average 33% less. That can make a huge impact on your moving cost, vacation spending money, or profit made or 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 all happens much faster. Even if you’re not in a huge 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 must also be discussed 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 your vehicle is insured and would 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 large savings, it’s no wonder 97+% of vehicles are transported this way.

Is Open Transport Safe?

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

How Much Does Open Transport Cost?

There are a few factors that 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 vehicle 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 womanDirect Express prides itself on having established positive relationships with thousands of auto transport carriers across the country. We don’t use fly-by-night carriers. We only use proven companies we’ve thoroughly vetted. After all, our reputation to our customers is at stake. We take customer service, accurate pricing, and positive experiences very seriously. Whether you’re moving a vehicle to one of the top transport cities or a smaller town, we can help you find the best option. Use our online booking system or call 800-600-3750 to speak with a customer service representative.

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