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There are plenty of good reasons why someone would need to ship or transport a vehicle. For some people, long-distance moves also mean transporting multiple vehicles from one place to the next. Driving these vehicles yourself isn’t always possible, or desirable. This is where the need for auto transport comes into play. There are a few different methods of shipping, such as terminal to terminal, or home to home. Once you’ve chosen the type, you’ll have to consider which method works best. The main two types of auto shipping services are enclosed and open, and each offers its own benefits.

Open Auto Transport

Open auto transport is probably the most common, and usually the most affordable method of auto transport. Open transport is when your vehicle is loaded onto a two-story, long-bed utility vehicle. Your vehicle will be latched onto this long bed, along with about ten other vehicles.


Many people worry that this method of transportation is unsafe because it leaves your vehicle out in the open, instead of enclosing it in something. Many people have concerns about rocks, though any rocks that fly up from the road are much more likely to hit the truck that tows the bed, not any cars on the bed. Theft is also uncommon, as the vehicles are locked, without keys inside usually, and are safely secured using heavy data cables and ledges. It’s this same system that makes roll-off very unlikely. This method is no more dangerous than driving the car yourself.


While this method is actually exceptionally safe, there are risks that any car on the road would have. These risks include vandalism and car accident damages. Your vehicle may also need washing when it arrives, as it will be open to the elements during its trip. Open car shipping is a viable, and rather safe shipping option for nearly any vehicle type, at short or long distances.

Enclosed Transport

Enclosed transport refers to when your vehicle is placed in a shipping container for transport. This container is then carried via a large truck, like a semi-truck. Some services will place the vehicle right into one of these trucks instead of a different container. With this type of transport, your vehicle is secured and completely protected from all weather conditions and possible vandalism.


While enclosed shipping is certainly very safe, it’s also usually more costly, and sometimes is harder to find. This type of shipping method may also have a longer wait time due to the low availability. The risks with this shipping type are low, with the main risk being a car accident involving the truck holding your vehicle.

Which Is Safest?

When it comes to auto transport, especially national transport, it’s hard to say which is actually safer. Arguably, enclosed transport is safest, due to the fact your vehicle is completely enclosed and locked in a secure truck. However, it also comes with its own risks and downsides, such as availability issues and possible truck accidents.


Open transport is very common, and is also exceptionally safe, though it does offer more risk than enclosed shipping. The bottom line is that both methods offer some risk, while enclosed shipping offers just a few less. Both are safe methods of transporting your vehicle, especially with a professional company who have done it plenty of times. Because of this, both options are safe, and both options are fine choices.


Shipping your vehicle is often stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether choosing enclosed shipping or open shipping, both options should get your vehicle to its destination without any issue. While enclosed shipping is arguably slightly safer, both shipping methods are perfectly good choices when it comes to auto transportation.


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