Understanding the Costs of Enclosed Car Transport

When it comes to transporting a high-value, luxury, or classic car, owners are faced with a critical decision: opting for open-air transport or investing in enclosed car transport.

The dilemma often boils down to cost versus the value of peace of mind and protection.

Enclosed transport is typically more expensive than its open-air counterpart, but is it worth the extra investment?

In this article, we delve into the nuances of enclosed car transport, helping car owners weigh the costs against the benefits to make an informed decision.

What is Enclosed Car Transport?

Enclosed car transport is a method of shipping vehicles in a fully covered trailer.

This type of transport offers the highest level of security and protection from external elements, such as weather, dust, debris, and potential road hazards. It is the preferred method for transporting high-end, luxury, classic, and collector cars.

The Cost Factors of Enclosed Car Transport

The cost of enclosed car transport is influenced by several factors, including:


The further the vehicle needs to be transported, the higher the cost. Long-distance hauls require more fuel, time, and logistical planning.

Vehicle Size and Weight

Larger and heavier vehicles take up more space and add weight to the transport, increasing the cost.

Pick-up and Delivery Locations

Door-to-door service is more expensive than terminal-to-terminal due to the added convenience and personalized service.


Expedited shipping or specific time frames can increase costs due to the extra coordination and prioritization required.


Enclosed transporters often offer higher insurance coverage limits due to the value of the vehicles they carry, which can influence the overall cost.

Comparing Costs: Enclosed vs. Open Transport

Open transport is the most common and cost-effective method of shipping vehicles. However, it does not provide the same level of protection as enclosed transport.

The cost of open transport can be significantly lower, but the risk of damage from environmental factors and road debris is higher.

Enclosed transport can cost up to 50% more than open transport. This premium ensures that the vehicle is shielded from the elements and less likely to be damaged during transit.

The Benefits of Enclosed Car Transport

  • Protection from the Elements: Enclosed trailers protect vehicles from rain, snow, sun, wind, and any corrosive materials on the road.
  • Security: Enclosed transport offers enhanced security, reducing the risk of theft or vandalism.
  • Peace of Mind: Owners of high-value cars can rest assured that their investment is well-protected.
  • Preservation of Value: For collector cars, maintaining condition is crucial. Enclosed transport helps ensure that the vehicle arrives in showroom condition.
  • Insurance: Higher insurance coverage limits provide additional peace of mind, knowing that the vehicle is fully protected financially during transit.

Is Enclosed Car Transport Worth the Investment?

To determine whether enclosed car transport is worth the investment, consider the following:

Value of the Vehicle

If the car is a significant investment or has sentimental value, the extra cost of enclosed transport may be a small price to pay for the added protection and security.

Condition of the Vehicle

Vehicles in pristine condition, especially classic or collector cars, can see their value decrease with even minor blemishes. Enclosed transport helps preserve the condition and, therefore, the value.

Distance of Transport

For long distances, the likelihood of encountering damaging elements increases, making enclosed transport a wise choice.

Personal Preferences

Some owners simply prefer the assurance that comes with enclosed transport, regardless of cost.

Deciding Whether to use Enclosed Car Transport

When deciding if enclosed car transport is the right choice, consider the following steps:

  1. Evaluate the Vehicle’s Worth: Both its monetary value and personal significance to you.
  2. Get Multiple Quotes: Obtain quotes from several transport companies for both enclosed and open transport to see the actual cost difference.
  3. Assess the Risks: Consider the potential risks of open transport and whether they’re worth the savings.
  4. Check Insurance Coverage: Ensure that the transport company’s insurance is comprehensive and that your vehicle is fully covered during transit.
  5. Read Reviews and Testimonials: Look for feedback from other customers who have used the service to gauge their satisfaction and the company’s reliability.

Enclosed car transport is an investment in the safety and preservation of your vehicle.

While it comes at a premium, the benefits of security, protection, and peace of mind can far outweigh the additional costs, especially for those transporting high-value or sentimental vehicles.

Ultimately, the decision should be based on a careful consideration of the vehicle’s value, the risks of transport, and the owner’s personal preferences and budget.

By taking the time to understand the costs and benefits, vehicle owners can make an informed decision on whether enclosed car transport is the right investment for their precious cargo.

After all, for many, a car is more than just a means of transportation; it’s a passion, a treasure, and a significant investment worth protecting.

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Customer Success Story

Why Car Transport Services Exists Today!

When I had to move my car from Melbourne to Perth, the journey of finding the right transportation service felt almost as daunting as the 3,400 km drive itself. Through trial and error, a bit of luck, and a few missteps, I learned a great deal about how to select the best service for such a task. Here’s my experience, and I hope it can guide you smoothly through your own process.

Start with Research

The first thing I learned was the importance of research. Initially, I made the rookie mistake of choosing the first service that popped up in my Google search results. Big mistake. The company had hidden fees I hadn’t anticipated, and the service was far from satisfactory. What I learned was to dig deeper. Read reviews on multiple platforms, ask for recommendations from friends or family who’ve undertaken similar moves, and don’t skip on checking the forums where real customers discuss their experiences.

Check for Licensing and Insurance

One good decision I made was ensuring the company was licensed and insured. Insurance is important. Transporting a vehicle across such a long distance has its risks, and you want to ensure that your car is covered in case of any mishaps. Verify the transporter's accreditation with transport authorities and ensure they have valid insurance that covers your vehicle during the transit. This gave me peace of mind, knowing my car was in safe hands.

Compare Quotes

Getting multiple quotes was another area where I initially faltered. I assumed all prices would be roughly the same and didn’t bother shopping around. However, after a pricey quote from the first company, I decided to get several more. The price differences were significant, and some companies offered more comprehensive services at lower costs. Always compare quotes from at least three to five companies. This not only gives you a better idea of the price range but also allows you to negotiate better terms.

Understand the Service Types

I wasn’t aware initially, but there are different types of car transport services: door-to-door, terminal-to-terminal, open carrier, and enclosed carrier. Each has its pros and cons. I chose an open carrier for its cost-effectiveness, but in retrospect, considering the long journey across Australia, an enclosed carrier would have been better to protect my car from the elements. Understanding these options beforehand helps in making a more informed decision based on your needs and budget.

Communication is Key

One of the best decisions I made was selecting a company that had excellent communication practices. They provided updates at every major juncture of the journey, which eased my anxiety. Ensure that the company you choose has a point of contact who is reachable and willing to update you throughout the process. This is vital for peace of mind and to ensure that any issues are quickly addressed.

Timing and Flexibility

I learned the hard way that flexibility is key when transporting a car such a long distance. The initial service I chose promised a delivery within a week, but it ended up taking more than two weeks, which disrupted my plans significantly. Ask about the expected delivery times and check if the company can offer guarantees or compensation if they exceed the estimated delivery times.

Avoid Rush Decisions

A bad decision I made was rushing into booking without fully understanding the terms and conditions. This led to unexpected charges for additional services I wasn’t aware I had agreed to. Take your time to read the fine print or have someone else review it. Make sure you understand every aspect of the service contract.

What I Wish I Knew

If I knew then what I know now, I would have placed more emphasis on checking customer feedback about their post-service experience, especially regarding how companies handle damage claims and disputes. Knowing a company's track record in these areas can save you from potential headaches if something goes wrong.

Open vs Enclosed Car Transport

Open car carrier with new vehicles

Open Car Transport

Open car transport involves shipping vehicles in an open-air trailer, exposing them to weather and road conditions.

This method is cost-effective and widely available, making it a popular choice for transporting vehicles quickly and economically.

The main benefits include lower costs due to multiple vehicles being transported simultaneously and quicker delivery times. However, the downside is the potential risk of damage from environmental elements and road debris.

moving cars in an enclosed car carrier

Enclosed Car Transport

Enclosed car transport uses fully enclosed trailers to provide maximum protection for vehicles against weather, theft, and damage during transit.

This method is preferable for high-value, classic, or luxury vehicles requiring extra security. Enclosed transport is more expensive and less readily available but offers higher insurance coverage and peace of mind.

Specialised services include GPS tracking and expert handling, ensuring vehicles are delivered safely and discretely.

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