Open car transport

Open car transport: Is it safe enough?


When it comes to shipping a car, many people consider enclosed auto transport to be a far safer option than open car transport, but that’s not strictly true. 

Open car shipping has gained an unfair reputation, but it’s far safer than people consider it to be. That’s not to say there aren’t benefits to choosing enclosed auto transport. Open auto transport, on the other hand, is a more than viable option for most people and we’re going to look at some of the reasons why. 

What is open car shipping?

Open car transport is the most common type of car shipping service. Vehicles moved with an open auto transport carrier have little protection from the elements, dust, insects, or even birds. Vehicles are transported using trucks and trailers that are open on all sides. That doesn’t mean, however, that your vehicle isn’t going to be safe and secure. 

The benefits of open car transport

First and foremost, open auto transport is the most affordable option. It is the industry standard which means more carriers offer an open car shipping service. This in turn means that you can easily secure an open auto transport service on short notice. 

Open auto transport is a very efficient way to transport cars as carriers can ship more vehicles with each shipment. This saves fuel and time on the road, allowing the carrier to provide a service at a lower rate. 

Speed is another benefit of open car shipping. Because of the greater number of carriers, open auto transport is efficient and fast. Carriers can transport all types of vehicles on an open trailer, regardless of size, height, weight, or model. 

The driver of the truck and trailer can easily inspect vehicles during transport and make sure everything is alright.  

Why open auto transport is a safe option if you want to ship a car

Let’s look at some of the reasons why open car transport is a safe option for anyone who wants to ship a car

It protects your vehicle

They build open trailers in such a way that the vehicles inside are protected. It exposes them to the elements and traffic dust and grime, but it’s no different than if you were driving your vehicle on your own. 

They construct the trailers using metal beams and bars that surround your vehicle, thereby deflecting many objects.

One important thing to remember is that your vehicle will have no wear and tear placed on it. This is especially important if your vehicle is being transported a long distance, for example, from California to Florida, or from the East to the West Coast. There will be no extra miles added and no unnecessary wear on the tires. 

Your car is secure

When a carrier loads your vehicle onto the open car transport trailer it will be made secure using chains or a locking mechanism. It is very safe and secure, and the driver takes every possible precaution to make sure no unauthorized people have access to the vehicles. Drivers are very aware of the precautions they need to take, even when pulling over in a rest area. They make sure everything is secure at all times. 

Insurance covers any damage

The chances of any damage occurring are minimal. However, should your vehicle incur any damage, through no fault of your own, a reliable open car transport company will have insurance to cover the cost. 

Before you ship your vehicle, take pictures from many different angles. Also, remember to ask the auto transport company about the insurance they offer and clarify the details of the cover. 

Special considerations

Open car shipping is a very safe way to ship cars, however, there are times when we would recommend enclosed transport. If, for example, your vehicle is an antique, a luxury vehicle, a classic car, or has particular sentimental value, enclosed auto transport is probably the smartest choice.   

Enclosed auto transport costs around 35% extra but added the peace of mind is worth a little extra.

Nevertheless, open car transport is an extremely safe option. Here at SGT Auto Transport, for example, we have thousands of customers who choose it every year without incident.    

When we recommend open car transport

Open auto transport

There’s plenty of choice when it comes to choosing car shipping. However, we recommend open auto transport when your vehicle is standard, and your primary concern is keeping the cost to a minimum. The main reason why car dealerships prefer open car transport is that it’s a safe, reliable, fast, and cost-effective option. 

3 reasons why you shouldn’t worry about using an open car shipping service

When you need to ship a vehicle you’ll get to choose between shipping your car in an open or an enclosed car carrier. We certainly offer both options here. If you’re wondering why open car transport would be the better option, here are three reasons why.

Most popular auto transport option

Most people choose open auto transport and it’s the service of choice for car manufacturers and dealers. If you’re worried about this option affording your vehicle enough protection, remember that carriers ship millions of vehicles in this way every year. 

Economical auto transport option

This is possibly one of the biggest benefits of choosing open car transport. It’s much cheaper and safer than driving yourself, and much less expensive than using an enclosed car carrier. If your vehicle is especially valuable, however, you might prefer an enclosed auto transport service. The additional cost is worth it for the extra protection your investment or cherished car will receive. 

Safe auto shipping option

It exposes your car to bad weather and road debris when being shipped in an open car transport trailer. However, because of the trailer's construction, it’s better protected than if you were driving your car on the highway.

How much does open car transport cost? 

Several factors are used to calculate the cost of open car shipping. 


The date you want your car shipping plays a big part in the cost of open auto transport. To secure the best possible price, it’s advisable to book as far in advance as possible. As soon as you know you’re going to need open car shipping, start looking around to find the best auto transport company. A good place to start is by reading auto transport reviews


A major component when calculating the cost of car shipping is the distance a vehicle has to travel. Longer distances tend to have a lower cost per mile; however, the overall cost is generally higher. 

If you want to know the cost of open car transport with SGT Auto Transport, use our handy online instant quote calculator. You can also call (864) 546-5038 to speak directly with our shipping advisors or use our Live Chat option. 

Vehicle make and model

When you’re requesting an open auto transport quote, you provide the vehicle's make and model. This is because the carrier needs to know how much space they need. 

Transport type

Open car transport is the industry standard and the cheapest way to move your vehicle. If you opt for extras such as guaranteed pick-up or express auto transport, the price will be a little higher. 

Condition of the vehicle

You’ll get a better auto transport price if your car is running. If it’s inoperable but can still be rolled, and steered, and the brakes are functional, the carrier will need a winch to load the vehicle onto the trailer. This extra equipment increases the cost of shipping. 


In a metropolitan area, there are generally plenty of trucks available to carry out auto transport orders. This means the prices are going to be lower when shipping to and from these locations. 


There are times of the year when auto transport is more expensive. Holidays, for example, are always going to be more expensive. The snowbird season, when people are moving to and from warmer states, is also the time when the cost of transporting a car is higher. 

If you want to know more about the open car transport service we provide, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can speak with our professional shipping advisors by calling (864) 546-5038 or using our Live Chat option.

Get a quote banner