Luxury Sports Car inside Dealership

Safety and Security of Car Shipping for Dealerships


When it comes to running a car dealership, how the cars get there is not something many people think about. The average Joe probably thinks they just appear on the lot one day by magic. In reality, the process is far more complicated than that and requires a great deal of planning and consideration. A large number of cars are transported by rail, particularly over long distances. However, another popular way is car shipping services for dealerships. 

Over the years, auto transport services have received a lot of bad press, which might mean some dealerships are a little wary of using such services. If you’re a car dealer who’s looking to start delivering cars for customers or want an efficient way to get your new stock, this post will put your mind at rest. 

The most affordable and quickest way to ship a car (or multiple vehicles simultaneously), is using open car shipping. It is also a very safe and secure way of shipping cars.   

What is open car shipping?

Open car shipping is the most common type of auto transport service. Up to 10 vehicles are moved at the same time using an open car transport trailer. The trailer is open on all sides, which means the vehicles are exposed to the elements, dust, insects, and possibly even birds. Does that mean the vehicles aren’t safe and secure? Absolutely not. 

Open car transport is one of the safest and most secure ways to move cars across the country

Other benefits of open car shipping

Aside from it being a safe and secure shipping option, there are numerous other benefits of open auto transport. Firstly, it’s the most affordable option. If you’re shipping multiple vehicles simultaneously, the rate for your car shipping services may be even cheaper.

Open car shipping is the industry standard. For a dealership, this means securing an open car shipping service can be done on short notice. 

Moving cars across the country in this way is also very efficient. An open carrier can transport up to 10 cars at the same time. This saves fuel and time and means the carrier can provide a lower-cost service.

Another benefit of open car shipping is speed. A large number of carriers offer the service, making it efficient and fast. Carriers can also transport a wide range of vehicles, regardless of their weight, height, or size. 

If you’re a dealer who needs to move your cars, here are the reasons why it’s a safe option.


The very term “open trailer” might put some people off choosing this car transportation option. However, open trailers offer more than adequate protection. Vehicles are exposed to the elements, traffic grime, dust, and dirt, but that’s no different than driving a car on the highway. 

Open trailers are constructed using metal beams and bars. These surround the vehicles and deflect many objects. 

One important feature of open car transport is that the vehicles have no wear and tear. This is especially important if you’re a car dealer transporting vehicles long distances. For example, if your dealership is in Florida but the purchaser is in California. Similarly, if you’ve got some vehicles on the East Coast and want to get them to your dealership on the West Coast, shipping them using an open trailer won’t add miles to the odometers. 


Vehicles are made secure using chains or a locking mechanism. When the driver loads the vehicles onto the trailer, they are locked or secured in place. It’s a very safe and secure process and the driver takes all the necessary precautions to ensure no unauthorized people have access to the vehicles. 

This applies at all times. Even when they pull over in a rest area to take a break, the driver will make sure the vehicles are secure. 


There is a minimal chance of any damage occurring. However, should it happen, a reputable company transporting cars for dealerships will have insurance coverage to cover the cost. 

Before shipping any vehicles, take pictures from different angles. Don’t forget to ask the car shipping company what insurance coverage it has and clarify the details so you know what’s covered. 

Special considerations 

As we’ve already mentioned, open car shipping is a very safe and secure option if you want to ship a car from a dealership. Nevertheless, it’s worth introducing the other auto transport option, enclosed car shipping.

Here at SGT Auto Transport, we recommend enclosed transport if you want to ship a vehicle that’s a classic, antique, or luxury vehicle. It would also be our recommendation for vehicles with high sentimental value. 

The cost is between 30% and 40% extra, but in many cases, the added expense is worth it because of the added peace of mind it offers.

Now we’ve mentioned the cost, it’s time to look at how much you might have to pay for car shipping services.  

How much does open car shipping cost?

When we calculate the cost of open car shipping, we take into account the following factors:

  • Date: You should aim to book your car shipping services as far in advance as possible. Start looking around for a reliable car transport service as soon as you know you’re going to need one. When a company has lots of time to make the arrangements, you’re more likely to get a reasonable price. 
  • Distance: This is one of the most significant components auto transport companies use when calculating the cost of shipping cars. Longer distances tend to have a lower cost per mile. However, overall, the cost will be higher. 
  • Vehicle make and model: Vehicles come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Information about the make and model of your vehicle is vital for the carrier. They need to know how much space is needed. Carriers have size and weight specifications to take into consideration. 
  • Transport type: The industry standard is open car shipping. It’s also the cheapest way to move vehicles. Enclosed car shipping is more expensive. Extras such as express auto transport, guaranteed pick-up, or top load, also cost more. 
  • Condition of the vehicle: You can expect a much better price if the vehicle you want to ship is running. Inoperable vehicles require special equipment for loading and unloading. This increases the cost of shipping. 
  • Location: Transport services to and from metropolitan areas will generally cost less than those to and from more rural areas. This is because there are plenty of trucks to fulfill the orders. 
  • Seasonality: Car shipping prices go up and down throughout the year. Certain times are more expensive than others. Holidays, for example, are almost always more expensive. The snowbird season is another example of when prices tend to be higher. 
  • Multiple vehicles: If you want to ship more than one vehicle, you may be entitled to a discount on the price.  

If you want to know the cost of shipping a car or cars with SGT Auto Transport, use our instant quote calculator.    

Get an Instant Quote

Alternatively, call (864) 546-5038 and speak with one of our shipping advisors. We also have a {{live-chat option}}, if you prefer.  


Is shipping your car safe?

In general, it is safe to ship a car. Theft and crashes can happen, although they are very rare. 

What is the safest way to ship a car?

The safest method for shipping a car is using enclosed transport. With this option, the vehicle is protected from the weather and road debris. Vehicles are transported in an enclosed trailer, but you pay extra for the added protection. 

Do cars get damaged in shipping?

Yes, cars do get damaged during the shipping process, but it’s extremely rare. Most times, the damage will be minor, such as stone chips, but sometimes, the damage can be more major. 

How do car companies ship their cars?

When car companies ship their cars across the ocean, they use “ro-ro” ships. These ships have ramps that allow the cars to roll on and roll off the vessel. 

How can I protect my car from shipping?

The car shipping company you use will do everything it can to secure your car and prevent it from moving side-to-side, forward or backward, and vertically. There are also some things you can do yourself. For example, make sure all exterior parts of your car are well-protected. 

Any removable parts should be secured or removed from the car completely. Consider retracting antennas and folding in side-view mirrors. It’s also important to clean the interior of your car. Remove all weakly secured accessories such as pens, cables, air fresheners, and spare change. This will avoid damage to the car or the items being broken or lost along the journey.   

Get a quote banner