Hansen's enclosed vehicle shipping trailer

What’s the Difference Between Open and Enclosed Car Shipping?

If you’re moving across the country, you may want to consider vehicle shipping services instead of driving the car yourself for hundreds or thousands of kilometres. Most vehicle shipping is done via open auto carriers and partially-enclosed rail cars. There are however fully-enclosed auto carriers that are also available. Here is what you need to know to determine what you require.

Open Car Shipping

Open auto shipping is by far the most common and popular method of vehicle relocation in Canada. Your car is transported on an open-air, two-level or single-level carrier and/or partially enclosed rail cars.  This method provides the fastest and most cost-effective option for the following reasons:

It’s affordable. For instance, trucks can carry up to nine vehicles at a time, which reduces the shipping cost per vehicle.

It’s fast. Because most vehicle traffic is transported this way, there are many more open auto carriers and partially-enclosed trains on route which provides faster service than a fully-enclosed auto carrier.

Open auto shipping is a reliable way to ship standard-model cars, used cars and everyday vehicles. That’s why dealerships almost always use open auto shipping because of its cost-effectiveness and speed. Open car shipping gives you the most value for your dollar.

Enclosed Car Shipping

For vehicles that cannot be exposed, the only car shipping option is a fully enclosed truck. The transit time is generally longer, and the cost is much greater because the number of vehicles that can be shipped in enclosed equipment is less than conventional equipment can handle.  

Enclosed car shipping is normally used for low-clearance sports vehicles which cannot be safely loaded onto rail cars, antique cars and high-end luxury models, such as vehicles made by Lamborghini, Ferrari, Rolls Royce, etc.

Things to Consider When Considering Open vs Enclosed Car Shipping

Open car transport is generally easier to arrange than enclosed car shipping. For most drivers, open vehicle shipping will meet your needs at the right price.

One concern drivers may have is that with open transport, your car may be exposed to regular road debris and weather. A trusted auto carrier like Hansen’s provides protection and insurance for all customer vehicles while in their possession, so you can ship your vehicle with peace of mind.

Trusted Auto Shipping Across Canada

At Hansen’s, we provide open and enclosed vehicle transport services across Canada and to the United States. With more than 40 years of vehicle shipping under our belts, we’ve established ourselves as an industry leader for individuals, car dealerships and corporations. Contact us today to speak with a customer service representative about our shipping options, or get a quote online for vehicle shipping.