Closed automatic transport (Guide 2022)

Enclosed car transport is a great option for those who want their cars to be safer during transport. Companies that specialize in shipping high-end and exotic cars, as well as alternative vehicles like ATVs or motorcycles, offer enclosed shipping trailers for added protection.

Although closed car transport is the safest option for shipping, it is generally more expensive than open car transport. The Home Media review team suggests you get quotes from some of the best car transport companies to find the one that offers the most security at the best price.

What is a closed automatic transport?

Closed car shipping protects both your vehicle and your peace of mind by shipping your vehicle in a closed container rather than on an open trailer. Shipping by open carrier exposes your car to hazards such as road debris and weather, while shipping your vehicle in a fully enclosed container greatly reduces the risk of damage.

This method of shipping is especially popular with owners of luxury cars and exotic vehicles, as an enclosed trailer provides additional protection from road hazards and weather. Closed car shipping services usually come with higher insurance policy limits.

Other types of vehicles that benefit from closed auto shipping are those with larger wheels or low ground clearance, such as ATVs or motorcycles. These alternative vehicles often cannot fit on standard open-top trucks, but enclosed car carriers can more easily accommodate different space requirements.

How does closed automatic transport work?

Enclosed auto transport trailers are fully enclosed shipping containers. Some have hard sides while others are equipped with soft sides and straps. Below is a list of the different types of closed car carriers:

  • Closed carriers with two or three cars: These are single-deck enclosed trailers that hold only two or three cars at a time. You may see them called hotshot transporters.
  • Carriers closed to five or six cars: These large trucks have two levels of vehicle storage surrounded by hard walls.
  • Soft Sided Covered Trailers: These enclosed carriers can carry seven or eight vehicles at a time.
  • Oversized Enclosed Trailers: These are larger covered transport trailers that are often used to ship alternative vehicles with unique measurements.

One thing to keep in mind when looking for closed transport is that you will have less schedule flexibility than with open automatic transport. The closed carrier shipping market is much smaller, so closed trailers are not as common as open trailers. If you decide to use closed car transport, we recommend that you book with as much time as possible.

Average closed auto transport cost

Transport in a closed vehicle is on average more expensive than transport in an open car. Expect closed car transport services to be expensive 40% to 60% more than open shipping.

Most car shippers consider this a premium or “white glove” service, as the vast majority of those who book enclosed trailers ship luxury vehicles or classic cars. Since closed car trailers cannot transport as many vehicles as open car trailers, transportation costs more and takes longer.

To better illustrate the cost differences between open and closed car shipping, we contacted a few of the major shipping companies for car shipping quotes.

Here’s what we found for a working 2018 Honda Civic traveling 1,588 miles from Reno, Nevada to Kansas City, Missouri:

Best Closed Auto Transport Companies

To get the best rates on closed car transportation services, we recommend getting free quotes from several providers. Most car transport companies offer web-based tools for instant quotes, like cost calculatorsso you can easily compare car shipping costs from a few companies.

Montway Auto Transport: Editor’s Choice

We consider Montway Auto Transport to be the best shipping company overall. The company has built an excellent reputation in the motor transport industry over the past 15 years, earning a A+ rating and Better Business Bureau (BBB) ​​accreditation. Customers agree, giving the company an average rating of nearly 4.6 stars out of 5.0 on the organization’s website.

Montway offers competitive rates on transportation to all 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. In our full Montway Auto Transport Reviewswe give the company 9.1 out of 10.0.

Easy Autoship: Good Cash Back

Easy Auto Ship strives to make shipping as easy as possible. The company is offering a rebate of up to $150 if you plan to pay the truck driver cash on delivery. Easy Auto Ship will also pay for a rental car if your transport takes longer than 14 days.

Autoshipper has excellent customer reviews on multiple sites, including 4.6 stars out of 5.0 on Google and the BBB. We rate the company 8.7 out of 10.0 in our Easy Autoship Review.

Sherpa Auto Transport: Fixed pricing

Sherpa Auto Transport has become one of the biggest names in the auto transport industry in less than five years. One of the keys to its success is the company’s price lock promise, which states that the price you offer is the price you’ll pay. The company also offers three-day pickup windows and will ship anywhere in the lower 48 states.

The BBB gives Sherpa a A+ rating, and customer reviews on the site give it a near-perfect 4.9-star average rating. Read our Sherpa Auto Transport Review for more information.

USship: Easy online marketplace

The uShip online shipping marketplace gives customers more control over the pricing process. By posting shipping requests to the uShip job board, you can connect directly with carriers to find the best available price. The marketplace also offers GPS tracking so you can know exactly where your car is at all times during transport.

In our uShip Reviews, we give the company a rating of 8.8 out of 10.0. The company holds a A+ rating with the BBB, and Trustpilot customers rate uShip on average by 4.2 out of 5.0 stars.

AmeriFreight: Additional Protection Plan

AmeriFreight has over 17 years of experience shipping cars to all 50 states. The auto transport company is able to work with flexible hours and offers expedited shipping. For an additional fee, AmeriFreight also offers the Allied Fidelity Total Assurance (AFta) plan, which provides three additional levels of insurance coverage in addition to its cargo insurance.

Due to its additional protection plan, we give the company 8.9 out of 10.0 in our Amerifreight Reviews. The company holds a A+ rating of the BBB and a Average rating of 4.7 stars customers on Google.

Our Methodology

Because consumers rely on us to provide unbiased and accurate information, we’ve created a comprehensive rating system to formulate our ranking of the best car transport companies. We’ve collected data on dozens of auto transport providers to rank companies on a wide range of ranking factors. The end result was an overall score for each vendor, with the companies scoring the most points at the top of the list.

Here are the factors taken into account by our assessments:

  • Cost (30% of total score): Car transport companies offering affordable fares, fixed prices and discount opportunities performed best in this category.
  • Services (25% of total score): Companies that offer a variety of choices for car transportation, strong insurance coverage, and additional benefits are more likely to meet consumer needs.
  • Customer experience (25% of total score): This score is based on customer satisfaction ratings and the availability of extras like GPS tracking. We also considered the responsiveness, friendliness and helpfulness of each carrier’s customer service team based on our own customer analysis.
  • Reputation (20% of total score): Our research team considered availability, industry expert ratings, and years in business when assigning this rating.

*Data correct at time of publication.

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