Best Auto Transport Solutions: Differences Between Car Transport Trailers

3 min to read

Perhaps you’re moving to a new home, donating a vehicle for parts or have purchased a classic car online and need it delivered to your home — now is the time to weigh your transport options. While rail, air and sea transport are available, the most common method of transport is over the road, where a truck pulls your car on a trailer. 

Which Auto Transport Trailer is Right For You?

First the basics. There are two main types of trailers: open and enclosed. An open trailer does not have sides or a roof and an enclosed trailer does. Dive into the pros and cons of open and enclosed transport solutions or read on to learn which trailer is the best option for your unique car transport situation. 

If you’d rather let the experts handle the details of your car move, read How to Select the Best Car Shipping Company or just call Montway Auto Transport at 888-666-8929.  

The first important question is: Which type of auto shipper are you?

I’m not moving my car too far

If you’re just moving one car across town or within the same state, a trailer that transports one to six vehicles is a great option for shipping your car. These open, single-level trailers are typically towed behind a pickup or dually truck (a pickup with an extra set of rear wheels) — similar to a tow truck. Since the vehicle is exposed and low to the ground, they are most appropriate for shorter distance trips.  

I have a luxury or collector’s car

Assuming you want to protect your collector, vintage or luxury vehicle at all costs, an enclosed trailer is recommended. There are two types: hard sided and soft sided. They both offer a higher level of protection than an open trailer, as your prized possession is sheltered from weather, road debris and rare occurrences of theft during travel and any stops taken along the way. 

I’m transporting an RV or other large vehicle

RVs, monster trucks and other large or specialty vehicles are usually transported the same way as a car, on an open, single-level trailer. There are exceptions, so be sure to look for a transporter that understands the tools, equipment and expertise required to move a recreational vehicle. 

I need to move multiple vehicles

If you have two or more vehicles, it makes sense to move them in the same shipment and take advantage of multi-car discounts. Do you also want to make sure they aren’t exposed to inclement weather, dirt and dust, or prying eyes? If yes, then an enclosed, multi-level, multi-vehicle trailer is an ideal option. It can move several vehicles at once while offering some protection from damage. An open, multi-level, multi-vehicle trailer is also a reliable and affordable option. 

I’m shipping a car that doesn’t run

Are you donating an inoperable vehicle or perhaps shipping it to a specialized mechanic for repair? The trailer isn’t as critical as the expertise of the person moving it. If a car can’t be driven on and off a transport truck, then the trucker must push or winch the vehicle onto the truck.

The inoperable vehicle must also be at a location accessible to a large truck. If the truck cannot  maneuver to the car, then you will need to bring the vehicle to a more trucker friendly location. Not all transport trucks can accommodate inoperable vehicles, so pickup may take longer. 

I need my car shipped quickly

Expedited shipping is more expensive, no matter what type of trailer you use. A multi-vehicle transport trailer will most likely make multiple stops and may not work for your deadline. The most common type of trailer will be one that transports one to three cars at a time. With this type of solution, you will not have to wait long for the driver to fill the trailer and can get on the road faster. 

I want to save money and am flexible

If you’re not on a tight time frame, the most cost-effective solution is an open, multi-level, multi-vehicle trailer towed behind a semi truck. Transport may take longer, since this solution requires more time to fill up the trailer and deliver all vehicles to their respective destinations. However, because there are numerous cars on the open trailer, you will generally pay less. 

Still Not Sure Which Car Transport Trailer to Choose?

Having so many options to consider may create more questions than answers. You may want to consider working with a vehicle transport broker. Brokers have the expertise, knowledge and carrier network to help you determine which auto transport trailer is right for your specific vehicle, timeline, budget and any other details of your shipment.

Montway Auto Transport is the nation’s leading automotive transport company, arranging shipments for over 140,000 vehicles every year. With exceptional customer service and 14 years of experience, we set the standard in the industry. Contact us today at 888-666-8929 to get started.