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Car Shipping 101: The Different Types of Carriers that Auto Transporters Use

If you’re here, chances are you want to move your automobile across the country. Luckily, you can achieve that cross-country goal by partnering with an auto transport company that’ll use the best carrier method to get your vehicle to its new home. There are a couple of ways to move a vehicle, and you’re about to find out what they are.

This article will explain the different types of vehicle carriers to help you figure out the best option for your auto transport needs. That way, you’ll know how safe your car will be and how long the shipment will take. Let’s jump right into it.

Open Vehicle Transport

This carrier method comes in first because it is the most popular one. It’s called open because vehicles are exposed to the outside, and the car won’t have any cover over it for the entire way. As you may have already guessed, it is the cheapest option, and many people book it frequently. Open vehicle transport comes in two different forms, which are:

  • Single-car transport. With this method, your car will sit on the trailer security throughout the journey. The good thing is that single-car transportation is often quicker to move. However, you’ll pay more because you’re the only customer and there is no splitting, unlike the next one.
  • Multi-level transport. This is a more common auto transport option that involves putting up to 8 vehicles on the transport trailer. Even though customers prefer it, multi-level transport moves slowly because of the distributed weight of all cars. Picking this option would mean waiting a little longer for your vehicle to reach its destination.

Enclosed Vehicle Transport

Closed vehicle transport only differs from open shipping in that it covers the vehicle entirely. Therefore, you expect your car to be protected from weather and debris throughout the entire auto journey. On top of weather protection, your car also gets privacy. The only catch is that you’ll pay more for the enclosure, but every penny is worth it, considering the security and safety your car will get.

Water Transport

If part of the transportation involves crossing over a body of water, you’ll have to switch from road to water transport. Auto transport companies offering water transportation provide a ferry or a cargo ship.

Ferries move vehicles over smaller water bodies like lakes and rivers. Although they’re mostly used to carrying people, they can also carry vehicles. On their part, cargo ships are huge and can move cars across oceans to other countries. They’re actually the cheapest option for overseas movement, but they’ll take way too long to get your vehicle to its destination.

Air Transport

Sometimes, you’ll need to move your vehicle as fast as possible. Therefore, if speed is your priority, choose air transport. However, only do so if you’re willing to break the bank because flying your car is, by far, the most expensive auto transport method.


As you can see, there are multiple methods to ship a car. The trick now is to choose the right one. All you have to do is talk to the right company. However, if you’re still confused about which method to go for, contact American Auto Transport. They’ll be happy to give you a free quote and advise you on the best available auto transport carrier for your situation.

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