Choosing a method for shipping a vehicle requires weighing options carefully. Open car transport, the process where cars are shipped on open carriers, is one of the most popular choices. But like all options, it comes with its own set of advantages and drawbacks. This guide unpacks the pros and cons of open car transport, guiding you toward a decision that best fits your requirements.

The Advantages of Open Car Transport

Cost-Effective Solution

Many prefer open travel due to its affordability. Open carriers may carry many cars, boosting cargo each trip. This effective use of space spreads operating expenses, from fuel to labor, over several trucks, lowering vehicle prices. Customers may typically get better prices for open transit than covered transport. Enclosed shipping provides more security, although open carriers are cheaper for regular vehicle shipments.

Increased Availability

Open carriers are among the most commonly used methods of vehicle transportation, owing largely to their efficiency and versatility. Due to their prevalence in the industry, these carriers have a higher availability. This abundance translates to more flexibility for customers, as there are typically more slots and schedules to choose from. Moreover, the sheer number of available carriers often means that the lead time for pick-up is reduced, allowing for quicker response to transportation requests. The popularity and abundance of open carriers streamline the shipping process, offering customers both convenience and speed in service.

Versatility in Vehicle Types

Open carriers have long been a staple in the vehicle transportation industry due to their versatility. Designed to accommodate a broad spectrum of vehicles, they can effortlessly transport everything from sleek sedans to bulky SUVs. Their multi-tiered structure ensures that multiple vehicles can be loaded and transported simultaneously, optimizing capacity and efficiency. Regardless of the vehicle’s size or type, these carriers have the provisions to secure them adequately during transit, ensuring their safety. 

Transparency Throughout Transit

Open auto transport provides an unobstructed view of the vehicle throughout its journey. With the car fully exposed, it becomes considerably more straightforward for the driver to perform thorough inspections at both the start and end of the transportation process. For you, as the owner, this visibility ensures an easier and more transparent assessment of your car’s condition upon arrival. Any discrepancies or potential damages can be quickly identified without the hindrance of covers or enclosures.

The Disadvantages of Open Car Transport

Exposure to Elements

Open transport leaves cars exposed to the weather. These cars face rain, snow, and the sun as they travel over different terrains and climates. Water stains and rust can result from improper car drying after rain or snow. Long-term sunshine can fade paint and degrade rubber and plastic. Open travel is cheaper, but buyers must assess the aesthetic dangers against the economic savings.

Vulnerability to Road Debris

Open carriers expose automobiles to road conditions. This kind of transportation risks road debris, including gravel, stones, and tires being thrown at the vehicle. While traveling at high speeds on roads, even a little debris can contact the vehicle, causing scratches, paint chips, and minor dents. Drivers and transport organizations minimize such incidents, yet the danger remains. Customers using open carrier transportation must be aware of and weigh these risks.

Less Security

While cheap and accessible, open transit lacks the protection of covered conveyance. Open carrier vehicles are vulnerable to theft and vandalism because of their visibility and exposure to nature. This vulnerability can be risky for luxury or rare automobiles, which are typically valuable financially and emotionally. High-end automobile owners want to cover transit for safety and privacy. Thus, covered transport can be worth the extra expense for luxury or unusual automobiles, while open travel can be OK for regular cars.

Potential for Delays

Open carriers can move many automobiles in one trip, improving operating efficiency. However, this advantage can cause delays. Since an open carrier can serve several customers in various places, it must make multiple trips to load and unload cars. Each stop might lengthen the trip based on access and vehicle needs. Open transport clients should be aware of and account for delivery delays, particularly if their carrier delivers full cargo.


By understanding these pros and cons and factoring in individual requirements and the vehicle’s specifics, one can make a well-informed decision that ensures both peace of mind and a safe journey for the car. Evaluating personal priorities will steer you towards a choice that aligns best with your needs.