Open Carrier / Hauler

An open air carrier is the most commonly used method to ship a car. It is the fastest and cheapest method available to ship a vehicle cross country, state to state or even just to the next town.

Open car carrier transport with company logo

What is Open Carrier Transport?

In the industry, there are commonly two types of car carriers. One will be the open carrier, the other will be the enclosed carrier. Open carrier auto shipping is when you transport a vehicle on a car carrier that is open to the outside. The vehicles can be seen. Just as it sounds, “open” means it is not covered from view or the elements. The vehicles are exposed to the elements such as rain, snow, hail, and sunlight. It is possible for weather conditions to cause wear or damage, however it is not common. It is the industry standard. This truck can hold from 5 to 9 vehicles at a time. This is the opposite of enclosed (covered) transport.

What You Get

With our open carrier service:

  1. Insurance is included.
  2. Will have the most cost friendly option
  3. Shipping is door to door.
  4. Is quick and safe.
  5. You can request a top load.
  6. You have options for expedited transport.


Since there are so many vehicles being sold from other states, seasonal shippers, and relocations nationwide, open carrier has become very cheapest type of car shipping and very reliable. With over 14,000 open carriers throughout the country moving thousands of cars daily, there’s a lot of trucks specializing in just this type of car transport.


Just because it’s fast and affordable does not mean you are missing out on protection in the form of proper insurance. This is not only the standard but a federal requirement.

How Much Open Auto Shipping is there Really?

Everyone in most major cities or even small towns will own a car. Our surroundings are totally designed around them. There are more vehicles on the road than any time in history. That’s why it’s become so affordable to ship. Many assume cars on a carrier are inventory or being auctioned. However, nearly every carrier you see on the road is usually actually someone shipping a car for a personal reason.

Available Right Away

It so happens open carrier transport is not only one of the most reliable and fastest traveling forms of our shipping, but available right away in most areas. So just because you are trying to avoid the trouble of driving a vehicle yourself, does not mean your time will have to be sacrificed. In fact, you save time because you won’t be on the road for days. Your car will.

Lower Cost

You can read about the average cost, or use our car shipping calculator to get a rate. But to give you a visual, the average shipping per mile on open transport is 40-75 cents a mile, and can rise to a dollar a mile in more rural towns or very remote locations that experience very little movement. Find out how much it costs to ship your vehicle with our calculator. Since open carriers are everywhere, they are quick. It can take as little as 1-3 days to get a pickup. This is if it is in a major city or populated area. Remote locations can take us a week plus to get because it takes longer to find a truck that will be going through those areas. These are also the most widely recognized trucks on the road when it comes to the auto transport business. Everyone is familiar with these. You see them coming in and out of dealerships. They run on major highways such as the one pictured here.

Advantages of Open Carrier Shipping

This is the standard for shipping cars. Open carrier transport is the way to go for fast, cheap, and safe. There are thousands of these trucks and by far they exceed any other kind of carrier. 98% of all auto transport is done on these types of carriers. As mentioned it’s the fastest and the cheapest.

Disadvantages of Open Carrier Shipping

Your vehicle will be exposed the elements of transport. Although this is just fine for most vehicles, if yours is a classic car, exotic, or very sensitive vehicle you will need Enclosed. Dust, rain, snow, even direct sunlight can impact the condition of some vehicles. Also, motor-cargo insurance may not be enough to cover your vehicle unless it’s on an enclosed/covered trailer. If this is your first time shipping a car, we highly recommend our frequently asked questions to learn the basics. Haven’t decided if we’re right for you? No problem, make sure you read about scams and check our great reviews to be ready when making your final decision.