Types of Trailers for Car Shipping

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Planning a long-term stay, relocating, or simply wanting to move your vehicle to another location? That’s completely normal, and in fact, it's pretty common for movers all across the nation. Therefore, car shipping services have gained an incredible reputation in the transportation industry, since more and more people tend to hire the services every year for different reasons or purposes.


That said, transportation is also very demanding. Most professional auto shipping companies transport almost any kind of vehicle. However, in order to move them from point to point, it's necessary to hire an adequate utility trailer or tow vehicle for shipping a car or truck. 


There are a wide variety of truck and car shipping options across the industry. Each of them have a single purpose and they differentiate in their operational mode as well as their size and functions. 


We know how long you’ve been planning your trip and your auto shipping service, so we’d like you to know more about your transportation options and how to choose wisely when it comes to car shipping. Let’s discuss it more deeply, let’s go! 

Types of Trailers

Open or Enclosed?

Open and enclosed trailers are the main types of carriers when it comes to vehicle shipping. As soon as you request the service, your customer service agent will ask you “Are you shipping open or enclosed?”. 


Probably, you’ll be wondering the difference between them. And, if you don’t have any prior preparation about car shipping terms, you’ll be even more lost on the idea of the question. 


As such, let’s head straight to the point, and define what open or enclosed transport actually means.

Open Transport: 

An open trailer is a type of car hauler trailer that ships vehicles completely exposed to the environment with no other kind of physical coverage. This is the most popular auto transport method, since it's safe, very effective, has high carrier availability, and it’s often the most affordable one. 

Enclosed Transport: 

Enclosed transport is practically the opposite of open transport. On this type of shipping, the car hauler trailers are completely enclosed. That means that the vehicles that are being transported will be fully covered from the outside elements of the environment and the road. 


Frequently, car movers who choose this transport method do so because they have valuable vehicles that need to be protected during transport. These vehicles are commonly classic cars, antique cars, luxury cars, collection vehicles, brand new cars, race cars, among others. 


Enclosed transport can be a bit more expensive compared to open transport, since the transport trailers are fewer and the range of sizes is more limited.

Open Auto Transport Carrier Types 

Now, there are other types of car hauler trailers that are used for vehicle shipping depending on the range of sizes of each vehicle. These are all open trailers, however, they vary on different features. 

Multi Vehicle Trailers 

These types of trailers account for much more than half of car hauler trailers, and can carry up to nine vehicles at a time. They are long enough to fit common vehicles, and are a great and efficient way of vehicle transport since they accommodate more vehicles per trip than any other kind of car hauler trailer. 

Single-level multi car-trailers

These trailers are made to accommodate up to three vehicles at a time. Cars, trucks, and trailers are commonly carried on this type of utility trailer, in a completely secured way. Also, these types of trailers can be attached to a tow vehicle like a pickup truck. 

Hotshot trailers 

This type of trailer is a flatbed kind of trailer that can carry more than one vehicle at a time. The greatest thing about this trailer, is that its style is versatile and can fit at places where other multi-vehicle car hauler trailers can’t. 

Enclosed Shipping Carrier Types 

These are the main types of carriers that are used during enclosed vehicle shipping. As we mentioned before, these utility trailers are perfect for classic cars, collection cars, vintage cars, or any other type of vehicle that requires special care during transportation. 

Single level, single-vehicle 

This trailer basically hauls valuable trucks or cars and ships them short distances. Gooseneck trailers and bumper pull trailers are also used among this shipping system, towing vehicles or pulling the trailers by a dually truck. 

Multi-vehicle trailers 

Open multi-vehicle trailers can carry up to seven vehicles, and have a system of flexible PVC-coated vinyl side curtains that make the whole loading and unloading process of vehicles much easier and faster.

Hotshot Enclosed Trailers

Hotshot enclosed trailers can also be used during enclosed shipping, since there are some types that come enclosed as well. These car hauler trailers are great for shipping between two or three vehicles at a time, and are frequently hired for short journeys.

Best things of shipping through open transport 

  • Prices are affordable and cheaper compared to enclosed transport. 

  • There’s higher availability for the service.

  • Less fuel is used, which leads to a better price range and is environmentally friendly.

Advantages of shipping through enclosed transport 

  • Vehicles will be fully protected from any outdoor situation, weather conditions, among others, and will be delivered in perfect conditions.

  • It’s completely private and your vehicle won’t have any kind of contact with any other vehicle or person besides the driver. 

  • Vehicles arrive the way you just left them for loading. 


Remember there are a lot of trailers for sale as well, however, it’s highly recommended to hire a professional shipping company to do the work for you.


That said, we know your next auto shipping experience will be incredibly amazing. There are tons of transport methods available out there, it's just a matter of knowing how to choose wisely and trust your auto shipping company!