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Shipping a Car in an Enclosed Trailer All You Need to Know

If you need to transport your car, whether, for a long-distance move or a vacation, you may want to consider shipping it in an enclosed trailer. This method of transportation offers several advantages over open carriers, including greater protection for your vehicle during transit. 

In this article, we’ll provide you with a complete guide to shipping a car in an enclosed trailer, including the benefits, costs, and best practices.

Enclosed vs. Open Trailer Shipping

The two main types of car transport services are open and enclosed trailer shipping. Open trailer shipping is the most common method and is often used for short distances or for more budget-conscious customers. This method of shipping can leave your vehicle exposed to harsh weather, road debris, and dirt.

Enclosed trailer shipping, on the other hand, is the best option for long-distance car transport and for high-value vehicles. Enclosed trailers offer full protection from weather and other external factors, ensuring that your car arrives at its destination in pristine condition.

Benefits of Shipping in an Enclosed Trailer

Shipping your car in an enclosed trailer offers several benefits, including:

Protection from Weather and Road Debris

Increased Security

Enclosed trailers offer complete protection from harsh weather conditions, such as rain, snow, and wind. Additionally, your car will be protected from rocks, debris, and other road hazards that can damage it during transport.

Enclosed trailers are more secure than open trailers, as they offer complete protection against theft and vandalism. The trailers are fully enclosed and equipped with locks, ensuring that your car is safe throughout the journey.

Greater Peace of Mind

Suitable for High-Value Cars

Shipping your car in an enclosed trailer provides greater peace of mind, knowing that your vehicle is protected from any damage or theft during transit.

Enclosed trailers are ideal for shipping high-value cars such as vintage or luxury cars that require extra care during transport.

Types of Enclosed Trailers

Types of Enclosed Trailers

There are two types of enclosed trailers.



Hard-sided trailers are fully enclosed and made of metal, offering the highest level of protection for your vehicle. 

Soft-sided trailers, also known as “covered trailers,” are made of canvas or other lightweight materials and offer a slightly lower level of protection than hard-sided trailers.

How to Prepare Your Car for Enclosed Shipping

Before shipping your car in an enclosed trailer, there are several things you should do to ensure your car is prepared for transport. These include:

Clean Your Car

Remove Personal Belongings

Cleaning your car before shipping it, will allow you to inspect it for any pre-existing damage and also helps prevent any dirt or debris from damaging your car during transport.

Remove all personal belongings from your car before transport. Personal items can shift during transit and damage your car.

Check Fluids and Battery

Disable Alarm Systems

Check Tire Pressure

Before shipping your car, you should check all fluids, including oil, brake fluid, and transmission fluid. You should also ensure that your car battery is fully charged and securely mounted.

If your car has an alarm system, make sure to disable it before shipping. This will prevent any false alarms from going off during transport.

Check your car’s tire pressure and ensure they are properly inflated. This will help prevent any damage to your tires during transit.

Choosing an Enclosed Trailer Shipping Company

Choosing an Enclosed Trailer Shipping Company

When choosing an enclosed trailer shipping company, there are several factors to consider. These include:

Experience and Reputation

Insurance and Liability Coverage

Customer Service


Choose a shipping company with experience in enclosed trailer transport and a positive reputation in the industry.

Make sure the shipping company provides adequate insurance coverage for your car during transport. This will give you peace of mind in case of any damages during transit.

Choose a shipping company with excellent customer service, including clear communication and timely updates on the status of your shipment.

Compare the costs of different shipping companies to find one that fits your budget while still providing high-quality service.

Costs of Shipping in an Enclosed Trailer


The cost of shipping your car in an enclosed trailer can vary depending on several factors, including:


The farther the distance, the higher the cost of shipping.

Type of Vehicle

The cost of shipping varies based on the size, weight, and value of the vehicle.


The cost of shipping may be higher during peak season or holiday periods.

Insurance and Liability Coverage

Make sure to discuss insurance coverage with the shipping company before transport. Some companies offer basic coverage, while others offer full coverage or additional insurance options for high-value vehicles.

Best Practices for Shipping in an Enclosed Trailer

To ensure the safe transport of your vehicle, follow these best practices:

Choose the Right Shipping Company

Inspect Your Car Before and After Transport

Choose a reputable shipping company with experience in enclosed trailer transport.

Inspect your car thoroughly before and after transport to ensure it arrives in the same condition it was in when it was loaded onto the trailer.

Communicate with the Shipping Company

Securely Fasten Your Car

Maintain clear communication with the shipping company, including providing accurate pickup and delivery times and notifying them of any changes.

Make sure your car is securely fastened and immobilized during transport to prevent any shifting or damage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How long does it take to ship a car in an enclosed trailer?

A: The time it takes to ship a car in an enclosed trailer varies based on several factors, including the distance, route, and weather conditions. Most shipments take between 1-2 weeks.

Q: What documents do I need to provide for enclosed trailer shipping?

A: You will need to provide proof of ownership and insurance for your vehicle, as well as any necessary permits or documentation required by the shipping company.

Q: Is enclosed trailer shipping more expensive than open trailer shipping?

A: Yes, enclosed trailer shipping is generally more expensive than open trailer shipping, as it provides greater protection for your vehicle during transport.

Q: Can I ship my car internationally in an enclosed trailer?

A: Yes, you can ship your car internationally in an enclosed trailer. However, this will involve additional paperwork and may be more expensive than domestic transport.

Q: What happens if my car is damaged during transport?

A: If your car is damaged during transport, you should immediately contact the shipping company and file a claim with their insurance provider.


Shipping your car in an enclosed trailer offers many benefits, including greater protection from weather, road debris, and theft. By choosing a reputable shipping company with experience in enclosed trailer transport, adequate insurance coverage, and excellent customer service, you can ensure a safe and stress-free transport experience. 

Remember to follow best practices such as inspecting your car before and after transport, securely fastening your car, and maintaining clear communication with the shipping company. With these tips in mind, you can confidently ship your car in an enclosed trailer.

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