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Best Enclosed Car Shipping Companies of 2024

Learn more about our methodology and editorial guidelines.

Top 5 Best Enclosed Auto Transport Companies

In an industry-wide study, we at the MarketWatch Guides team compared top companies using the following key metrics: reputation, cost, shipping methods and customer experience. We then calibrated those scores and ranked providers from one to five. Below are the results of that research.  


What Is Enclosed Car Shipping?

Enclosed car shipping is exactly what it sounds like — transporting your vehicle in an enclosed rather than an open trailer. Enclosed auto transport is the safest way to ship your vehicle, but it’s also more expensive.  

Enclosed auto shipping is good option for owners of the following types of vehicles:

  • Luxury and sports cars
  • Collector and vintage cars
  • Trucks and SUVs
  • Vehicles with larger-than-average wheels
  • Vehicles with low ground clearance
  • Motorcycles

Is Enclosed Auto Shipping Worth It?

The short answer is: it really depends. Sam Ismailzada, CEO of AmeriFreight, explains that enclosed auto shipping’s worth “depends on whether or not the customer can afford the extra cost.” He says that if an owner’s answer is yes, “it is always best to ship enclosed to avoid damage.” But, ultimately, whether or not enclosed shipping is worth it depends on your budget and your specific needs. 

If you have a high-value car that would be very expensive to repair, then enclosed shipping is likely worth the extra cost. If, on the other hand, you just need to ship your daily driver from one point to another as quickly as possible, then open transport may be a better option. 

Enclosed vs. Open Auto Shipping

As with most things, there are pros and cons to both open and enclosed transport methods. We break those down below.

Pros

Safest way to transport your vehicle

Often includes higher insurance limits

Perfect for high-value vehicles
Cons

Most expensive way to transport your vehicle

May take longer due to limited availability of enclosed trailers

Less flexibility in scheduling
Pros

Most affordable way to transport your vehicle

Often the quickest way to transport your vehicle

Many brokers and carriers available to choose from
Cons

Your vehicle is exposed to sun, wind, hail, etc.

Open auto shipping allows for up to 10 vehicles to be shipped at a time, while enclosed transport only provides room for two or three. This greatly affects the cost of moving a vehicle and also limits the number of trailers available for your shipment. 

So if you need cheap and fast, then open transport is your best option. If you’d prefer safety and security — and don’t mind paying for it — then enclosed transport is ideal.


How Much Does Enclosed Car Shipping Cost?

We gathered shipping quotes for a 2020 Honda Civic from a handful of top providers. The quotes were for door-to-door shipping from Reno, Nev.  to Kansas City, Mo. — a distance of roughly 1,600 miles. While prices vary from company to company, the average cost to ship enclosed was about $2,035, based on the quotes we received. 

Enclosed Car Shipping Company Total Enclosed Auto Shipping Cost
Mercury Auto Transport $1,255
Ship a Car Direct $1,350
AmeriFreight $1,545
SGT Auto Transport $1,579
RoadRunner Auto Transport $1,666
Montway Auto Transport $1,799
Easy Auto Ship $1,889
Sherpa Auto Transport $2,025
Ship Your Car Now $2,645
Guardian Auto Transport $2,705
National Express Auto $3,925

What Affects Enclosed Auto Shipping Costs?

A number of factors affect the cost of shipping your vehicle, including:

Time of year: Shipping is more expensive when demand is high. Peak season for car shipping is typically in January and during the summer months.

Transport distance: While per-mile rates decrease the farther you ship your vehicle, the overall cost increases. Naturally, the longer the shipping distance, the more it will ultimately cost. 

Type of vehicle: Transport costs will be steeper if you’re shipping a truck or larger vehicle. In addition, it may be more expensive to ship vehicles with low ground clearance, since those require special arrangements.

Transport type: Open auto shipping is cheaper than enclosed auto shipping since more vehicles can be shipped on the same trailer and more open trailers are available. 

Delivery method: Door-to-door shipping will usually cost more than shipping terminal to terminal. The further out of the way your driver has to go, the more it will cost. 

wrench Vehicle operability: If you’re shipping an inoperable vehicle, it will need to be either forklifted or winched onto the car trailer, increasing your vehicle transport cost.


Best Enclosed Car Shippers: The Bottom Line

We recommend Montway Auto Transport, Sherpa Auto Transport, SGT Auto Transport and AmeriFreight as the best enclosed car shipping companies. All scored highly in our industry-wide review that considered reputation, cost, shipping methods and customer experience.

But to ensure you find the best company for your needs as well as the best price for your budget, it’s always a good idea to get quotes from at least two or three companies before booking your shipment. 

Best Enclosed Auto Transport Companies: FAQ

Below are frequently asked questions about the best enclosed car shipping companies:


We found that the best enclosed car transport companies on the market today are Montway Auto Transport, Sherpa Auto Transport, SGT Auto Transport and AmeriFreight. We based our ratings for these companies on the reputation, cost, shipping methods and customer experience offered by each.


Montway Auto Transport is a legitimate vehicle shipping company. The company has been in business since 2006 and has both an A+ rating and accreditation from the BBB.


The best auto transport company to use will depend on your vehicle, circumstances and needs during the shipping process. We encourage you to obtain quotes from multiple reputable providers to find the best auto transport broker for you.

Our Methodology

Because consumers rely on us to provide objective and accurate information, we created a comprehensive rating system to formulate our rankings of the best car shipping companies. We collected data on dozens of auto transport providers to grade the companies on a wide range of ranking factors. The end result was an overall rating for each provider, with the companies that scored the most points topping the list.

Here are the factors our ratings take into account:

  • Cost (33% of total score): Auto shipping companies with affordable rates, locked-in pricing and discount opportunities score highest in this category.
  • Customer Experience (25% of total score): This score is based on customer satisfaction ratings and the availability of extras like GPS tracking. We also consider the responsiveness, friendliness and helpfulness of each transporter’s customer service team based on our own shopper analysis.
  • Reputation (22% of total score): Our research team considers availability, ratings from industry experts and years in business when giving this score.
  • Shipping Methods (10% of total score): Companies that offer a variety of choices for car transport and added benefits are more likely to meet consumer needs.
  • Logistics (10% of total score): A smooth shipment is all about the details, which is why we look at how long it takes providers to pick up and ship vehicles, whether they include additional insurance coverage and more.

Our credentials:

  • 200+ hours researched
  • 20+ companies reviewed
  • 2,000+ consumers surveyed

*Data accurate at time of publication.

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