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Open Car Carrier: How to Ship Your Daily Driver Car in the U.S.

Moving Your Car on an Open Truck Carrier is the Practical Choice

Moving? Ship your car with an open carrier auto transport company. How do you ship a car? It’s easy.  (A lot easier than towing it yourself!) Basically, you get a quick estimate online, confirm the facts, clean out your car, drop off your car (or have it picked up), and have your car delivered. We have open carriers ready to ship your car.

You have a lot to do. You need easy. Using an open carrier to ship your car is an easy way to get one more task checked off your moving list.


What is Open Carrier Auto Transport?

You’ve probably seen open car carriers even if you’re not familiar with the term. An open car carrier is one of those semi-sized trucks on the highway carrying multiple cars. (Ever wonder which brand-new car you’d want off the truck as you drive past?)  Some of those car carrier trucks are shipping cars to dealerships, and others are delivering cars to new households.  Technically, the government defines a carrier as a firm that transports goods or people. The “cargo body” type is often defined as “auto transporter.”   Sometimes trucks that carry the cars are referred to as “open-air” carriers. Many people refer to the vehicle as a “car carrier.” An open car carrier is a big truck that carries cars exposed to (gasp!) air. (Unofficial definition.)

Shipping your vehicle with an open carrier is an easy, practical method to transport your daily use vehicle to another state or county in the United States. When you’re dealt the task of moving an entire household for a job relocation, or swamped with paperwork as you’re headed off to college, you need to delegate the tasks you can. Our professional auto transport team will help arrange shipping for your car, so you can work on packing and moving the rest of the household.


How to Make the Decision to Ship with an Open Carrier

The decision to move can be a Herculean decision. The task of moving an entire household or preparing yourself for a new college experience is even more daunting. With so many decisions involved, it pays to default to the affordable, safe and practical route for many tasks at hand. When you need to ship your car across states or to a new crazy big city like Los Angeles or Chicago, using an Open Carrier Auto Transport Company to ship your car to a new location is an affordable, practical avenue.

Ask yourself some basic questions to see if shipping your car with an open carrier is right for you.


Should I use an Open Carrier to Ship My Car?

  • Do I need to transport my car from one state to another?
  • Can I drive my car to the state of my new location?
  • Do I have time to drive my car to another state?
  • Do I want to drive my car to my relocation state?
  • Can I afford an open carrier to transport my car?
  • Do I need to transport more than one automobile to another state?
  • Do I have a luxury car, antique car, or exotic car?
  • Do I have any experience towing a vehicle?
  • Am I willing to put extra wear and tear on my car to tow another car?
  • Do I want to haul a car through bad weather?
  • Do I have better things to do with my time?

Answering those questions will help you decide if you should ship your car with an open carrier auto transport company. If you cringe at the thought of having to move your house and your cars, and you’re wondering how you’re going to manage it all, let our open carrier auto transporters get the job done for you. If you’re shipping off to college and don’t have time to drive, let our truck drivers do the driving.


Whether or Not to Ship in Funky Weather

If you live in the North and work in a big city like Chicago, you and your car are already professionals at handling the weather elements, but that doesn’t mean it’s fun. If you live in sunny Los Angeles, California, and are moving to a sunny city like Austin, Texas or Miami, Florida, the option of using an open carrier auto transport company will make your move easier and less stressful. Let a skilled open-carrier transport driver deal with the road-rage stress so you don’t have to. An open carrier driver will handle the interstate road construction, traffic jams and buckets of rain on the windshield, and you can handle the rest of your move.

Here’s a list of some snow-savvy routes our open carrier auto transport drivers can handle for you (mileage is approximate):

  • Los Angeles, California to Boston, Massachusetts (2, 983 miles)
  • Los Angeles, California to Chicago, Illinois (2, 016 miles)
  • Los Angeles, California to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2, 714 miles)
  • Los Angeles, California to Denver, Colorado (1, 1016 miles)
  • Los Angeles, California to Seattle, Washington (1, 135 miles)
  • Los Angeles, California to New York City, New York (2, 790 miles)
  • Los Angeles, California to Baltimore, MD (2, 0666 miles)
  • Los Angeles, California to Hoboken, New Jersey (2,790 miles)

Do you really want to worry about towing a car all those miles? Let our professional drivers ship your car across states for you. You have better things to do than sit in a traffic jam.


Be Prepared for Seasonal Fluctuations in Delivery Prices

Keep in mind, there are seasonal fluctuations in the cost to ship your car with an open carrier auto transport company.  A quote to ship your car in January may not be the same as a shipping quote for a July moving date to ship your car. Similarly, shipping a car south from Chicago, Illinois, to Atlanta, Georgia, in December may have a different price than shipping a car heading north from Miami, Florida, to New York City during the winter months. If you have more time than money, try to book your shipment during September, October or November for the best price. Fall shipping is also a cost-saving strategy for Snowbirds. If you’re living in a dorm at college, you can always arrive at college in August, then save some money by having your car delivered during a slower season. Try different dates in the instant online car shipping quotes and find the quote that fits your schedule and budget.


Drive to the Finish Line, Efficiently

Your goal is to transport your car(s) from one state to another and move your household.  Shipping your car with one of our auto transport companies will drive you to the finish line. You want to ship your car efficiently, safely, and in a cost-effective manner. An open carrier costs less than an enclosed carrier, and arranging pickup and delivery of your car with a carrier will take far less time than driving your car to another state. (Unless you live on the border.) The time saved is time you gain to spend on other moving tasks, relaxing with family, visiting friends and neighbors before your move, and exploring the city in your new state. (Or, just take a very long nap.)


An Alternative to Open Carrier Auto Transport

If you have an antique car or specialty sports car, enclosed auto carrier services would be a more protective way of transporting your vehicle. But if you’re transporting your daily driver Chevy, Ford, Honda or Volkswagen, an open carrier is the traditional automobile carrier route to ship your car to another state. Daily driver cars are made to handle the elements on a multi-state journey, and there is less wear and tear on your car when its shipped on an open carrier.

How to Move Your Car to Another State with Open Carrier Auto Shipping:

(The detailed long version, so you can use this checklist and not have to think.)

  1. Find a reputable open truck carrier to transport your car. (That’s us.)
  2. Get an instant quote to see how much it will cost to transport your car.
  3. Confirm the auto transport company has a convenient car pickup and car drop-off location.
  4. Contact the auto transport company to confirm they can meet your vehicle delivery time requirements.
  5. Discuss the exact car pickup and car drop-off locations.
  6. Discuss the scheduled window of dates of car pickup and car drop-off.
  7. Ask the open-carrier transport company how to prepare your car for shipping.
  8. Confirm the open-air carrier company has a certificate of insurance.
  9. Visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website and search for the motor carrier company name to research information on the open carrier.
  10. Read the fine print before signing anything.
  11. Review the details of service, date, time, inspections, preparation, pickup and drop-off provided by the open carrier auto transport company.
  12. Review the certificate of insurance from the open carrier.
  13. Review your car insurance.
  14. Sign and commit to a car pickup and delivery date.
  15. Prepare your car for delivery (clear, clean, wash, wax).
  16. Drop off your car to the car carrier (or arrange for pickup). Take pictures.
  17. Welcome your car to its new home.
  18. Inspect your car upon arrival.
  19. Give your car another wash.
  20. Explore your new state!

It’s a lot easier to contract with an open-carrier than to drive to another state hauling a car.


Problems Hauling Your Daily Driver with a Tow Dolly Rental:

  • Fast braking during interstate traffic jams may swerve (“whip”) the tow dolly (and your car).
  • Passing cars on highways and interstate lanes will require more room, and patience.
  • Difficulty making U-turns when your GPS steers you wrong.
  • Difficulty navigating fast-food drive-thrus and restaurant parking lots.
  • Difficulty navigating busy gas station parking lots.
  • Difficulty navigating narrow or crowded hotel parking lots.
  • You’ll require two parking spots open to parallel park on city street. (And skill.)
  • You will use more gas because of the extra weight your vehicle is towing.
  • When hauling another vehicle you add wear and tear to your car.
  • If you’re not experienced at hauling vehicles, you’re adding liability and risk. (Lawyers love that.)
  • Your move to another state will take longer (everyone will be exhausted from packing, it won’t be fun).

Open auto transport carriers are required by law to carry cargo insurance, be bonded, and be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Drivers of open auto transport carriers are also subject to more stringent legal requirements than a tow-truck driver at your local repair shop. You substantially lower your risk of property damage during a move when you ship your car with an experienced and regulated open carrier transport service.


How Do Cars Stay on the Open Carrier?

Cars stay on an open carrier because they are tied down with steel straps and/or chains and other similar material such as synthetic webbing, wire rope, and/or cordage. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has specific regulations for cargo securement for North American shipments that cover the standards of “how” a vehicle is tied down. The regulations are derived from the “North American Cargo Securement Standard Model Regulations.” These regulations cover tie-down requirements based on force, direction and acceleration. The company and driver shipping your car to another state does not want your car to fall off. Car shippers will go through rigorous procedures to make sure your car is tied down securely.

The type of tie-downs used are subject to manufacturing regulations. For instance, the National Association of Chain Manufacturers (NACM) Welded Steel Chain Specifications contains information on what type of chains can be used for certain weights and activities, such as tying down cars being transported on an open carrier, and those are referenced in government regulations. Safety in vehicle shipping procedures is everyone’s concern.


Contact our Open Auto Transport Carrier to Ship Your Car to Another State

People are strong enough to survive a Herculean move, and cars are strong enough to withstand coast to coast open carrier transport. Our professional open carrier truck drivers are skilled enough to ship your car safely, and our auto transport carriers are insured for your protection. Open carriers are a cost-effective, time-saving practical alternative to towing your own car during a move. Now that you have a checklist, an instant quote tool, and our experienced open carrier drivers available to ship your car, you can get started scheduling shipment of your car. You’ll soon reach the goal of having one more task checked off your Herculean moving list, and you’ll reach the finish line at your new home.

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