Types of Auto Transport Carriers

October 22, 2019
Vasilka Atanasova
Corsia Logistics auto transport

You will find two general types of auto transport trailers – open and enclosed.

However, we have to further distinguish the various types of open and enclosed trailers. Below, we have a short guide to help you learn about the various trailers used for long and short distances.

Open Auto Transport Carriers

The most widely used trailer is open. These trailers are ubiquitous on the road. They are the standard mode for transporting vehicles. It is the fastest and most efficient mode as well.

Open carrier types:

  1. single vehicle hotshot trailer
  2. single level multi-car carrier
  3. multi level multi car carrier

Single vehicle hotshot trailer


single-vehicle hotshot / dually truck with tow trailer


First is the single-vehicle hotshot trailer. This is a dully truck with a tow trailer, which is usually a single level. The single level hot-shot is mostly used for short distances. Yet, it could be booked for a long-distance deliveries as well,  for a special delivery request that requires expedited shipping.

Single level multi-car carrier


single-deck-multi-car carrier


Second is the single level multi-car trailer, which is often used for all types of vehicles. On such a trailer you can ship an RV or a travel trailer, a big SUV or transport a pick-up truck. One of the biggest advantages of this carrier is that it can get to places not accessible to the big multi level multi-car carrier trucks.

Who uses single level multi-car carrier? Luxury, vintage and collector car owners, dealerships and sports car owners for expedited and special deliveries. When even the smallest scratch or ding can turn into an expensive repair job, booking a hot shot service is the best better option.

Multi level multi-car carrier trailer


cars shipped in 2019


And lastly, we have a double/multi level multi-cart trailer. This a standard widely used auto transport trailer. When businesses and private customers need to ship cars across the country, this is the trailer booked.

Open trailers like these are almost 90 percent of the whole fleet in the US. This makes them the most efficient and affordable option.

If your car has low clearance, we recommend a single level car transport trailer. It is a flatbed trailer designed for one or more cars, and it is preferred for any modified or non-running vehicles.

You can also opt for a standard double level trailer, but the single deck offers faster service because the multi-car double deck truck will requires more time to fill all available car spots.

Enclosed Auto Transport Carriers

Enclosed vehicle transport trailers are fully covered trucks that will protect your vehicle from road and weather elements during transport. An enclosed trailer is usually hard-sided and completely shields the vehicle. Soft sided carriers are also used, but they are less popular and not used as often.

Enclosed carrier types:

  1. multi-level multi-car trailers
  2. single level single car trailers
  3. single level multi-car trailers

Multi-level multi-car carrier trailer

multi level multi car carrier enclosed


This is the type of trailer most sports, luxury and classic car dealerships use for their vehicles. All of the specialized dealerships Corsia works with recommend enclosed trailer to their customers. Using a multi level multi-car carrier is more efficient than single level single car carrier, when it comes to enclosed.

Single level single car trailer

single level single car carrier


This is an even more specialized transport than the enclosed multi level trailer. Single level single car carrier most often hauls short distances. Such carriers are booked for high-end cars or when expedited delivery is needed.

Single level multi-car carrier usually fits two cars. It is very similar to the single level one car carrier.

Usually, sports, luxury, and classic vehicle owners and dealerships request enclosed auto transport. It is normal for exotic and high-end vehicles to have expensive paint job, or for classic cars to have undergone a costly restoration process. Therefore, owners and dealers want to make sure such vehicles are protected from the road and weather elements.

What is the cost to ship a car?

The real cost to ship a car is a price that reflects current market conditions. An accurate rate  will guarantee timely and professional service, no matter the type of trailer.

Our logistics experts track the market daily to provide accurate pricing.
Request a quote online or call our team now.

The type of carrier you choose always affects the price of shipping. The cost of enclosed auto transport is usually higher. In the U.S., only about ten percent of the entire fleet are covered carriers. Hence, this type of auto transport is less available.

We encourage you to call us and ask questions because we want you to make an informed decision. You have the right to a stress-free car shipping process and we are here to make it happen. We are here to help you understand the process and ship your car with a peace of mind. Thank you!











1 comment

Jack Swait

Noticed that most trailers have one unusual car on top,why?

March 23, 2020

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