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Not All Car Carriers Use The Same Equipment

Subscribe July 18, 2018

Car carriers come in all shapes and sizes. Like most companies, some are large, some smaller. Some car carriers only transport within a specific region, while others will ship cars internationally. And the type of equipment used by each company can be different. How so?

It's always important to do your homework when it comes to picking the right car carrier. So how do you tell the difference?

Equipment Differences

There are 3 basic types of equipment car carriers use to transport your vehicle:

  • Multi-car open trailers
  • Multi-car enclosed trailers
  • Single-car trailers

Within each category, there are other options, each of which can make the difference between a successful move and one that's fraught with challenges.

Multi-Car Open Trailers

Every day, as you drive our nation's highways, you can find open multi-car trailers carrying vehicles. This is the most common type of trailer used by car carriers. Some are stacked with two levels of vehicles, while others just have one. Within the open trailers, car carriers can choose between trailers that hold your vehicle in place with chains or straps, high railings on the sides versus low railings on the sides. Each type has its benefits and challenges; choose a company that has drivers experienced with each type of equipment they use.

Multi-Car Enclosed Trailers

The most protection available for your vehicle is a enclosed trailer. It not only protects your vehicle from the elements, but also from theft and road debris. The problem, however, is two-fold:

  • Most carriers do not have enclosed trailers as part of their fleet
  • Those who do typically charge extra for their use, often significantly extra.

For most who choose to ship their vehicle in a enclosed trailer, however, the extra cost can be well worth it. Depending upon the condition and value of your vehicle, this may be the best option. Loading & driving an enclosed trailer has its own challenges, so you want to make sure your driver has the experience needed to handle this type of equipment.

Single-Car Trailers

Smaller car carriers use single-car trailers; one version of these are the type of trailers you can rent yourself from a truck rental company, attach it to your truck, load your vehicle and you're off. If this is the only type of trailer in the fleet of a car carrier you're considering, think twice; the more experienced companies should be able to move more than one vehicle at a time.

Another type of single trailer is an enclosed trailer that you may have seen used by racing teams to move their car from track to track. 

Additional Equipment

Each car carrier should use additional equipment to ensure the safety of your vehicle, including lift-gates (for low ground clearance cars) or bumper cushioning. If they use multi-car trailers with chains to hold your vehicle, ask about how they protect your vehicle if a chain comes loose in transit. Ask about how many times the driver checks to ensure all equipment is securely in place during the move and what options are available to the driver and to you if there is an equipment failure on the road.

Why Does Equipment Matter?

Having confidence in the drivers & equipment being used to move your vehicle is as critical as other aspects of moving your car. The more information you have, the more likely you'll have peace of mind that you've chosen the right car carrier. 

Remember – this is your vehicle, your precious asset. You have the right to get answers before you sign on the dotted line. Here at DAS, we're happy to share as much information as possible to ensure you're comfortable choosing us to move your vehicle.


No issues to report, service was dependable and reliable. Our car was available before the scheduled date! Very much appreciated!
T. Rosenthal


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