types of auto transport trailers

Types of Auto Transport Trailers

Types of Auto Transport Trailers

David Stone
Updated October 18, 2021 by David Stone

Table of Contents

    types of auto transport trailers

    You’re getting ready to move to another state, or might be a whole different country. Problem is you aren’t driving, you are flying, with means you’ll be leaving your vehicle behind. This may be problematic if you don’t have the funds to purchase a whole new car for yourself once you get to your new destination.

    The Solution? Have your vehicle transported via land through an auto transport company. These companies will transport your vehicle for a fee and offer many different options on the types of trailers that can pull your vehicle so you can find which one is the best for you.

    In this article, six different kinds of trailers will be covered: Flatbed Trailer, Gooseneck Trailer, Drop Deck Trailer, Wedge Trailer, Enclosed Car Trailer, and Open Car Trailer. Each will have pros and cons listed, to help you decide which will be the best kind of trailer to suit your needs.

    Flatbed Trailer

    Flatbed trailers are the simple, most commonly seen trailers that have no protective cage or outside protection for the load it is carrying. It is simply a flatbed that is hauled by a truck and carries its load on the back of the bed. These are ideal for transporting one to four different vehicles, was also being the most common trailer, meaning they are easy to find and very cost-effective.


    Flatbed trailers are the most common trailer to be seen pretty much anywhere where there is trucking going on. This is because they are easy to load, effective at getting the job done, and often do not cost too much to purchase, rent, or order as a service.

    • One of the most common trailers to be used in transportation
    • Very cost-effective and affordable to the common person
    • Easy to load a few vehicles onto it


    While they are the most common, flatbed trailers still offer some cons along with all their bonuses. For one, they are limited on size, and if you were needed a larger vehicle hauled they may have to get clearance for an ‘Oversized Load’. Lastly, they aren’t encased by any protective measures, so your vehicle could get damaged on the road.

    While it can transport more than one vehicle, it has a limited size
    If the vehicle is too large, requires clearance for an oversized load
    Load is not protected from external damage

    Gooseneck Trailer, a Secure Auto Transport Trailor Option

    Gooseneck trailers are similar to their flatbed trailer brothers, as they have a large open bed in the back, but are fixed on a rear axle that allows them an easier and more stable transition. As any normal open bed, they are loaded from the rear, often through the use of a ramp. This gooseneck trailer is often preferred for your larger loads that may be the kinds of work trucks, commercial vehicles, and much more that would prove too large for a common flatbed, but too small for the deserving ‘Oversized Load’.


    Gooseneck trailers tend to be a lot more secure, and able to haul much more than normal trailers thanks to the venter of weight being put on the rear axle than on the bumper of a vehicle. This allows truckers to haul more vehicles more easily, more securely, and provide a safer journey and trip.

    • Safer for long distances
    • Able to haul more than one vehicle easily
    • Less risk and more stable
    • Great for hauling larger vehicles


    Gooseneck trailers are often a lot larger and wider than normal trailers, meaning that the cost of the trip will increase due to the tools needed and that the trip may have to go through certain roads to get to its destination. They must also be towed via a truck that requires special equipment that isn’t standard to most common trucks, meaning that the proper usage is required to gain more stability. They are also still an open bed trailer, meaning that damage could occur from outside sources.

    • Costly to use the service
    • A lot larger than a normal flatbed truck
    • Requires a truck and special equipment
    • Open bed increases the possibility of damage

    Drop Deck Trailer

    kinds of auto transport trailers

    More often used for larger vehicles, or for large mechanical equipment to be transported from place to place, a drop deck Trailer is another great way to transport your vehicles to your new destination depending on the type of equipment you want to be moved. The floor of the bed will drop down once you clear the bed, making it easily accessible for loading and unloading.


    Depending on the type or make of the trailer, some will have the end part where you load and unload be able to lock upwards, guarding the vehicle from the rear, and it is often lifted in the front where it’s attached to the truck meaning it is also guarded in the front. This adds extra protection, and when you need to unload it you can drop the back allowing you to easily bring down the vehicle. It is also great for moving big, bulky, and mechanical or industrial vehicles.

    • Added protection for your car from the rear and front sides
    • Allows you to easily load and unload vehicles with its built-in locking ramp
    • Great for larger and more industrial/mechanical vehicles


    While this is a great idea and trailer for transporting more industrial or larger vehicles, and it does give you extra protection unlike normal trailers that don’t have a rear guard, these beds don’t offer protection from the sides and can be more expensive than your common flatbed trailer.

    • Increase in cost do to the size and make of the trailer
    • Does not offer a full 360 degree of protection for the vehicle on the bed

    Wedge Trailer

    Wedge trailers are a style of trailer that can hold one to four different vehicles on them, and depending on the make or style of the trailer, the wedge can be pulled via the truck or it can be a part of the actual vehicle. This trailer is an ideal cheap way to transport more than one vehicle at a given time, but may not be the best in terms of safety, as it only takes one mistake for the top vehicle to start to descend into the ones behind it.


    This type of trailer is great if you are looking to haul more than one vehicle at a given time, and it doesn’t seem to prove too costly for you, however, it may be a little more difficult to find this style of transport for your cars.

    • Great if you’re looking to haul more than one vehicle to a new destination
    • Can be quite affordable to the common person due to no need for extra tools


    However, with every plus there will most likely be a downfall. For this one, the risk of damage may seem a bit more than others, as your vehicles will be secured properly, they also only require one mess up and then the rest will come tumbling down. Also, this kind of trailer is a little more difficult to find than the more common gooseneck and flatbed trailers.

    • Possible damage is still a consideration
    • Finding a wedge trailer may prove difficult
    • Not meant for larger vehicles

    Enclosed Car Trailer, The Most Protective Type of Auto Transport Trailers

    Enclosed car trailers are one of the best kinds of trailers if you are looking for your vehicle to be fully protected from the elements of the outside world while being transported. Ideally, this is for moving your more sport or luxury vehicles that cost a fortune and would be nearly impossible to fix or repair if something happened to them. These trailers are often used to haul an individual car or two, but the trailers can become large enough where they can haul a total of eight vehicles at once.


    The best part about this trailer is that it offers full 360-degree protection for your vehicle, meaning that your car will be protected for all sides, and no matter what weather may come it will never see rain, hail, dust, or anything that can cause damage or put grime on your car.

    • Fully enclosed giving it a full range of protection from the outside world


    The negatives about this kind of trailer would be that it can be very steep and expensive in its pricing, especially if you are trying to transport more than one vehicle at once. While they make multiple different trailers of different sizes, which allows you to get a service to move more than one at a time with this kind of trailer, most trailers are meant to carry only one vehicle at a time.

    • Often limited to transporting a single vehicle but can transport more
    • As transporting more cars, the trailer gets larger, and cost increases

    Open Car Trailer

    Open car trailers are the workhorses of the residential and commercial industry, as you can see them being used by the common person on the road when they are hauling tools, equipment, or furniture behind their truck. However, in the transportation of cars, they can be used quite effectively providing an efficient means of hauling multiple cars at once while also reducing the cost for their service. These kinds of trailers are ideal for hauling vehicles from a dealership or manufacturer to another location or even moving your own personal car to your new home at an affordable price.


    These kinds of trailers are similar to the enclosed car trailer in a lot of ways besides the fact that they are fully open which means they aren’t enclosed having your vehicle open to the elements that may face it. But this also means that this is a more affordable means of transportation and that you can easily haul multiple cars at once rather than limiting yourself to a single or couple of vehicles.

    • Cheaper than enclosed car trailer
    • Can haul many cars at once
    • Very effective and efficient


    Again, very similar to an enclosed, except it lacks the protection for the outside elements meaning that your vehicle may experience rain, hail, snow, dust, and much more that could cause potential damage. If you are fine with that, it seems to be a decent choice. It may be harder to get this one as a hauling service for residential moving, as it is ideal for dealerships and manufacturers mainly, but that doesn’t mean you can’t order this service.

    • Similar to closed transport, except lacks full protection from outside sources
    • Ideal for dealerships or manufacturers

    Picking The Best Kind of Auto Transport Trailor For You

    auto transport trailer types

    There are many different kinds of trailers that can be used in the transportation of your vehicles from place to place when you are trying to move locations. Each one has its own benefits and negatives respectively. It depends on what you are trying to seek, how many vehicles you would like to move at one time or need to move, and what your price range is for moving your cars to your new home.

    If you have a luxury car that you spent thousands of dollars on, and it is your only car, perhaps trying an enclosed car trailer is more ideal for you, since you want to move a single car and you don’t want anything happening to your vehicle. Or, maybe you’re moving a tractor to your new rural homestead and thus you need a larger trailer; This would result in getting a gooseneck trailer or drop deck trailer so that you can easily move this larger industrial and mechanical equipment to your new home without worry or fuss. Or, if you don’t mind how it gets there or how it’s done, the basic flatbed trailer is never a bad option!

    Whatever you need moving, there is a proper trailer to get the job done. You just need to know what you need to be moved, where to, the price you are willing to pay, and what the best trailer would be for your transportation needs.


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    First, we post your vehicle through our network, including all National Dispatch Boards for Auto Transport. This is where all licensed auto transport carriers can see your vehicle is available for shipping.


    We present offers from FMCSA Licensed and Insured Carriers. When you accept an offer, we send your service agreement that guarantees the price, door-to-door service and 100% bumper to bumper insurance. There are never any hidden fees or charges, guaranteed.


    Not until you approve your carrier and final logistics is your deposit due. Your deposit is included in your quote and goes toward the total price. The remaining balance is due at time of delivery. Nothing gets done without your approval.


    Your driver will contact you prior to your pickup and delivery dates to schedule a time for loading and unloading. Once your vehicle reaches its destination, you do a final inspection of your vehicle and pay the driver the remaining balance. You and the driver both sign the Bill of Lading and each keep a copy.