The Pros and Cons of Different Types of Interstate Car Transport

When it’s time to move a car across Australia, whether you’re relocating or sending a vehicle to a new owner, choosing the right transport method is crucial. Each option has its advantages and challenges, and understanding these can help make your decision easier. This guide, enriched with personal experiences and relevant statistics, explores various methods of interstate car transport.

Open Transport

Open car transport involves your car being transported on a large, open-air lorry.


  1. Affordable: It’s usually the most budget-friendly choice, making it popular for everyday vehicles.
  2. Efficient: These lorries can transport multiple cars at once, maximising efficiency.


  1. Exposed to Elements: Your car is open to weather conditions like rain, dust, and sunlight.
  2. Risk of Minor Damage: There’s a chance of small scratches or dents from road debris.

Ben from Darwin shared his experience, “My car arrived a bit dusty but unharmed. Considering the cost-effectiveness of open transport, which accounts for over 60% of interstate car transports in Australia, the minor cleaning needed was worth it.”

Enclosed Transport

Enclosed transport protects your vehicle in a covered lorry, offering more security.


  1. Superior Protection: Ideal for safeguarding your car from the elements.
  2. Suited for High-Value Vehicles: Recommended for luxury, vintage, or sensitive cars.


  1. More Expensive: The enhanced protection comes at a higher cost.
  2. Limited Space: Enclosed lorries typically carry fewer vehicles.

Emma, a vintage car owner, says, “For my precious classic car, enclosed transport was the only option. The peace of mind knowing my car was protected from the elements, even though it was more expensive, was invaluable.”

Door-to-Door Car Transport

This service offers the convenience of having your car picked up and delivered to specific locations.


  1. Maximum Convenience: Eliminates the hassle of driving to drop-off or pick-up points.
  2. Time-Saving: Ideal for those with busy schedules or limited access to transport terminals.


  1. Higher Costs: This personalised service comes at a premium.
  2. Access Limitations: Large transport vehicles may face difficulties in certain locations.

Sarah, who recently moved from Sydney to Melbourne, found this service particularly helpful. “With a tight schedule, the door-to-door service was a lifesaver, despite being more expensive. It took a lot of stress out of the move.”

Terminal-to-Terminal Car Transport

This more traditional method requires you to take your car to a transport terminal (depot) and then collect it from another.


  1. Cost-Effective: Generally more affordable than door-to-door services.
  2. Flexible Pick-Up: Collect your car at a time that suits you.


  1. Requires More Effort: Involves driving to and from the terminals.
  2. Potential Storage Fees: Leaving your car at the terminal for an extended period might incur additional charges.

Mark, who used this option for his move from Perth to Adelaide, notes, “While it was a bit inconvenient to get to the terminals, the money I saved made it worthwhile. Plus, I had the flexibility to pick up my car when it suited me best.”

This guide offers insights into the pros and cons of different interstate car transport options in Australia, helping you make an informed decision for your vehicle’s journey.

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