The Pros and Cons of Different Types of Interstate Car Transport

car transport options in australia interstate

When it comes to transporting a car across state lines, there are several options available. Each method has its own set of advantages and disadvantages that you should consider before making a decision. In this blog post, we will explore the pros and cons of various types of interstate car transport. Whether you’re relocating or purchasing a vehicle from another state, understanding these options will help you make an informed choice.

Open Car Transport

Let’s say you’re moving to a new state and need to transport your Honda Accord. Open car transport provides a cost-effective and efficient solution for a common make and model.


  • Cost-effective: Open transport is usually more affordable compared to other methods.
  • Wide availability: Many transport companies offer open car transport, providing you with numerous options.
  • Faster delivery: Since open carriers can accommodate multiple vehicles, it can be quicker to find available space and schedule a pickup.

If you own a vintage or high-end luxury car that requires additional protection, such as a collectible Porsche 911, the exposure to weather elements and potential road debris during open transport may pose a risk to the vehicle’s condition.


  • Exposure to elements: Vehicles transported in open carriers are exposed to weather conditions, which could potentially lead to cosmetic damage.
  • Limited protection: While carriers take precautions, such as securing the vehicles with straps and tire restraints, there is still a higher risk of debris or road hazards impacting the cars.

Enclosed Car Transport

Imagine you have a classic car or a high-value luxury vehicle, such as a vintage Mustang. Enclosed car transport ensures that your prized possession remains shielded from adverse weather conditions, road debris, and potential scratches.


  • Enhanced protection: Enclosed carriers provide a shield against weather elements, road debris, and potential cosmetic damage.
  • Customized transport: Some enclosed carriers offer specialized features like lift gates and climate control, making them ideal for transporting luxury or classic cars.
  • Peace of mind: Knowing your vehicle is shielded from external factors can provide reassurance during transit.

For everyday-use compact cars, such as a Toyota Corolla, the added cost of enclosed car transport may outweigh the benefits, especially when the vehicle does not require extra protection.


  • Higher cost: Enclosed transport generally comes at a higher price point due to the added protection and specialized equipment.
  • Limited availability: Enclosed carriers are less common than open carriers, which may result in longer waiting times for scheduling.

Door-to-Door Car Transport

Suppose you’re relocating to a new state and need your family minivan, like a Dodge Grand Caravan, delivered directly to your new address. Door-to-door car transport offers convenience and saves you time and effort.


  • Convenience: The transport company handles the entire process, saving you time and effort.
  • Reduced mileage and wear: By avoiding additional driving, your car will accumulate fewer miles and experience less wear and tear.
  • Personalized service: With door-to-door transport, you have direct communication with the carrier and can track the progress of your vehicle.

Example (When Not to Use): If you reside in a remote rural area with limited accessibility or live on a narrow street that cannot accommodate car carriers, door-to-door car transport might not be feasible.


  • Accessibility limitations: In some cases, carriers may not be able to access certain areas due to narrow streets, low hanging branches, or local regulations.
  • Potential delays: Factors such as traffic, weather conditions, or unexpected issues with other pickups or deliveries can cause delays in the estimated timeline.

Terminal-to-Terminal Car Transport

Let’s say you’re purchasing a used SUV from a dealership in a major city. Terminal-to-terminal car transport offers a cost-effective option for transporting the vehicle to your hometown.


  • Cost savings: Terminal-to-terminal transport is often more affordable than door-to-door service due to standardized processes.
  • Flexibility: Terminals are usually located in major cities, providing greater options for drop-off and pickup locations.
  • Consolidation opportunities: Transport companies can efficiently group multiple vehicles in one shipment, optimizing resources.

Example (When Not to Use): If you live in a bustling city center with limited parking or restricted vehicle access, coordinating transportation to and from the terminal locations can be inconvenient.


  • Additional logistics: You will need to arrange transportation to and from the terminals, which can be an inconvenience if they are not conveniently located.
  • Increased handling: With multiple transfers between carriers and terminals, there is a slightly higher risk of minor delays or handling-related damage.

International Car Transport Example

Suppose you’ve purchased a vintage Volkswagen Beetle from a seller in Germany and want it shipped to your location in Australia. International car transport provides the necessary expertise in customs regulations, ensuring a smoother import process.


  • Global accessibility: International car transport allows you to purchase or relocate vehicles from different countries.
  • Expertise in customs regulations: Transport companies specializing in international shipments are familiar with customs requirements and can facilitate a smoother process.
  • Door-to-port or port-to-port options: Depending on your preference and destination, you can choose between door-to-port or port-to-port services.

Example (When Not to Use): If you’re planning to sell your car locally and purchase a similar model in your new country, international car transport may not be necessary.


  • Longer transit times: International shipments involve various logistical steps, including customs clearance, which can extend the overall delivery timeframe.
  • Import regulations and fees: Depending on the destination country, you may encounter specific import regulations, taxes, and duties that can add to the overall cost.

When it comes to interstate car transport, understanding the pros and cons of different methods is essential for making an informed decision. Whether you opt for open transport, enclosed transport, door-to-door service, terminal-to-terminal service, or international transport, weigh the advantages and disadvantages based on your specific needs and preferences. Additionally, consider the factors mentioned above to choose a reputable transport company that can provide a smooth and reliable experience. Happy car shipping!