Did you know that there are nearly 17 million auto retail sales each year?
An important part of car sales is shipping, especially if you are selling and buying cars across different regions. However, shipping a car can be a daunting task.

With a lot of legal, logistical, and financial guidelines, it can be intimidating to use open auto transport for the first time. Below is a comprehensive guide that discusses everything you need to know about open auto transport rules and regulations for 2023.

What Is Open Auto Transport?

Open auto transport involves loading your vehicle onto an open carrier—a truck with no roof or sides. The carrier usually has two levels, and cars are loaded onto the upper level first. While your car may be exposed to the elements, open transport for cars has its benefits including:

Cost Effective

Open carriers can transport multiple vehicles at once. This is why they’re often less expensive compared to other methods of auto transportation.

Faster Option

If you are looking for expedited auto transport, consider open carriers. They are more efficient since you can transport about 10-12 vehicles with each shipment. This can help save time on the road.

Additionally, open carriers are usually available for transportation. As a result, it can reduce the waiting time for your car to be picked up and delivered.


Planning to sell a car online? You may need to ship it to the buyer's location. Open auto carriers can help you ship your car to buyers on short notice.

How to Prepare for Open Auto Transport

Vehicle shipping can be a long and stressful process, especially if you have to ship a car to another state. Preparing for open auto transport can help ensure a smooth and safe transport of your vehicle. Here are some steps you can follow to prepare:

Step 1: Choose a Reliable Carriers Open Transport

Look for an open auto transport company that has a good track record for cross-country car shipping. You can get referrals from your loved ones. Also, read reviews to find more information about their reputation and how their clients.

Step 2: Clean the Car

Clean the vehicle inside and out before the transport. This will make it easier to inspect for any damage. If you are selling your car, you should also remove any personal belongings from it, including any chargers, and other electronics.

Step 3: Secure Loose Parts

Most cars have features that can easily get damaged in transit, such as blind-spot mirrors. Other interior accessories can move about and cause damage to your car. These items include cable clips, cup holders, and more.

Ensure that you secure or remove them. It will help prevent any destruction.

Step 4: Loading Inspection

Make sure you inspect the car before transportation. Take photos and videos of the vehicle's interior and exterior for documentation. The photos and videos can help you in case damage occurs during transit and you need to make a claim.

Step 5: Vehicle Securing

When it comes to open carrier car shipping, securing the car is vital. It prevents it from moving around while in transit. This reduces the risk of dents and scratches. To ensure the best open auto transport solution for your vehicle, look for a company that goes the extra mile to secure your car.

Step 6: Determine the Car Shipping Costs

When shipping your car, you'll want to get an accurate estimate of the cost. A car shipping calculator can help you do this. It allows you to enter information about your car and shipment so that you can get an estimate of the cost.

Open Auto Transport Rules and Regulations

There are a few rules and regulations that you need to be aware of when using open transport car shipping. While open carrier service providers know these rules, auto shipping clients may not have an idea about them. Here are the open car transport rules you should know about:

Have Necessary Documentation

Your open auto transport company must have an active motor carrier operating authority. They should also be registered with the FMCSA.

What’s more, they should carry insurance coverage for cargo and liability. It will help ensure the safety of your car during transit. As a client, the documents you need include:

  • Bill of Lading: A legal document that serves as a contract between you and the carrier
  • Vehicle Registration: To prove that you are the owner of the car
  • Insurance Documents: It includes your own insurance policy or the carrier's insurance policy
  • Photo ID: To verify your identity and ensure that you are the rightful owner of the vehicle
  • Power of Attorney: If you won't be present during pickup or delivery, you can provide a power of attorney to authorize someone else to act on your behalf

Understand the Weight and Size Restrictions

Every open transport carrier has weight and size restrictions. These restrictions may vary depending on the type of open carrier used. You should know the weight and size of your car to ensure it meets the requirements of the carrier.

Check the Carrier Safety Rating

Get an auto transport company with an acceptable Carrier Safety Rating. This rating ensures that the carrier has a good safety record and meets all the necessary auto transport rules.

Other Methods You Can Transport Your Vehicle

When shipping your car, you have the option of choosing other shipping methods apart from open carrier car shipping. These include:

Enclosed Auto Transport

If you want to ship a luxury car, enclosed auto transport is an ideal option for you. While it is more expensive, it provides more protection for your vehicle since these carriers have a roof and sides.

Hot Shot Car Transport

Hot Shot Car Transport is a specialized service that's designed to get your car to its destination quickly. This service involves using a smaller truck, allowing for faster transit times. They’re often used for urgent shipments.

Door-to-Door Auto Transport

With door-to-door auto transport service, you can transport your vehicle from one location to another without having to drive it yourself. The carrier will pick it up at your doorstep and deliver it to your preferred destination.

Trusted Open Car Carrier for Professional Transportation

Need to ship your car? Look no further than Nexus. We offer a hassle-free and successful open vehicle transport experience complying with all open auto transport rules and regulations.

Contact us today to schedule a vehicle shipment.