Multi-Car Trailers for Car Shipping: Pros and Cons

Multi-Car Trailers for Car Shipping: Pros and Cons
Published on September 27, 2023 at 3:34 pm GMT

As vehicles vary in value, size, and durability, they often have specific shipping requirements, which is why many different types of car trailers are available. To meet these requirements, auto shipping companies offer varied, customizable services with a wide selection of trailer options.

Multi-car shipping trailers account for almost ninety percent of car haulers and can haul up to nine cars simultaneously. They are considered the most efficient shipping means because they accommodate more cars per trip than any other shipping trailer.

This article will explain the difference between open and enclosed shipping, explore different types of multi-car trailers, and discuss the pros and cons of multi-car trailers for auto shipping.

Open vs. enclosed shipping

Open shipping

Open trailers ship vehicles completely exposed to the elements with zero physical coverage. This method is the most popular auto shipping since it is safe, widely available, very effective, and usually the most affordable.

Enclosed shipping

Enclosed shipping is the opposite of open shipping since the car hauler trailers are completely enclosed. The vehicles shipped this way are fully covered and protected from the weather, the road, and all the elements. Moreover, car shippers choose this transport method when they ship valuable vehicles that must be protected during transport. Vehicles shipped in an enclosed trailer usually include vintage, antique, luxury, classic, brand new, race, and collection cars.

However, this method of transport is more expensive because the size range of enclosed trailers is more limited, and there are fewer available trailers of this type.

The Different Types of Multi-car Shipping Trailers

Multi-car shipping trailers are a highly efficient method of transporting multiple vehicles in a single trip, which makes them a popular option for car shipping. Compared to other car hauler trailers, they can accommodate more cars, making shipping more cost-effective. Furthermore, clients can choose between open and enclosed multi-car shipping trailers based on their preferences, budget, and specific vehicle transportation requirements.

Enclosed Multi-Car Trailer

These trailers can carry up to seven vehicles at a time. They have a system of flexible PVC-coated vinyl side curtains, which makes the process of loading and unloading vehicles much faster and easier to accomplish.

One-Level, Multi-Car Trailer

One-level, multi-car trailers provide a secure and efficient method for transporting cars, with the trailers designed to hold up to three vehicles simultaneously. These trailers can be attached to various tow vehicles, such as pickup trucks or semi-trucks. Additionally, they ensure the safety of the shipped vehicles against exposure to leaks since they have nothing on top of them.

Multi-Level, Multi-Car Trailer

Multi-level, multi-car trailers are designed to transport between six to eight cars per trailer with two tiers. The back of these trailers can be lowered to provide easier and more accessible loading and unloading. Similar to the one-level multi-car trailers, semi-trucks can pull these trailers. This trailer type is highly efficient and cost-effective since it allows for transporting more vehicles at once, reducing the shipping cost per vehicle.

Hotshot Trailer

Hotshot trailers can carry more than one car at once. The trailer’s versatile style enables it to fit in places where usual multi-car hauler trailers cannot. Some hotshot trailers also come in an enclosed design, making them ideal for shipping valuable vehicles. They are also perfect for shipping between two to three cars simultaneously and are usually used for shorter shipping distances, as they are smaller than other types of car trailers.

Pros of Multi-car Trailers for Auto Shipping

Multi-car trailers have become a popular choice for auto shipping due to several advantages, including:

  • Efficient means of transport: Multi-car trailers can haul up to nine vehicles at a time, making them an efficient method of transportation
  • Accommodate more vehicles: With a length of 75 to 80 feet, they can accommodate more vehicles per trip than other car trailers, reducing the overall cost of transportation
  • Cost-effective: Multi-car trailers’ auto shipping services are more cost-effective than single-car trailers, providing an affordable option for car owners
  • Efficient loading and unloading: They have efficient loading and unloading procedures, which save time and reduce the risk of damage to the vehicles being transported
  • Expert handling: Auto shipping companies commonly use multi-car trailers, giving them plenty of experience and expertise in handling these trailers, ensuring safe and efficient transportation
  • Suitable for long-distance transport: Multi-car trailers are ideal for long-distance shipping, ensuring safe and efficient transportation of vehicles across extended distances

Cons of Multi-car Trailers for Auto Shipping

While multi-car trailers offer many benefits for auto shipping, there are also some potential drawbacks:

  • Inconvenient pickup location: Multi-car trailers often require customers to meet at an open lot, which may not be convenient for some
  • Mechanical malfunctions: They are prone to mechanical malfunctions, which may delay the delivery of the vehicles
  • Safety concerns: Multi-car trailers are not as safe as single-car trailers due to the proximity of multiple cars, which increases the risk of damage during transit
  • Slow delivery time: They may have a slower delivery time since they must fill several vehicles before departing
  • Environmental impact: They are heavier and less environmentally friendly than lighter carriers, which may not suit eco-conscious clients
  • Driver attention: The driver has to pay attention to several cars in the trailer, which might create a problem if something goes wrong during the trip. The driver has to navigate challenging terrain or weather conditions


In conclusion, multi-car trailers provide a cost-effective and efficient means of transporting multiple vehicles simultaneously. They offer clients the option to choose between open and enclosed trailers based on their needs and preferences.

While there are drawbacks, such as the potential for mechanical malfunctions and safety concerns, auto shipping companies commonly use multi-car trailers, ensuring their expertise in handling them and safe and efficient transportation. Overall, multi-car trailers remain popular for those seeking to transport multiple vehicles simultaneously.

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