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Choosing The Optimum Time Of Year For Car Shipping Cost

Planning any kind of vehicle transport can involve a significant cost. To help you save money, it is wise to become informed on the factors that affect price changes throughout the year in the auto transport industry. This guide will examine exactly what is the beat time of year for car shipping, and how this knowledge can be used to your benefit when shipping your vehicle. Additionally, we will look at when is the best time for you to move your automobile with minimal expense.

Understanding Auto Transport Seasonal Fluctuations

Changes in the cost, speed of service and demand for vehicle transport can be experienced throughout the year due to seasonal fluctuations. Such variations are impacted by several external influences such as weather, holidays and migration habits. Having a sound understanding of what makes these prices fluctuate can assist you to effectively plan your automobile shipment in order that extra costs are avoided.

The New Year Rush

As January begins, it’s not uncommon for confusion and increased shipping costs to arise in auto transport. This is due to a surge of people making their way home post-holidays as well as car shipping drivers returning to work after their own break. These factors frequently result in higher transportation fees and possible delays during this time of year.

Tips for Navigating the January Rush

Book an earlier shipment:

To save on costs and ensure a timely arrival, it is recommended to book your car shipping service prior to the New Year rush in December. Planning ahead will help you avoid any unexpected delays.

Pay a little extra:

To ensure a quick delivery during this hectic time, consider offering additional compensation to the driver. By doing so, you may be able to guarantee an on-time shipment.

Wait until mid-January:

When it comes to shipping your car, flexibility is key.

February: A Slow Month

Although fewer car shipments occur and prices tend to be lower in the month of Feburary, it is still important to compare rates for auto transport. This will help ensure that you are receiving the best possible deal, despite some services not adjusting their rates accordingly.

March, April, and May: Snowbird Season

Come winter, “snowbirds” typically embark on their annual migration southward. From March to May, auto transport services experience a surge in demand – especially in states with large snowbird populations. This can result in inflated car shipping prices for open and enclosed transport services.

Summer: The Busiest Season

During summer, auto transport services experience an increased call for their services. This is due to many families needing to relocate as a result of career opportunities, college students heading home or off to school and more vehicles being bought in comparison to other times of year. Although rates tend to climb with this greater demand, additional carriers are normally accessible so that they can meet customer requests.

It is important to take extra care when booking shipments around holiday times such as July 4th. Many carriers will be on vacation during this period, leading to a reduced number of carriers, increased prices and slower service.

Fall: A Great Time to Ship Your Car

The autumn months of September, October, and November are often the most economical times to ship a car. During this period, there is usually a reduction in demand which leads to car transportation providers being able to offer lower rates and faster service due to pleasant temperatures combined with fewer shipments.

December: A Complicated Month

When the end of the year approaches, the auto transport industry is hit with a wave of difficulties. Thanksgiving, the holiday season, and snowbirds heading south for warmer climates all contribute to this challenge. Because fewer carriers are working at this time, it makes car shipping prices go up and lessens availability.

Winter vs. Summer Car Shipping

When transporting a car, one must take into account what season they’re shipping in and how it may affect their overall experience. We’ll discuss here some of winter and summer’s advantages and drawbacks when it comes to vehicle shipping.

Shipping Your Car in the Summer


During summer months, auto transport services tend to have less disruptions from weather and quicker turnaround times. Generally, this is a period of increased efficiency for companies operating in this industry.


The warmer months of the year can bring about a notable surge in car transport costs.

Shipping Your Car in the Winter


As the colder season approaches, businesses that deal in car shipping may be faced with a decrease in demand. To adjust to this, carriers can become more competitive when it comes to pricing their services.


With the arrival of colder temperatures, it’s important to remember that transport times can be affected significantly.

It can be more economical to transport your car during the winter months, but one should take into account that weather could cause delays. On the other hand, summer shipping is sometimes faster, yet may cost a bit more.

Preparing Your Car for Shipping Any Time of the Year

When shipping your vehicle, it is essential to take certain steps to make sure the process goes smoothly. It doesn’t matter when exactly you plan to do so; following these tips will guarantee a successful transport experience.

Before transporting your vehicle, there are several things you can do to prepare it for transport:

  1. Be sure to clean your vehicle thoroughly, both inside and out. That will help you identify any pre-existing damage and ensure your vehicle is in good condition before transport.
  2. Be sure to remove any personal items from your vehicle, as most auto transport companies do not allow personal items to be transported. They are mindful of the weight. 
  3. Disable any alarms or anti-theft devices and remove external accessories like bike racks or spoilers. Height is a concern to auto shippers. 
  4. Take plenty of photos documenting your vehicle’s condition before handing it over to the truck driver. A picture is worth a thousand words.
  5. Reduce your gas tank to about 1/4 full, or no more than half a tank. Once again, weight is the concern, and gasoline is heavy.
  6. Secure loose parts and accessories, such as antennas, spoilers, and mirrors, or remove them if possible.
  7. Check the tires, brakes, and battery and ensure they are in good condition.

Final Thoughts On Seasonality

In order to get the most value for your car shipping experience, it is wise to consider the factors that affect the cost of auto transport: seasonal variations, holidays, weather and migration patterns. By doing so, you can make a more informed decision on when would be the best time for your shipment and save yourself some money. Preparing your vehicle correctly will ensure a successful transport experience.

When attempting to keep your car shipping costs low, it’s wise to consider scheduling a shipment during the colder months of fall or winter. But bear in mind that weather conditions have the potential for causing delays. Alternatively, summertime transportation may be faster but could come with a steeper price tag because of enhanced demand.

Prior to having your car shipped, it is important to ensure that you have taken all of the proper steps for preparing your vehicle. This can be achieved by working with a reliable and well-established auto transport company.

The Original Car Shipping Quote Calculator

Direct Express Auto Transport originated the instant car shipping quote calculator in 2004. It is still the best, most sophisticated, reliable tool available anywhere online. We offer three options that we call tiers of car shipping estimates. The standard rate is the cheapest car shipping quote, but it may take longer. Use it if you are patient. The expedited car shipping rate is most recommended, and we have countless satisfied customers because the shipping process tends to go quicker. The rush rate is our highest level of car shipping service, and we have many customers who are glad they went with that method. If you are buying a car from an auto auction, shipping it with us is a smart move.

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