Winter is a great time to ship your car — depending on your destination. Like birds, we people tend to all go the same way when the weather gets cold. However, unlike birds, we have belongings to bring, which takes extra effort and money to move. If you’re traveling with the rest of the flock — we call them “snowbirds” — for warmer southern regions, you can expect to pay more to ship your car. If you’re going the other way during the winter, car shipping is considerably cheaper. Learn more about snowbirds, Florida car transport, and winter car shipping with our team here at Direct Express Auto Transport in the sections below, and ship with us this winter!
About Snowbirds: Florida Car Transport’s Guiding Demographic
For those of you possibly unaware, “snowbirds” are people from the northern states who migrate south in the winter to the warmer states. Most snowbirds are retirees or senior citizens, but not all. Some people have the luxury of continuing to work from a warmer location. They come from New England (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island) and the eastern seaboard (New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware, D.C., and Virginia). They also escape the Midwest winters. States such as Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri). Some are from the Plain States and Pacific Northwest. Those are the cold weather regions where the winters can be long and harsh.
What States Do Auto Shipping Snowbirds Most Flock?
Where do snowbirds go? Any place warm, preferably with a beach! Florida, California, Texas, and Arizona are the top snowbird destinations. However, plenty of vehicle-shipping snowbirds are flocking to Nevada (Las Vegas), New Mexico, Louisiana, and the Gulf Coast of Alabama and Mississippi. Florida is undoubtedly number one, as it has become synonymous with the word “snowbird.”
According to a study by the University of Florida, nearly a million “snowbirds” migrate to Florida for the winter. The numbers increase significantly every year. Some of those folks keep a vehicle in Florida year-round just for the winter months that they are there, some don’t need a car very often and forego it altogether, but hundreds of thousands of snowbirds choose to ship a car south for the winter. The same holds for California, Texas, Arizona, and elsewhere. Our innovative and first-of-its-kind auto transport quote calculator provides the most accurate rates in the industry.
Winter Car Shipping Explained
Ready to learn the ins and outs of winter car shipping so you can skip the icy roads and get the best bang for your buck? Our team at Direct Express Auto Transport is here to help. In the following sections, we give a detailed breakdown of car shipping in the year’s busiest month: January. We’ll help you choose when is the best time to ship your car in winter, and as far as selecting the best car shipping service goes — skip ahead to the final section on this page to see why partnering with our team is the easy choice.
What Happens Every January In Car Transport?
Car Shipping in January is the best of times and the worst of times. Every year, people start booking their vehicle shipments right around the holidays, Christmas thru New Year’s. The drivers have families, too, and value their time at home just like everybody else. There has been a distinct drop in the number of vehicles dispatched and on the road in the last ten days of December.
But the orders from customers begin to mount, and most prefer the first date available to ship their cars, SUVs, mini-vans, pickup trucks, and more to be just after January 1st. If they still need to do so, customers call or go online to book their vehicle shipment the first week of January. It becomes an EXPLOSION of vehicles ready to ship. Let’s break down January week by week:
First week of January: The number of vehicles waiting to ship nearly doubles! That means orders are 200% of average capacity. Far more vehicles are waiting to ship than carrier space available. Most are heading to the warmer states. Can you guess the cars shipping first and which ones sit and wait? The higher priced vehicles, called “loads” in the auto transport industry, generally will ship first. Money talks. We know that and therefore price our customer vehicles toward the top.
Even being in the middle of the pack is a prescription for frustration. Customers, of course, gravitate to lower prices. Still, those auto transport brokers have extraordinarily high cancellation rates of upwards 70% and eventually end up at our website or calling us to get a proper quote. Unfortunately, those folks waste time and endure stress not getting it done right the first time, but how could they know? We don’t mess around, and our customers get shipped among the first. Our customer reviews speak to that.
The customers trying to make an otherwise regular shipment, say from Boston to St. Louis, can find their shipment delayed. Why? The carriers can fill up quickly, heading to Florida instead, and will hustle back to do it again. So the mad snowbird post-holiday rush to Florida and elsewhere warm has a ripple effect across the entire auto shipping industry.
The second week of January: The number of vehicles waiting to ship is at 170% of average capacity. That means there is still upward pricing pressure. People cancel their orders with low-ball brokers and find reputable auto transport brokers (read Direct Express) to price their vehicles properly for timely shipping. The system still needs to flush out the excess inventory of vehicles, as carriers are racing up and down the I-95 corridor and I-75 to fill up and do it again. And again.
Third week of January: The number of vehicles waiting to ship is 130% of average capacity. That means the system is beginning to achieve some semblance of balance. The higher priced vehicles, of course, move faster, but the middle of the pack average priced cars are starting to get picked up. The cheaper-priced vehicles continue to sit, but those brokers have had nervous breakdowns by now. Maybe their customers too.
If you think about it, a snowbird will likely spend four months in Florida or elsewhere. Going without their vehicle while there for the first 3 or 4 weeks is a huge imposition. It’s not the carrier’s fault; they are working harder than anybody and often in harsh conditions. Blame the desperate auto-shipping broker who should know better.
Fourth week of January: The number of vehicles waiting to ship is at 100% of average capacity. That means the auto shipping industry has reached parity or equilibrium. Everything returns to normal. Most reasonably priced vehicles with well-populated originations and destinations will ship promptly.
Higher priced vehicles first, but the mid-range vehicles as well a few days later. The cheap stuff is still likely to wait awhile, the very last to move.
So January starts crazy and takes all month to right itself. Throw in a winter blizzard or two, and things get wild.
February & March: The number of vehicles waiting to ship is at subnormal capacity. That means it is easier to transport your vehicle. One caveat, though, is that the harsh weather states remain a problem, especially when temperatures dip below 20 degrees Fahrenheit or if a snow blizzard hits a region with ever higher accumulations of snow.
Best Car Transport tip for January … pay more not less. You will be glad you did.
Direct Express Auto Transport originated the instant online car shipping quote calculator. We have the lowest cancellation rate in the industry because our system for pricing vehicles is better than any other cheap knockoff out there. You cannot go wrong choosing Direct Express!
Never-the-less, it is important to remember that on any given day during January, February and March of 2018, there will still be several thousand vehicles waiting to ship. All of those vehicles are competing with one another for precious auto transport truck space. Our good advice to you booking an order is to consider adding a tad more money. You are competing after all and sometimes just $50 extra makes a big difference.
Our first-of-its-kind car shipping quote calculator does a spectacular job of adjusting winter car transport pricing and gives you the customer the option of Expedited and Rush rates. That is exactly the sort of thing that will help alleviate customer stress and get your vehicle on the road this winter. Book it securely online or call our customer service representatives at 800-600-3750. Have more questions about snowbirds, Florida car transport, or car shipping in general? Call the number above, or contact us online!