When is the Best Time to Ship a Car?
While the cross-country road trip has a certain appeal for young and adventurous drivers, there are plenty of other people out there looking for more convenient ways to transport their vehicles. This is the entire reason car shipping companies exist, and they provide very reliable and affordable service. You may be surprised to discover that car shipping costs vary wildly with the seasons, though. Here’s some insight into how you’re making sure that you are picking the best time to ship your car.
The Perfect Time To Ship Your Car Is Never “Today”
As you learn more, you’ll discover that there are few hard-and-fast rules to choosing a time to ship your car. There’s one enormous exception: The best time is never “immediately.” Like any service industry with significant overhead costs, car shippers try to plan as far ahead as they can. Booking a last-minute transport for your car or truck is sometimes possible, but it’s never going to be cheapest option.
In order to get a reasonable price for long-distance car shipping, you need to book as far in advance as possible. Get your research process started as soon as you know you need to move your car. While you shouldn’t rush to pick and auto transport company, the faster you make up your mind and pick out a reliable company, the better.
Why Seasons Affect Auto Shipping Prices
Different times of the year bring different car shipping costs, because of the laws of supply and demand. (Weather plays a factor, too.) With all else being equal, there are more people in the US trying to ship their cars during the summer months. While carriers plan for this and can sometimes offer discounts on very popular routes, the sheer volume of shipments can sometimes cause delays and higher prices.
Shipping your car in winter months carries its own set of problems. While the total number of cars being shipped is at its lowest, this actually drives prices up rather than down. Shipping companies struggle to assemble full loads, and you can expect to pay a premium for wintertime service. There are exceptions on the most popular routes, but they’re relatively rare. Icy conditions make road shipment much more difficult in the winter, so you should expect delays, too.
Who Are Snowbirds?
So far, you’ve seen that prices can be high in both the summer and the winter. Unfortunately, spring and fall have a special problem of their own: the snowbirds. “Snowbirds” are individuals and families (mostly retired) who live in the north during the warmer months and migrate south as temperatures drop.
The Snowbird Effect on Car Shipping Rates
Many snowbirds have their cars shipped back and forth accordingly, leading to a tremendous volume of cars in transit. While prices can vary when shipping your car in summer or winter, they’re guaranteed to climb during spring and fall when you’re competing with the snowbirds.
If you’re a snowbird yourself, the best way to economize on auto transportation costs is to find a good shipping company and stick with it. Setting up a regular schedule for twice-yearly car shipping removes the uncertainty from the equation, and being loyal to a reliable auto transporter will ensure good service and low prices.
Professional Car Shipping Guidance
Do you need some expert help in scheduling your next car shipment? Number 1 Auto Transport would be happy to assist you! Give us a call at 855-422-4141 or fill out a form on this page. We’ll be happy to discuss your needs and guide you to the most cost-effective dates for shipping your car.