Differences Between Shipping A Vehicle During Summer Vs. Winter

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What are the Differences Between Shipping A Vehicle During Summer Vs. Winter?

In general, the shipping industry is affected by weather and seasons. Without exception, the vehicle shipping business experiences seasonality. This is driven by various factors as we shall see in this article. Depending on your route, shipping your vehicle may be favorable in winter or in summer.

Differences Between Shipping A Vehicle During Summer Vs Winter

Once you understand how these seasons affect the business, you can plan your schedule and avoid inconveniences. However, if shipping is unavoidable in the extreme weather conditions, familiarizing yourself with the industry trends will help you accommodate the changes. For instance, you will protect your vehicle from accidents and road hazards appropriately.

Shipping in summer tends to be more expensive in major cities

Some people argue that winter months are more expensive than summer in the shipping industry. However, based on a research by Consumer Affairs, most transporting companies charge higher in summer. According to the research, shipping prices in summer can increase by $200-$300. These findings are due to a number of reasons;

  • During summer, the auto transport companies experience a high demand. Most people prefer to travel during summer. The period is also perfect to travel with children. Since the demand is higher than supply, prices go up. Major routes such as New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago experience more traffic.
  • To protect vehicles from winter snow, enclosed shipping is advisable. This transport system is a premium service which excludes most vehicle owners. People who cannot afford this service might prefer to wait till the weather clears up. As such, fewer people ship during winter as compared to summer. And although temperatures are high during summer, the vehicles are still able to move without disruptions.
  • On the other hand, there is less movement during winter months. The low demand forces auto transport companies to reduce prices.

It is worth noting that the difference in prices in not experienced across all companies. The small and new companies tend to take this opportunity to win more customers. Therefore, they may not increase prices significantly in summer.

Winter months are expensive in southern states

Most people travel to the warmer South during winter. The auto transport demands on these routes are generally higher during this period. As a result, the transporters take advantage and increase vehicle shipping prices. Again, the price difference may not cut across the whole industry especially among the small and new companies.

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Winter months are slow while summer months are fast

The slow movements during winter are caused by five factors

  • During the cold months, the roads are snowy and dangerous to maneuver. Also, the road visibility is poor. These factors require trailer drivers to slow down as a safety precaution measure. This makes the transit process slow.
  • Not all drivers and trailers are good to go during winter. The poor road conditions are dangerous for unstable vehicles and inexperienced drivers. This scarcity of transporters makes the industry slow.
  • In some states, oversized vehicles are not allowed on the road past sunset. In winter the days are therefore shorter than in summer. This implies that for a normal day in winter, a driver will travel for fewer hours than in summer. As a result, the transit process is slower.
  • Some roads are completely inaccessible during winter due to ice and snow. For instance, North Dakota is dangerous for trailers - even the seasoned ones. Most companies prefer not to move cargo during this time. Others may take a longer route to the states to avoid black ice.
  • During summer months, the roads are fair to allow people and vehicles to move. Also, more trailers and drivers are available to ship vehicles. This makes vehicles move faster between locations.

Vehicle preparations during winter

As part of boat preparation process, you may be required to do winterization.  This process is of course not required during summer. This preparation will add an extra cost to your shipment. For cars, the snow may not favor the open air transportation method. As such, more vehicles may opt for enclosed shipping to avoid the extreme weather.

Vehicle preparations during summer

Summer seasons in some states experience extreme temperatures. This might affect the quality of cars transported by open air method. If you are shipping your car to these areas, ensure that they are properly wrapped.

These factors may affect the rates and the delivery time of your shipment. As a rule, you should do your booking early enough to allow for eventualities. If your route is adversely affected by the weather, you can wait until the conditions are better.


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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.


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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.
★★★★★

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

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Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!
★★★★★

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

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Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.
★★★★★

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

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David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!
★★★★★

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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