Seasonal fluctuations in our industry are regularly mentioned online, though rarely discussed in depth. In this article, we’ll explain this phenomenon and how you can benefit from it.
Your experience using auto transport services can be subjective to the season. The speed with which your vehicle is moved as well as the cost of the transport can change depending on what part of the year you pick for the move.
Auto transportation in the New Year
During the winter holidays, many companies reduce their activities, both because the demand drops and because many of their workers take time off. After New Year’s Eve, many people return home, including truck drivers.
The activity is resumed. However, because shipping requests have stacked up during the holidays, this period can be quite chaotic. Furthermore, snowbirds may be calling to schedule their moves back home.
The number of people requesting auto transportation is in the tens of thousands. Combined with cold weather and snow, the situation can lead to delays and scheduling problems. Because people have their transports delayed, some cancel complicating things even further.
To avoid problems when during this period, you can do the following:
- Book early. Schedule your auto transport in the beginning of December before the Holidays kick in. This may require some planning on your part, and you’ll also have to avoid the rush that occurs right after Thanksgiving.
- Pay more. You can request a higher level of service which will be less problematic and given higher priority. However, this option is only possible if you can afford it.
- Go back in the middle of January. If you’re not in a rush to get home, you’ll have a much easier time shipping your car in the second part of January.
Auto transportation in February
It’s much easier to transport your car in February than right after the New Year. There are few transportation requests, so auto shipping costs are usually lower. However, there may be companies who’ve kept their rates from January. It’s best to speak to several auto shippers and compare prices just in case.
The Snowbirds Season
Between March and May, people who’ve escaped the cold during autumn ('snowbirds') are now returning home. This leads to a new rush of auto transport requests on south-north routes.
During this period, if you’re going north, you should be prepared for higher transport fees. The demand is higher, so it may be harder to find an available carrier on a specific date. On the other hand, if you’re sending your car in the opposite direction, you may find transportation at a much better price.
Summer is peak season
There are a number of reasons people transport vehicles in the summer season. Many change jobs during these months. It’s easier to relocate your entire family when the children are on vacation and between school years.
During summer, people go out and search for cars. It’s much easier to visit car dealerships and test-drive various automobiles when the weather is good.
Students go home in the beginning of year and back to college at the end of it. Due to this, in June and August, many of them request auto transportation.
Although there’s a higher demand for auto shipping services, the number of available carriers is higher too. However, around the 4th of July, things become difficult. Many drivers take a few days off to spend with their loved ones, so you may experience slower service and higher prices during this period. The situation will return to normal after a couple of weeks.
Fall and December
It’s very advantageous for clients to book auto transport during fall. The weather is good and requests are few. As a result, you’re less likely to face delays, and the prices are great.
On the other hand, it can be difficult to move your car in December. During Thanksgiving, truck drivers take time off leading to an inflation in prices and a slower response time.
Seasonal movers are also going south during this period. Combined with complications during Christmas and New Year’s Eve, this month is not recommended for auto transportation.
Summer vs. winter
Besides the influence peoples’ activities have on auto transport costs and availability, the weather too must be considered. You may not be able to transport your car during a month of your choosing. You may be forced by your job to move during winter.
For example, if you work in the military, you cannot wait for the weather to get warmer before moving to a new base. In the following paragraphs, we’ll explain how the weather in each season affects the transport industry and how you can prepare for it.
Auto transportation in warm weather
Good weather makes auto transportation much easier. The chances of accidents are lower and traffic is better. There’re almost no delays caused by poor weather conditions during summer, because it’s generally warm everywhere.
Although auto shipping requests peak during this season, auto transport companies rise to the occasion. Most of them try to make up for the less productive winter season, so they’re putting their best foot forward.
Auto transportation in cold weather
You’ll likely spend less on auto transportation if you do it during the winter. Because the demand is lower, the competition between carriers is higher.
Although the better prices make this season attractive, snow and cold winds discourage many potential customers. Your car can easily get delayed and some routes may be closed completely. You should expect your vehicle to arrive later than planned as even the pick-up takes longer.
Due to frozen roads, it can be very dangerous to drive during these months. So, moving a car on your own is not recommended.
Written By:Joe Webster
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.