Cost of Shipping a Car

Is the cost to ship a car seasonal?

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How the cost to ship a car is affected by the season

The season or time of year plays an immense role in the cost to ship a car. Some routes are more so than others, but every route is effected to an extent. The seasonal changes are not actually attributed to the weather though, here are just a few examples of the seasons that car shipping goes through every year.

Snowbird Seasons

For those of you that are unfamiliar with the snowbird lifestyle, this is when people head south for the winter. Every fall and again in the spring there is a significant migration of people headed for warmer climates and then back home. This spike in the number of auto shipments causes substantial changes in the cost to ship a car. The most obvious impact on the cost to ship a car is that the price rises dramatically on the route and in the direction that the snowbirds are traveling. But this is not the only way it alters the cost to ship a car. Since there are more car carriers headed for places like Florida, Arizona, and California the cost to ship a car out of areas like this will likely be lower than any other time in the year. Snowbird season often affects other routes too. Many auto shipping carriers will choose to abandon there normal routes in favor of the higher paying snowbird shipments. When this happens, a shortage of available carriers can occur on routes that have nothing to do with the traveling snowbirds. So the cost to ship a car on unrelated routes may increase during these times as well.

Moving Season

For many reasons, the summertime is synonymous with moving. Many people plan their long-distance move around their kids summer vacation, and most people don’t want to deal with a move in the middle of winter. So starting in May and going through August there are far more people moving across country. The moving season effects almost all routes and causes the cost to ship a car on most routes to be the highest it is all year long.

College Time

When it’s time to head to an out of state college, many people decide to ship a car rather than drive. For this reason, there is a 2-3 week period in August with higher than average volumes of auto shipments. This will cause a short but sometimes dramatic spike in the cost to ship a car. Typically this price fluctuation is most severe headed into areas with the largest schools.

There are many auto shipping seasons throughout the year, and while these are just a few, they tend to have the most significant impact on the cost to ship a car. So if you are planning a vehicle shipment and have the flexibility, it may pay to consider these seasons when planning.

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