Winter vs Summer Car Shipping
Winter vs Summer Car Shipping
You might not be aware, but the time of year can have a big impact on various aspects of shipping a car. It’s not just the weather that makes a difference. The season also influences the availability of services, length of time it takes, cost and how you need to get your vehicle ready.
Understanding these differences is going to help you plan, budget and be prepared, so here’s a helpful guide. It’s not always possible to make shipping arrangements months in advance, but if you know what to expect you’ll be better prepared.
Shipping Your Car in the Summer
This might seem like the obvious time to ship your car. The weather is better, kids are off school, the days are long, roads are accessible and there are minimal disruptions. All these factors make for a seamless and smooth shipping experience. However, they also mean that more people choose to ship their vehicles during the summer. Such high demand means an increase in prices.
If paying a higher premium isn’t an issue for you then, by all means, choose to ship during the summer.
Shipping a Vehicle in the Winter
Winter is not the most popular time of the year for shipping a vehicle and therefore, prices tend to be lower. Carriers find themselves competing for customers and have more space on their trailers that needs to be filled.
If the price is an over-riding concern for you then winter shipping seems a smart move. However, there are a few issues that might make you think twice. To begin with, winter shipping is subject to delays, either because of bad weather or route closure. Auto transport during the winter often takes longer. It might be because certain routes are closed or bad weather has interrupted the journey.
Rest assured, winter shipping is still worth considering. The auto transport companies that operate during the winter months are experienced and well trained in dealing with bad weather and road conditions. Your vehicle will still be picked up and delivered to your chosen location.
There is an Anomaly to the Low Winter Price Rule
There is an exception to the low winter price rule, for certain routes. Have you heard the term “snowbirds”? Snowbirds are people who move south during the winter to escape the harsh weather conditions in the north.
During the first few weeks of fall, snowbirds head to warmer spots such as California, Texas and Florida. Naturally, they want to have their vehicles with them and shipping is a popular choice. This means an increase in demand along these routes which of course drives up the price.
When they move back north after the winter, this leads to another spike in demand and an increase in prices.
Preparing Your Vehicle for Shipping - Whatever Time of the Year
Your vehicle requires a little preparation before being shipped, whether it’s winter, summer or in between. Make sure you:
- Clean your vehicle both inside and outside
- Photograph any existing damage such as dents, dings, chips, and scrapes
- Remove personal items such as the GPS, DVD player and custom stereo
- Antenna, custom spoilers and other loose parts must be made secure or removed
- The gas tank should be no more than one-quarter full
- Unless your car has been recently serviced, take it to your local garage for a basic maintenance check
There’s also seasonal specific prep that needs to be done. For example:
- The radiator fluid needs to be topped off to prevent overheating in the summer and freezing in the winter
- Car belts can expand in the heat or contract in the cold, so check they’re not damaged
- For every 10-degree change in temperature your tires will either loose or gain 1PSI, so make sure you adjust the tire pressures accordingly
Consider Enclosed Transport During Winter Months
If you’re shipping a vehicle during the winter don’t forget you can opt for enclosed transport. Shipping a vehicle using an open carrier means it’s going to be exposed to some very harsh weather conditions. There will also be ice melt, sand from the roads, and the possibility of hail and snow.
If you want to know how much it costs to ship a vehicle with SGT Auto Transport make use of our online calculator. Input just a few basic details and you get a free quote with just a few clicks.
Alternatively, our shipping advisors are on hand during office hours to answer any questions. Simple dial (866) 774 6570 today!