Narrowing Down the Best Time of Year to Ship Your Car

Best time of year to ship your car

You cannot always control the time of year that you need to ship your car. Your job may relocate your car during the winter, or maybe you have had to move due to a health concern or to take care of a friend or a family member. These kinds of moves can happen to anyone and you may not have any say about the time of year that you are transporting your car for these kinds of relocations.

However, if you are able to control the time of year that you decide to transport your vehicle, you might be wondering what is the right time of year for the easiest transport process. There are some variables that go into this determination. In addition, you should think about them all before making a decision about the shipping date of your car.

If you want to learn more about narrowing down the best time of year to ship your car, read on!

Narrowing Down the Best Time of Year to Ship Your Car

There are always variables that you cannot control about the auto transport process. Your car might encounter less than ideal roads along the way to your current location, or maybe you had hoped for good weather and you did not get it after all.

There are some good tips and tricks to use when making this kind of decision that can help you to have a good auto transport experience despite unexpected events that are outside of everyone’s hands.

1. Avoid Winter When Planning the Best Season to Transport Your Vehicle

This is a pretty obvious tip, but it still deserves to be pointed out. The reason that this tip is often neglected in people’s planning of an auto transport arrangement, is that some parts of the US do not experience true winter driving conditions. This means that it can be easy to forget that you might be experiencing acceptable driving conditions at home. However, your car will need to traverse areas that are not experiencing nice driving weather to get to you.

Transporting in winter leads to an increased risk of car accidents. It also lead to delays in the arrival of your vehicle at your new home. Your car will also arrive quite grimy from the drive and probably covered in salt from the roads. This can lead to damage to your paint if you do not remove the road debris and chemicals from your car as soon as it arrives.

There is a myriad of other reasons to avoid winter transport, from the cost to the turnaround time, to potential damage to your car during transport.

Best time of year to transport your car

2. Rush Delivery Costs a Pretty Penny No Matter What Time of Year You Ship Your Car

If you are hoping to get your car delivered ahead of a winter storm or before the bad part of the season hits, you can expect to pay a pretty penny for the opportunity to ship your car ahead of the other people who are in line for regular transport. This is one of the key things to avoid if you have the flexibility to plan your car transport dates ahead of time.

Shipping your car rush delivery so that it arrives at a set date ahead of the regularly quoted dates and delivery times can double or triple the price. It is also a good idea not to expect that this is even going to be an option as some companies have very limited availability for these kinds of rush transport jobs.

This is one of the reasons that planning a few weeks in advance, no matter the season, always leads to the best auto transport experience.

3. Summer Shipping Costs More in the City

People are not aware of this when they book an auto transport to take their car to their new location. Many people feel like summer driving is easier. Therefore, summer transit will be offered at the best price of the entire year.

The trouble with this assessment is that, if you live in a major city, the auto transport company has to add time, mileage, and wear and tear for city driving conditions. This means that you are being billed for high traffic hours, congested roads, and traffic jams. While this may not be something that you can avoid, you might want to aim for the period of time in spring or just before the middle of summer to avoid being charged for summer driving road congestion.

4. Consider Avoiding Snowbird Season

Spring and fall shipping can have this common issue that people who are not living the snowbird life may not be aware of. Snowbirds ship their cars out to warm locations in the fall and back to cooler location homes in the spring.

This can mean that auto transport companies are busy during the few weeks that snowbirds are moving their vehicles around. This can lead to delays in your car’s arrival as well as delays in your pick-up dates. This may not matter that much to you, but if you are moving to a remote location or someplace where you do not know anyone else, being without your car for a few weeks can be a big burden.

The one benefit to this part of the auto transport season is that pricing is often better when you can catch a ride on a trailer that is full of cars that are being transported related to the snowbird season. The seasonal prices already tend to be the lowest this time of year. Therefore, you’ll probably save some money if you wait an extra week or two to get your car delivered.

Best time of year for car shipping

5. Consider Fuel Prices When Selecting the Optimal Time to Ship a Vehicle

There are times of year that fuel prices are higher. Typically, the summer is the worst time of year as far as the cost of fuel. This can lead to a higher cost to you for your auto transport service. While this might not add up to much money if you are only shipping your car a single state away, it can add up to a hefty amount if you have to send your car across the entire US.

This may not discourage you from shipping your car during the summer. However, you should be prepared for increased fuel prices during peak driving seasons. Also, be sure to budget that into your arrangements for auto transport. A good auto transport company will be able to quote you the exact amount of their pricing. This is related to fuel charges so that you can compare and contrast your auto transport quotes for the journey.

Always make sure that you can access this important information in the quoting process. Also, never work with an auto transport company that’ll not state their fuel charges for your auto transport quote. Also, look at fuel prices along the route your car will take to be sure of the number.

Being educated about the cost of auto transport can help you determine which season is the best for your budget.

6. Avoid the First Week of the New Year

The beginning of each new calendar year is often a very busy time for auto transport companies. People are often returning home after holiday season travel and the roads can be congested and busy. Additionally, many companies are not hauling cars during this time of the year. This is because their drivers are on holiday vacation with their families.

This is the exchange that many companies make to take care of auto transport busy times around Christmas and Thanksgiving. If you are planning to ship your car at the start of the new year, expect to pay more because there will be far fewer transport companies to choose from and even fewer transport companies who want to be on the road instead of at home with their families.

Even being able to wait one more week can cut your auto transport quote in half. This is because regular routing will be opening back up as the drivers return to work. This is often one of the easiest times of year to avoid shipping your car. However, if you’re moving on short notice or trying to get your car delivered while you are on holiday vacation. Also, you will need to expect to pay far more for the trip than you normally would.

Most optimal time of the year to ship your car

7. February Can be a Great Time of Year to Ship Your Car

February tends to be a slow month for auto transport companies. This is technically wintered in many places still. Nonetheless, you’ll find that the weather across the US has improved greatly. In addition, winter driving conditions tend not to apply anymore. This is a good time to select if you need to send your car across the entire country. This is because traffic is reduced at this time of year but the road conditions are often quite good.

Do be wary of auto transport companies who do not reduce their rates during February. You may end up paying high season rates because you’re not aware it’s the slow part of the year. You should not expect dirt cheap auto transport rates at this time of the year. However, the cost should not rival summer transit in and out of a major city either.

Do your research and resist the urge to contract with the first auto transport company you talk to. Get a handful of quotes and see who is offering the best rates for your budget. This can be a great way to get your car shipped to you for a reasonable rate and on a much shorter turnaround than during busier months.

8. Fall Can Be a Great Time of Year to Ship a Car

Overall, the best time of year to ship your car to your new home or location is the fall. This is because September, October, and November offer up good driving conditions for most of the US. Also, there’s less traffic on the roads since kids are back in school and people are not traveling or vacationing. Gas prices have also come back down. This means the cost of fuel will be less for your auto transport booking during this season of the year.

This time of year is a good time to catch a ride on a transport that is already booked most of the way full, which can save you money. You should expect good prices and good service during these months. This is also a great time of year to book an auto transport company to haul an exotic or a classic car in an enclosed trailer.

Picking the Best Time of Year to Ship Your Car Doesn’t Have to be Stressful

Best season to ship your car

This list of tips and tricks should take some of the mystery out of the auto transport industry. It should also explain why some times of the year are more expensive to ship your car than others. Armed with this knowledge, you can plan ahead and make sure that you ship your car outside of peak seasons. Also, ship your cars when there are no impart added costs and risks to your auto transport experience.

Being educated about the reasons that certain times of year are not ideal for auto transport can help you to plan your move or your relocation around the ideal auto transport times. Or you might be able to move without your car and have a friend or someone in your family handle getting your car on the transport a few weeks later. Never be afraid of asking questions and getting a thorough and transparent quote from each auto transport company you talk to.

Being able to plan properly for your auto transport needs can give you peace of mind and save you money when you send your car to your new home or new location.


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What Our Customrs Are Saying


We feel it’s important for you to know how we determined your quote. Quotes are based on what the market demands for cars to be moved at a given time. Each quote is compared with the current rates on the National Load Board before being sent to our customers and will be reviewed periodically through the process.

Other companies might offer you a lower price to obtain your business. This method is ineffective because if the car does not pay the correct amount of money, it will run the probability of not getting loaded or transported on time. You will not get this information from our competitors. Truck drivers always take the loads that pay the most first, leaving the loads that are mispriced to be moved last or not at all. We try very hard to avoid this with our customers by quoting a fair but realistic quote up front. Visit our How we determine your quote page for more information.

Understanding auto transport insurance is important and we think it’s valuable to explain how it works. As part of providing a great car transport service, it is our job to guarantee that the carrier we assign to pickup your vehicle is licensed and insured. Click here to check out our license.

When you go with Mercury to ship your vehicle, you can rest assured that the carrier assigned to move your car is fully insured and licensed with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier and Saftey Administration).

Your vehicle is covered by the carrier’s insurance policy that is doing the shipping. Depending on the type and size of the truck/trailer that is shipping your car, the insurance policy can cover from $100,000 to $1,000,000 of damage.

We have also provided a checklist to explain what you need to do at both pickup and delivery in case there are any issues so, you can file a claim and know that everything will be taken care of.

It is rare but, time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit and it is good to know that your carrier’s insurance will protect your auto shipment in that event.

To view a sample BOL (Bill of Lading) and learn what to do in case of accidental damage, please check out our Condition Report and Procedure checklist.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible.  

We feel it’s important for you to know how we determine your quote.

When you’re looking for a car shipping rate, you want to understand how auto transport works. Prices are based on seasonal market demands for cars to be moved at any given time. Each quote is prepared based on the season and the current national rates.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible. Not all brokers are created equal in this talent.

Mercury does a thorough background check with each carrier for every shipment. We verify their ratings, references, and in addition, we obtain a certified copy of their insurance certificate, directly from the government agency that it is on file with.

You can have peace of mind knowing that the carrier shipping your vehicle is the very best and that there are no surprises guaranteed.

Mercury Auto Transport is licensed, Bonded and Insured. Our FMSCA Motor Carrier Number is MC647319.

While we do our best match your auto shipping needs with the most responsible carriers with the best track records, from time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit, it is good to know that the insurance of the carrier we locate for you will protect your auto shipment in that event.

Shipping a vehicle can be stressful if you don’t know what to do.  This is why we believe it is paramount to have our highly trained agents be your main point of contact from start to finish.

They will go over everything you need to know so you can relax.  In the meanwhile, we prepared this checklist.  This includes everything from pickup to delivery and how to make sure your car is ready for pickup.

When it comes to car moving, we want you to be ahead of the game!  For any questions and further assistance our agents are standing by, (800) 553-1828.  Please read our checklist to prepare your vehicle to learn more.

There are several ways you can ship a car.  The options include enclosed trailer, open carrier transport, flatbed truck, door-to-door shipping services, and to or from a terminal as well.  The most popular of the options is a 7 to 10 car open carrier.  These large trucks can accommodate almost any size vehicle including carsSUVstrucksjeeps, and vans.

Open car transport, door to door is also the best way to get the cheapest auto transport rate possible.  To learn more and see what transport method is best for you, please fill out our free quote form and one of our representatives will respond to you within minutes.  You can also call us at (800) 553-1828.

We present offers from FMCSA Licensed and Insured Carriers. When you accept an offer, we send your service agreement that guarantees the price, door-to-door service, and 100% bumper-to-bumper insurance. There are never any hidden fees or charges, guaranteed.