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If you like the price and want to lock in, we will need a credit card on file. NOTHING is charged upfront. We have NO DEPOSIT. Only when our carrier is dispatched and on the way to pick up your vehicle is a small down payment charged on your credit card and the balance is due to the driver on DELIVERY.

Please do NOT click the Place my order button unless you are able to leave a valid credit card on file on the next page.

Remember: We are A+ rated with the BBB and we have been in business since 1999.

Please phone 800-930-7417 to make a reservation and or find out when your vehicle can be picked up. Live Transport Specialist Standing by!



If you like the price and want to lock in, we will need a credit card on file. NOTHING is charged upfront. We have NO DEPOSIT. Only when our carrier is dispatched and on the way to pick up your vehicle is a small down payment charged on your credit card and the balance is due to the driver on DELIVERY.

Please do NOT click the Place my order button unless you are able to leave a valid credit card on file on the next page.

Remember: We are A+ rated with the BBB and we have been in business since 1999.

Please phone 800-930-7417 to make a reservation and or find out when your vehicle can be picked up. Live Transport Specialist Standing by!



We have Been in the Auto Transport Business Since 1999 and are accredited with an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau!

Use our auto transport calculator to find out. You will see your auto shipping quote in less then 30 seconds with our price calculator, and find out when your vehicle can be picked up.

We strive to provide the lowest possible price to move your vehicle within a reasonable amount of time. Our pricing experts consider not only supply and demand and diesel fuel rates, but also provide special discounts for popular transport routes and seasonal backhaul routes.

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A Guide for Winter Car Shipping Services

Like football and flowers, the auto transport industry is seasonal. That doesn’t mean that it stops in the fall and starts back up in the spring – no, it’s a year-round industry. But when we say that the industry is seasonal, it means that it has peak times and non-peak times, and these on-and-off times tend to be seasonal in nature.

For instance, summer is the industry’s busiest season. More people are shipping their vehicles and as a result, there’s a lot more freight to go around. The winter is the exact opposite – it’s the slowest time of the year.

This has a profound impact on a number of things in the industry, from prices to availability to accessibility. As such, it’s important to know what the differences are between summer and winter shipping and how to prepare for it accordingly. So we’ve compiled a handy guide for you – here’s what you need to know about winter car shipping services.

An introduction to winter car shipping services

As mentioned just a few sentences ago, switching from summer to winter brings about a lot of change in the car transport world. For starters, there’s less freight – that is, there are fewer people shipping vehicles. On the whole, this is good for prices, as carriers have to kind of take what they can get. Prices tend to drop in the winter months and then go back up during the late spring and summer.

You have to understand just how big of a dip there is between the summer and the winter seasons. Here’s an example: at the peak of the 2019 summer shipping season, there were over 55,000 vehicles on the industry’s largest load board. As of this writing, which is still coming out in fall, mind you, there are only about 25,000. And chances are that that number is going to drop even lower.

So what does this mean for you? Well, it means that auto transport services may take a bit longer to find on less-popular routes, but cheaper on most routes, and a bit higher on high-volume routes.

That’s a simple breakdown. Let’s take those individually, shall we?

Less-popular routes, or low-priority routes, are routes to and from states with almost no vehicles on them. We’re talking like New Mexico to Oklahoma, or North Dakota to Utah. There’s not much freight on those routes year-round, but even less in the winter months. These are the routes that carriers abandon first when the amount of cars on the load boards drops.

Most routes have a fair amount of vehicles on them year-round, with the peaks being in the summer and the lows in winter. But they still almost always have enough cars to keep things moving at a good pace. More importantly, these routes tend to see the highest price drops. Think Washington to Arizona, or Georgia to Texas.

High-volume routes tend to be to and from the largest states. This is where it gets interesting, though. In the summer, high-volume routes are pretty common. In the winter, many of those routes just see fewer vehicles and lower prices. But some – notably the Northeast to Florida – see huge volume increases. That route, in particular, is known as a “snowbird” route, which sees a lot of freight in the winter. If you don’t know what snowbirds are, you can read about snowbird shipping on our own site.

Regardless, high-volume routes tend to stay high-volume and prices tend to stay the same or even increase during the winter.

An introduction to winter car shipping services

As mentioned just a few sentences ago, switching from summer to winter brings about a lot of change in the car transport world. For starters, there’s less freight – that is, there are fewer people shipping vehicles. On the whole, this is good for prices, as carriers have to kind of take what they can get. Prices tend to drop in the winter months and then go back up during the late spring and summer.

You have to understand just how big of a dip there is between the summer and the winter seasons. Here’s an example: at the peak of the 2019 summer shipping season, there were over 55,000 vehicles on the auto transport industry’s largest load board. As of this writing, which is still coming out in fall, mind you, there are only about 22,000. And chances are that that number is going to drop even lower.

So what does this mean for you? Well, it means that auto transport service/s may take a bit longer to find on less-popular routes, but will be cheaper overall on most routes, and a bit higher on high-volume routes.

That’s a simple breakdown. Let’s take those individually, shall we?

Less-popular routes, or low-priority routes, are routes to and from states with almost no vehicles on them. We’re talking like New Mexico to Oklahoma, or North Dakota to Utah. There’s not much freight on those routes year-round, but even less in the winter months. These are the routes that carriers abandon first when the amount of cars on the load boards drops.

Most routes have a fair amount of vehicles on them year-round, with the peaks being in the summer and the lows in winter. But they still almost always have enough cars to keep things moving at a good pace. More importantly, these routes tend to see the highest price drops. Think Washington to Arizona, or Georgia to Texas.

High-volume routes tend to be to and from the largest states. This is where it gets interesting, though. In the summer, high-volume routes are pretty common. In the winter, many of those routes just see fewer vehicles and lower prices. But some – notably the Northeast to Florida – see huge volume increases. That route, in particular, is known as a “snowbird” route, which sees a lot of freight in the winter. If you don’t know what snowbirds are, you can read about snowbird shipping on our own site.

Regardless, high-volume routes tend to stay high-volume and prices tend to stay the same or even increase during the winter.

Understanding transition seasons

Now, we all know that it doesn’t just go summer->winter. There’s a whole season in between! And it’s important that we understand these so-called “transition” seasons because they’re sort of…well, transitional.

Let’s start with spring. Coming out of the winter car shipping season, we start to see more routes opening up. That is, more people are shipping vehicles, so the totals on the load board start to rise a bit. This draws carriers who don’t work the winter out of hibernation, which means a lot of new freight gets snatched up pretty quick. This is also the time when we start to see more freight on less-popular routes. Of course, this is relative – there’s still not a lot on those routes, but a few is more than none.

Spring also sees more freight being moved out of snowbound areas, like New England and the Great Lakes. Now, snow isn’t a season-long factor in the winter – storms come and go and snow eventually melts. But many carriers will avoid northern areas during the depths of the winter to prevent being snowbound and stuck with cars they can’t move. Spring allows more carriers into areas known for snow and as such things tend to move a bit more quickly.

Fall is kind of the same thing, just in reverse. As the industry starts to slow and prepare for the winter, those northern routes start to see fewer carriers due to the risk of snow. So prices tend to drop on those routes, but so does available freight. You also have to understand how people tend to migrate – it’s a real thing! People in New England almost exclusively go down to Florida for the winter, while people in the Great Lakes tend to go to Arizona. You’d be surprised how many cars there are from Chicago to Phoenix in the winter!

All that said, these people tend to make the routes down more expensive, but most other routes a lot cheaper in comparison. And that’s transition seasons in a nutshell!

Preparing yourself for shipping in the winter

Alright, so now that you have all this information, what do you do with it?

Well, there’s a lot you can do with it. For starters, you can determine whether or not you actually need to ship a vehicle, for one. But more importantly, you can figure out a budget, and a time frame, and figure out the best time to ship your vehicle. Winter may be a good time to ship on some routes, but not so much on others.

Of course, this isn’t always easy. Most customers can’t just wait weeks or months for the next great time slot to open up, or for the seasons to change. They need to ship now, or soon, and they can’t just not do anything. So they have to go with whatever the going rate is on whichever route they’re shipping on.

Well, there are some things that can help. Shipping out of a bigger city, for one, especially if you’re in the northern U.S. Northern states get colder, and snowier, and rural shipping can be downright impossible to find. Moving from the boonies to a major city – or, at least, meeting a carrier in that major city – can go a long way to not only saving you money but also saving you time.

You can also opt for terminal shipping, though terminals are getting harder to find. You should be able to speak to your representative about potential terminals in your area. Terminals can be a boon for carriers in the winter, as they don’t have to drive all over the place in order to get their truck loaded. This can save time in the winter when daylight hours are the only time they can actually drive due to icy conditions.

You should always make sure that you budget properly for your shipment, but something else to do to prepare for shipping in the winter is to simply make sure your vehicle works properly. Make sure that the fluids aren’t freezing and that the engine starts and runs just fine. These are, of course, good tips for shipping any time of the year, but the winter especially.

Frequently asked questions about winter transportation

Why is it cheaper to ship in the winter months?

It’s cheaper mostly because there isn’t as much demand for auto shipping services. When demand goes down, prices go down because brokers are better able to negotiate lower prices. If there’s only two cars on your route, but ten carriers that regularly run it, they have to compete.

This is why it’s more expensive if there are more vehicles on a route, and why snowbird shipping – from New England to Florida – tends to be expensive. There might be over two hundred snowbirds on that route at a given time, so if you’re not paying top dollar, carriers will just go with the loads that are.

They can’t do that on routes with only a few people, and those tend to be more common come winter.

How long do snow delays last?

It depends on the snow. Most of the time, though, delays last as long as it takes to get the roads clear, which often only takes a few hours. So even in areas with heavy snow, pickup or delivery shouldn’t be delayed too long.

However, some areas, like the Dakotas or more rural areas of the Great Lakes and New England, may not see snow cleared as quickly. This can cause further delays if a carrier is unwilling or unable to travel through such conditions. Ice makes it even worse.

Ultimately, to best determine how long any delays in pickup or delivery will last, speak to your driver. Or, you can contact your representative.

Do carriers offer additional insurance during the winter?

Not usually, no. This is because they don’t have to. Their regular insurance typically covers any damages regardless of the cause. Whether it’s an accident on a clear and sunny day or losing control of the truck thanks to some black ice, a carrier’s regular insurance will still be able to cover it.

Should I include anti-winter accessories in my vehicle when I ship it?

You don’t have to, but they can’t hurt. Things such as windshield scrapers or deicing products could make pickup or delivery go more smoothly, but on the whole they are not required. You can always ask your representative as well.

If you’re interested in shipping your vehicle, let us know! You can get a free quote online or over the phone by calling us at 800-930-7417 any time.

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Dave Armstrong

Auto Transport Content Guru at American Auto Shipping
Dave has been a part of the auto transport industry since 2007. He has worked in every part of the industry except driving a transport truck itself. Withover a decade of experience shipping cars, Dave knows all the ins and outs of the industry.

Since 2007 Dave has written all the content and blogs for American Auto Shipping and during this time added the duties of customer support and transport logistics.

He currently resides in Washington with his three kids and their mom and cat. A fan of Marvel movies and good stories, when not shipping cars Dave can be found working on his novel, enjoying a good book or playing some tournament HALO.
Dave Armstrong
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