Summer vs Winter Auto Shipping – Which One Should You Choose?

August 6, 2018Car Shipping Essentials
Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

Vehicle shipping is a great way to get your car from one place to another, but the decision of when to ship it can be tricky. Many factors play into the decision, such as cost and weather. In this blog post, we’ll look at summer vs winter auto shipping pros and cons. And we’ll help you make the best decision for your four-wheeler.

Why Should You Ship the Car When Moving Cross Country?

There are approximately 287 million registered cars in the US, and the data from the website Statista shows that there are 1.88 vehicles per household on average. These numbers show that four-wheelers play a huge part in the day-to-day lives of many Americans.

That being said, one of the first things you should consider when moving to a new state is bringing the vehicle(s) with you. However, don’t hesitate to seek help with this daunting task. The most important car shipping advice you can get when planning to transport vehicles from state to state is – hire professionals.

There are many reasons to hire a company to ship your car. Maybe you’re moving across the country and don’t want to drive it yourself, or maybe you need to get it to a new destination quickly for a business meeting. No matter what the reason, hiring a shipping company is the best way to ensure your car arrives at its destination safely and on time.

Also, when you are moving to a new home, there will be plenty of things on your plate, and you wouldn’t want to deal with the additional tasks that come with shipping a car across the country. Let professionals do it instead of you.

How to Pick the Right USA Auto Transport Company?

When looking for a car shipping company, it is important to do your research. Many companies out there offer car shipping, and not all of them are created equal. It is important to find a company with a good reputation that will treat your car with care.

One of the best ways to find a good car shipping company is to ask around. Talk to your friends and family members who have recently shipped their four-wheelers and see if they have any recommendations. You can also do research online for reviews of car shipping companies.

Another important thing to consider when choosing a car shipping company is the cost. Make sure you get quotes from several different companies so you can compare prices. Be sure to ask about additional fees and charges, so you know what to expect when the car is delivered.

Don’t make the common moving mistake of hiring the one with the lowest prices. It might look like the cheapest way to ship the machine, but in the end, it usually comes with a lot of hidden fees and charges. Remember, the reliable company will be upfront with their quote and won’t promise you unrealistically low prices.

open trailer on the road
Did you know that around 12 million four-wheelers are recycled annually in the US?

Summer vs Winter Auto Shipping – What Is the Main Difference?

When it comes to shipping a car to another state, there are a lot of things to consider. The first is picking the right season to do so. Each of them brings something unique to the table, and there isn’t the right or wrong time, just the one that fits your needs and budget better.

However, when debating whether to ship the four-wheeler in summer or winter, you should know the differences before deciding. The main one, and kind of the most obvious one, is the weather and everything it brings!

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What Are the Benefits of Winter Auto Shipping?

Let’s start with all the benefits that cold weather brings. If you go for auto shipping during the winter, you will most likely save money. Because demand is low, there is more competition among companies.

Another thing that can be beneficial to you is the fact you can pick a date for the move. Since the demand is lower, there are more open slots, so you can book the one that suits you the best. That being said, if you are looking to relocate efficiently without changing up your schedule too much, winter might be the best season for you.

How to Prepare a Car for Cold Weather?

Suppose you want to avoid the driving stress that comes with every malfunction of your machine. Know that when winter weather approaches, it’s important to take some steps to prepare the vehicle for the colder temperatures. This is especially important if you are relocating to Alaska and want to hit the road as soon as you get your machine delivered. Here are a few tips for all of those moving to a colder climate:

  • Check your antifreeze levels and make sure they’re adequate. You can buy a bottle of antifreeze at any auto parts store.
  • Wrap your water pipes with insulation. This will help protect them from freezing and bursting.
  • Make sure your windshield wiper fluid is full. You don’t want to get caught in a snowstorm and have to fix windshield wipers that stopped working!
  • Check the tire pressure. You don’t want to be stuck in the middle of an icy road trying to change a flat tire because the pressure was too low.

For more information about how to prepare your four-wheeler for the low temperatures and the snow, check out the video below.

YouTube video

What Are the Benefits of Summer Auto Shipping?

In general, shipping your machine during the summer months will cost slightly more, but it will arrive faster because there will likely be more haulers available at any given moment. Also, milder weather conditions on the road will ensure speedy transportation. Keep in mind that the key reason for the probability of a minor price increase during the summer is that demand is stronger.

Another thing that comes as a benefit to summer car shipping is safety. Because of the better weather conditions, snow-free roads, and longer days, summer allows for safer and speedier transport.

How to Prepare a Car for Warm Weather?

Same as with the winter season, when the weather is changing, it’s time to start preparing your car for new conditions. One of the most important things to do is to make sure your car is properly tuned up. Supposed you (are moving and) plan to drive in Los Angeles during the summer, preparing the vehicle for high temperatures is a must.

For starters, check the air pressure in the tires and make sure they’re properly inflated. Additionally, check if the thermostat is bad, and make sure you have plenty of fluids in the car. Add brake fluid and stock up on windshield washer fluid and engine coolant. For more info on how to prepare your four-wheeler, check out the video below.

YouTube video

What Are Some Other Decisions You Have to Make Before Shipping the Car?

Moving from one place to another means that you have to figure out how to register your car in a new state, but that’s not where your tasks stop. When choosing the professional company to transport your four-wheeler, you’ll get to choose exactly how they pick it up and deliver it. On top of that, you can also pick one of the two most common trailers for the car to be shipped in.

What Do Open and Enclosed Trailers Bring to the Table?

If you’ve never shipped a car before, know that there are two types of haulers to choose from – open and enclosed ones. What’s the difference between these two, and how will you know which option is the most appropriate for your machine? Let’s go over everything these two types of trailers bring to the table, and then you’ll be able to make an educated decision.

When your vehicle is shipped on a trailer with no walls, roof, or solid floor, it is referred to as open auto shipping. Machines shipped on an open hauler are completely exposed to the weather. However, not having walls doesn’t stop this type of hauler from being the most popular way of transporting vehicles.

Customers and companies prefer open trailers because they can fit more vehicles than enclosed trailers (making them ideal if you have more than one auto). They are also significantly less expensive for auto transporters. Finally, open trailers are bigger, which can be a plus if you are shipping a big family car.

Enclosed auto transport refers to the shipping of the vehicle on a trailer that is totally enclosed and protected. It has solid walls, a solid ceiling, and a solid floor. Obviously, these enclosed trailers give more security and protection than an open trailer. And they are ideal for expensive machines or old-timers.

There are not as many enclosed carriers as there are open ones on the road. There’s a good explanation behind this. The car transport industry favors open trailers over enclosed trailers because they can haul more automobiles at a time. Most enclosed trailers can only accommodate less than five automobiles, while open ones can accommodate up to ten machines.

Open Carrier Auto Transport

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Enclosed Auto Transport

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What Is the Better Option for You – Door to Door and Terminal to Terminal Delivery?

Besides picking the trailer that will transport your machine, you get to choose the way it will be delivered. Most prominent companies offer door-to-door auto transport and terminal to terminal car shipping. Before you decide which one is the best fit for your needs, check out what each brings to the table:

  • The door-to-door option – is the most convenient option. The driver will pick up and drop off your machine as close as safely and legally possible to the locations you specified. A nearby place will be found if the truck cannot physically fit due to its size. Also, on both pickup and delivery, a vehicle inspection is performed.
  • Terminal to terminal option – is exactly what it says on the tin. You drive your automobile to a designated drop-off location, where it will remain until the carrier picks it up. When the machine is picked up, the truck transports it to the destination terminal, where you will pick it up.
people buying a car
Did you know that, on average, cars have over 30,000 unique parts?

How to Make the Whole Process Easier?

Preparing your vehicle for shipment entails more than simply scheduling a pickup with an auto transport company and calling it a day. To ensure that your four-wheeler reaches a new destination in good condition and without a fuss, do the following:

  • Obtain the vehicle’s documents – your movers will require confirmation of ownership before shipping a car. Prepare these papers ahead of time to avoid shipment delays and last-minute file cabinet and glovebox searches. Make a binder and put inside proof of insurance, driver’s license, as well as car registration info.
  • Give your machine a thorough cleaning – Although taking a vehicle to a car wash before shipping may seem contradictory, starting with a clean hood allows you to notice any existing dust, dings, or scratches. This can help you catch any additional damage that happens during the car transport service.
  • Snap a few photos of your four-wheeler – once your vehicle is clean, it will be easy to notice damages, scratches, and dents. Take pics, so when the machine arrives at the new location, you’ll find it much easier to file an insurance claim (if there is a need for it).
  • Collect your personal belongings – keep in mind that items stored in the car will not be insured against theft or damage. Also, those objects might move around and damage the interior of your vehicle.
  • Don’t take all of your belongings out of the car – there are some car essentials that need to be left in the trunk. You should, just in case something goes wrong, have a spare tire, emergency kit, jack, and license plate in the vehicle.
  • Don’t fill up the gas tank – Because the auto will be transported on a carrier rather than being driven, you won’t need to top up the tank before shipping. Furthermore, more gas means more weight for your vehicle and car carrier, which can increase the costs. Instead, fill the gas tank to about a quarter capacity. That’s more than enough fuel to get it on and off the transport vehicle without running out.
Man washing car
Did you know that drivers in the US account for 44% of the world's gas consumption?

Is Car Shipping Really Worth All the Trouble?

Well, now you know all the pros and cons of shipping during warm and cold weather. Most importantly, when you are looking for a reliable and affordable way to have your car transported, use a car shipping service. These services offer an efficient and safe way to get your car from Point A to Point B without any of the hassle or stress that can come with driving it yourself.

That being said, when choosing the best car shipping company, be sure to do the research in order to find one that meets your specific needs. By taking the time to compare rates and reviews, you can ensure that you are getting the best possible deal on transporting your vehicle. Remember, hiring professionals and shipping your vehicle will be worth all the trouble because you’ll have your favorite four-wheeler up and running in a new location without actually having to drive it there on your own.

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