Auto Transport Pricing by Season

The auto transport industry is very seasonal. Unlike shipping packages through the post office, which typically looks at the size & weight of the package you are shipping and how fast you want it to arrive to determine your price. There are several different factors involved in pricing your auto transport.

In most situations, people need transportation services when they need transportation services, and don’t have the luxury of waiting for prices to fall or carriers to arrive in their area because of weather conditions. Having a basic understanding of how the auto transport industry works during the season you are shipping your vehicle will help maintain your stress levels and answer a lot of questions you may have about why your shipment is priced so high and why your vehicle may not be moving as quickly as you would like.


Summer Tends to be More Expensive

You find more people shipping their vehicles during the summer season than any other season. The auto transport industry is quite competitive and even in the summer months, most newer companies have a hard time securing work due to their lack of establishment. An influx in customers during the summer tends to lead to higher prices, because carriers can basically cherry-pick their loads that are traveling along popular routes. The higher the asking price, the quicker a vehicle tends to be picked up.

Cities such as New York, Miami, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles are always popular, but you’d be surprised at just how many people are shipping down south during the summer and metro areas always have more trucks in them than rural areas.

During the summer season, everyone is shipping, most of of metropolitan areas. This gives carriers a lot more leeway in determining what cars they ship and which ones they don’t. Many carriers use the funds that they gather during the summer and fall months to survive much slower winter season. During the winter season, there are less customers, which equates to less money.


Winter Shipping Tends to Take Longer

Prices during the winter months tend to drop due to the fact that their are less people moving and carriers will often take what they can get. The number of companies available to transport vehicles remains relatively static. Unlike the summer, instead of customers fighting for carrier space, carriers are competing for customers.  This means customers have a lot more leeway in how much they want to spend.

As the season progresses, carriers might get more desperate to avoid “deadhead”. Deadhead is referred to the empty space on their trucks. Winter shipping also sees a lot more routes become inaccessible or more treacherous, mainly through the Northern states, as snow and ice play a major factor in where carriers can take loads to and from. This can make it more difficult for your transport company to find a carrier willing to move along specific routes, and many routes completely dry up, carrier wise.

Shipping out of North Dakota or Wyoming during the summer is easy because it is sunny. During the winter the snow sets in. Carriers do not like snow. It is treacherous and more than one carrier has lost an entire load due to black ice. These prices tend to go up unless you’re willing to wait, just like how the metro routes go up in the summer unless you are willing to wait.

There is a lot that goes into shipping a vehicle. At the end of the day the best thing you can possibly do to help yourself is get some quotes, talk to a representative who can really let you know what the situation out in the industry really is at the given time.



With so many different companies running literally thousands of different routes, what you’re shipping, where you’re shipping and when you’re shipping will all play into the price that you will pay. If you are in need of shipping services please feel free to contact Millennium Transport at (800) 790-5325 and speak with an experienced representative about your unique situation and what your best options are. We are here to help you and ensure that you’re auto transportation is a success.