Here is the tough news that you need to know: Trying to ship between 12/24-1/14 is the toughest time of year to ship a car. However, if you are aware and prepared for what to expect, it will at least keep your experience from becoming a nightmare. It’s important to understand that pricing and carrier availability in this industry is always based on SUPPLY & DEMAND.
During the holidays, the DEMAND of people trying to ship a car *greatly* outweighs the SUPPLY of available carriers; this already tough scenario is further aggravated by the fact that most carriers are off from 12/24-1/1 spending time with family and virtually NO pick ups or drop offs take place that week. When the carriers return to work on 1/2, there are infinitely more cars trying to ship ASAP than the available carriers can service, giving the carriers liberty to only service the very best paying loads and thereby causing price spikes during the first half of January.
Here are 8 tips to keep in mind if you want to avoid a lot of frustration.
- Getting a carrier for pickup between 12/24-1/1 is near impossible and not realistic to expect
- Ship well before Christmas Eve or after the first half of January to save money and headaches.
- If not possible, then be prepared to pay significantly more to get a spot on a truck
- Pricing will be higher than typical and can be nearly double to get a carrier particularly for the “snowbird” shipments from up north down to Florida and Arizona.
- Beware of low price quotes, as a brokers can offer carriers any price you like, but if it is too low, your car will not get shipped on time or at all. Carriers will simply have too many better priced shipments to choose instead.
- The risk of bad weather during early January can extend the lack of carrier availability causing the inflated prices to continue through more than the first two weeks of January
- Make sure your broker has a fixed and transparent broker fee so you are not victim to brokers charging higher broker margins because of the holiday price spikes.If your broker doesn’t warn
- You upfront about the holiday and early January shipping concerns, you should be concerned about their transparency and honesty.
Our goal is to empower customers to know what they are in store for during the holidays. Education, transparency and honesty is key if you want to have a smooth and safe car transport experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.