Things to Consider with Seasonal Car Transport

Brantley Kendall

25 May 2023 1 year ago

As the summer season comes to a close, many of us start to prepare for the colder months ahead. For some, that means swapping out summer clothes for warmer options; for others, it might mean making sure their car is ready for winter driving conditions. But what if you need to transport your vehicle long distance during the colder or hotter months? Whether you’re a snowbird heading south for the winter or a college student relocating for the spring semester, you should consider seasonal car transport services. But before you seal the deal you need to consider a few things to save money, and avoid any hassle.

You should know about the cost of the service, the timeline, the reputation of the company, and the types of services they offer. In addition, each season has its unique challenges, and depending on the time of your move, you may need to know about some extra factors. In this article, we’ll discuss the top things to consider regarding seasonal car transport to help make your transition as smooth as possible.

What exactly is a seasonal car transport service?

Just think about it, the first snowfall of the year has arrived, and you’re all set for a cozy winter. But, you’ve got a little problem – your car. You’ve been planning on taking that much-needed road trip, but driving on slippery roads is the last thing on your list. This is where seasonal car transport service comes to your rescue.

 Seasonal car transport service is like having a personal chauffeur for your car. It is a specialized service designed especially for those who want to travel to different parts of the country without worrying about the wear and tear of their car. Whether it’s the harsh winter or scorching summer, this service ensures that your car is transported safely and efficiently, ensuring it reaches its destination in top-notch condition. This service guarantees timely and reliable transportation, making it the perfect choice for those who have busy schedules.  

Reasons for Seasonal Car Transport

Seasonal car transport is necessary for various reasons, including:

1. Moving for a Seasonal Change: Many people like to move to a different city or state for a change in the weather. If you live in a cold climate and want to escape to a warmer location during winter, seasonal car transport is what you need. So that you won’t have to drive in hazardous winter conditions, such as snow and ice, and enjoy a comfortable ride, instead of dealing with roads obstructed by bad weather conditions.

2. Save Your Time and Energy: By having your car transported, you can save a considerable amount of time and energy that you would have spent on driving or arranging transportation. You can use this extra time and energy to prepare for the event (if any) or to relax and enjoy the season.

3. Protect Your Car: Seasonal car transport companies have the tools and expertise to transport your vehicle safely. This ensures that your car is not subjected to wear and tear or damage during the journey, protecting your investment and peace of mind.

4. Reduce Risk: Driving during certain seasons can be risky, whether due to adverse weather conditions or increased traffic. By choosing seasonal car transport, you minimize the chances of any unwanted incidents occurring during transit.

5. Flexible Options: Seasonal car transport companies offer flexible options to cater to different needs and budgets. Whether you need your car transported on a specific date (expedited shipping) or are looking for a more affordable shipping option, you can find a service that fits your bill.

6. Transport luxury or vintage vehicles: Seasonal transport is also useful for those with luxury or vintage cars. These cars require specialized care and attention, and transporting them through different terrains and conditions can be challenging. Seasonal transport companies have specialized carriers and expert drivers with experience handling different car types. They take measures to ensure that your vehicle reaches you in good condition.

How the weather poses a significant challenge?

Among the crucial factors you should keep in mind when transporting your car is the weather and road conditions, which can significantly affect the safety and timely delivery of the vehicle.

Imagine trying to transport a car during a blizzard or heavy rainstorm. The risk of accidents or delays due to unsafe driving conditions increases significantly, and the car may even suffer damage from exposure to harsh weather elements. Therefore, it is important to transport your vehicle through a seasonal auto transport service provider to avoid such risks.

In addition, road conditions can also impact the quality and safety of cars. Poor road conditions filled with potholes or uneven terrain can make the journey uncomfortable for the car, leading to potential damage or even breakdowns. Pick a reliable auto transport service provider with well-maintained transportation vehicles equipped with efficient suspension systems and experienced drivers who can easily handle rough roads.

 So, before entrusting your car to any transportation service provider, do your homework and factor in the prevailing weather and road conditions to ensure a smooth and stress-free transport experience?

Choosing a Car Transport Company

You should take the time to research and compare different options, and consider the below tips to ensure a reliable and stress-free move.

1. Check for Licensing and Insurance: Verify that the car transport company you approach is licensed and insured. Make sure that the company has the proper licensing to transport vehicles, and check that their insurance covers your car during transport. You don’t want to pay from your pocket due to insufficient coverage.

2. Read Online Reviews: Online reviews can help you learn about a company’s reputation, quality, and customer service. Read the reviews and feedback from others who have used the company’s services. You can also refer to BBB rating which states the quality of the service. Look for companies that have positive reviews, as this indicates a high level of customer satisfaction.

3. Get Referrals from Friends and Family: Your friends and family members who have recently moved may have used a car transport company and can offer valuable insights and recommendations. Ask them about their experience and look for a company that they trust.

4. Compare and Check Prices:  Look for different companies that offer their services, and compare their rates, services, insurance coverage, and reviews. Be careful of companies offering very low prices, as they often lack essential experience and reliability.

 5. Check the Company’s Fleet: Check the company’s fleet and equipment before making your final decision. The condition of their equipment can help determine their reliability, which can further affect how they handle your car’s transportation.

6. Verify the Company’s Transport Process: Ask if your seasonal auto transport service provider offers enclosed or open trailers? Will they require you to prep your car? What measures will they use to protect your vehicle? These questions help you understand how the company will ensure the safety and condition of your car during transport.

Preparing Your Car for Transport

Although preparing your car for transportation seems to be as easy as a pie but it isn’t really! You should have the right knowledge to prepare your vehicle properly before the transit begins. Here’s a checklist of things to do before transporting your car:

1. Clean the car: Give your vehicle a thorough wash before transport. Cleaning your car ensures that all damages and scratches are visible before shipping, making the inspection process more efficient.

2. Remove personal items: Ensure all personal belongings and loose items are removed from the car. Only items that pertain to the car, such as a spare tire and jack, should remain inside.

3. Check for damages: Thoroughly inspect your car for any damages or scratches before shipping. Take note of even minor chips, dents, or damages, and consider taking photos as proof of the vehicle’s pre-shipment condition.

4. Top up fuel levels: Ensure the fuel level is between 1/4 and 1/2 a tank. This fuel allows the transport company to move the car onto and off the truck quickly and efficiently, without wasting petrol, yet with enough fuel to drive to the nearest gas station upon delivery.

5. Check for leaks: Check your vehicle for any leaks from the engine, transmission, brake system, or other parts. Fix any leaks you find before shipping, as they could cause damage to other vehicles or cause a safety hazard.

6. Disable Alarm Systems: Turn off your car’s alarm or GPS system. If the alarm goes off during shipping, it will be at the owner’s risk.

7. Check Battery: Ensure the battery is fully charged and securely connected. A dead battery could cause unnecessary delays in transport.

8. Take care of special instructions: communicate with your transporter about any special instructions beforehand. For example, if your car needs to be moved using a specialized trailer or with additional equipment, inform the transport company to guarantee a smooth and safe operation.

9. Verify Insurance Coverage: Ask the transport provider about insurance in case of damage during transportation on your car. Know your insurance terms and check if the carrier’s insurance policy covers any damages.

10. Take before and after pictures of your car: Taking pictures of your car before and after transport is important for insurance as it serves as a visual record of the condition of your car at both ends of the transportation process. If your car is damaged during transportation, the pictures will help determine the extent of the damage and could assist in facilitating any insurance claims. Without this visual evidence, it may be challenging to prove that any damage has occurred in transit and to receive adequate compensation from the transportation company or insurance.

By following this checklist, you can correctly prepare your car for transportation and ensure that it arrives at its destination safely and undamaged.

Transporting Your Car during winter

The harsh weather can make transporting a car during winter more difficult as compared to other seasons. Snow and ice can make the roads treacherous, leading to accidents and damage to the car. Additionally, if the car is not properly prepared for transport in winter, it can suffer from extreme temperatures. Here are some of the unique challenges of transporting a car during winter:

1. Snow and ice on the roads: Snow and ice on the roads can make driving dangerous for the transport vehicle and other vehicles on the road. The transport vehicle must be equipped to handle these conditions, with the right tires and other safety equipment. Additionally, it’s important to avoid driving on roads covered in snow and ice whenever possible and to take extra caution when stopping, turning, and changing lanes.

2. Extreme temperatures: Winter temperatures can be extremely cold, which can be harmful to the car’s battery, fluids, and other systems. It’s important to have the car properly serviced before transport to ensure it can handle cold temperatures without breaking down.

 3. Delays due to weather: Winter weather can cause unexpected delays, as roads may be closed or transport vehicles may have to take alternate routes to avoid dangerous driving conditions. It’s important to plan for these potential delays and to communicate with the transport company to ensure that the car arrives at its destination on time.

4. Protecting the car from the elements: Snow, ice, and road salt can all be hard on a car’s exterior. It’s important to protect the car during transport, such as covering it with a special car cover or using a protective gel to prevent salt damage. Overall, transporting a car during winter can be more challenging than in other seasons, but it can be done safely and effectively with the right preparations and precautions.

Some more tips

Here are some tips for preparing your car for winter transport:

  • Check the battery: Winter cold can be hard on a car’s battery, so it’s important to ensure it’s in good condition. Have the battery tested before transport to ensure it holds a charge and won’t die during transport. If the battery is weak, consider replacing it before transport.
  • Check the tires: Make sure your tires are properly inflated and have good tread. Winter roads can be slippery, so it’s important to have good traction. If your tires are worn or damaged, replace them before transport.
  • Change the oil: Ensure your car’s oil is fresh and at the proper level before transport. Cold weather can make oil thicker, which can cause problems if it’s not circulating properly.
  • Check the coolant: Ensure your car’s coolant is topped off and at the proper ratio of coolant to water. Coolant is important in winter because it helps prevent the engine from freezing.
  • Check the brakes: Make sure your car’s brakes are in good condition, and the brake pads have plenty of wear left. Winter roads can be slippery, so good brakes are essential.
  • Clean the car: Give your car thorough washing before transport to remove any salt, dirt, or grime that could cause damage.
  • Protect the car: To protect your car during transport, ensure it’s covered with a special car cover or a protective gel to prevent salt and debris damage.

Transporting Your Car during summer

Transporting a car during summer can come with its own set of unique challenges. High temperatures, increased humidity, and intense sunlight can all cause issues for your vehicle during transport. Here are some of the unique challenges of transporting a car during summer and how to prepare your car for transport accordingly:

1. High temperatures: Excessive heat can be a problem for your car, especially if it’s sitting in direct sunlight for a prolonged period. This can cause the engine to overheat, tires to blow out, and interior materials to fade or crack. Check if your car has had recent maintenance and tune-ups so it is in the best condition to handle the heat.

2. Humidity: High humidity levels can cause a car to become damp and excess moisture can lead to rust. Rust can also damage a car’s undercarriage, exhaust system, and body. Before transport, have the undercarriage of the vehicle thoroughly cleaned and dried.

3. Sun Damage: Long-time exposure to a car under direct sunlight can cause unwanted damages such as paint fading, dashboard cracking, and other damages such as wear to interior upholstery.  

4. Increased traffic: Summertime can be a busy time for the highways, making driving and transporting your car more challenging. A seasonal auto transport company can help you avoid any issues during transport and adjust their schedule to minimize the impact of increased traffic.

5. Availability of transporters: During peak season, there is a higher demand for auto transport, which means there is a higher likelihood that you may face delays and extended waiting periods. A seasonal auto transport company can plan and manage the availability of transporters accordingly, adjusting schedules to avoid congestion.

Transporting Your Car across different regions

When transporting a car across different regions in the USA, there are several important considerations to remember. Here are some potential scenarios and examples:

1. State Laws: Every state has different car transport laws and regulations. For example, in California, car carriers must be licensed by the California Public Utilities Commission and carry appropriate insurance. In Florida, car transport companies must register with the Florida Department of Transportation and follow certain safety guidelines. It is important to research the specific regulations for each state along your route to ensure compliance.

2. Transport Method: Different transport methods can impact the safety and security of your vehicle during transport. For example, an open car transport is economical but exposes your vehicle to weather and road debris. An enclosed car transport option can provide greater protection from the elements but may be more expensive. Consider the distance of your transport and the value of your car when choosing a transport method.

3. Road Conditions: Different regions may have varying road conditions, affecting your car’s transport. For example, if you’re traveling through mountainous regions, hazardous weather conditions like snow and ice could affect the timing of your transport. Additionally, some roads in rural areas may be under construction, with lane closures or detours causing delays in your transport.

4. Insurance Coverage: Make sure that the car transport company you choose has an appropriate level of insurance to cover your car during transport. Check your auto insurance policy to see if it covers damage incurred during transport.

5. Pickup and Delivery Process: Make sure you clearly understand expected timelines and any fees associated with pickup or delivery outside of a standard delivery zone. Be sure to check for updated delivery times if there are weather delays or construction on your route. For example, if you were transporting a car from Texas to Oregon, you would want to research the specific regulations for each state along your route.

Depending on the road conditions, you may need to select a specific transport method to ensure the safety of your vehicle. You would also check into insurance coverage and expected timelines for pick up and delivery. Knowing these considerations will help ensure your car is safely transported to its destination.

 Common Questions about Seasonal Car Transport (PAA)

Here are the answers to the most common questions about seasonal auto transport services:

What is the cost of seasonal car transport?

The cost to ship a car varies depending on several factors. Such as the distance the vehicle is being transported, the type of vehicle being transported, and the time of year the transport is being scheduled. During peak seasons, such as the summer months, the cost of auto transport can be higher due to increased demand. The best way to get an accurate estimate of the cost of seasonal car transport is to request quotes from several reputable car transport companies. You can then compare the rates and services offered to choose the best option for your needs and budget.

How far in advance should I book a car transport company?

It’s best to book a car transport company at least two weeks in advance, especially during peak seasons. This will allow the company enough time to schedule a carrier for your vehicle and accommodate any specific transport requests. 

What is the typical time frame for car transport?

Transport time frames vary based on distance, route, and seasonal conditions. However, coast-to-coast transport typically takes between 7-10 days, while shorter distances can take less time.

Is it safe to transport a car during extreme weather conditions?

Transporting a car during extreme weather conditions is generally safe, but you may want to discuss any concerns with your chosen transport company. Carriers are equipped to handle various weather conditions, and most reputable companies will provide updates and take precautions to ensure the safety of your vehicle. 

Can I transport personal belongings in my car during transport?

 It is generally advised not to transport personal belongings in your car during transport, as it can increase the weight of your vehicle and potentially cause damage. Some companies may also have specific regulations around transporting personal items. 

What should I do if my car is damaged during transport?

 If your car is damaged during transport, it’s important to document it immediately and contact the transport company. Most companies offer insurance coverage to protect your vehicle during transport and will guide you through the claims process. 

What types of insurance do car transport companies offer?

Most car transport companies offer insurance that covers damage caused during transport. You can choose between basic insurance coverage or additional coverage for added protection. Review the options to select the coverage that best fits your needs. 

Can I track the progress of my car during transport?

 Most reputable car transport companies offer tracking services so you can monitor your vehicle’s progress during transport. You can track the carrier’s location and estimated delivery time to ensure timely arrival. 

How do I choose the right car transport company for me?

To choose the right car transport company, review customer reviews, check the company’s licensing and insurance coverage, and compare rates and services offered. Be sure to select a company that meets your specific needs and requirements. 

What should I do if my car is not delivered on time?

If your car is not delivered as scheduled, contact the transport company to notify them of the delay. They should provide updates on the new estimated delivery time and work to ensure timely arrival. We hope these answers help you navigate seasonal car transport with confidence!

Brantley Kendall