Choosing the Right Time to Ship a Car - A Complete Guide

Selecting the optimal time to ship a car involves a multitude of factors. Whether you’re relocating, sending a gift, or dealing with a long-distance purchase, you need a reliable auto shipping company to ensure a smooth and hassle-free transaction. One name we want to make the most trusted name in this industry of American auto shipping is Optimance Transport. We are trying to make a name for ourselves and provide a simple and reliable solution for all the needs to ship a car to another state. So, without further ado, let’s get straight into this. 

Understanding American Auto Shipping: 

American Auto Shipping is a premier choice of industry among consumers and has been in the business for years, providing top-notch auto transport services. Their commitment to excellent customer service and expansive network enables them to deliver your vehicle safely and on time. They offer open transport and enclosed car shipping options, catering to different needs and budgets. 

Open Transport Car Shipping vs. Enclosed Car Shipping: 

To make an informed decision about the shipping method you should choose, you first need to understand the difference between open transport car shipping and enclosed car shipping. 

Open Transport Car Shipping: This method is the most common and cost-effective way to ship a car. In open transport car shipping, vehicles are loaded onto an open-air carrier and other cars. While this option is budget-friendly, your vehicle is exposed to the elements and potential road debris. 

Enclosed Car Shipping: If you have a luxury, vintage, or a high-value vehicle, you might want to consider enclosed car shipping. As the name suggests, your car will be transported in an enclosed trailer, protecting it from weather and road debris. While this method is more expensive than open transport, it provides extra security and peace of mind. 

Determining the Best Time to Ship Your Car: 

The best time to ship your car depends on various factors, including your personal schedule, weather conditions, and market demand. Here are some things to consider: 

  1. Seasonality: Auto transport demand varies with the seasons. Typically, summer is the busiest season for the auto shipping industry, followed by early fall. During these times, prices may be higher due to increased demand. Conversely, winter and early spring tend to be slower periods, potentially offering lower rates.
  2. Weather Conditions: Weather conditions significantly impact car shipping. Harsh winters in the northern states can make shipping more challenging and potentially delay delivery times. Conversely, shipping a car to hot climates like Arizona or Nevada during summer can pose risks like overheating.
  3. Personal Schedule: Consider your own schedule when planning to ship your car. Ensure you or someone you trust can be available at the pick-up and drop-off locations.
  4. Early Booking: It’s advisable to book your car shipment several weeks in advance. This gives the shipping company ample time to arrange for a carrier, leading to a more seamless experience.

Shipping Your Car to Another State: 

When you need to ship a car to another state, consider the distance, as it impacts both the cost and time of shipment. We provide a convenient, efficient solution for interstate car shipping. They have a wide network that covers all 50 states, ensuring your vehicle reaches its destination safely and on time. 

Choosing the Best Car Shipping Company: 

Choosing the best car shipping company is crucial to a successful and stress-free auto transport experience. Consider the following aspects: 

  1. Experience and Reputation: A company with years of experience and a solid reputation, like Optimance Transport, will likely provide a high-quality service.
  2. Insurance Coverage: Ensure the shipping company offers comprehensive insurance coverage. This safeguards your vehicle during transit.
  3. Cost: While cost is an important factor, don’t let it be the only one. The cheapest option is not always the best. Consider the quality of service and safety measures taken by the company.
  4. Customer Service: A top-notch car shipping company will have excellent customer service, ready to address any concerns or issues that arise during the shipping process.
  5. Reviews and Ratings: Check out reviews and ratings from past customers to gain insight into the company’s reliability and service quality.
  6. Services Offered: Depending on your specific needs, you may require certain services such as door-to-door delivery, expedited shipping, or enclosed transport. Make sure the company you choose offers the services you need.
  7. Licensing and Registration: Ensure the company is registered with the Department of Transportation and has a valid Motor Carrier number. This verifies that they have met federal regulations for auto transport.

What month is best to ship a car? 

The best month to ship a car depends largely on your specific needs, the weather, and the demand in the auto transport industry. However, the slower months in the industry – typically the winter months like January and February – could be the best time to ship your car if you’re looking for potentially lower rates and less traffic. During these months, demand is often lower, which can lead to more competitive pricing. 

However, remember that harsh winter weather can also cause delays in shipping, especially if you’re shipping to or from regions known for severe winter storms. 

On the flip side, summer is the busiest season in auto transport due to many people moving and buying cars. While the weather is usually more favorable for transport, the high demand can lead to higher prices and longer wait times. 

Ultimately, the best time to ship your car will depend on your specific circumstances, including your flexibility with timing and budget and the specific locations you’re shipping from and to. Always consult with your chosen auto transport company, such as Optimance Transport, for advice tailored to your situation. 

What month is the cheapest to ship a car? 

The cost of shipping a car varies greatly depending on various factors, including the distance of transport, the size and weight of the car, and the current demand in the auto transport industry. However, typically, the cheapest months to ship a car are during the slower seasons for the auto transport industry, which are usually the winter months, particularly January and February. 

During these months, demand for auto transport services is often lower due to fewer people moving or buying cars. This lower demand can lead to more competitive pricing as auto shipping companies seek to attract customers. However, the weather can be more challenging during these months, particularly in colder, snow-prone regions, potentially leading to delays. 

It’s also worth noting that prices can fluctuate throughout the year due to various factors, so it’s always a good idea to request quotes from several auto transport companies, like Optimance Transport, to ensure you’re getting the best deal. 

How long does it take to ship a car 200 miles? 

The time it takes to ship a car over 200 miles can vary depending on several factors, including the specific route, the shipping company’s schedule, and traffic conditions. However most auto transport companies can typically cover about 200 to 300 miles daily. 

So, if you’re shipping a car over 200 miles, you could expect the delivery to take about one day under ideal conditions. However, this timeline can vary. For instance, it might take a bit longer if the car is being picked up or delivered in a rural area or a location that’s not directly on the company’s usual route 

Remember that delays can also occur due to weather, traffic, or other unforeseen circumstances. When you arrange for car shipping with a company like Optimance Transport, they’ll provide you with an estimated delivery window based on these and other factors. 

It’s always a good idea to ask the auto transport company for an estimate of the delivery timeline when you book the service. That way, you can plan accordingly and reasonably expect when your car will be delivered. 

How long does it take to get a car once it is shipped? 

Once your car has been shipped, the delivery time can vary greatly depending on several factors. 

Distance: The most significant factor is the distance between the pick-up and drop-off locations. On average, an auto transport carrier can travel approximately 500 miles per day. So, for example, shipping a car across the country from New York to California (about 2,800 miles) could take roughly 5-7 days once the vehicle is picked up. However, it could take just about a day for shorter distances, such as 200 miles. 

Route: The specific route can also impact delivery time. If the vehicle is being transported along a major highway, it might arrive more quickly than if it’s being delivered to a remote or rural location that’s off the beaten path. 

Weather and Traffic Conditions: Factors such as severe weather, heavy traffic, or road construction can also potentially delay delivery. 

Shipping Method: The method of shipping you choose can affect delivery time. For instance, if you opt for expedited shipping, the delivery process will be quicker but more expensive. 

It’s also important to note that there may be some time between when you book the service and when the vehicle is picked up, depending on the auto shipping company schedule and availability. 

When you book your car shipping with a company like Optimance Transport, they’ll provide you with an estimated delivery window. Always remember to ask for this information so you have a general idea of when to expect your vehicle. Keep in mind, however, that these are estimates and actual delivery times can vary. 


Choosing the right time to ship your car involves careful consideration of various factors, from understanding the difference between open and enclosed car shipping to considering seasonal demands and personal schedules. Optimance Transport, a reputable and experienced company, offers comprehensive solutions for all your auto transport needs. Remember, when you need to ship your car, ensure you choose a reputable company that aligns with your needs, budget, and schedule for a seamless and worry-free experience.