Each year as the weather turns cold, thousands of retirees from the north begin planning their escape to warmer weather. They leave in time to avoid the frigid winter temperatures and they arrive back home in time to watch the flowers blossom in spring. These retirees are affectionately known as snowbirds. Spending the winter in someplace warmer certainly has its appeal, but it can also present a few logistical challenges. If you are going to spend months someplace, it is nice to have a vehicle at your disposal so you can get out and enjoy the sites and attractions at your destination. However, it might not be feasible to drive your own vehicle such a long distance back and forth. Renting a car for several months can also be quite costly. Your best option is to have your own vehicle shipped to your destination so you have the freedom to get out and explore. If you are a snowbird and in need of options for transporting your vehicle, this guide will help you navigate the car shipping process.
Common Snowbird Routes
In general, all routes from the north to the south could be considered snowbird routes, but there are some states that are more popular than others. These include Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, Alabama, and South Carolina. During snowbird season, you can expect shipping prices on these particular routes to increase due to high demand. While it is normal to shop rates, be advised not to be lured by the lowest price, as this could be a red flag that your car will not arrive on time or the company might not be reputable.
Cost of Auto Shipping
This is understandably the biggest question most customers have but the answer depends on a few different factors:
-Vehicle make and model
-Open or enclosed transport
-Location and distance
-Supply and demand
In order to get an accurate quote, you must account for all of these factors. Be sure to inquire about all of your shipping options and look for ways to save money such as terminal-to-terminal shipping and using an open carrier instead of enclosed. Again, research the company, verify licensing requirements, and read reviews before choosing a shipping company. If you base it on price alone, you could end up waiting for weeks to get your car or you could end up with an unskilled carrier.
Benefits of Car Shipping for Snowbirds
Driving in the winter can be dangerous. If you are traveling hundreds of miles through winter conditions, you risk encountering snowy and ice road conditions. Not only could this lead to significant travel delays, but it can be quite dangerous to navigate winter roads.
You can save time and money. When it comes time to begin your vacation, most people don’t want to waste multiple days driving from Point A to Point B. It could take up to a week to travel across the country and this means the costs will add up as well. When you factor in the cost of food, lodging, gas, and car repairs, you will soon find that you aren’t saving much money by driving yourself. Not to mention the wear and tear you will be putting on your vehicle.
You can travel safely and comfortably. Long-distance road trips can be exhausting and dangerous. Car transport makes the logistics of getting to your destination so much easier. You can simply hop on a plane, sit back, and relax knowing that you will soon be at your destination. Your car will arrive shortly after, saving you a great deal of time and hassle.
Tips for Booking Car Shipment
Book in advance. With such a high demand for car shipment during the snowbird season, it is important to act early and book your shipment well in advance. This ensures you will have a spot on a trailer for the time and location that you need.
Do your research. There are several car shipping companies out there but there are also many scams. Do your research and only work with a company that is properly licensed and insured. You also want to compare reviews and pricing.
Avoid holidays. Keep in mind that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years are among the most popular times for travelers and this can impact pricing and scheduling. If possible, pick a time that is not around these busy holidays.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to Your Car Moving Questions
The hardest thing for people researching car moving companies to understand is that the prices they are getting are not hard and fast gaurantees, but rather ESTIMATES of what one company thinks it will take to get a vehicle moved promptly versus another company's opinion of what it will take. Don't be fooled, there are not carriers committed to take your vehicle at these quoted prices, the company you choose will still have to get to work getting a carrier to commit to move it at the price they quote you.
Your total price breaks down into two parts, the broker's fee (or 'deposit' as everyone calls it) and the carriers fee (your COD amount) Make no mistake about this, EVERYONE YOU ARE GETTING SALES CALLS FROM IS GOING TO BROKER YOUR MOVE. In this industry, there are brokers who try to fool you into thinking that they are the actual carriers and there are an equal amount of carriers who sell themselves on the fact that they have a truck or two but are not being honest about the fact that they broker out 90% of the orders they book. Here is a quick easy way to tell, if a company takes an up front fee, whether they call it a deposit or any other name, they are a broker. Carriers do not take any payment until the vehicle is delivered.
In our opinion, you are crazy to do so. Have you ever been paid up front for the work that you perform for your employer? Why would you pay a fee up front when there are reliable and trustworthy companies like ours that won't ask for it until we provide you with your carriers details?
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will be between one and two weeks. 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.