Many retirees that live in northern states have a second home down south where they can go to escape the harsh winter weather that will inevitably roll around every year. These people are affectionately called “snowbirds.” Whether they are just going for a long vacation or they prefer to live in another state for the entire winter season, these snowbirds will still need transportation once they arrive in their warmer location. Sure, they could rent a car, but this can be expensive over a long period of time. Not to mention, many people prefer the comfort and familiarity of their own vehicle. As a seasonal traveler, many snowbirds don’t want the added stress of making a long distance drive. For this reason, many choose to have their car shipped to their destination.
What are the benefits of auto transport?
Safety: Most retirees are not enthusiastic about driving their car hundreds of miles during the winter months. It can be risky to take such a drive when highways are susceptible to snow and ice from the cold weather. Furthermore, it can be overwhelming to deal with unexpected car trouble or breakdowns. Shipping their vehicle is a much safer option.
Convenience: Driving a long distance could take several days or more depending on inclement weather, traffic delays, or other unforeseen circumstances. Snowbirds can avoid travel delays and interruptions by having their car shipped. In addition, they can avoid putting high mileage on their cars by utilizing a transport service.
No Extra Travel Spending: Driving your own vehicle may sound like a better deal, but by the time you factor in the cost of gas, hotels, and food you will soon find that the expenses begin to pile up. An auto transport service can actually save you money.
What kind of services do auto transporters provide?
Once you have decided to have your vehicle shipped, you will need to choose which transport service is right for you. Here is a short description of these various services:
Open Auto Transport: This service is most widely used by customers and is considered the industry standard. The car will be shipped on an open carrier with other vehicles. This is the cheapest way to transport your vehicle, although it will be exposed to the outdoor elements.
Enclosed Auto Transport: This method of transport provides extra protection for your vehicle, as it is shipped on an enclosed carrier where it will be shielded from the outdoor elements. However, this service will cost more than open transport. This method is recommended for classic or antique vehicles, exotic sports cars, or luxury vehicles.
Terminal-to-Terminal Shipping: The method of shipping requires you to drop your vehicle off at a nearby terminal for shipment and you will also need to pick it up from a terminal located near your final destination. This method can save you money, but might also be a hassle if there is not a terminal located close to your location.
Door-to-Door Shipping: This shipping option is the most convenient because you won’t have to worry about taking or picking up your car from a terminal . Rather, the car is picked up from your home and delivered directly to your destination. That said, this will generally be more expensive than terminal-to-terminal shipping.
How much will it cost to ship your car?
There is not a “one price fits all” when it comes to auto shipping. The cost of shipment depends on the following factors:
- Vehicle make and model
- Transport services
- Vehicle condition
The best way to get an idea of how much it will cost is to call a few auto transport companies to request a free quote.
Helpful tips for Snowbirds:
Book in advance: The snowbird season is typically quite busy for auto transport companies so you will want to book your shipment well in advance. It is recommended that you arrange shipping at least 2-3 weeks in advance to ensure your vehicle will be shipped in a timely manner.
Prepare your car for shipment: Prior to shipping your car you will want to clean both the interior and exterior. This is important for the inspection process, as it is easier to see scratches and dings on a clean car. You will also want to make sure there is no more than ¼ tank of gas before shipping. Finally, you want to remove all personal belongings from inside the vehicle.
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.
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