Posted on 12/27/21

Snowbird Car Shipping Guide

Snowbird Car Shipping Guide

The snowbirds are able to live. Snowbirds know how to live. While many of us prepare for winter, the cold temperatures, slick roads, and grey skies that it brings, they are also getting ready to flee to warmer climates. Some snowbirds have a second home, while others travel wherever the weather and mood take them.

It is very appealing to spend the winter somewhere warm, and then return home in spring or later. It also presents some logistical challenges. All snowbirds are familiar with the difficulties involved in moving around the country twice per year. The issue of transportation is something that nearly all snowbirds have to deal with.

Here's the problem: You will need a vehicle if you plan to spend months somewhere, especially if your destination has many beautiful places and must-see attractions. It may not be possible or practical to drive your vehicle from your winter home to your winter home and back again. Renting a car for months is much better. The best choice is to have your car, something that you like and can drive, for winter driving. But how do you get there?

This comprehensive guide will answer this question. You have many options when it comes to travel and transport if you are a snowbird or planning to be one. It's easy to live the snowbird lifestyle in your own car.


Here are some quick facts about snowbirds

This guide will use the term snowbird quite a bit. It helps to have some definitions. A snowbird is someone who spends the warm months north, then moves south for winter. When do snowbirds migrate south? The migration usually begins the day after Thanksgiving. However, some people choose to travel earlier and the trend continues into the third week of January. The snowbirds returning north begin around April and continue through May. These are only generalizations. Anybody who divides their time between more than one home is a snowbird.

Most people who escape winter travel to Florida, which is a state with year-round sunshine. Although Florida is the most popular, people also travel to Arizona, California, and Texas for a break from winter.

No matter where you are located or what your schedule is, the challenges that come with being a snowbird remain the same. The most difficult part of being a snowbird is transportation. But the solution to this problem is much simpler than many people realize. It is possible to drive your vehicle anywhere in the country, without having to drive it.

Car Shipping for Snowbirds

Each year thousands of snowbirds depend on vehicle haulers and auto transport companies to move their cars from one end to the other. There are many reasons why people choose auto shipping. We will discuss them soon. However, the core value of auto transport is getting the vehicle from A to B without having to be the driver. This is why many snowbirds choose to ship rather than drive:

  • Flexibility in Travel - A vehicle hauler will get your car to where it needs to be. This allows you to travel as you please. You can fly to your destination, hire a car to transport your luggage, or take a train.
  • Time Savings Depending on where you are coming from, it could take days to reach Southern Florida. People don't like to spend so much time on the roads and prefer to get there quickly. It's possible to travel by car. You can spend less time on the road and only a few hours flying in an aircraft.
  • Cost savings - An extended road trip may cost more than you expected when you consider gas, food, and mileage. Auto transport can save you time, which is the most valuable currency for many snowbirds. Shipping costs are comparable to driving your car in all cases.
  • Equity and Safety - The road is dangerous and each mile you drive reduces the vehicle's value. Car transport solves both of these problems. Your vehicle is protected in a secure trailer that is driven by a professional who lives on the road. It is possible to transport your vehicle without the usual wear and tear. Auto-shipping is a better option than other options.


Tips for a Successful Auto Transport

Here are some tips for snowbirds who need Florida car transport. These tips will ensure you have a stress-free and enjoyable experience.

  • Be Realistic It's important that vehicle haulers are busy during the snowbird seasons. There are thousands of travelers who need assistance from just a few auto haulers, all in the same short time frame. It's not surprising that competition can be fierce, and setbacks are quite common. These aren't always inevitable but they are possible.
  • Make arrangements early - With so many people looking for auto shipping services in the early winter and later spring, it is important to plan ahead. You should have a backup plan (contact) in place before your car arrives at your destination. Flexibility is also important. You can't guarantee that your car will be placed on an auto trailer heading exactly where you need it to. Do not arrange to ship more than 10 days prior to your departure.
  • Comparison Shop The first hauler to pick up your shipment may not be the best. Only work with licensed, insured haulers with a clean record. Compare their rates and availability. You shouldn't be selective during snowbird season, but you shouldn’t rush to book anything. Move Car Auto Transport will quickly connect you to multiple options.
  • Avoid Holidays -Car haulers, like most people, take holidays off and might spend extended periods off the road around holidays such as Christmas, New Year, Thanksgiving, or seasonal holidays. These holidays are also the most sought-after time to travel. This is because supply is often low and demand is high. Pick a time that is at least a week away from major holidays to auto-ship.

What is the Average Cost of Auto Transport?

There are many factors that affect the cost. The first is when you ship. Because of supply and demand, auto shipping costs are higher when people move south or snowbirds return north. The make and model of the vehicle. The cost of your vehicle will increase the larger and more valuable it is. Your schedule also has an impact on the cost. The cost of shipping a car is affected by the time it needs to be picked up and dropped off. The cost for snowbirds who need Florida car transport, or similar services, could be below $1,000. In some cases, it may even be lower. The cost of auto transport seems like money well-spent to snowbirds, considering the time and expenses that you can save by not driving.

Do You Need to Prepare Your Vehicle for Shipping?

Your car can ride in an enclosed trailer or on the back of an automobile trailer, but you must prepare it for the journey. These steps should be completed at least an hour before you meet your vehicle hauler to give the keys.

  1. Exterior Wash - Start with a thorough exterior wash. This will help you with the next steps. This will ensure your car arrives at the winter home in its best condition.
  2. Check the Exterior - Look around the car for dents, scratches, or other exterior damage. This is important so you don't have to blame the car hauler later.
  3. Take Some Pictures -Photographing damage to the vehicle's exterior gives you something to refer back to if your car has been damaged during transport. Quality photos should be taken from several angles.
  4. Check for leaks -Is the car leaking oil, or other fluids? You should correct the problem before you ship. To confirm that your car was not driven beyond its limits, you will need to keep track of the odometer reading.
  5. Keep Your Vehicle in Top Condition - You want your vehicle to be in top running condition when it arrives at its destination. Make sure that the vehicle is fully topped up before you hand it off to the hauler. Also, ensure that the battery is fully charged and the tires are properly inflated before you give it to them. Don't leave more than a quarter of the gas tank in your car, as extra gas can add weight.
  6. Secure the Exterior. Remove any items from the exterior such as luggage racks, decorative flags, and bike racks. If possible, fold in the side mirrors. Close the sunroof and secure any other exterior items that could cause damage to the vehicle or its surroundings.
  7. Clean the Interior -As with the exterior, the interior of your car doesn't have to be spotless. However, it is important to remove all personal items, especially electronics or valuables. They could be stolen or moved around during transport. Make sure the interior is as clean as possible before you arrive.
  8. Remove Auto Subscriptions - If you have to pay toll-access or parking fees that you don't use while you are away, you can cancel/suspend your subscription. To avoid accidental fees, remove toll tags
  9. Keep it Simple - While you want to keep your car clean, don't forget the essentials: the spare tire and the tools for changing tires, as well as the license plate.
  10. The auto hauler will briefly drive your car on the trailer. Note any problems or quirks that the vehicle may have.

What are the best places to ship a car?

Snowbirds know better than anyone how advantageous car shipping can be when compared to other options. It may not be easy to find trustworthy, experienced car haulers. Previously, auto shipping meant calling each company in the region until you had enough information to compare options. Move Car Auto Transport makes this process much easier.

We invented the first online car shipping calculator in 2010. Enter some basic information about your pickup and drop-off location, the item you wish to ship, as well as when. You will receive a list of available vehicle haulers and their rates. This information is essential to help you quickly choose the right one.

Move Car Auto Transport has been a leader and innovator in auto transport since 2010. Our partners include snowbirds all over the country, who depend on us to broker transportation every year at the beginning and end of each season. Move Car Auto Transport is your best choice for all things auto transport.