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Snowbird Guide: How to ship a car south?

moving transport truck
Photo Credit: alphaspirit

In addition to the summer season, the snowbird season is one of the busiest auto shipping seasons of the year. There are now many towns and villages in the southern region of the state whose population triples in the winter months. Excessive hotel rates, gas gouging, and slow-moving traffic lines are commonplace as more snowbirds fly from the north to the south each fall. The solution for many of them to avoid such an increase in traffic, expensive hotels and fuel costs were to rent cars to shipping companies.

Most of the snowbirds are Canadians who want to temporarily leave the harsh conditions of northern winter. If you come from Canada, check out the Snowboard Guide to help you make the most of your seasonal migration.

In any case, if you are happy that you have a second home or a great place to avoid these cold winters or hot summers, you still want your car all year round. Of course, you can rent a car – but having your own comfortable car from home follow you to your destination feels much better than renting a car for 3-6 months – and is probably cheaper.

Why not drive?

Of course, a trip to the winter house is an option, but many people prefer to rent cars to transport snowbirds. Driving a car is cheaper, but even if something goes wrong, it may not be profitable.

  • Delivery saves on car wear and tear.
  • Delivery reduces the load that can be caused by driving.
  • Delivery is safer than transport, especially over long distances.
  • Delivery can be cheaper than driving.

If you consider stopping to eat or buy drinks, refueling during a long journey and staying overnight in a hotel while driving, the cost of transporting the car may be much lower than driving the car yourself.

Where can they send your car?

There are two snowbird seasons. The first season comes the day after Thanksgiving and ends around the third week of January. This is about two months during winter, when tens of thousands of road transport clients flock from the cold, snow-covered northern states (hence the term “Snowbird”) to the warmer southern states, especially Florida.

The second season begins when the same customers begin to return home around the first week of April and ends in late May.

The most popular route for snowbirds has traditionally been from the northeast (especially New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania) to the southeast (Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina), but every year the route from the northeast to the southwest becomes more and more popular.

There are five main routes that most companies serve:

  • From Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and all of New England, I-95 is a direct route to North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
  • The next busiest route is I-5. Many vehicles travel from Oregon, Washington, and other northwestern states via the I-5 to California or continue east to Arizona and New Mexico.
  • From Chicago, Minneapolis and other Midwestern areas, road transport routes for snowbirds usually go south to Texas and then east to Florida or west to New Mexico, Arizona, and California.
  • Of course, California, Texas, and Arizona receive a large proportion of snowbird cars for the winter. But compared to warm weather conditions, Florida gets slammed when it comes to transporting snowbirds. Interstates I-95 and I-75 road transport companies operate every winter and spring in Florida as part of snowbird haulers.

Seasonal advice for snowbirds

Regardless of the weather conditions, transporting goods by road during the snowbird season may require patience, no matter where you try to send the car. Tens of thousands of snowbird carriers just like you want the same – a fast ticket to go home. How do you win?

When should I book a snowbird car delivery?

During peak periods you will be competing with thousands of other snowbirds for limited space. Booking 7-10 days in advance provides the most realistic quotes of snowbirds – they don’t just sound good at first, but can leave you with a last-minute alternative.

Many travelers tell us that they booked a table in 15-30 days, but their transportation company didn’t like that.

Do you have to book a snowbird car delivery on holidays?

It is best to avoid shipping immediately before or after vacation because truck drivers need to rest and stay with their families, and while they are at home, shipping requests are accumulated. It may take several days after each holiday to get everyone back on the road in an optimal position, resulting in longer waiting times.

When should Snowbirds ship a car or make it available for boarding?

Once you have booked the dates of your stay, it is time to start calling about the price of the transport. If you do not have a person who can inspect your car upon arrival at your destination, plan the delivery after your arrival. You can calculate this by knowing the estimated duration of the transport and deducting it from the date of arrival.

How many companies should you contact?

Since individual companies may have different rates, it is advisable to obtain quotes from at least three different companies and compare the services offered with the amount paid. Some road carriers may also differ in their ability to provide certain pick-up and delivery times.

What else should you consider before shipping?

Be sure to check your insurance policy. hat is normally covered by the shippers of snowbird vehicles does not cover content that is not part of the vehicle, so it is important that you do not use your vehicle as a transport container for other items.

Weight is also an important factor in calculating the rate. Be sure to ask what the time frame between pickup and delivery will be. From north to south and from south to north is usually much faster than across the country, but this will depend on the mileage as well as other trucks and cargo on board the carrier.

How much does it cost to ship a car?

The cost of transporting the vehicle depends on several factors. It is important to understand them all so that you know when you get a fair price for the vehicle’s transport.

Factors that affect the cost of transporting a vehicle:

  • Vehicle make and model
  • Vehicle condition
  • Type of transport
  • Location and distance
  • Demand and supply

During the snowbird season, many transport companies offer discounts and deals to encourage shippers to book tickets with them. This, in turn, leads to lower prices for the customer base as a whole, and what is particularly important in the snowbird season is that many road carriers are positioning themselves in areas where there will be many snowbirds carrying cargo.

This also leads to lower prices, as carriers can fill their trucks quickly, maximizing loading efficiency and providing them with a lot of work over the next few weeks. They can work mainly up and down I-95, which is also very important as it is one of the cheapest places for carriers to go through some of the most densely populated areas of the country as it happens.

The snowbird season begins and ends at about the same time each year. The volume of traffic begins to increase around October for vehicles heading south, and vehicles heading north become much cheaper. The reverse will occur when the time comes for these visitors to return to the north. Transports in the south will begin to decline in March and April.

Seasonal snowmobile tariffs are increasing throughout December, reaching their peak in early January. At this time of year, road carriers are usually the first to accept the higher prices, so that time spent away from their families was useful.

This will give you a window where the price is much cheaper if your time is flexible. For example, a mid-sized sedan arriving from Florida in the northeast in February or early March at a highly discounted rate.

The same would be true for a trip to the south. If you plan to ship your car in September, the service will cost approximately the same. So, with some flexibility, you can save a lot of money by carrying your car along this route.


Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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