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Seasonal Car Shipping: Moving South for the Winter


Florida is a major destination for elderly temporary migrants or snowbirds as they are more fondly known. According to an article in The Journals of Gerontology, more than 800,000 elderly US residents head south to Florida during the fall. Large seasonal flows have also been reported in Arizona, Massachusetts, Texas, and Mexico. As incomes increase and the baby boom generation ages, these numbers are likely to increase.

Why are people heading south in such large numbers? To escape cold and snowy winters in the north and who would blame them? Soaking up the sun and enjoying outdoor activities year-round makes perfect sense, if you can afford it 

Are you planning to head south shortly? Have you thought about taking your car with you? It might be too long a journey to drive there, but why not consider snowbirds car transport

What is snowbird's car transport?

Snowbirds car shipping is a way of taking your car with you when you head south for the winter. It means your car will be at your disposal and you won’t need the stress or expense of having to rent one. 

How good would it be to drive something you’re familiar with and comfortable with? Driving your car around would be ideal. You’d be able to visit places in the area, meet up with friends, or explore places you’ve been longing to see.

Snowbirds tend to go anywhere that’s warm and has a beach. Top destinations include Arizona, Texas, and Florida (the number one state for snowbirds). In addition, many also flock to Nevada, in particular Las Vegas, New Mexico, and Louisiana.

Of the thousands of people who head south for the winter, some will keep a vehicle there all year. While others choose to ship their car south to enjoy the winter.   

You’ll be pleased to learn that the process is easier than you think, and thanks to our latest snowbirds campaign, you might be able to make further savings on the cost of seasonal car shipping.

Why not get the ball rolling by getting in touch today? 

Get an instant quote!  

5 Reasons to ship a car to another state during snowbird season

  • No long-distance drive during poor winter conditions: Everyone knows how dangerous winter driving can be. This is particularly relevant if you’re driving long distances, say from New York to Florida. Ship your car rather than drive it and you’ll save yourself the stress of navigating icy roads. 
  • Renting a car can be expensive: Renting a car is expensive and also inconvenient. In addition, you might not feel comfortable driving a rental and there are rental restrictions you’ll have to consider. If you’ve got your vehicle, it’ll be more convenient, simpler, and easier to get around. 
  • Saves time and hassle: Driving from north to south can take a long time. Not only that, but you’ll also have traffic, bad drivers, and unpredictable road conditions to battle. Remove the hassle and stress by shipping your car instead. 
  • Save money on overall travel costs: When you add up all the costs of taking a cross-country road trip, you’ll realize that snowbirds car shipping could work out to be much cheaper. Traveling by car cross-country racks up the cost. You’ve got hotel bills, food stops, refueling, unexpected roadside emergencies, and other costs to consider. 
  • You can start making your travel plans today: There are lots of things that can railroad your travel plans in the winter. You might experience problems with your vehicle, poor road conditions, or weather delays. Don’t let any of these get in your way. Book a snowbirds shipping car service instead. 

Top Tips for shipping a vehicle in the winter

There are plenty of challenges when it comes to shipping a vehicle in winter. However, by planning, preparing your vehicle for shipping, and working with reputable shippers like SGT Auto Transport, the process is likely to be a smooth one. 

If you want to avoid any potential problems, here are 5 top tips. 

1. Choose a reliable snowbirds car shipping company

Look for an auto transport company that is registered, bonded, and insured. When you contact a company, ask for their DOT number and MC number. This is proof of their registration and you can check the validity of the MC number by visiting the FMCSA website.

When a company is bonded and insured, it means you’re not going to be liable should something happen to your vehicle while a carrier is shipping it.  

2. Plan your shipment

Think about when you want to ship your car because this can impact the cost and availability. For example, the fall is a busy time of the year, especially for certain routes.

Popular car shipping routes in the fall and spring (popular with snowbirds) include:

  • Northeast ↔ Florida 
  • Midwest ↔ Southeast
  • Midwest ↔ Southwest
  • Northeast ↔ Southwest 
  • Midwest ↔ Texas 
  • Northeast ↔ Texas 

If you make your booking before the rush you might save some money and find a snowbirds shipping date that meets your needs. 

3. Prepare your vehicle for shipping

There are some standard things you should do to prepare your car, whatever the time of year. It’s recommended that you:

  • Wash the outside of your vehicle.
  • When your car is picked up, make a note of and take photos of any existing damage such as chips, scrapes, and scratches. In addition, make a note of the mileage. You must make sure this information is added to the inspection documentation or bill of lading
  • Remove any valuables and personal possessions.
  • Secure or remove any loose parts.
  • Get your local mechanic to check your car, unless you’ve had it serviced recently.
  • If your vehicle is electric, make sure it has a fully charged battery.
  • Gas-powered cars must have a gas tank that’s no more than one-quarter full.
  • Make sure you've got a spare set of keys, just in case they’re needed. 

In addition to this prep you might also want to do the following if you’re shipping your car in the fall or spring:

  • Make sure your vehicle is in good working condition and the radiator has sufficient fluid to help the heating and cooling systems work efficiently. 
  • Drive belts can expand in the heat or contract in the cold, so inspect your car’s drive belts for damage.
  • Adjust the tire pressure to allow for the change in temperature your car may experience at its destination. For every 10 degrees of temperature change, your tires will gain or lose 1-2 PSI of pressure. 

4. Find a company that offers winter car shipping

Not all auto transport companies offer winter car shipping, so there are fewer to choose from. Winter weather conditions can also lead to slow deliveries and capacity changes from week to week. 

Fortunately for you, SGT Auto Transport provides dependable and trustworthy vehicle transport services all year around. 

Shipping your car in the summer versus the winter

Car shipping varies throughout the year. Being able to recognize the changes and how they might affect your auto transport needs will help you better decide when you should ship your car. 

Summer car shipping

Auto transportation services tend to be more expensive in the summer because the demand is higher during the warmer months. Snowbirds are returning home and families prefer to move when it’s nice weather. In addition, there are more car events across the United States that car carriers have to service. 

If you want to ship your car quickly, you must also be prepared to pay more because there tends to be limited space on trailers. 

Typically, the movement of cars is pretty quick, unless you want to ship your car on a holiday such as the 4th of July. 

If you’d prefer not to face the rush, you’re better off waiting until the fall. The weather will still be favorable and once the summer is over, prices tend to decrease.  

Winter car shipping 

Shipping your car in the winter typically costs less than it would in the summer. This is because the winter is generally a slower period for auto transport companies. 

If you're concerned about the cost, winter car shipping is a good option. That being said, some regions experience severe winter conditions. Snow, sleet, hail, rain, ice, and frost can slow down traffic and even close roads. 

If you’re set on transporting your car in the winter and you want to protect your vehicle from any severe weather, it’s recommended that you choose enclosed car shipping. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is completely protected and safe.

For those of you who have started making plans for your move to warmer states, get in touch and find out how much it will cost to ship your car. You’re going to be pleasantly surprised. Our car shipping advisors will help you with any questions and make your booking. Use our Live Chat or speak directly with our shipping advisors at (864) 546-5038.

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