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SNOWBIRD AUTO TRANSPORT

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Snowbird Auto Transport Service

Snowbirds know how to live. While most of us are preparing for winter and the cold temperatures, slick roads, and grey skies that come with it, snowbirds are getting ready to escape to warmer climates. Some have a second home in a Southern state, others go wherever the mood (and weather) takes them.

Spending the winter someplace warm and then heading home in spring or summer has a lot of appeal. But it also creates some logistical challenges. As all experienced snowbirds know (and all new snowbirds learn) moving your life across the country twice a year comes with hurdles. One that almost all snowbirds contend with is the issue of transportation.

The Snowbird Vehicle Transport Service

Here’s the dilemma: If you’re going to spend months someplace, you will want to have a vehicle at your disposal, particularly when that destination is filled with picturesque places and must-see events/attractions. However, it may not be feasible or desirable to drive your own vehicle to your winter home (and back again), and renting a car for months on end doesn’t look any better. Your best option is to have your own car, something you know and like, to drive during the winter, but how do you get it there? We will answer that question in this comprehensive guide. If you’re a snowbird (or planning to become one) and need options for travel and transport, they’re more abundant than you may realize. Discover how easy it is to live the snowbird lifestyle from the driver’s seat of your own make and model.

Car Shipping For Snowbirds

Every year, thousands of snowbirds rely on auto transport companies and vehicle haulers to get their car from north to south and then do the reverse a few months later. People have lots of different reasons for choosing this option which we will outline soon, but the core value of auto shipping is the same for all: getting a vehicle from point A to point B without being the driver. Here’s why so many snowbirds ship instead of drive:

  • Travel Flexibility – With a vehicle hauler getting your car where it needs to go, you’re free to travel however you wish. Fly to your destination, take a train, rent a larger vehicle to handle luggage: it’s entirely up to you because you’re no longer bound to your own vehicle.
  • Time Savings – Depending on where you’re coming from, it can take days to get someplace like Southern Florida. Most people don’t want to spend that much time on the road and would rather reach their destination ASAP. Car transport makes that possible – spend a few hours in an airplane compared to a few days on the highway.
  • Cost Savings – An extended road trip can cost more than you expect factoring in gas, food, lodging, mileage, and any unexpected expenses along the road. In addition to saving on time (the most important currency for many snowbirds) auto transport can also save on travel expenses in some cases. In all cases, the cost of shipping is comparable to the cost of driving yourself.
  • Safety and Equity – The road is a dangerous place, and every mile you put on your odometer reduces the value of the vehicle a little. Car transport solves both problems. Your vehicle is well protected on the back of a secure vehicle trailer driven by a professional who spends his life on the road. You can also get that vehicle from one side of the country to another without any of the wear and tear that would normally entail. Compared to the alternatives, auto shipping is what’s best for whatever your drive.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Auto Transport

How much does it cost to ship a car?

Not as much as you would suppose. If only one thing goes wrong, a tire blowout or overheated radiator for instance, then it would be actually cheaper to ship a car across country. About 97% of all auto transport shipments are delivered in an Open-Air trailer. It’s proven to be a very safe method with statistically few problems. You may notice multiple vehicles being delivered to car dealerships near you in an Open-Air trailer, and that’s because it’s reliable. It is also cheap car shipping. If you have a collector car or really expensive automobile, however, then we recommend car shipping services with an Enclosed carrier. Expect to pay about 50% more for Enclosed transport. Our car shipping cost calculator automatically adds the extra amount to your auto transport quote

How should I pay for the car shipping costs?

Making a nominal partial credit card payment to the auto transport broker is preferred by car shipping carriers but not essential. Carriers like getting paid with Cash or Money Order upon delivery, and who doesn’t? Services paid immediately for services rendered. But a full credit card payment upfront also works if the car shipping carrier trusts the auto transport broker. Carriers have known Direct Express Auto Transport for nearly twenty years and the trust is there. So either method works with us

How long does a car shipping company take to deliver my vehicle?

The auto transport delivery is the final step in the process, and also the simplest part. Once your vehicle has been assigned to a car shipping carrier and picked up, not too much can go wrong. It generally takes one day of transit time for every 500 miles of distance. The auto transport driver will call ahead from the road to announce his estimated time of arrival.

Car Delivery Time Estimate

  • 100-500 miles takes 1 or 2 days
  • 500-1000 miles takes 2 or 3 days
  • 1000-1500 miles takes 3 or 4 days
  • 1500-2000 miles takes 4 or 5 days
  • 2000-2500 miles takes 5 or 6 days
  • 2500-3000 miles takes 6 or 7 day

Depending on the distance, weather conditions and population centers it could be a few days or weeks until a vehicle reaches its destination. The car shipping carriers usually estimate about 10 days on coast to coast trips, but they frequently arrive earlier.

How far in advance should I ship my car?

We recommend scheduling your auto transport service anywhere from two days to two weeks in advance. We are often able to assign your vehicle on the very same day, but providing us with longer lead times allows us to schedule your auto transportation easier. You want the most current car shipping cost, and you get that by staying within two weeks of your first available date to ship. Believe it or not, the auto transport service market can change quickly. It is seasonal. If the car shipping quote is too low, that can delay your order getting on the road. To avoid that, try not to book more than a month in advance and preferably within two weeks, because seasonal changes can impact the current pricing. Conversely, you should enjoy the savings if the rates were to go down, so having the most current pricing is always best. Our auto transport rate calculator on this page was the first one in the industry in 2004.

How long do car shipping companies take to pick up my vehicle?

Over 90% of our car shipping orders are assigned and picked up
within one week. Mostly because the overwhelming majority of the
U.S. population lives nearby a major metropolitan area.

Can I store things inside my vehicle during auto transport?

Yes and no. The strict interpretation is no, you can’t ship items inside your vehicle. The reality is that almost all auto transport carriers look the other way on items that weigh less than 100 pounds, roughly the equivalent of 2 suitcases. We recommend placing any additional items in the trunk and out of sight. The U.S. Transportation Law states that a carrier can be fined $10,000 for hauling household items in the vehicle, but it is rarely enforced. Please know that car delivery drivers estimate every vehicle’s weight that they carry and don’t want problems at weight scales. They must keep the personal items to a minimum to make it through the scales. Some drivers will accept a tip ($50-$250) for hauling extra stuff, and some won’t. Rule of thumb, don’t take advantage. The car transporter is there to ship a car, not move the owner’s personal belongings. Our car shipping calculator will not add a charge for extra items because it would be presumptuous to expect the driver to agree. If you want to include extra items in your vehicle, please discuss that first with the driver and come to a mutual agreement.

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