If you have to ask, you probably aren’t a Snowbird. Snowbirds are folks who head South and/or Southwest for the winter, and Snowbird Season refers to the time when all of them seem to “flock”. Because there are many more shippers heading one way than there are spots on trucks, it dramatically affects car transport pricing and availability on those routes.
The most common misconception about planning auto transport is that if you plan far enough in advance, you should be guaranteed a date at a guaranteed price. But the reality is that no matter how much notice you give, carrier schedules are not rigid. Scheduling a car shipment is not like reserving a seat on a daily flight from one hub to another hub. Transport routes vary as the pick-ups and destinations are unique with every new set of customers. Drive times can vary with weather conditions and traffic – things that can’t be managed by your driver. There is no way to guarantee a specific truck will be available weeks in advance.
Another expectation folks have is that the price quoted them in June should work in October, and that is just not the case. Car shipping price quotes are accurate only for about a week or two at the time they are quoted, as those quotes represent the car shipping market at that time. That June price may or may not still work months later – but it is definitely not going to work during Snowbird Season if you are shipping to a Snowbird destination (like from Connecticut to Florida, or from Michigan to Arizona). Pretend you’re a truck driver and you’ve suddenly got triple the amount of customers going a certain direction – how do you pick which jobs do you take? The best paying ones, of course. During Snowbird Season, it’s not the early bird that gets the worm (or the transport) but the bird offering the best pay.
Instead of expecting a rigid plan for car shipping during Snowbird season, it’s more realistic to plan for contingencies. Keep wiggle room in your dates, enlist friends and family on either end, and allow for a possible bump in pay to meet the market. As much as we want to keep it easy for you, we prefer to be honest about how the process works. Please call us if you have any questions about that: 866-221-1664.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. 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.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.