What Every Snowbird Should Know About Shipping Cars

It’s about that time again, time to pack up and head north for the summer. The southern weather has been lovely but it’s gonna be a hot summer and it’s time to start preparing for migration. 

Many people think the life of a snowbird is all cocktails and beaches but there’s a lot of planning and prepwork that goes into traveling for three months of the year. In addition to packing your personal belongings you have to prepare your home (summer or winter) for your extended absence. Many snowbirds rent their summer homes when they aren’t there and that’s a whole other list. 

General Prep Checklist

Whether you are heading north or south there are a few things you will need to prepare before you leave.

Around the house

  • Turn off as much water access as possible. This stops water in the trap from evaporating and letting sewer gasses into your home.
  • It’s important to appear home, even when you aren’t. Basic steps like timers for your lights, security systems, lawn maintenance, and stopping newspaper delivery are simple but important.
  • Before you head out, make sure to have your HVAC inspected and serviced. Set your summer home temperature to around 85 and your winter to around 55 to prevent extreme temperatures indoors.
  • For pest control, the first step is to thoroughly clean the home and TAKE OUT THE TRASH. Take all opened food with you, clean and defrost the unplugged refrigerator and freezer.

For the move

  • Before you leave, make sure to forward your mail. This can be arranged online at the USPS website
  • You can find most of your important information online these days but there are still a few documents you may want to keep hard copies with you.
  • Talk with your doctor about how to fill your prescriptions when you change locations. You may need to establish a relationship with a local pharmacy but sometimes medications can be shipped.
  • Many people ship their belongings prior to leaving, this is applicable to their cars and even RV’s too. If you decide to take a 20+ hour drive it can be a lot on your vehicle and your back.

If you decide to spare the wear and tear of your vehicle by shipping it, there are a few things you need to know first.

Before you ship your vehicle

Before you ship your vehicle, know there are 5 stages for the pre-trip planning process.

  1. Define a time frame for pickup & delivery.
  2. Define whether the vehicle should be shipped on an open or enclosed trailer.
  3. Research vehicle transport providers.
  4. Get car shipping quotes from multiple providers and compare overall value.
  5. Prepare the vehicle for pickup.

Once you figure out the when, how, who, it’s important to understand the how much. There are, again 5 major factors in calculating the cost of shipping a car.

  1. Distance
  2. Vehicle Size
  3. Specialized Equipment
  4. Urban vs. Non-Urban Locations
  5. Shipment Seasonality

Distance is the most important component but seasonality can play a larger role, especially for snowbirds. When snowbirds head south for the winter or head north for the summer they create a significant uptick in demand, which can drive up the price of transportation services.

Benefits of Shipping Your Car


At first glance, it may seem expensive to ship your car when you are already planning on traveling. However, the general cost of driving 20+ hours isn’t just gas prices, and yes, those are high. Driving your car across the country takes time and can be hard on you and your car. Car shipping costs can be cheaper than the overall cost of gas, lost time, and wear and tear on your vehicle. 

Wear and Tear

Shipping your car saves your vehicle from wear and tear. Even vehicles that are in perfect condition will need some enhanced care after a couple thousand miles straight through. By using a car shipping company, you can add to the longevity of your car and help retain some of its value, keeping the extra miles off the odometer.


There are several benefits to shipping your car rather than driving it but the main one is convenience. No matter how much you enjoy driving your car, a 20 hour drive is a lot, especially when you can fly. Travel restrictions are lifting and it is easier to acquire testing before you go, so why not fly. It’s so much faster and if you ship most of your belongings to your destination, navigating the airports can be a breeze!


If you are flying north for the summer, you can time your vehicle delivery around your schedule, it just takes a little planning. Car shipping isn’t just tossing a box in the back of your truck and hitting the road. It takes a few steps (4 to be exact)  to make it happen but, when done correctly, it can be a real time saver. 

Communication and reliable transportation are the two most important factors for timing and shipping a car. There are tons of options for transport companies so it is important to pick a reliable company. Please see our helpful tips for picking a transport provider

As a general guideline, the entire transport process for a 1,000-mile shipment can take up to 6-7 days to execute. This gives you enough time to send off your car, finish closing up the summer home, fly north, unpack some, and have your vehicle show up in your driveway. Sounds convenient. 

Customer Experience

Travel can be stressful. Packing for a 7 day vacation can be exhausting but even more so when packing for a 3 month getaway. When you are in the process of completely upending your life, adding a car shipment may sound daunting, but that’s only true if you have a bad experience. 

At CARPOOL we pool cars. 

At Carpool Logistics, we leverage technology to optimize the entire car shipping process. We strive to reduce the total shipping time frame, save on transportation cost, and reduce carbon emissions.We bring transparency and superior communication to the entire process with our mobile technology that allows for tracking of your vehicle in transit. Most importantly, our goal is to lower carbon emissions with our smart logistics.

Our customers are at the center of our journey. We started Carpool Logistics with a simple idea: to use advanced technology to improve customer experience. And we are still passionate about it today. 

If you are ready to head north for the summer give us a call or request a quote to start the process today.

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