Car Transport During Snowbird Season:
Season plays a very important role in car transport, as in many industries. Knowing how this factor affects the service can help you plan ahead of time and take full advantage of the service during this hectic time of year.
The word snowbird originates from the great amount of population that travels to the south in late October fleeing from harsh winter conditions and don’t return until late April when warmer scenarios start to pop up. The most commons states where these snowbirds arrive are California, Arizona, Texas, Florida and The Carolin’s, o anywhere along the Sunbelt region of the hemisphere. Although anyone fleeing from the north to the south during winter is considered a snowbird, snowbirds are usually retirees or entrepreneurs that have winter homes along these states. Through the years the term has welcomed constant nomads that live in campers and easily move from one place to another, usually to warmer places to avoid the harsh conditions in a not so conditioned “house”.
Because snowbirds use their winter vacations to declare residency in other no or low-tax income tax states (causing high tourism taxes, and later claim non-resident income taxes in their home states), many locals from these southern locations have grown a bit annoyed by these snowbirds once the season comes. Having more retirees on the streets and residencies causes more commotion to the 911 and police department hot lines due to “noisy neighbors”, according to the new snowbird residents. It may cause many aggravations to the locals, but one thing they can’t deny is that snowbird season increases tourism, service and transport industries almost by 70%.
This 70% increase in industries has a great impact particularly on car transport. All snowbirds that look to relocate for this almost 6 month term, book the service to have their vehicles moved from one place to another. As mentioned before, most of the snowbirds are retirees and driving these long distances may not be recommended, therefore car transporters come in handy to ship south and then to ship back north when the sun has started to melt the snow again.
Car transport during snowbird may seem very simple in writing, but this season has some tricks that can cause many headaches if not planned ahead of time. Keep reading along this article to learn of all the advantages and disadvantages, popular routes and all the factors that go into play during this famous snowbird season.
Time and Flexibility
One of the most important things you must have in your hand when booking car transport service during snowbird season is time. Especially if you are booking past the October line when winter starts to really kick in and snowfall starts to be an issue. Expedite service usually is a guaranteed fast service taken in account all the obstacles you can encounter on the road, however during snowbird season, expedite is marked of the list.
For example, usual deliveries from Long Island to Florida that can usually take between 3 to 4 days, can bump up to 6 days in transit because of road conditions. Sometimes road conditions are not the issue but mechanical problems with the truck due to the cold weather. This will also take a toll on transit time and cause delays.
Always plan for worst case scenarios and plan B’s in case delays occur. Drivers do the best they can to handle their timing properly, but there are obstacles on the road that are not controlled by man.
Like mentioned before, during this season there a couple southern states that are very popular amongst the snowbirds, and traffic to and from these states becomes very hectic. During this season Florida and California become the most acclaimed, offering popular routes from Buffalo – FL, Detroit – Fl, Long Island – FL, Seattle – Los Angeles, and Seattle – San Diego. Because these routes are the most transited, pricewise you can get a bigger breakdown than traveling to other locations off route. Driver demand skyrockets to cover for all the people moving down and North to South trips happen on a weekly basis.
Snowbirds start moving as early as late September, early October to avoid delivery delays caused by bad road conditions and last minute bookings that can cost on average from $200 to $300 more. Because everyone is looking to come down, shipping north can become a bit of a hassle after the winter season starts to kick in as driving conditions are limited for driver trying to get into the northern part of the country. Prices skyrocket as well as risks are higher, however, sometimes money will not account for this risks and transportation is not possible at all until roads are cleared.
The word deposit is probably the most dreaded thing in the car transport business. You have heard so many stories of companies that screw their customers and take deposits upfront and at last minute cancel on them. They’re forced to look elsewhere with no time and pay almost double. At that point they just need the job done and bargain is not an option as shipping circumstances change. Snowbird season as tricky as it is is one of the most deposit conflict times of car transport services due to the many delays that occur and last minute cancellations.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is to NOT put down a deposit until your driver is confirmed. Don’t be fooled by companies that say upfront now, balance due later, once the day you’re shipping is around the corner and no driver is available they will simply wash their hands off and say “I’m sorry” and of course, deposits are non-refundable. Drivers don’t ask for upfront deposits, money required for an upfront deposit doesn’t make any difference in getting a driver faster or not, so there shouldn’t be any need for you to pay anything upfront. This is just bad business practice, don’t be fooled.
As you can see, snowbird season is a very unique time in the car transport industry. Be prepared for all the possible obstacles that can come along the way, plan ahead of time to avoid as many of this obstacles as you can. There is no such thing as a guaranteed delivery time in the business, but you can guarantee a bump free experience and service.
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