Fall vs. Spring Car Shipping: Differences for Seasonal Residents

4 min to read

Why spend the winter somewhere cold and snowy when there’s plenty of warm weather to enjoy across the Southern United States? That’s the mindset of seasonal residents, often called “snowbirds,” and it makes perfect sense. Who wouldn’t want to soak up the sun and participate in outdoor activities year-round?

Auto Transport During Snowbird Season

Are you already a Florida seasonal resident or an active snowbird of another sunny state? Appealing as the snowbird lifestyle is, living in multiple places throughout the year creates some logistical challenges. That’s especially true of transportation. You want a car at your disposal when you head south for the winter, but you don’t want to rent something for months on end. Having your own vehicle—something you feel familiar and comfortable with—to drive around would be ideal, but you might not want to take it on a lengthy road trip every season.

Consider auto transport. It’s easier than you may realize to ship your own car from one state to another. Not to mention, it can be more convenient, safer and avoids putting extra wear and tear on your car. Most of all, it can support the snowbird lifestyle—no wonder so many seasonal residents rely on car transport year after year. Maybe it’s time you tried it too!

Popular fall and spring car shipping routes:

Northeast Florida 

Midwest Southeast

Midwest Southwest

Northeast Southwest 

Midwest Texas 

Northeast Texas 

Important seasonal car shipping distinctions 

Seasonal travelers should be aware that both the weather and time of year can play a role in actual car shipping costs, how long your auto transport will take and what you’ll need to prepare your vehicle prior to shipping. Knowing how the season will impact your shipment will help you plan and budget for your car’s journey. 

This guide outlines the biggest differences between fall and spring car shipping, including what you’ll need to do to make sure your vehicle is ready for transport. 

What makes spring car shipping unique?

Things move much more smoothly in the auto transport industry in the warmer months. That’s because carriers have less harsh, unpredictable weather conditions in most locations (especially up north), so there are fewer delays. Plus, since there’s more demand for shipping and loads are picked up faster, you may even get your car more quickly.

That said, car shipping in the spring and summer can also be more expensive because of the higher demand. Some people are willing to pay a premium in the warmer months to get their vehicles picked up faster. 

What makes fall car shipping unique?

Most snowbirds prepare for their migrations in the fall so they’re settled before the winter months. Start planning your vehicle shipment early to avoid potential weather-related delays. 

If you need to transport a car in the winter, consider shipping it with a reliable auto transport company. Truckers are trained to deal with harsh winter road conditions and know the best alternate routes, so you’ll have peace of mind knowing your car will get where it needs to go safely regardless of the weather. 

How to prepare for car shipping year-round

The basics of preparing a car for transport will be the same regardless of the season. Here are some recommended steps to take before you ship a car: 

  1. Wash the outside of your vehicle.
  2. At the time of pickup, make a note of and take photos of any existing dents, scrapes and other damage and log the mileage. Make sure the driver adds this information to the inspection documentation. 
  3. Remove any valuables you normally keep in your car.
  4. Remove or secure any loose parts.
  5. Take your car to the mechanic for a checkup if you haven’t had it serviced recently.
  6. Make sure your car’s gas tank is no more than a quarter full. Electric vehicles should have a fully charged battery. 
  7. Have a second set of keys handy, just in case you need them.

As for fall or spring specific prep, there’s not a lot you need to know. Regardless of when you’re booking auto transport, you may want to:   

  • Make sure your car is in good working condition and the radiator has the appropriate level of fluid to help the performance of your heating and cooling systems.  
  • Inspect your car’s drive belts for damage that might be worsened by expansion in the heat or contraction in the cold. 
  • Adjust your tire pressure for the change in temperature your car will encounter at its destination. Your tires will gain or lose 1-2 PSI of pressure for every 10-degree temperature change.

Finally, plan to give your car a thorough wash after transport because your vehicle may encounter rain, dust or mud on the road.  

Shipping your car for snowbird season

Plan ahead and start arranging your seasonal auto transport today. The first step is finding the right company to ship your vehicle to Florida, Arizona, California, Texas or other sunny locale where you plan to spend your winter. 

Montway Auto Transport is the leading auto transport broker, helping more than 140,000 vehicle owners ship their cars, trucks, RVs and golf carts every year. Our experienced customer service representatives will work with your schedule and budget to find you the best option. Request an instant car shipping quote on our website or call us at 888-666-8929 to get started.