Two people in a car with the driver giving a thumbs up

Ship your car south or drive down? A snowbird’s guide

One of the many decisions snowbirds face when they plan a trip south for the winter is whether they should take the car with them. If you plan to drive, this is a moot point. However, even if you plan to fly, you can still have your vehicle shipped to your winter home in time for your arrival.

There really is no wrong answer. Some people prefer to have their vehicle with them during their trip, while others don’t mind finding other ways to get around. There are pros and cons to each option.

Option 1: Driving your car

Many snowbirds enjoy driving south. It gives them the opportunity to see the US, take their time and stop at their leisure. However, it is often more time-consuming than flying.


  • You will have a vehicle during your time away
  • You save money on the cost of flights
  • You have a more flexible travel schedule


  • You need to include the cost of gas, hotel stays and food into your travel budget
  • You may face weather-related issues or delays
  • You may run into car issues
  • You will likely have less time to spend at your winter home than if you fly

Option 2: Flying and shipping your car

This option provides the best of both worlds. You can fly south and get to your winter home quickly yet still have access to your vehicle.


  • You save travel time
  • You reduce the wear on your vehicle
  • You save money because you don’t need to rent a car
  • You could fly one way and drive home


  • You are trusting your vehicle to a third party
  • You need to include the cost of shipping into your travel budget
  • You may need to wait for your vehicle if it does not arrive on time
  • You may need to book well in advance to secure a spot

Option 3: Flying and leaving your car at home

Flying is the most popular way for snowbirds to travel. Although it’s convenient, there are some potential drawbacks.


  • You save travel time
  • You can rent a car when you need it
  • You can get home quickly if required


  • You have to pay for transportation to and from the airport
  • You will not have access to a vehicle

If you are not sure which option is best for you, weigh the pros and cons, price out your options and choose the option that makes the most sense for your travel schedule and budget.