Mike Scenna, Sales Manager at Preowned Auto Logistics, talks about the pros and cons of shipping your vehicle during a permanent or seasonal move. He covers the differences between these two types of moves and helps listeners examine the extra costs of driving and storing vehicles, compared to shipping.
John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher. I’m here today with Mike Scenna, Sales Manager at Preowned Auto Logistics, car shipping and auto transport and logistics company in Massachusetts. Today, our topic is moving tips, permanent versus seasonal moves. Welcome, Mike.
Mike Scenna: Hey John, thanks for having me.
Differences in Permanent and Seasonal Moves
John: Sure. So Mike, what are some differences when people are moving permanently, maybe they bought a new house, in another state even, and they’re completely packing up their house and everything in their house, they’re moving to another state, versus moving seasonally where you might just be moving to a different state for the winter, so you’re going to Florida for the winter, and then you’re moving back to your regular house for the rest of the year. What are some of the differences there?
Mike: Yeah, sure. Lots of differences. Either way, moving permanently or seasonally, it’s a really big task. There’s a lot that goes into it. It’s something that most people don’t have a ton of experience with, but there are a lot of differences to look into whether you’re moving permanently or moving seasonally.
Mike: Permanently, of course, you’re uprooting your entire life. Like you said, you’re completely emptying out the house and you’re getting all your stuff into a truck and moving to another house that you have to fill up from scratch. It’s completely empty. The first thing you really need to think about when moving permanently is this isn’t a one-, two-, three-day process. It’s not even a one-week process. It’s really a month or two process. You want to start thinking about packing probably a month or two prior to the move.
Depending on how long you’ve lived somewhere, people tend to accumulate things a lot quicker than they realize, so if you’ve been somewhere for 20 years, you probably have almost two months worth of organizing and packing. You want to keep that in mind, get a good grasp on how much stuff you have to pack up. You have to get movers in place and you need to talk to your movers and decide what’s the extent of what they’re going to do. Are they going to do some packing for you? Are they going to be loading the truck for you? Is it just driving the truck? There’s a lot of questions you need to ask when hiring a moving company.
If you’re going to do it yourself and rent a U-Haul, there’s even more questions to ask. What kind of materials are you using to pack up your items in order to prevent damage while they are on the truck? How are you packing the truck? How long are you going to be spending driving the truck? It’s just something you really want to think through.
And then of course, if you’re going to another state, you’re talking about changing residency, identification, information changes, registration on vehicles, all kinds of things like that that you’re going to want to take time to do. You don’t want to do all of that in one day, so you’ve really got to line up what it’s going to be like living at the new destination ahead of time.
Mike: Seasonally, it’s not a small task, but not as much. Really, you want to think about what you’re going to need when you get where you’re going based on how long you’ll be there. What you need when you go somewhere for a week is a lot different than what you need when you go somewhere for, say, four or five months.
And, how often are you moving seasonally? Is it just this one season you’re going to move, or is this going to be something that you’re going to do on an annual basis? So you can start to decide, am I going to pay to ship all of these things if I’m only doing it occasionally, or does it make more sense to buy all new items for this place because I’ll be going back and forth for the next 20 years?
Just a lot of questions. You’ve just got to really stay on top of what you’re doing and prepare.
When to Call the Moving Company Before a Move
John: And how much, before the move, especially with a permanent move, do you think how far in advance should you call the moving company and get them scheduled and iron out all of those details?
Mike: Sure. That first phone call should really be as soon as you know you’re moving. Ideally, that amount of time should be, I would say, at least five or six months, because you want to make sure that the moving company is available for the time you need.
Those first couple of months are just a back and forth, a lot of questions and figuring out logistics until you come down to that two-month timeframe where it’s packing and getting ready for the actual move. So as much time as possible, but if you can get to that six-month mark starting the process, I think it helps quite a bit.
Communicating Effectively With Moving Companies
John: Right. And you said, make sure that you’re talking to the moving company and you know exactly what they’re planning on doing and that sort of thing. You don’t want to think that they are going to come and pack all the stuff in your house into boxes, and then they arrive and they go, “Why isn’t everything all packed into boxes?” And you have that miscommunication. That would be a bad situation.
Mike: Right. And it happens. So yeah, you definitely want to try to avoid it.
Logistics of Living in Two Homes During the Year
John: You mentioned before, with people moving seasonally, that you have to weigh that decision of how much do you want to keep moving back and forth, especially if you have someplace that you’re going every year, say.
Do people tend to buy two sets of most of the things that they need? They have a winter home and a summer home, and then maybe they have a lot of the things that they need either, if they own the house where they’re going to for, say, that winter, they can obviously keep it there. But if it’s a condo or something like that, that they own for just part of the year, they’re going to have to put that in storage, but maybe in storage nearby in that location?
What are some of those issues in terms of either purchasing things that are duplicate that they might need and storing things in other locations for when they’re not around?
Mike: Yeah. It depends on the individual situation. We see here, most commonly for seasonal movers is like you had just mentioned, someone who has a winter and summer home. So they’re up north in the summer and they’re heading down south in the winter and it’s somewhere close to a six months and six months split.
If that’s the case and you own both properties, it might seem overwhelming in the beginning to furnish a new place and buy all new sets of clothes, but in the long run, it will ultimately save you money. You can get very expensive shipping items back and forth across the country, also just as expensive storing them. So it definitely makes sense to own two sets of everything if you own two places and plan on going back and forth every year.
If you travel seasonally and go to different destinations and maybe you don’t go away for so long, you have your permanent address and you go places for a month or two, you could save some money by looking into things like places that are furnished with most of the things that you need there, that way you’re only bringing clothes and some essentials.
Again, shipping items can get very expensive, so no matter what your situation is, you always want to, if it’s seasonal moving, you want to limit the amount of items that you’re shipping back and forth.
Shipping Vs Driving for Permanent and Seasonal Moves
John: Right. What about shipping your car versus driving your car to your destination and how is that different for a permanent move versus a seasonal move?
Mike: Sure. Really, on both of them, it depends on your situation. Depending on how far you go, if you have the time to drive the car, or if it makes more sense to just hop on a plane and ship it.
If you’re moving permanently, it might be a little bit easier to make the drive. You get everything in the moving truck and you hop in the car and make the drive yourself. You’re only putting the miles on your car, that one time and it could be, you could have the time off work and it could make sense to just drive it. But in plenty of cases, it makes more sense to ship your vehicle for a permanent move.
Seasonally, depending on how much you drive in each area, that driving back and forth could really add miles to the car quickly so you might want to consider shipping it back and forth if it’s going to make two trips across the country each year.
And then you have to just really factor in costs and everything. How long is it going to take you to drive? How many hotels are you going to have to stay at? How many times you’re going to have to stop and eat? How much is gas going to cost? What’s the value of the wear and tear on the car? So just like anything when it comes to moving and vehicle shipping, it’s all about preparation and planning, so you just really want to know what to expect from your trip.
Challenges of Owning Separate Vehicles for Vacation Homes
John: Right. I’d imagine that some people might have two cars as well, the one that they keep up north and one that they keep down south as well.
But now you’re looking at other issues like having to register that car in both places, paying for registration, maybe you don’t have a garage that you’re storing it in, and one of those, so you have to pay somebody to garage your car for six months out of the year. there’s a lot of issues with that as well, right?
Mike: Yeah, you made some great points. We ship here a lot of folks seasonally from the Northeast down to Florida, and there are a lot of factors. As you said, there is car payment and registration, insurance. But aside from that, people need to look into the storage of the car. It gets really hot down in Florida and in the south, in the summer.
You can’t just be a car in the driveway. You can get a lot of problems from the sun just baking the car for several months, so if you’re going to leave it down south, most people store them in their own garage, but it also needs to be an air-conditioned storage. Florida’s full of auto places for vehicle storage that are AC storage. It’s very important to make sure it’s in storage with an AC. Again, you have to add all those costs up and decide which makes the most sense: to ship it or to pay for car payments, registration, insurance, storage.
Contact Us for an Auto Shipping Quote Today
John: All right. Well, that’s really great information, Mike. Thanks again for speaking with me today.
Mike: Yeah, of course. Thanks, John.
John: And for more information or to request a quote for your auto shipping needs, visit the website at pre-owned auto logistics.com or call 877-542-1955.