As the weather again turns cold over Canada, many of our fellow Canadians will decide whether to take a trip south of the border into the United States. For some “snowbirds,” it will be an annual trek. For others, it will be a getaway to warmer weather for a short time. Some will head to Florida and the Southeast States, and others will head South or Southwest. For those with classic or collector cars, there is a decision to be made as to whether that car should be part of the adventure.
Travelling with a collector car offers some unique challenges and rewards. Here’s what to know about taking a collector car down South into the United States this winter.
Decide on a Transportation Option
There are three major options for getting your vehicle to your destination.
You can Drive It. This may be the most convenient and least expensive way to get your classic car to warmer weather. The major downside for many collectors is this will put plenty of miles on a car you may be conserving. You’ll also want your car to be in exceptional mechanical condition. On the other hand, driving a beloved car on such a road trip can be an extraordinary experience.
You Can Tow or Trailer It. Many collector car owners already have a car trailer or towing equipment, so this can be an easy option. Towing a vehicle this distance, however, can offer its own challenges. There is still potential nasty weather to deal with and the possibility you may be traveling through mountains. Parking along the way can also be more problematic when pulling a vehicle behind you. Don’t forget, this means you will also have two vehicles to deal with while down south and potentially a trailer to store.
You Can Ship It. Another choice for classic car and collector car owners is to have their car shipped from Canada to their U.S. destination. Car shipping services range from the tiny to the major brokers. When shipping a vehicle, make sure your shipper is licensed and insured. You’ll want to schedule your car’s arrival to closely match yours. This limits the miles placed on your car and allows you to fly to your winter home. It can be pricey, especially with higher fuel prices.
There are also options like hiring an independent driver, which offers its own risks. If you are heading to the Southeast United States, an AMTRAK car/train option can take you and your vehicle into Florida from the Northeast U.S. This can be a unique adventure and will take plenty of planning and travel time.
Conduct Thorough Maintenance
Odds are, you take good care of your classic car. Taking it down south through the United States will take next-level maintenance. Be sure to check the battery, alternator, and electrical systems. Check and change fluids when needed. Inspect your tires for wear and tire pressure. Even little things like replacing wipers and making sure there is sufficient washer fluid can make a big difference.
Check Insurance and Paperwork
Make sure you have all ownership and registration papers with you, along with your driver’s license and proof of insurance. Check the expiration dates of tags and licenses, so you can address them before departure.
United States financial responsibility laws require auto insurance. If you currently only have storage insurance, you will want to upgrade your policy. We can help. Contact Wayfarer Insurance to ensure you have the appropriate coverage and paperwork for your road trip. We want you to travel with peace of mind.
Have questions about collector or classic car insurance? Reach out to us at Wayfarer Insurance, Canada’s lifestyle insurance provider.