How to Ship Your Car to and From Florida
Florida is one of the most popular states for relocating, and for good reason. With a subtropical climate and plenty of sunny beaches where you can lay out and relax, you’ll feel as though you’re on vacation year-round.
Maybe you are looking for a vacation house to spend during the northern winter. Perhaps you finally want to spend your retirement time in the Sunshine State. Or maybe you are relocating to Florida for a different reason. But no matter your goal, this will always turn out to be a big move.
While relocating to Florida, your car will be among the many possessions that you will probably need to transport. Shipping your vehicle from any state to Florida won't be a challenge. However, not all car shipping companies operate the same. Here, we will tell you how to ship your car to and from Florida and the average pricing.
Tips for Using Florida Car Transport Companies
We understand—cars are a big investment, and you want it protected as much as possible while it’s in transit to your new Florida home. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you choose a professional car shipping company that will protect your vehicle from damage while also delivering it in a timely manner.
Ship a Car Direct offers flexible transport options that will suit your car’s needs, from the time it’s loaded on our carrier to its arrival on your doorstep. If this is your first time using car shipping services, here are a few tips to help smooth the process:
- When you call a company to get a quote for your shipment to Florida, don’t be fooled into believing that the broker is the carrier themselves. You will know they are a broker if they ask you for an upfront fee or deposit before giving you the carrier’s details.
- At Ship a Car Direct, we do not ask for a deposit until we have found you a highly rated, fully insured, professional carrier for your move and provided you with their name and contact information.
- Due to the nature of this business, the price you are quoted is not reflective of the final cost. Rather, we will work with carriers to get as close to the quoted cost as much as possible.
- Set dates are also not a guarantee since carriers are always up against a number of factors that can increase transit time, including rough weather, traffic, and sometimes vehicle trouble. If there is a delay and you cannot meet at the scheduled time, we’re happy to work out a new time with you.
- As a coastal state in the deep south, travel to Florida is quite a trek for most carriers. Depending on where you currently live, it can take anywhere from three days to two weeks for your car to be delivered.
- Ship a Car Direct is not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods, and our carriers are not licensed to transport them across state lines, so if you wish to pack your vehicle with personal belongings, keep in mind that they will not be insured. If the carrier agrees to haul your car with items inside, they will likely wish to be compensated.
- When the carrier arrives at your location to pick up or drop off your vehicle, you do not necessarily have to be present. As long as someone is there, the carrier will notify any contact you give to us who you wish to hand over or receive your car upon arrival in Florida.
Florida Car Shipping Methods
There are two car shipping methods in Florida.
- Open Transport Truck
This method is ideal since it maximizes all the truck's space to fit more than 10 cars. This helps in saving on fuel expenses and is even considered as the most efficient transport option. The high-cost efficiency and convenience make it the best choice for regular cars such as sedans and minivans.
- Enclosed Transport Truck
As an owner of an expensive and high-end luxury car, you may have different privacy and security needs. With an enclosed transport truck, you can attain security, environmental risk reduction, and safer shipping. However, this method's price tends to be higher, but rest assured that your vehicle is safe and well taken care of.
Nailing Down the Cost
Before requesting quotes from a Florida car shipping company, the following factors play a part in the prices offered:
Generally, delivering vehicles between two small cities tends to be expensive compared to large cities. Therefore, if you are shipping your car to Florida, you might opt to send it to Miami, Tampa, Orlando, or Fort Lauderdale. Whichever the case, always choose the city that is convenient for you.
- Size of the vehicle
Bigger cars always occupy a huge carrier space, increasing the cost of delivery. The same case applies to heavier cars; the more the weight, the more costly it will be.
- The season
Typically in the winter, shipping demands are lower, resulting in lower prices. However, Florida is a bit different, as many northerners flock to the warmer climate in the winter months.
- Mode of delivery
You can also decide to make delivery more or less expensive by choosing the method of shipping. Selecting a concealed carrier will be more costly compared to an uncovered one.
- Pick-up date
The pick-up date also has a massive effect on the price of the shipment. Generally, the shipping company will contact you on the specific date to pick up your car, leaving the vehicle's arrival at its discretion. However, if you want it to arrive on a particular date and time, you will have to pay an additional cost to make sure that happens.
How to Prepare a Car for Shipment
Below are tips you need to ship your car to Florida successfully:
- Check licensing and insurance coverage
Any car shipping company must ensure that it registers with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. By registering with the institution, the company receives a USDOT number that proves its safety record and licensing.
Always ensure that you ask for the USDOT number before choosing a shipping company. If the company neglects to offer a USDOT number, you can move on.
Always ensure that you check on your insurance and the carrier's insurance. Even top-notch shippers may occasionally damage the car, so you must double-check the company's coverage.
- Know when to ship and book
Since many are planning to travel just like you, it is good to book in advance. It is always good to leave room for delays and shipping.
- Know your shipping and pick-up times
The details of shipping a car differ from sending a cargo package. Why? It is more expensive, bulkier, and slower. Furthermore, if you are shipping your car to a remote area, the cost will increase compared to shipping to major cities.
Why Use Ship a Car Direct
Here are a couple of reasons using Ship a Car Direct is beneficial.
- We offer door-to-door shipping only
Choosing Ship a Car Direct will save you from the hassle of dropping your car off at one point and picking it up at another. Furthermore, we always ensure that the carrier who picks up the vehicle will be the one to drop off your car. The only exception occurs when there are no safe or adequate parking slots for the carrier. If such a scenario occurs, the car will be delivered to a nearby spot from where you can pick it up.
- We provide a damage-free guarantee
Ship a Car Direct is the best option if you are looking for protection against damage when on transit. To ensure that this is met, we only use insured and licensed companies that guarantee against a loss. However, if a carrier refuses to pay for the accident, Ship a Car Direct will pay $500 of your deductible if you file a claim to your insurance company.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.