Things to Consider with Seasonal Car Transport to Florida

So many people in this day and age are trying to escape the nasty, cold weather and head towards the year round beautiful weather that the sunshine state provides. The issue during a long distance trip is not wanting to put unnecessary miles on your car, or you simply can’t drive your car to your new destination because you have to drive a U-Haul with all of your possessions in it. Because of this, you may be looking into some tips that could come in handy as you are planning your move down to Florida.

Different Options to Transport

There are a number of options one could choose from to get their car to the final destination.

  • Drive Yourself

This option is fairly obvious, but may not be practical depending on the situation. If you are moving a long distance with a lot of items, you may lack the space required to complete the move and be forced to pay a moving company, which could be more than simply shipping the car itself.

  • Hire a Driver

This option allows you to avoid making the drive yourself, but it does come with disadvantages as well. First of all, the car gets all of the wear and tear on it, and it may be difficult to find someone you trust to drive your car a long distance.

  • Ship by Rail

Shipping by rail can be extremely expensive as the routes are limited. Due to the limited routes (currently only on Amtrak from Washington, DC area to Orlando, FL) it could take a long time for your car to arrive, so this may not be available from a logistical standpoint.

  • Using a Dolly or Trailer

If you have experience in driving a dolly or trailer this option is available to you. However, if you have to have someone else do this for you, you face a number of expensive costs that just make this a disadvantage form of transport.

  • Family Member Drive

This option is advantageous from a cost point of view and you are able to add items in the car to make the drive down as well. However, you must be extremely confident in their driving abilities as you will be taking out extra insurance for them to drive. Furthermore, there is also extra wear and tear on your car as well.

  • Using an Auto Transport Broker

This is one of the more common forms of transporting a car a long distance, to simply use a company that specializes in it. This option comes with a variety of advantages such as: competitive rates, reliable service, saving time and money, less stress/planning involved, and your vehicle is protected.

Research the Shipping Company

The first step in deciding how to ship your car to Florida is to start comparing different companies. There are a lot of different companies that will compete for your business so it is important to do a thorough research on which company will be best for your needs. To start, it is always helpful to look at the reviews from people who have previously used the company, it helps even more if you know of people in your own life who have used the company themselves to get a first hand account of their experience. If you do not know of any snowbirds, you can always look at the reviews made online!

In addition to looking at reviews, once you have narrowed down your search to a few companies, you should also look into the company’s insurance coverage and licensing. Thanks to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a company that is handling interstate car shipping is required to have their insurance coverage and licensing public through a USDOT number. After obtaining the company’s USDOT number, you are then able to input it in a database to find the company’s identification, safety record, and commodity information. A huge red flag could come up if a company refuses to provide their USDOT identification number, if this is the case simply strike them from your list!

After your search has been narrowed down through reviews and looking at the results from the USDOT number, you are then able to request quotes from the companies that are still on your list. There are a number of factors that could influence the price of shipping your car:

1.    The Size of the Car

While this is an obvious factor, it is still very important, the bigger the car, the more expensive the transport will be. For example, shipping an SUV will cost more than a sedan just based on the size difference.

2.    Shipping Distance

Again, a fairly obvious variable will be the distance traveled, the further the difference, the higher the cost.

3.    Current Fuel Costs

Another heavily influencing factor would be the current cost of fuel. This is always factored into the quote a company provides, and could change from day to day.

4.    Traffic in your Shipping Area

A rather surprising factor could be traffic that could make the move more difficult for the driver to complete. However, a surprising note would be that it is actually cheaper to ship between two major cities as opposed to between two smaller cities since the company could be shipping multiple cars at once. If a company has to make a trip just for you, they will charge you more for it.

5.    The Season

The time of year heavily influences the price of shipping a car to Florida. During the less traveled or moving months (Winter), it will be less expensive to ship your car as there is less of a demand to do so.

When to Book and Shipping Logistics

It is also very important to understand when you should book your shipping needs. Of course it is natural for a person who knows about their shipping needs to get it booked and together well ahead of time. However, it is more advantageous to have the most up-to-date pricing available, so it is helpful to find a good balance between the two.

After you have decided on a company and you have it booked, you also have to understand the logistics of shipping a car. Shipping a car is much more complicated than shipping a package, cars are much heavier and require more time to complete the move. Even if you are able to make the drive yourself within two days, it is unrealistic to believe the shipping company is able to do the same. So, a rough timetable for shipping between to major cities is as follows:

  • 100-500 miles=1-2 days
  • 500-1000 miles=2-3 days
  • 1000-1500 miles=3-4 days
  • 1500-2000 miles=4-5 days
  • 2500-3000 miles=5-6 days

*the transport times above are estimates only and vary depending on traffic, weather, how many stops are made prior to the final destination for your vehicle, etc.

Because of the time it takes for the company to deliver the car, it is important to plan ahead for when you will be arriving at the destination. It is essential that you do not arrive AFTER your car gets to its final destination as the company will charge you extra fees to hold the car.

Prepping the Car for the Move

Once you have everything cleared and ready to go on the shipping logistics, the next step is to prepare your car for the move. First and foremost, remove all loose items from your vehicle – this is an excellent opportunity to get a deep and thorough cleaning of your car! As you are cleaning your car out, check the car for any dents or scratches, and document with pictures your car from all angles before the company picks up the car. This will be done by the company itself as well, but it is always best to check the car yourself first. Furthermore, your car should only have about a quarter tank of gas in it before it is taken by the moving company. Finally, make sure you notify the company of any quarks your car may have so they are not surprised during the move.


Moving from house to house can be an extremely stressful and hard to navigate situation even when it is within your own state. If you are planning a long distance move, the stress just doubles as you also have to consider a shipping company to move your car for you. There are many considerations you must take into account when you are preparing for your shipment. You must research the moving company, understand the shipping logistics, and prepare your car to make for an efficient move. As long as you follow these steps, you will have no problems at all shipping your car down to Florida.

Contact a Ship a Car (SAC) transport coordinator right now at (866) 821-4555 for an individualized auto transport quote to move your car to Florida.