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Transporting Your Vehicle Across Florida


With its abundance of theme parks and attractions, gorgeous state parks, superb climate, and the longest coastline in the lower 48 states, Florida is a dream destination for many to both live and vacation. So, if you’re planning on extending your stay in the Sunshine State by moving from one coast to the other, you’ll likely want to have your vehicle with you. Whether you’re relocating from Tampa to Orlando, Miami to Sarasota, Clearwater to Cocoa Beach, or some other combination, having your car with you will make your living experience all the more comfortable.

Fortunately, transporting your vehicle across Florida can be simple, affordable, and nearly effortless. So, here’s what you need to know:

How Much Does It Cost to Transport a Vehicle Across Florida?

The cost of shipping a vehicle across Florida ultimately comes down to the specific route, distance, and transport method. Though, factors like time of year, carrier availability, and additional costs such as premiums services and insurance can have a direct impact on cost. With this in mind, the average cost of transporting a vehicle across the state of Florida is around $250. 

To help put things in perspective, the following table outlines some estimated costs for common Florida auto shipping routes:

Shipping Route Cost Distance Estimated Delivery Time
Jacksonville to Miami $350 346 miles 2 to 4 days
Miami to Orlando $235 236 miles 2 to 4 days
Tampa to Miami $280 282 miles 2 to 4 days
St. Petersburg to Orlando $110 107 miles 1 to 2 days
Tampa to St. Augustine $200 181 miles 1 to 2 days

Keep in mind that all of these delivery times and rates are just rough estimate. For the most accurate auto shipping estimate, reach out to the professionals at A-1 Auto Transport.

Factors that Influence Transport Cost

When it comes to transporting your vehicle across Florida, there are a number of factors to consider – each of which have an impact on shipping rates. That said, let’s take a look at the main cost factors involved in transporting a vehicle across the Sunshine State.

Transport Method

One of the first choices you’ll have to make when booking the transport is between the two options for the physical shipment of your vehicle: enclosed transport and open-air transport. Oftentimes, the transport method that you choose is based on the specific vehicle your are shipping.

  • Enclosed transport. Enclosed transport isthe safest and most secure option but also the most expensive. It is generally recommended for antique, high-end or any car of high value. Your vehicle will be placed in a container enclosed on all sides, which protects it from road hazards and the elements.
  • Open-air transport. Open auto shipping is the more affordable option. In most cases, companies will ship up to 10 vehicles per trailer. This helps reduce the overall expense for the owners of the vehicles and offers more flexibility with delivery dates. However, the main drawback to open-air transport is that your car will be fully exposed to the elements.

The transport method that you choose directly impacts the cost of transporting your vehicle across Florida. Fortunately, open-air transport is the cheapest option and the risk of your car being damaged (while possible) in transit is very rare.

Delivery Method

In addition to vehicle transport method, you also have some pick-up/drop-off methods to choose from when scheduling with your auto shipping company. The method you choose will influence your shipping costs. Here are your two main options:

  • Terminal-to-terminal shipping. This is the cheapest delivery method, involving the drop off and pick up of your vehicle from a designed location. While more affordable, you must make own arrangements for getting the vehicle to the drop-off location and then retrieving it from the destination location.
  • Door-to-door shipping. Door-to-door, as the name suggests, means that the service provider will pick up and drop off your vehicle from the location of your choice. Whether this location be your home, office, or any other desired location, they will follow your specific instructions. For many people, door-to-door shipping is worth the additional cost, as it offers a lot of convenience.

Time of Year

Believe it or not, the time of year that you plan to transport your vehicle can also play a role in shipping costs. Generally speaking, July to August is peak season for auto transport carriers, as this is when most people are moving or relocating for work. The increased demand results in higher prices.

Meanwhile, December to February is considered slow season for the auto transport industry. Some companies will lower their prices to earn your business. Though, keep in mind that there is often a rush of “snowbirds” that head to warmer climates in the winter. Florida is certainly a popular destination for snowbirds so you can expect the demand during this time to be similar to summer.

Therefore, spring is often the most affordable time of year to transport your vehicle and carriers are generally more willing to negotiate rates.

Type of Vehicle

Another factor that goes into the cost of auto transport is the type of vehicle you are shipping – most notably, the make and model. For example, the cost of shipping a Dodge Ram is going to be very different from the price of transport for a Toyota Corolla. Overall, the larger and heavier the vehicle, the more complex the trailer may need to be.

Depending on the dimensions, the vehicle may need to occupy two spots on a carrier. Also, heavier vehicles contribute to an increased weight of the rig, which requires more fuel to transport. This will raise the carrier’s expenses, thus raising yours as well.

Distance

Mileage, as well as fuel consumption, are unfortunately two expenses that you cannot avoid when transporting a vehicle. Generally speaking, the further that you need to transport your car across Florida, the more you will have to pay. Additionally, the further the distance, the harder and longer your carrier must work, which equates to increased labor costs.

However, oftentimes, transporting longer distances costs less per mile than shorter trips. So, be sure to ask your auto shipping company about whether or not they will offer you a lower rate over a greater distance.

How Do I Prepare My Vehicle for Transport?

In order to ensure that your vehicle is properly prepared for its transport across Florida, there are a number of tasks you’ll need to do. Although your carrier may require certain preparation steps, here’s the basics:

1. Clean the vehicle. While this may seem obvious, you should take the time to thoroughly clean the inside and outside of your vehicle before transport. Remove any personal items in the process as well, as most carriers are not licensed to also transport household goods.

2. Perform any necessary maintenance. Make sure that the vehicle is in good working condition. Check for leaks, verify tire pressure and top off fluids. However, the only fluid that you don’t want to top off is the fuel. The gas tank should only be a quarter full, otherwise you risk paying an additional fee for removal.

3. Inspect the vehicle and note pre-existing damage. Take sufficient photos of the vehicle’s condition, both before and after transport. If, in rare instances, you need to file an insurance claim for damage, these photos will come in handy. Any and all damage should be noted on the bill of lading.



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