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8 Things to Consider with Seasonal Car Transport to Florida


Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

Driving your car to Florida can be expensive, time consuming, and exhaustive, whatever time of the year you choose to do it. However, there are certain times of the year when it can be a little more challenging. 

When you want to transport a car to Florida, one of the best ways to do it is with the help of an auto transport management company like SGT Auto Transport. In this post, you’ll find out why along with a number of other things it’s important to know. Whenever you’re looking for car transport to Florida make sure you get in touch, and we’ll take care of all the arrangements. 

1. What is the best way to transport my car to Florida?

So, what are the options when you’re looking for car transport to Florida? Let’s take a quick look:

  • Drive your car yourself: For many people, this is the most obvious way to transport a car to Florida. A road trip to Florida certainly sounds like a great idea, but there are some disadvantages. For example, driving long distances can be dangerous and stressful. In addition, there are other costs you might have to pay, which makes the road trip experience more expensive than auto transport.   
  • Hire a driver to drive your car for you: There are professional drivers for hire that will move your car to Florida, but it can be very expensive. There’s also the unnecessary wear and tear to consider and finding someone you can trust can be a challenge. 
  • Ship your car by rail: This is another excellent sounding idea, but routes are very limited. 
  • Use a dolly or trailer: This is really only an option for someone with experience of towing a trailer or driving a dolly. Apart from that, there are a number of other costs to consider, which bumps up the overall cost. 
  • Let a family member drive your car for you: This can be an affordable option, as long as you trust the person driving. You should also be able to transport some of your belongings in the trunk of the car. However, there are some downsides. You’ll need to take out additional insurance coverage, and there’s extra wear and tear on your car to factor into the equation. You also need to be confident in their driving skills as you’re trusting them with your car. 
  • Using an auto transport service: This is one option that will work for most people, whatever your needs, preferences, and budget. It’s a very straightforward process and all it takes is three steps:
    • Get a quote and book your service
    • We pick up your car
    • We deliver your car

There are numerous benefits when using car transport to Florida, for example:

  • Attractive discounts and competitive rates
  • Professional and reliable service
  • You’ll save time
  • You’ll also save money
  • Far less stress and planning required
  • It’s a very convenient and safe option
  • Your vehicle is protected
  • You can ship more than one vehicle   

2. Researching car transport companies to Florida

If this is your first time using an auto transport company, you might feel a little overwhelmed by all your choices. There are so many companies to choose from that finding the most reliable one is challenging. 

You can increase the likelihood of finding professional and reliable car transport companies to Florida by looking out for the following things. 

Choose a company that meets your needs and budget

When you're faced with so many car transport services to Florida,  a good place to start is by narrowing down your search to companies that meet your needs. 

For example, if you want to ship a vintage car to Florida, you should be looking at companies that offer enclosed car shipping. 

Check whether the company has industry experience

In the auto transport world, industry experience counts for a lot. Ideally, you want an auto transport company that has many years of experience because they’ll have the necessary experienced personnel and resources. 

What are the payment options?

In the auto transport world, every customer is unique so it might be an advantage if you look at companies with several payment options. As a general rule of thumb, look for companies that offer cash, credit card, check, or PayPal payments. 

If a company only accepts wire transfers this should be a red flag. Wire transfers are not as traceable as a cashier’s check, or credit or debit cards. 

Check out customer reviews

It pays to spend some time reading a company’s online reviews. You’ll find customer review on their website site, and there are other review sites you can visit, for example:

  • Facebook
  • BBB
  • Google
  • Trustpilot

Too-good-to-be-true deals usually are

If a company is boasting that they provide the cheapest option, be very wary of working with them. 

It takes a considerable amount of resources, expertise, and time to offer a reliable and trustworthy auto transport service to Florida. The cheapest is not necessarily the best as they could be cutting corners which may cost you more further down the line.  

3. Check licensing and insurance coverage

The auto transport industry is highly regulated for your protection. The organizations responsible for making sure companies follow the rules are the Department of Transport (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

When a company registers with these organizations it receives a unique USDOT number. When you talk to a company, remember to ask for their USDOT number. You can check the validity of this number by visiting the relevant website. If a company refuses to give you this number, strike them from your list and move on.

In addition, you must check your own insurance and the carrier’s insurance. If a company is bonded and insured, it means you’re covered should anything happen during the car shipping process.   

4. How much does it cost to transport a car to Florida - nail down the price

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of companies offering car transport to Florida, it’s time to request quotes.

Get a quote 

There are several factors that can affect the cost of transporting a car to Florida. These include:

  • The size of your car
  • The distance you want your car to be shipped
  • The cost of fuel
  • The route the driver takes during the auto transport service
  • Transport traffic in your area of choice
  • The season, for example, snowbirds car transport costs more during the peak snowbird season
  • Whether your car is running or not
  • The type of auto transport service, for example, enclosed car shipping costs 30% to 40% more than open car shipping
  • Additional features such as top loading, guaranteed pick-up, and express shipping tend to cost more

5. Know the best times to book and ship

When it comes to seasonal car transport to Florida, it’s important that you understand the best times to book and ship your car. You’re likely going to be competing with lots of other snowbirds for the same service.

Is it going to be an advantage to book far in advance? Theoretically, it might help. However, it’s often best to book just a couple of weeks in advance. This gives you enough wiggle room and ensures you get the most up-to-date pricing. 

6. Be aware of the pick-up and shipping times

It’s also important that you understand the shipping and pick-up times. Shipping a car is not the same as shipping a package with UPS.

Car transport to Florida is slower-moving, bulkier, and more expensive. According to Google, you can drive to Florida from Maryland in a couple of days. This doesn’t necessarily mean it will take the same amount of time for your car to arrive that quickly. 

Imagine you want to ship your car from Charlottesville, Maryland to Miami, Florida. That’s a distance of around 972 miles. Once your vehicle has been picked up, it will take one transit day for every 500 miles. 

Roughly speaking, here is a guideline as to the timeframes you’re looking at:

  • 100-500 miles takes 1-2 days
  • 500-1000 miles takes 2-3 days
  • 1000-1500 miles takes 3-4 days
  • 1500-2000 miles takes 5-7 days
  • 2500-3000 miles takes 7-10 days

The figures above are for major cities. It will take longer and cost more if you want to ship to and from a more remote area. Other factors that can impact the timeframe include:

  • Traffic flow
  • Number of stops
  • Weather conditions
  • Detours
  • Road construction
  • Heavy traffic 

You also have to time the pick-up of your car carefully as you don’t want it to beat you to Florida and you’re not there to accept delivery.     

7. How to inspect and prep your car for car transport services to Florida

If you want your auto transport experience to be a smooth one, there are some things you need to do before you ship your car to Florida. The basic prep is the same regardless of the season. The recommended steps are as follows:

  • Clean the interior and wash the exterior of your vehicle. 
  • At the time of pick-up, make a note and take photos of any existing dings, dents, scratches, chips, and other damage and log the mileage. The driver will also inspect your car and add any additional information to the inspection documentation or Bill of Lading.
  • Remove any valuables you might normally keep in your car.
  • Secure any loose parts or remove them completely.
  • If your car hasn’t been serviced recently, now is a good time to take it to your mechanic for a checkup.
  • Your car’s gas tank should be a quarter full and no more. 
  • If you’re shipping an electric car to Florida, make sure the battery is charged to between 45% and 65%.
  • Make sure you’ve got a spare set of keys, just in case they’re needed.

In addition, you may want to take care of the following as well:

  • Make sure your car is in working order. The radiator should be topped up with fluid as this will ensure your heating and cooling systems work efficiently.
  • Inspect the drive belts for damage as this could be made worse by contraction in the cold or expansion in the heart.
  • Tire pressures should be adjusted for the temperature change at your car’s final destination. For every 10-degree temperature change, your tires will gain or lose 1-2 PSI. 

One final tip is to be prepared to wash your car thoroughly after it’s been transported to Florida. Your vehicle may encounter dust, rain, or mud while it’s on the road.  

8. Shipping your car in the snowbird season

If you’re planning to ship your car during the snowbird season, plan ahead and make your arrangements today. The first step is to find the right car transport company to ship your car to Florida or any other sunny destination where you’re planning to spend the winter. 

SGT Auto Transport is a leading auto transport management company that has helped thousands of vehicle owners ship their cars every year. We have a team of experienced car shipping advisors who will work with your requirements and budget and find you the best car transport to Florida.

Request an instant car shipping quote on our website, call (864) 546-5038 or use our Live Chat option.

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