Whether you’re planning to relocate to the state of Florida permanently or you’re a snowbird heading south for the winter, the entire process may seem like a daunting endeavour. Not only must you get yourself and your belongings to Florida, but you also may need to relocate your personal vehicle. Transporting a vehicle to Florida from out of state requires thorough research, organization, and preparation. Plus, you’ll need to know exactly how to properly prepare your vehicle for the long journey.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through exactly how to transport a vehicle to Florida from out of state, including the types of transport and delivery methods available, how the auto transport process works, and some general tips and tricks to keep in your back pocket.
Why Ship a Car to Florida from Out of State?
While having your vehicle transported to Florida through an auto transport company may seem like the most obvious solution, there are other options to get your car safely to the Sunshine State. You can hire someone to physically drive your vehicle for you, or you can drive it yourself. Though, depending on the distance, driving the car may not be the best way to approach transport. Oftentimes, hiring an auto transport company is the best course of action when you need to get your vehicle to Florida from out of state. See https://www.a1autotransport.com/florida-fl/ to learn more.
Large scale road trips put an unnecessary strain, wear, and tear on your car, while also increasing the mileage. The latter may be especially undesirable for those who have a vehicle of a significant value or lease their car and have a mileage limit. Overall, adding additional mileage to virtually any car can decrease the resale value. If you only need to transport the vehicle to Florida from a neighbouring state, this may not be as big of an issue. However, if you need to transport a car from California, that’s nearly 3,000 unforgiving miles that will be added to your odometer.
Long road trips also require a lot of time, energy, and funds. Depending on the origin location, you’ll likely need to make a number of pitstops along the way, and the cost of lodging and food will add up. As far as time is concerned, many people simply do not have the luxury of setting aside a specified amount of time to drive their vehicle across the country.
What is Auto Transport & How Does it Work?
Auto transport essentially refers to moving your vehicle from one location to another by partnering with a shipping company. Putting your vehicle in the hands of a trusted, reliable auto shipping company can give you peace of mind knowing that your car will arrive safely to its destination. When it comes to auto transport service providers, you have two main options:
You can hire a broker who, for a fee, will link you up with the best auto shipping companies in your area or you can hire the vehicle transport company directly. These transport companies will have their own fleet of transports, haulers, and transport equipment.
No matter the option you choose, you’ll be given the choice between having your vehicle shipped alongside other cars or alone in a private transport. That said, let’s take a brief look at some of your options.
Vehicle Delivery Method
When you begin the scheduling process with your auto shipping company, you’ll have a couple of pick-up/drop-off methods to choose from, each with its own unique advantages and disadvantages. The method you choose will also have a direct impact on the overall cost of transport.
- Terminal-to-terminal shipping. This is the most cost-effective option, which involves the drop off and pick up of your vehicle from a designated location. Although terminal-to-terminal shipping is the more affordable choice, you must make your own arrangements for both getting your vehicle to the drop-off location and then retrieving it from a pick-up location in Florida. Another drawback to this method is that your car may sit for additional time in the terminal parking lot, where it’ll be exposed to the elements.
- Door-to-door shipping. Door-to-door, however, is the more convenient method, but it comes at an extra cost. With this option, your transport company will pick up and drop off your car from you’re your preferred to location. This can be directly from your home, your office, or any other specified location. Though, it’s important to note, that if the site is not easily accessible or is too small or narrow for the carrier, you may need to pick a different spot.
Types of Vehicle Transport
In addition to pick-up and delivery methods, you essentially have two options when it comes to the physical shipment of your vehicle: open-air transport and enclosed transport. Which transport method you choose may be largely based on the type of vehicle you are shipping, as well as your budget.
- Open-air transport. Open vehicle shipping is the most affordable option for transporting a vehicle to Florida from out of state. Your car will be placed on an open-air trailer for shipment, along with up to 10 other vehicles. Since more vehicles are involved, the overall price is less and there is generally more flexibility regarding dates. However, the major disadvantage is that your vehicle will be exposed to the elements for the duration of the transport. While the risk of damage is rare, your car is certainly more susceptible to damage than it is with enclosed transport.
- Enclosed transport. This transport method is the safest and most secure option. However, like door-to-door shipping, enclosed transport comes at a pretty hefty price. Your vehicle will be transport it its own, enclosed, private trailer, protected from the elements, inclement weather conditions, and road hazards. For antique, vintage, high-end, or any car of significant value, enclosed transport is highly advised to fully protect your investment.
How to Transport a Vehicle to Florida From Out of State
Though involved, the process of transporting a vehicle to Florida from out of state can be broken down into a few simple steps.
Step 1: Get an auto transport estimate & schedule your shipment.
The first step in any auto transport, regardless of the location or distances, is to request a quote from a vehicle shipping company. We always advise that you try to collect estimates from at least three companies. That way, you can ensure you’re getting the best rate, the best quality of service, and avoiding potential scams.
Once you choose the company you want to hire to transport your vehicle to Florida from out of state, the next step is to complete the booking. To do this, you will provide the company with all the necessary details regarding the vehicle you are transporting, choose your desired transport and delivery method, and give them your pick up and drop off locations. This will not only help them give you the most accurate shipping quote, but also enable them to schedule your shipment accordingly.
Step 2: Prepare your vehicle.
After you’ve hired an auto transport company and locked in your shipping dates, you must take the necessary steps to properly prepare your vehicle for shipping. Here’s what you should do:
- Clean your car, inside and out. Thoroughly cleaning your vehicle will allow you to perform a proper inspection of pre-existing damage.
- Remove personal items from the vehicle, as most auto transport companies are not licensed to move household items between states and, therefore, will not be covered by insurance.
- Check for potential leaks, top off fluids, and perform any necessary vehicle maintenance. However, do not top off the gas. The gas tank should only be about a quarter of a tank full.
- Deactivate your car alarm and any other anti-theft devices.
These are the most basic tasks you can do to prepare your vehicle for shipment. Keep in mind that your specific transport company may require some additional preparation steps, so always check with them prior to your shipping date!
Step 3: Vehicle is dropped off at a terminal or picked up at a designation location for transport.
This step will depend on whether you’ve elected to have your vehicle picked up from your home by the carrier or you’re going to be dropping it off at a shipping terminal in your area. Regardless of how the car is retrieved for shipment, it will go through an inspection prior to being loaded onto the carrier. During the inspection, you and the driver will fill out a Bill of Lading, which notates any of the car’s existing damage. Make sure that this form is thoroughly filled out before signing and get a copy before they drive off with your car.
Step 4: Delivery in Florida.
After your vehicle is picked up and transported to Florida, the final step is pick up. The location where you retrieve your car will depend on the method of transport you chose and also the company you hired. You may pick it up from a terminal, designated location, or have it delivered directly to your home. Then, you’ll fill out some extra paperwork, give them the final payment, and the car is all yours!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there discounts for transporting a vehicle to Florida from out of state?
Yes, most auto shipping companies offer a number of discounts to their customers, which you may or may not be eligible for. These may include discounts for first-time customers, seniors, military personnel, return customers, first responders, and those shipping multiple vehicles at once. If you want to save some money, don’t forget to ask the shipping company you’re working with what discounts you might qualify for!
How much does it cost to transport a vehicle to Florida from out of state?
The cost to transport a vehicle to Florida from out of state will depend on the origin location, total distance, type of car, carrier availability, time of year, and additional costs such as insurance and/or premium services. Though, you can generally expect to pay anywhere from around $600 to nearly $2,000 to ship a car to Florida from a different state.