Best Time of Year to Ship a Car to Florida: A Cost Comparison

Brantley Kendall

12 Sep 2023 9 months ago


Cars shipping to Florida is one of the most common methods of relocation. But shipping a car to Florida comes with challenges, and things can get tricky if you aren’t prepared. So, what should you know before shipping your car? And how can you make things as smooth as possible? Finding the right time to ship your car to Florida can be challenging. Weather, distance and other factors all play into this decision. Should you ship before or after your event? Or if you have a large vehicle, like a U-Haul trailer, are you better off waiting until after? The good news is that there are ways to help ensure that shipping your car to Florida is easy and safe. Let’s take a look at some of those tips today.

Understanding Car Shipping Seasons

Car shipping seasons refer to specific periods within a year when the demand for car shipping services either escalates or declines. These seasons impact car shipping costs, with prices tending to rise during peak seasons and drop during off-peak seasons.

  • Peak Season: The peak seasons for car shipping typically occur during the summer and winter. In summer (June to August), many people plan their move and require car shipping services. Similarly, during winter (especially in December), auto transport is high due to people relocating to warmer regions to spend their holidays.
  • Off-Peak Season: The off-peak seasons fall around spring (March to May) and fall (September to November). During these periods, the demand for car shipping significantly decreases, leading to a drop in transport rates.

The Weather is a Major Factor that Affects Car Shipping Seasons

Can you imagine the impact weather conditions have on car shipping? Indeed, weather plays a crucial role in this industry, with certain seasons posing more challenges than others. This pivotal factor can drastically affect transportation schedules and operations, requiring careful consideration while shipping vehicles.

1. Winter Season – A Battle against Snow and Ice

During the winter, the risk of snow and ice rises exponentially, making it difficult and risky for logistics providers to transport cars. This chilling reality often prompts the question – Is it safe to transport cars in winter? The answer is yes, albeit with the proper precautions. Transporters can use enclosed carriers to shield against salt and ice – common enemies of a car’s exterior. Plus, they can opt for routes less impacted by the unforgiving conditions. However, transporters must remain vigilant about weather forecasts and road conditions due to potential delays caused by storms or icy roads.

2. Summer Season – A Fight against Heat and Humidity

Heat and humidity are usually high in the summer, introducing another set of challenges for car shipping. So, is it better to ship cars during a sizzling summer day or a chilly winter night? The answer might vary depending on the type of car and its tolerance to different weather conditions. High temperatures or humidity could cause overheating, tire blowouts, or paint damage. Transporters can address these issues by using thermal covers or scheduling night-time transports when temperatures are lower.

3. Spring and Fall – The Middle Ground

Compared to the taxing winters and scorching summers, spring and fall weather seem like an oasis for car shipping. These moderate seasons often offer more favorable conditions, enabling smoother operations. But remember that transporters must be equipped to handle sudden temperature changes and unpredictable storms that these seasons might throw their way.

Here is a season wise comparison of the cost of transporting a vehicle to Florida: 

  •   Summer (June-August):  $1,200 – $1,500
  •   Winter (December-February):  $1,000 – $1,200
  •   Fall (September-November): $1,300 – $1,500
  •   Spring (March-May) : $1,100 – $1,300

Takeaway: As you can see, the cost of transporting a vehicle to Florida varies depending on the season. The summer is the most expensive season, followed by the winter. The fall and spring are the most affordable seasons.

Factors That Can Influence Car Shipping Timing

Have you ever wondered what factors could influence car shipping time? Here is a quick rundown of the various elements contributing to the time it takes to get your vehicle from one location to another.

  • The Distance: Does the size of the distance matter? Absolutely. Imagine having to travel across states or even countries. Longer distances logically mean longer shipping times. Bear in mind that Rome wasn’t built in a day, so your car isn’t going to make it across the continent overnight.
  • The Type of Car: Have you ever considered that the type of car you’re shipping might affect the shipping time? All cars aren’t made equal, are they? The larger and heavier the vehicle, the longer the shipping time. It’s not rocket science, just simple logistics.
  • The Shipping Method: Isn’t it is curious how often we must decide between cost and time? This holds when selecting a shipping method. Open carriers are typically your wallet’s best friends, but they might not be the quickest. Like they say, time is money!
  • The Availability of Carriers: Are there enough carriers to meet your shipping needs? If carriers are scarce, brace yourself for a potentially extended shipping time. It’s all a game of musical chairs – when the music stops, you might be left standing if you aren’t quick enough.

The Flexibility of the Shipper: Are you open to shipping your car during off-peak hours or on less popular routes? If yes, you can cut down on shipping time. It’s like taking the road less traveled!

Cost Considerations in Car Shipping – What Are They?

“cost considerations” refers to the myriad factors directly impacting the final service price. Recognizing and understanding them effectively helps budget, plan, and find the most cost-effective shipping solutions. So, what are these elusive factors that impact your car shipping budget? Let’s unearth them.

Factors Impacting Car Shipping Costs

  • Distance: The simplest determinant – the farther the haul, the costlier it gets. After all, longer journeys consume more fuel and time.
  • Car Type: Bigger and heavier vehicles call for larger carriers, meaning higher costs. High-end, antique, or modified cars may demand extra-care services, adding to the cost.

Shipping Method: Open carriers or enclosed carriers, flatbed trucks, or multi-car trailers, your chosen method significantly impacts your billing.

Optimal Timeframes for Car Shipping to Florida

What exactly are “optimal time frames”? This term refers to the best intervals or periods to carry out an activity–in this case, shipping a car. These ideal periods can drastically influence the cost and convenience of car shipping. An optimal time frame for shipping cars to Florida considers the season of the year, the journey distance, and the type of car being shipped, amongst other factors. Certain factors significantly influence the optimal timeframes for shipping cars to Florida. Primary amongst these are the time of year, the travel distance, and the type of car being shipped.

  • The time of year defines the demand and the prevailing weather conditions, significantly impacting shipment speed.
  • If planning a long-distance move, the journey’s length directly affects the shipment time, with longer distances taking more time.
  • Lastly, while a regular car can be shipped without special requirements, high-end or vintage cars may need an enclosed carrier, affecting the timing and cost.

The best months for shipping cars to Florida


  • September: This is the start of the fall season, and the demand for car shipping is typically lower than in the summer months. The weather is also mild, which can help to protect your car from damage.
  • October: This is another good month for shipping cars to Florida. The weather is still mild, and the demand for car shipping is still relatively low.

November is the last month of the fall season, and the demand for car shipping starts to pick up. However, the weather is still mild, and you can still get a good deal on shipping during this month.

Why these months are the best for getting your car shipped to Florida!

  • Less demand: These months don’t see a surge in car shipping requests. This is excellent news for you as it could mean low prices and prompt deliveries!
  • Pleasant Weather: Florida also graces us with its mild weather during these months. This is good to protect your beloved vehicle from any potential weather-related damage.

A lot of Carriers: And guess what? We have more carriers on board during these months. Yes, you read that right! This means more options for you and guarantees that your car’s journey will be smooth and on schedule.

Planning for Car Shipping Success

Ever wonder why successful logistics experts swear by the mantra, “Failing to plan is planning to fail?” Let’s understand the significance of early planning and booking.  Regarding car shipping, just like any other logistic scenario, you’re not the only player. Amid the peak seasons, when the number of people shipping their cars skyrockets, you’re competing against scores of others for limited slots. If you snooze, you lose. Early planning and booking allow you to avoid last-minute hitches, secure a safer shipping slot, and gain peace of mind knowing your vehicle transport is set well in advance.

Now, what should you consider while securing reservations? Is it about contacting the transport company ASAP? Securing a reservation is an art that melds timely action with intelligent choices. Yes, contacting your preferred car shipping company early offers an edge. But what enhances your chances is a blend of comparing prices, scrutinizing the reliability of the transport company, checking insurance coverage, and understanding the delivery window.

Also, ponder over whether to choose door-to-door car shipping or terminal-to-terminal. Does your car necessitate an enclosed carrier? Answering these questions will help you secure efficient and effective reservations.

Preparing Your Vehicle for Transport: Actionable Steps

Preparing your vehicle for transport is essential in planning for car shipping success, from thoroughly cleaning and documenting existing damages for future reference to removing personal items and turning off the alarm system. Ensure the vehicle’s fuel tank is about a quarter full, and all tires are properly inflated. These seemingly simple yet often overlooked steps can spare you from potential difficulties while your vehicle is en route.

1.  Wash and Clean Your Vehicle

The first step in preparing your vehicle for transport is giving it a good clean, inside and out. This helps remove dirt, dust, or debris that could scratch the paint or damage the seals. Remember to detail clean the vehicle’s wheels, tires, and undercarriage. Why is a clean car necessary for transport? A thorough wash provides a clean slate for your pre-transport inspection, aiding in detecting any pre-existing scratches or damages.

2. Document the Vehicle’s Current Condition

After cleaning, take pictures of your vehicle from all angles, leaving nothing out – even the undercarriage – to perfectly document the condition pre-transport. This records your vehicle’s state before transport, which is crucial in case of subsequent claims or disputes.

3. Interior Clean-Up

Next, remove loose items left inside. Unsecured items like phones, laptops, GPS devices, etc., could move around during transport, causing damage. Removing clothing, jewelry, and other personal valuables helps to eliminate any loss risk.

4. Secure Loose Accessories

Loose accessories such as roof racks, bike racks, and window tint can pose a risk during transport. Ensuring every accessory is tightened correctly and secured before transport is critical.

5. Check the Tire Pressure

Having your tires at the manufacturer’s recommended level is essential during transport. Low tire pressure can cause the tires to heat up, which can cause potential damage to the rims.

6. Battery Check-Up

A fully charged battery, free from leaks, is essential for your vehicle’s successful delivery. Checking for oil, coolant or brake fluid leaks can save you from unnecessary inconveniences upon delivery.

7. Battery Disconnection

Do you know disconnecting your vehicle’s battery during transport can prevent it from draining? Disconnecting the battery is a wise move, especially for classic or high-performance vehicles that could be sensitive to prolonged inactivity.

Weather Considerations and Precautions Can Have a Great Impact

Florida’s tropical climate is undoubtedly appealing, but when shipping your vehicle, you must consider the potential weather-related challenges and precautions.

Weather Considerations

Before shipping your car, being aware of Florida’s distinct weather patterns is critical.

  • Summer: Florida experiences high humidity and hurricane threats during the summer months. These conditions may disrupt car shipping schedules, leading to potential delays.
  • Winter: While Florida is known for its mild winters, the northern route to Florida can experience harsh winter conditions, potentially affecting transit. It’s worth noting that despite these seasonal challenges, quality vehicle transport companies will navigate these hurdles, ensuring a smooth shipping experience.

Weather-Related Precautions 

Ensuring your car arrives in the same condition, it demands taking certain precautions.

  • Check Weather Forecasts Regularly: Monitor your current location and Florida’s weather forecasts. Being aware of upcoming weather conditions allows you to schedule car shipping during the favorable window.
  • Cover Your Car: Consider investing in a good quality car cover that protects your car from harsh sun rays, raining debris during storms or even minute dust particles.
  • Choose Enclosed Auto Transport: Enclosed auto transport provides maximal protection and minimizes your vehicle’s exposure to weather elements.

Takeaway

In a nutshell, the best time to ship your car to Florida depends on weather-related factors. It requires understanding Florida’s climate nuances and taking adequate precautions. Relying on a reliable shipping company is essential, as they have the expertise to navigate weather-related challenges and ensure your car’s safe delivery. Remember, a well-informed decision is always the best way to avoid unwelcome surprises because, as they say, forewarned is forearmed!

Cost-Effective Strategies to Save On Your Car Shipping Cost

Although the shipping cost may depend upon the season, there are ways to reduce the total expense you incur when shipping your vehicle.

Peak Season vs. Off-Peak Season

The peak season, which usually aligns with the winter months (January to March), sees a surge in vehicle shipping demand as northerners flock south. Consequently, costs skyrocket. So, avoiding these times is advisable if you’re looking to save some coins. On the flip side, the offseason (usually around late spring to late fall) could be more forgiving on your budget. Some auto transport companies may offer off-peak season discounts. Isn’t saving money all year round a great reason to dodge the peak season?

Group Shipping: Saving Big on Volume

Group shipping refers to shipping several vehicles at once. But how does this translate into cost savings?

 Imagine this scenario: a solo trip vs a group road trip. The latter tends to be cheaper. The same logic applies to car shipping. Shipping several vehicles together lowers the cost per vehicle. This method isn’t just efficient; it’s economical and environmentally friendly too! Don’t have multiple cars? No problem! Check for open transport options that allow you to ship your car along with others on the same trailer.  

Make the Cost-Effective Choice

Managing your car shipping budget doesn’t have to be a chore. You can save a significant sum by carefully choosing when you ship and opting for strategies like off-peak season discounts or group shipping. Indeed, the best time of the year to ship your car to Florida is when it aligns with your requirements without causing a strain on your financial resources. Choosing the right strategy ensures you enjoy the service and the savings.

Expert Advice for Smooth Car Transport

Here are a few expert tips shared by SAKAEM Logistics’ seasoned team to prevent hiccups during transportation.

  • Proper Preparation is Key: Ensure your vehicle is in top shape before transporting it. Does it have mechanical issues? Are its tires properly inflated? Having your vehicle in good condition increases the chances of a smooth transport process.
  • Document Everything: This might seem a no-brainer, but many forget. Take clear, high-resolution photos of your vehicle before it is transported. This will help you keep a record and aid in any potential future claims.
  • Insurance Coverage: Ensure your transport service provider has insurance and understand the specifics of the coverage – What is covered? What isn’t? This way, you know what to expect should anything go wrong.
  • Stay Informed and Communicate: Staying informed about the entire car shipping process eliminates surprises and gives one peace of mind. Open communication lines with your transporter make resolving issues easier while providing regular updates.

Simplify Your Car Transport With SAKAEM Logistics: Moving your car no longer has to be nerve-wracking. With this expert advice for smooth car transport from SAKAEM Logistics, you can move your vehicle smoothly and hassle-free. As a leading logistics company, SAKAEM has the expertise, authority, trust, and experience to guide you every step of the way.

Conclusion

When is the best time of year to ship a car to Florida? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Factors such as weather, pricing fluctuations, and overall demand can all influence your decision. However, by understanding these elements and making informed choices, you can ensure that your car shipping experience is as smooth and cost-effective as possible.

 So, are you ready to ship your car to Florida? Plan, be flexible, and ensure a safe and hassle-free journey for your vehicle.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I ship my car to Florida year-round?

Yes, you can ship your car to Florida year-round. It all depends upon your needs. The shipping company offers 24×7 support to handle all your queries.

What is the cheapest time to ship a car to Florida?

The cheapest time to ship a car to Florida is during the off-season, typically from November to March. This is because there is less demand for car shipping during this time, so prices are typically lower.

How does weather impact car shipping schedules?

Bad weather can cause delays in shipping in many ways. For example, if there is a snowstorm, trucks may be unable to drive, and car shipping will be delayed.

Are there any specific preparations needed before shipping my car?

Yes, there are a few specific preparations that you need to make before shipping your car. These include:

  • Cleaning the car inside and out.
  • Removing any loose items from the car.
  • Documenting the condition of the car.
  • Removing the car’s battery.
  • Enclosing the car in a protective wrap.

Can I track my car during the shipping process?

Yes, most car shipping companies offer tracking services so that you can track your car’s progress during the shipping process.

Are there any discounts for shipping multiple vehicles?

Yes, many car shipping companies offer discounts for shipping multiple vehicles. The discount will vary depending on the company and the number of vehicles shipped.

What factors affect the cost of car shipping?

The cost of car shipping is affected by several factors, including:

  • The distance the car is being shipped.
  • The type of transport method.
  • The time of year.
  • The weather conditions.
  • The value of the car.
  • The make and model of the car.
  • The condition of the car.

How far in advance should I book my car shipment?

It is best to book your car shipment as far as possible, especially if you are shipping it during peak season. This will give you the best chance of getting a reasonable price and ensuring your car is shipped on time.

Is open or enclosed transport better for Florida’s weather?

Enclosed transport is generally better for Florida’s weather than open car transport. This is because enclosed transport protects the car from elements like rain, snow, and hail. However, enclosed car transport is also more expensive than open transport.

What happens if my car arrives damaged?

You should contact the car shipping company immediately in case of any damage. The company should have insurance to cover the cost of the damage. You may also need to file a claim with your own insurance company.


Brantley Kendall