How to Ship a Car From Michigan to Florida – Everything You Need to Know

Brantley Kendall

13 Sep 2023 9 months ago

So, why might there be a need for car shipping from Michigan to Florida? It could be several reasons. You might be moving to enjoy the tropical sunshine and beaches and need to get your car over to Florida. You may have found your dream car, but it’s located in Michigan, thus the need for car shipping. In instances like these, shipping your car becomes a necessity.

Can’t you drive the car yourself from one point to another? Sure, it’s a plausible option, but it can be pretty stressful and time-consuming, and honestly, it wears on the vehicle. At this juncture, a reliable car shipping service springs in to save the day. Above all, they possess the requisite expertise to handle your car with the utmost care, ensuring it arrives unscathed.

Whether relocating, selling, or buying a car from another state, you’ll likely require a car shipping service. This blog will explore everything you need to know about auto transport services.

Exploring Different Car Shipping Options For A Seamless Experience

Swimming in a sea of transport options can be overwhelming at first glance. But fret not! It’s time to buckle up and break down the leading car shipping options. Here’s a quick rundown of the most common car shipping options.

  1. Open Air Car Shipping

Open-air car shipping is arguably the most popular automobile shipping option. You’ve probably seen these dual-level trailers on the highways. But why is it so popular? It’s cost-effective as carriers can transport multiple vehicles at once.


  • Saves Money: Open-air car shipping stands out for its cost-efficiency. As several vehicles are transported together on one carrier, the expense for each car substantially drops. This makes it a go-to choice for those mindful of their budget.
  • Offers Convenience: Open-air car shipping doesn’t just save money but also valuable time and energy. Perfect for those with multiple cars to move or packed calendars, coordinating pick up and drop off your vehicle is a breeze.
  • Easily Accessible: You’ll never have to worry about availability with open-air car shipping. Numerous transport firms offer This service almost everywhere, so finding a trustworthy carrier is a walk in the park.


  • Weather Exposure: As opposed to shipping your car in an enclosed transport, with open-air shipping, your vehicle is exposed to various elements. Rain, snow, or even dust could affect your car during shipping.
  • Limited Privacy and Security: With your vehicle transported on an open carrier alongside others, it might slightly compromise your car’s privacy and security. However, reputable shipping companies take all precautions, so you need not worry. 
  • Reduced Protection: Open-carrier car shipping doesn’t offer the same protection as enclosed shipping. Despite carriers trying to protect the vehicles, there’s a slightly higher likelihood that road debris or flying pebbles could cause minor scratches or dents to your car’s exterior.

2. Enclosed Car Shipping

First, let’s review – what is enclosed shipping? Enclosed shipping involves the transportation of goods in fully covered vehicles or containers. This method is popular in the vehicle shipping industry and for high-value goods. But does this mean it’s always the best choice? Let’s dive deeper into the pros and cons of enclosed shipping.


  • Protection from Elements: Enclosed shipping provides goods with robust protection from weather conditions and road debris.
  • Security: Goods transported via enclosed shipping are less vulnerable to theft and damage due to the added layer of security.
  • Ideal for Valuable Goods: Luxury cars, fragile antiques, or expensive machinery are best transported with enclosed containers – providing peace of mind to the shippers.


  • Cost: Enclosed shipping tends to be significantly more expensive than open shipping because of its superior protection.
  • Availability and Speed: Enclosed transporters tend to be less readily available and slower due to their specialized nature.
  • Size Limitation: As enclosed trailers have a definite size, they may not be suitable for large, oversized items.

Then, what’s the bottom line? Is enclosed shipping the right option for every shipment? To simplify, enclosed shipping would be a sound investment, rather than a lavish expense, for valuable, fragile vehicles. But, for bulk, robust packaged items without high value, the cost-effectiveness and speed of open shipping may outweigh the desire for extra protection.

 Ultimately, knowledge is power. Being aware of the pros and cons of enclosed shipping can help you make an informed decision. Which meets your particular shipping needs – enclosed or open shipping?

3. Door-to-Door Car Shipping

In an era of convenience, door-to-door car shipping has become popular among vehicle owners. This service entails picking up your car from its current location and delivering it right to your doorstep, thus eliminating the need for you to do any legwork.

 So, what are the pros and cons of door-to-door car shipping? Is this service worth its salt? Sit tight as we delve into the nitty-gritty of door-to-door car shipping.


  • Hassle-Free Experience: The main allure of door-to-door car shipping is its convenience. You don’t have to worry about getting your vehicle to a shipping terminal. The shipping company does all the lifting (literally!).
  • Saves Time: Door-to-door car shipping saves you time as you won’t have to arrange to pick up the vehicle from the drop-off point. Your car will be delivered straight to your home.
  • Enhanced Safety: With less handling, the chances of your car getting damaged during shipping are significantly reduced.


  • It Can Be Expensive: Door-to-door car shipping can be more expensive than terminal-to-terminal shipping as it requires extra effort from the company.
  • Narrow Roads and Low-Hanging Trees Can Be Obstacles: Big shipping trailers may need help navigating narrow roads or areas with low-hanging trees. In such cases, you may still have to receive your car at a mutually agreed location nearby.
  • Limited Availability: Not all car shipping companies offer a door-to-door service, limiting your options.


Weighing the pros and cons of door-to-door car shipping, is it a worthy investment? While there are a few drawbacks to consider, the benefits of convenience, time-saving, and enhanced safety make it hard to ignore. However, it’s important to remember that choosing this service hinges on your unique situation. If spending extra money for convenience and safety doesn’t bother you, then door-to-door car shipping may be your perfect match. Remember, an informed decision is always the best decision. Happy shipping!

4. Terminal-to-Terminal Car Shipping

For the unversed, terminal-to-terminal car shipping refers to a transport process where you drop off your vehicle at a designated location (terminal) and get transported to another terminal closest to your destination. It’s convenient, easy to schedule, and budget-friendly. However, like any other method, it has its share of drawbacks.  


Flexibility: One of the top benefits of this method is flexibility. You can drop off and pick up your car on your schedule, making it an ideal option for folks with erratic schedules.

Cost-Effective: Compared to door-to-door shipping, terminal-to-terminal car shipping is often cheaper. This is primarily because it’s easier for transport companies to plan these routes.

Perfect for Remote Areas: If you live in a remote or hard-to-reach area, terminal-to-terminal shipping proves beneficial. It eliminates the complexities that can come with door-to-door delivery.


  • Time-Consuming: While convenient, this method involves time commitment. The waiting period at the terminal can be lengthy, which can be a drawback for those on a tight schedule.
  • Limited Terminals: Not all areas have car shipping terminals. This can be challenging, mainly if you’re far from the nearest terminal.

 5. Fast Track Vehicle Delivery – Expedited Shipping

Have you got a time crunch? Don’t worry. Expedited shipping service gets your vehicle to you as quickly as a flash! This means your car gets VIP treatment, jumping straight to the head of the queue and arriving in record time. Sure, it’s a little pricier, but think about it: You’re getting lightning-fast delivery, ideal for times when you need your car pronto – like when you’ve got an urgent move to sort out or just bought a new car. So when time’s ticking, consider expedited shipping, your speedy solution.

Understanding the Breakdown of Cost Components in Car Shipping

Shipping your vehicle can appear complex, especially when considering the multitude of factors influencing the final cost. But what are the main cost components in car shipping? To fully understand the price dynamics of shipping your vehicle, you must recognize the main elements contributing to the overall cost. These components include distance, vehicle specs, type of Transport, season, and delivery options. Let’s delve into each one of them.

  • Distance and Location: Transporting a vehicle across long distances significantly reduces the total car shipping cost. For example, shipping a car from New York to Los Angeles costs $1300. However, transporting the same car to a closer location like Chicago could cost only about $800.
  • Vehicle Specifications: The price can vary significantly, depending on the vehicle’s size and condition. A Ford Mustang, being a standard vehicle size, could cost around $700 to ship from Florida to Texas, while a larger Jeep Cherokee could bump up the cost to nearly $800.
  • Type of Transport: The kind of carrier used also influences the expense. Open-air carriers are common and cost-effective, charging about $600 for short distances. However, enclosed Transport that offers added protection could elevate the cost by 30 to 50%.
  • Season of Shipping: Is there a seasonal price fluctuation in the automobile shipping industry? Definitely! The high demand during the summer months typically escalates the prices. Shipping a sedan from Ohio to Florida could add up to a whopping $1000 during the peak season, while the off-season price hovers around $600.
  • Delivery Options: Opting for door-to-door car delivery as our preferred pickup/drop-off option can be much more convenient. However, be prepared to pay a premium. For instance, transporting a vehicle from New Jersey to Colorado can increase from $950 to $1200 should you choose door-to-door service.

Tips to get accurate cost estimates for shipping your vehicle

Notoriously, shipping costs can sometimes be daunting, with prices unexpectedly skyrocketing due to various factors. Looking to ease your worries? It’s simple. You need to stand on the bright side of knowledge. Read on as we explain in detail.

1. Know your Vehicle’s Specifications

You might wonder, “Why must I know my vehicle’s specs?” Well, unsurprisingly, the size and weight of your car directly affect the shipping cost. More oversized vehicles take up more space and are heavier, making shipping more expensive.

2. Choose the Right Shipping Method

Shipping methods also play a crucial role in determining the final cost. Would you prefer an open or enclosed carrier? Although an enclosed carrier offers more protection, remember that it’s pricier. Open carriers, on the other hand, are the standard and budget-friendly option.

3. Consider the Distance and Route

It’s no shocking revelation – the shipping distance influences the cost. It’s logical, right? Michigan to Florida isn’t exactly a stone’s throw away, almost 1400 miles by road. Roughly speaking, the longer the distance, the higher the cost. Additionally, barriers en route, such as scarce service areas, mountains, or tolls, could add extra fees.

4. Determine the Pick-up and Delivery Locations

Are you flexible with your pick-up and delivery locations? Transporting your vehicle from a remote area or demanding a particular drop-off spot could be expensive due to the added inconvenience for the carrier. Opting for terminals could save some bucks.

5. Compare Quotes from Different Companies

Start comparing quotes from different auto shipping companies and get a feel for the market rates. Remember, the cheapest might only sometimes be the best. Look for a good balance between cost and quality of service.

6. Check for Additional Costs

“Wait, what? More costs?” Yeah, it’s possible. Some companies might charge extra for services like expedited shipping or extra insurance. Always clarify these details before making any decisions.


Have you cracked the secret formula for getting an accurate cost estimate yet? Shipping your vehicle from Michigan to Florida doesn’t have to be a wild guess game. Simply keep these tips in hand, stay informed, and happy shipping! The real-life expertise offered in these tips can aid the process of getting a close-to-perfect cost, removing the element of surprise from shipping your vehicle from Michigan to Florida. Remember, knowledge is power. Leverage it to take control of your shipping costs.

Tips for Choosing the Right Car Shipping Company

Choosing a car shipping company involves a series of steps. Let’s break them down into easy-to-implement actionable tips.

  • Look for Experience: First, it pays to check the experience of the car shipping company. Why is experience so important, you ask? It’s simple. An experienced company has likely tackled different scenarios and can handle unexpected situations more efficiently.
  • Check their Authority: The authority of a car shipping company refers to its legal standing and professional affiliation. Are they licensed? Are they registered with reputable bodies within the industry? These questions can help establish a company’s legitimacy.
  • Research their Expertise: Expertise remains critical in choosing a car shipping company. It could be expertise in shipping a particular type of vehicle, specific geographical locations or dealing with customs and import regulations.
  • Trust is a Must: Trust, in any business, is built over time. Looking at customer reviews, testimonials, or even complaints can give you insights into a company’s trustworthiness.

Questions to Ask

  • How many years has the company been in business?
  • Is the company licensed and affiliated with industry bodies?
  • What areas of car shipping do they specialize in?
  • What do previous customers say?

Preparing Your Vehicle for Transport For A Hassle Free Shipping Experience

Shipping a car to another state or even another country, can be quite a task! For example, every place has rules for bringing in and sending out vehicles. You’ll have to navigate through forms for title, registration and customs, which can be complicated. Besides, you usually have to pay customs charges and taxes when bringing a car into a country. The exact amount can depend on where it’s going and how much the car costs.  Fear not; we’re here to simplify things to ensure your vehicle reaches the destination safely and impeccably. Below are some insider tips that provide a comprehensive understanding of the process.

  • Clear the vehicle: It may seem obvious, but many car owners don’t remove personal effects and valuables from their vehicles before shipment. Most transport companies insist on vehicles being completely free of belongings. This helps to avoid possible damage and helps decrease the weight to be transported.
  • Inspect the vehicle’s condition: Ensure you have an accurate account of your vehicle’s current damage state. Detailed scrutiny of chips, scratches, or existing issues is integral. Taking photos for reference can be beneficial for comparison once the vehicle is delivered, ensuring no further damage during transportation has occurred.
  • Fluids and battery checks: Your fluid levels – oil, brake fluid, coolant and the like are essential to check. Any leaks during transportation can damage other vehicles. Moreover, a well-charged battery and suitable tire conditions are critical for hassle-free pick-up and delivery.
  • Monitor fuel level: Too much fuel is a risk for leaks during Transport; too little could mean a failure to start upon delivery. Keeping it at about a quarter full is the thumb rule.
  • Disable alarms: Your transport company does not need the hassle of an alarm sounding during the journey.
  • Clean your car: While it might seem like an aesthetic measure, cleaning your car before its shipment can help in the inspection process at both the starting and delivery points.
  • Secure your vehicle: To prevent internal shifting, it’s recommended to lock it as it may move around during the process.

Place your confidence in your shipping company: Once you’ve done your part, it’s time to trust the professionals to do theirs.

Scheduling and Booking the Auto Transport – Step by Step

Many wonder, “How should I schedule and book my auto transport?” If you’re in this situation, the information below will help walk you through this process.

1. Pickup and Delivery Windows  

A pickup and delivery window is a pre-determined time frame within which an auto transport company expects to pick up and deliver your vehicle. These windows vary depending on the distance, weather conditions, traffic, and other factors. They aren’t exact times but rather expectations or estimates. So, how are these estimates calculated?

2. The Calculation Process

The calculation of pickup and delivery windows revolves around two main factors: distance and location. Naturally, the farther the delivery point, the longer the delivery window. Similarly, locations with convoluted routes or heavy traffic may demand a more comprehensive delivery window. Moreover, these windows can also impact external factors such as road conditions and weather.

3. Expertise in Setting Windows

The expertise of the auto transport company plays a significant role in setting realistic pickup and delivery windows. An experienced company knows how to accurately estimate these windows based on their expertise in dealing with similar routes and their authority in the industry and trust built with clients.

4. Knowing Timelines is The Key: Most professional auto transport companies recommend booking services at least two to three weeks in advance. This is to ensure availability and to allow sufficient time to arrange transport logistics. However, what if you need auto transport services urgently? Express auto transport service is the answer. This service comes with a slightly higher price tag but guarantees faster pick-up times to suit your urgent needs.

5. Flexibility in Scheduling Auto Transport

You may wonder, “How can I schedule my auto transport flexibly?” Good auto transport companies offer options to accommodate customer needs. For example, some companies offer open-ended bookings. You don’t need to set a specific pick-up date; instead, you provide a pick-up window. Such options require good communication between you and the transport company to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Step-by-Step Booking the Auto Transport

Since you know the two fundamental elements of booking auto transport services from Michigan to Florida, it’s time to familiarize yourself with the booking process. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you further:

  • Research & Decide: Start with extensive research on reputable auto transport companies. Look at customer reviews, terms and conditions, and possible hidden charges.
  • Get Quotes: Once you’ve shortlisted viable options, get quotes from them to compare prices and packages.
  • Book: Once you’ve made the final choice, proceed with booking. Provide all necessary information like pick-up day and date, location, vehicle type, and delivery preferences and agree on the pick-up window.
  • Prepare your Vehicle: Clean the inside, document any vehicle damage, and turn off the alarm. This helps to ensure a smooth transport process.

Vehicle Pickup: The auto transport company will pick up your vehicle for Transport on the agreed-upon date.

Things to do during and After Transport of your vehicle

Have you ever wondered, “What should I do during and after transporting my vehicle”? The process often seems confusing and filled with uncertainties. Today, we simplify this for you. This comprehensive guide will make your experience stress-free.

  • Tracking the Shipment en Route

Keeping tabs on your vehicle’s present location is a vital part of the process. Most transport services provide tracking features, allowing you to follow your vehicle’s shipment process. It offers peace of mind. Some companies use satellite tracking, while others provide updates via phone or email. Regardless of the method, ensure you’re always informed about your vehicle’s whereabouts.

  • Receiving the Vehicle at the Destination

The exciting moment finally arrives after successfully navigating all hurdles – receiving your vehicle!

 However, don’t let the enthusiasm cloud your judgment. Carefully inspect your car upon delivery. 

Things to check include:

  • Exterior body for any damage or dents.
  • Undercarriage for leaks.
  • Interior elements like seats, dashboards, and electronics.
  • One last thing before you drive off into the sunset – confirm all paperwork is correct and complete. Proper documentation is crucial for any issues that may arise later.


Experience, expertise, authority, and trust should be your anchors when dealing with vehicle transportation. Choosing a reputable transport company is paramount in assuring safety and efficiency in the shipping duration. Remember, transporting a vehicle involves logistics beyond basic arrangements. Therefore, trust in a company’s expertise and a keen eye for detail can make the process much less daunting and trouble-free!

Some Actionable Tips for a Smooth Car Shipping Experience

Shipping your car can be a stressful task to undertake. However, this process can morph into a smooth experience with the proper guidance and insight. The key to a smooth car shipping experience relies heavily on embracing open and honest communication, adequately addressing worries, and preparing for the unexpected. Here are a few tips to help you keep going:

Communicating with the Shipping Company

Breaking the ice with your shipping company is a crucial first step. How so? Establishing clear and straightforward communication aids in understanding the process in depth, flushing out any misunderstandings, and building a robust relationship with your shipping company. It’s all about security, minimizing potential problems on both ends. Regular check-ins and updates from both parties ensure the procedure runs smoothly and as expected.

Addressing Concerns and Asking Questions

Do you have queries and apprehensions popping up? Good! It’s better to clear all doubts at the very beginning. There is no such thing as over-clarifying in-car shipping. Understanding each stage, knowing what to expect, getting clear timelines, and knowing of hidden fees, if any, can help prevent surprises. Ask questions – How is your car being transported? When will it be delivered? What happens if there are delays? Does the shipping company have insurance? Open conversation keeps you in the loop of your car’s journey and assures you that you’re in good hands.

Being Prepared for Unforeseen Delays

Sounds frustrating. However, delays are a reality in any transport turnover. Factors such as weather conditions, breakdowns, and traffic can cause delays in your car being shipped. Prepare to be patient and have some wiggle room in your schedule if things don’t go as planned. Remember, it’s not about the issue but how it’s managed and resolved—another reason communication with your shipping company is pivotal.

The Final Words

In conclusion, shipping a car over a significant distance, such as from Michigan to Florida, is an undertaking that demands careful consideration and planning. The process involves selecting a reputable shipping company, making informed choices about the type of Transport, and staying engaged throughout. The decision between open car transport and enclosed car transport hinges on financial constraints and the level of protection you wish to afford your vehicle during its journey. Maintaining constant access to real-time updates on your car’s location and status is critical, and reliable shipping companies prioritize this aspect of communication. If a company falls short in this regard, it might warrant reevaluating your decision.

Most Common Questions People Also Ask (PAA) about Car Shipping

How much does it cost to ship a car from Michigan to Florida?

The cost to ship a car depends on several factors, including the size of the vehicle, the shipping company, and the shipping method you choose. On average, you can expect to pay between $500 – $1000 for a standard-sized car.

Is open Transport a safe option for my vehicle?

Absolutely! Open Transport is often used by auto dealers and manufacturers when moving vehicles, making it a trusted method. Though your vehicle remains exposed to weather conditions and road debris, incidents are rare.

What’s the average delivery time for car shipping?

Car shipping within the continental USA generally falls within 1-2 weeks. Factors such as distance, weather, and traffic can cause occasional delays.

Can I ship personal belongings with my car?

While this might seem like a convenient two-for-one deal, most companies discourage placing personal items in the vehicle due to increased risk, liability, and regulatory constraints.

Are there any specific preparations required before shipping?

Yes, there are. This includes cleaning your car, removing personal items, disabling alarms, checking leaks, topping fluid levels, and documenting pre-existing damage for record purposes.

What should I do if my vehicle gets damaged during Transport?

Document everything in the unlikely event of damage – take pictures and write a detailed account of the damage. Report this to the car shipping company promptly to kickstart the claim process if necessary.

How do I choose the best car shipping company?

When choosing a car shipping company, consider their reputation, review their policies, and read client testimonials. Also, check if they are registered with the Department of Transportation. Price is vital, but keep service quality high.

Are there any alternatives to driving the car myself?

Certainly! Options include hiring a professional driver service, shipping via train, or multi-modal Transport. The best choice depends on your budget, timeline, and convenience.

Brantley Kendall