Shipping a car across the country from one coast to another involves careful planning and budgeting. There are several factors that determine the final price, so getting accurate estimates is important before making arrangements. This article provides an overview of different shipping methods and what you can expect to pay to transport a vehicle from California to Florida.

Methods of Car Shipping

The main options for shipping a car long-distance are open carrier, enclosed carrier, and transporting it yourself. Each has advantages and disadvantages related to cost, security, and convenience.

Open Carrier

Open carrier transport involves driving or towing the car onto an open flatbed truck that is securely strapped down for the journey. This is generally the most affordable choice, ranging from $1200-$2500 depending on mileage, drop-off location specifics, and time of year. However, it provides less protection from weather and potential theft since the vehicle is fully exposed during transit. Shipping Auto

Enclosed Carrier

Enclosed carriers fully enclose the vehicle inside a protective container or trailer for the duration of shipping. This offers the highest level of security and protects against damage from elements. Rates are typically $1,200-$1,500 due to additional labor and materials required. Some flexibility exists for enclosed moves but schedules may be less direct than open transport. Ship a Car from California to Florida


Driving the car yourself avoids carrier fees but requires time and costs for fuel, food, lodging, and potential tolls or repairs. Factoring in the driver’s time, this may not end up being much cheaper unless making an extended road trip. Risks include traffic incidents, vehicle breakdowns, and personal safety considerations while traveling alone across multiple states.

Factors Affecting Car Shipping Costs

Given the wide range in potential pricing, there are several specific variables that determine the final quote:

Factor Impact on Cost
Mileage Longer distances result in higher rates.
Vehicle Size/Weight Larger/heavier cars are more expensive to ship.
Time of Year Summer season sees elevated rates versus winter.
Delivery Date Rush jobs cost more than standard/economy moves.
Carrier Reputation More reputable companies may have price premiums.

Estimating Cost to Ship from California to Florida

Using the data above, here are some typical cost projections to transport a mid-size sedan in decent condition from California to Florida:

Open Carrier Transport

  • $1200-1300 for a standard move during late fall to early spring
  • $1300-1500 for a summer shuttle due to higher demand
  • $1400-1600 for an expedited delivery within 5 business days

Enclosed Transport

  • $1500-1600 for protection from elements during off-season months
  • $1600-1700 for a fully-protected summer move
  • $1700-1800 for premium door-to-door service

Additional Tips

For the most accurate quotes, get estimates from multiple reputable car shipping companies. Be sure to disclose any special requirements related to vehicle characteristics or delivery addresses. Opt for companies with online tracking portals and insured protection policies. Considering timing and needs, open or enclosed carriers usually provide reliable service within the estimate ranges.