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Shipping Your Car From New York to Florida

We get calls almost every day from people who are at their wits end looking for clear answers and honesty. Shipping a car to Florida seems like a simple task, right?  Get on Google, find the cheapest company you can, and move on! Unfortunately, there’s a good chance you’re signing up for guaranteed hardship with this method. People that use the first transporter they find are the same ones calling us after the fact, usually fed up with the lack of communication: previously unstated delivery and pickup delays, no updates on trip progress, or outright bait-and-switch price increases. Any of those can be a nightmare when you’re trying to relocate your whole life!


Searching for the Best Deal


We all love a deal; clipping coupons is my wife’s favorite pastime. When it comes to grocery shopping, that’s great! It’s what you should do. It’s the responsible, frugal option. But save the discount hunt for the supermarket, folks. When you buy a steak there at a discount, you’re getting the same steak regardless of the price. Not so with car shipping. Different transporters offer different prices, and irresponsible transporters usually offer the lowest ones.

You have a lot of options for shipping your car to Florida, and they are not all created equal.  To shop online, you need to learn how to differentiate an experienced and honest company from a broker with a site put in place to generate leads.

Marketing companies and brokers with big website budgets will put up sites with instant quote request forms. They know exactly what we want: instant gratification. In return, they will sell your email address and quote request to other brokers who will bombard you with calls. There are entire companies built around creating websites whose sole purpose is to collect leads (that is, information that you give them) and sell them to brokers. Bad news! Avoid this and the instantaneous quotes at all costs.

The best way to guarantee good service is to ask for a referral from someone else who you already trust, like a friend, family member, your local car dealership, or your moving company.


But My Instant Quote Was Cheap!

Real quotes take more into consideration than what algorithms are looking for. Depending on how sophisticated they are, many quote generators are just taking the distance traveled and the age or original value or your car and multiplying a number times the distance. Car haulers who have done the job themselves know that there is more that goes into a quote beyond miles travelled. Carriers who are in the trenches every day have knowledge of industry trends and seasons, exactly what route they’ll take, and all sorts of other things that only come from experience.

The people writing the programs that generate those quotes have never been in a truck, and the low rates are part of why the service can be so sketchy. They’re giving you a price before they have anyone to take the car! That means they’re basically gambling with your vehicle. Again: bad news.

Shipping A Car From NYC


Traffic is one factor that makes shipping a car from NYC tricky. If you are from one of the boroughs, how much time do you spend driving around? Probably not a lot. Most New Yorkers use mass transit, ride bikes, or just walk if they want to get from Point A to Point B. Why do you think that is? Well, it’s much more efficient! Why sit in traffic for 45 minutes to go across town in a car when you can take a subway and get there in 15?

On top of the traffic, we contend with small streets and limited parking spaces. Because of these things, many carriers won’t send a big truck into the city; the risk of damages or accidents is just too high. In fact, many truck drivers and their bosses hate Long Island, and 90% don’t bother crossing bridges at all unless they have a full load. The population is even growing. There are 7.8 million people on the island, which is 40% of the entire state! Rush hour is becoming more like rush-3-hours in both the morning and the evening. And thanks to regulations put in place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, drive time is monitors by the U.S. government, with breaks mandated at very strict intervals, making drivers even more reluctant to sit in traffic in order to pick up your car.

Online-Only Brokers Have 10 Degrees of Separation

What does an online broker that doesn’t own their own trucks know about any of this? Is their algorithm taking our traffic into consideration? Does the driver that they dole your lead out to even know what they’re getting themselves into? Are they going to bail the moment they realize what’s expected of them, once they get to the island and see all of this? Who knows? It’s bad news!

On the other hand, if you find a carrier who is already based out of New York, or northern New Jersey, they can send a flatbed into the city to pick up your car. City driving is their business; they’re used to it! And they’re willing to do it. Once the car is safely at a truck terminal, it can be loaded onto a car carrier and transported to Florida without issue. Yes, the cost is higher than the instant quote might have been, because two drivers and two trucks are involved in safely facilitating your car’s transport. We think it’s worth it, and we think you will, too.

Now, About Those Terminals…


We have been using the same terminals for two decades. We have one in each major city of Florida, and they offer customers the convenience of pickups and drop-offs whenever it is convenient for the customer. The terminals themselves will also offer door service deliveries if you do not want to pick up the car yourself. As their costs have gone up, they have increased their prices, and rightfully so, but our prices have had to rise slightly to match theirs.

What Is the Alternative?

In an effort to be as valuable to our customers as we can, we have kicked around an idea we see a lot of other owner-operators acting on to keep prices down. What they do is meet the customer in a large parking lot or other such structure as close to the customer’s house as possible, usually a shopping center. This sounds like a nice compromise, until you realize that there are 8 other cars besides yours on the truck, and the driver then has to move from parking lot to parking lot in order to accommodate each one.Drive we also usually driving at night in order to avoid traffic. A driver might arrive at your new home city or vacation destination at 1:00 AM, well past the time you would prefer to be meeting up in a parking lot after-hours.

Again, we’ve tried this, but the result is always that the driver gets bombarded with eager customers calling to ask about their car’s delivery time, and where to meet up, and everything else that a driver either cannot answer yet or would prefer not to answer while driving. We would also rather the driver not answer their phone while driving, and if your car is on that truck, you will too. Eventually, when nine customers are blowing up a driver’s phone asking for specifics, the driver has to stop answering their phone altogether. Delays at one stop (like arranging a time for two people with very different lives to meet up) cause more delays at the next stop, and then everyone is frustrated. All of this to avoid a $65 terminal fee just is not efficient in our opinion.


 How Long Will It Take?


In the plainest terms possible: probably 5-7 days. Although it only takes 2-3 days for you to drive your car from New York to Florida, there are nine other peoples’ cars on each truck, all of which need to be picked up and delivered to different places. The driver may need to make a few extra stops on pickup or delivery, or both, adding to the delivery time. After that, you can factor in the regulations we mentioned before. In spite of some efforts to persuade lawmakers to exempt small businesses from some parts of those regulations, we have had no such luck, and drivers have to shut down every 12-14 hours for a mandatory 10 hour break, no matter where they are, or how close they are to their destination. Want specifics? Give us a call for a time estimate tailored to your situation.