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Shipping Your Car From San Diego to Tampa

If you plan to ship your car from San Diego to Tampa, there is more to it than meets the eye. Direct Express Auto Transport has been shipping cars for over 20 years across the country with extraordinary success. We know what we are doing and will share our considerable car shipping experience from San Diego to Tampa in this blog article. 

Our auto transport services are an excellent solution for safely, quickly, and conveniently shipping your car from San Diego to Tampa. You want to get the best deal possible without compromising quality and reliability. We get that. That is where we come in. In this article, we will provide expert advice on what it takes to transport your vehicle. 

We examine the car shipping cost from San Diego to Tampa, customer service, preparing your car, insurance coverage, and delivery time. Whether you’re moving for a job, are a college student, bought a car online, are a snowbird auto shipper, or have other reasons to transport your vehicle, you’ve come to the right place. So, let’s hit the road and figure out how best to get your car shipped from San Diego to Tampa as soon as possible. 

Why choose a car shipping service from San Diego to Tampa?

Driving your car from San Diego to Tampa is a pain in the you-know-what. You have better things to do unless you are looking for something to do. Sometimes a grandpa like mine would use any excuse to get out of the house and go hunting or fishing. But a trip from San Diego to Tampa just to get out? Nah, we can do better. 

What is more, driving your car from San Diego to Tampa can put unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle, increasing the risk of a breakdown and a trip to the mechanic. That is why most people choose to ship a car instead of driving it. You save on gas, hotel, and food expenses that would have hit your credit card on the road. Ouch!

What Affects The Direct Express Auto Transport Cost Calculator from San Diego to Tampa

Several factors can affect the cost of auto transport from San Diego to Tampa. 

Distance From San Diego to Tampa

Distance is the primary factor for our car shipping cost calculator. While the cost per mile inches downward as the distance increases, the overall cost goes up never-the-less the farther we need to transport your vehicle. That makes plenty of sense. The car shipping route from San Diego to Tampa is roughly 2400 miles, which puts it in the long-run category. 

The Size of the Vehicle Being Shipped

The next most important factor is the vehicle size you are shipping. An auto transport carrier is usually a 3-car, 5-car, 7-car, or 10-car hauler. We mean by “cars” sedans, like a Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, or Ford Mustang. Those are cars, folks. If a vehicle is significantly longer, higher, or heavier, it may mean that the car transport carrier can fit or haul fewer cars. Whichever vehicle causes any of those things intrudes on the total number to be carried, and therefore should compensate the auto shipping company. So, what makes a vehicle considered longer, higher, or heavier?

Length of the Vehicle Matters

The average sedan is 180 to 198 inches long and fits perfectly on most auto transport carriers. Every auto shipping load is a mathematical puzzle; once a vehicle is 200 inches or longer, it becomes more challenging to ship. The transporter might lose a spot by taking that longer vehicle at a certain point, which can vary with each amalgamated load. We often see that with vehicles over 215 inches. Think Lincoln Continental or Jeep Gladiator Rubicon. So vehicles over 200 inches long tend to incrementally cost more to transport, anywhere from 10% to as much as nearly double, depending on how much longer it is. 

Height of the Vehicle

People forget about height, but it is vital to an auto transport company. Think of the highway bridges that all trucks must get under. Those overpass bridges are about 13.6 feet high. Once a vehicle is about 75 inches tall, it becomes a concern for the car shipping service. When a vehicle is 80 inches or higher, it is a problem because most auto transporters lose a spot on their rig. That vehicle, or its owner, should pay more for the intrusion. Think Chevy Suburban. 

Weight of the Vehicle

Every truck driver must abide by the overall weight restrictions to pass inspection on the highway scales, including auto transport companies. In the simplest terms, in round numbers, here are the average weights per type of vehicle:

Sedans = 4,000 lbs average

SUVs = 5,000 lbs average

Pickup Trucks = 6,000 lbs average

Vans = 4,500 lbs average

There are wide variations for each. As you can see, keeping in mind the weight scales, an auto transport carrier who aims to keep the overall weight of his combined vehicles at less than 45,000 lbs would take out his calculator and figure something like this:

Auto Transport Amalgamated Load Examples:

11 Sedans = 44,000 lbs

10 Vans = 45,000 lbs

9 SUVs = 45,000 lbs

7 Pickup Trucks = 42,000 lbs

10 Sedans + 1 SUV = 45,000 lbs

9 Sedans + 1 Pickup Truck = 42,000 lbs

8 Sedans + 1 SUV + 1 Pickup Truck = 43,000 lbs

7 Sedans + 1 SUV + 1 Pickup Truck + 1 Van = 43,500 lbs

6 Sedans + 3 SUVs + 1 Pickup Truck = 45,000 lbs

5 Sedans + 2 SUVs + 2 Pickup Trucks = 42,000 lbs

4 Sedans + 3 SUVs + 2 Pickup Trucks = 43,000 lbs

3 Pickup Trucks + 4 Sedans + 2 SUVs = 44,000 lbs

4 Sedans + 2 SUVs + 2 Pickup Trucks + 1 Van = 42,500 lbs

3 Sedans + 3 SUVs + 2 Pickup Trucks + 1 Van = 43,500 lbs

3 Sedans + 3 SUVs + 3 Pickup Trucks = 45,000 lbs

As you can see, there are many combinations for the auto transport dispatch team to consider. The truck driver cannot haul as many SUVs, pickup trucks, or vans as he can sedans. So those heavier vehicles must be priced differently, as in more. 

That also explains why carriers are concerned about customers packing their vehicles with extra personal items. They are rightfully worried about overall weight and getting through the highway scales without penalty or problems. 

Auto Transport Seasonal Fluctuations

The time of year and the direction you are shipping your car affects the price. It has everything to do with Supply & Demand. In other words, Economics 101. Using Florida as an example, in late December or early January of any year, there may be ten times as many cars shipping to Florida than leaving. That tends to drive up the price to Florida, usually about 33%, and drive down the cost of car shipping from Florida, again about 33%. 

That scenario reverses every April and May as the so-called snowbirds return home. 

Auto Transport Service from San Diego to Tampa

The distance between San Diego to Tampa is approximately 2400 miles, a very long and arduous drive. I don’t know about you, but I get stiff sitting in one spot for that long. Driving from San Diego to Tampa would take about 48 hours, depending on traffic and weather conditions. But an auto transport truck driver is required by federal regulations to take many rest breaks. Count me out. It is time-consuming, stressful, expensive, and more. 

It makes more sense to safely and securely ship a car from San Diego to Tampa.

What Is Going On In San Diego, CA? What To Do & See

San Diego, CA, is a beautiful city with numerous attractions and things to do. Here are some of the best things to do and attractions in San Diego: 

1. Balboa Park

Balboa Park is a 1,200-acre park in the heart of San Diego with numerous gardens, museums, and theaters. 

2. San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo is one of the most popular attractions in San Diego and boasts over 3,500 animals from over 650 species. 

3. La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Cove is a beautiful beach with clear blue waters and is a popular spot for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. 

4. USS Midway Museum

The USS Midway Museum is a historic naval aircraft carrier converted into a museum and offers visitors the chance to explore the ship and learn about its history. 

5. Coronado Beach

Coronado Beach is a picturesque beach with golden sand and is a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing. 

6. Gaslamp Quarter

The Gaslamp Quarter is a historic neighborhood in downtown San Diego with numerous restaurants, bars, and shops. 

7. Old Town San Diego

Old Town San Diego is a historic district that showcases the city’s Mexican and Spanish heritage and allows visitors to explore museums, shops, and restaurants. 

8. Sea World San Diego

Sea World San Diego is an ocean-themed amusement park and aquarium with numerous marine animals and shows. 

9. Cabrillo National Monument

The Cabrillo National Monument is on the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula and offers visitors breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay. 

10. San Diego Bay

San Diego Bay is a picturesque bay that offers visitors the chance to go on boat tours, whale watching, and see the famous Coronado Bridge. 

Overall, San Diego, CA, has something to offer everyone, from its beautiful beaches to its historical landmarks and attractions.

What about Tampa, FL? What is there to do and see?

Tampa, FL, is a vibrant city that offers a wide range of activities and attractions for tourists and locals alike. Here are some of the best things to do and attractions in Tampa, FL: 

1. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay: 

This theme park is a must-visit attraction for thrill-seekers and animal lovers. The park boasts several roller coasters, animal exhibits, and live shows. 

2. The Florida Aquarium: 

This world-class aquarium offers a chance to get up close with marine life, including sharks, sea turtles, and stingrays. The aquarium also offers dolphin cruises and behind-the-scenes tours. 

3. Tampa Riverwalk: 

This scenic walkway stretches 2.6 miles along the Hillsborough River and offers a picturesque view of Tampa’s downtown skyline. Along the way, visitors can enjoy public art installations, parks, and restaurants.   

4. Ybor City:

This historic neighborhood is known for its vibrant nightlife, Cuban cultural influences, and delicious food. Visitors can explore the area’s unique architecture, shop at local boutiques, and dine at renowned restaurants. 

5. Museum of Science and Industry:

This interactive museum features hands-on exhibits and live demonstrations that explore the worlds of space, technology, and engineering. 

6. Tampa Bay History Center:

This museum showcases Tampa’s rich history and culture, from its Native American roots to its modern-day status as a bustling city. 

7. Adventure Island:

This water park offers a variety of water rides and attractions, perfect for families and thrill-seekers alike. 

These are just a few of the many things to do and attractions in Tampa, FL. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or thrilling adventures, Tampa has something for everyone.

What is the best route from San Diego to Tampa for car shipping services? 

One of the best routes for a car transporter is to take I-20 West from Atlanta through Alabama and Mississippi, then I-10 West through Louisiana, Texas, and New Mexico before finally reaching Phoenix. This route covers a distance of approximately 1,600 miles and can take between 24 and 28 hours, depending on traffic and stops. 

Along the way, the auto transport driver will pass through several communities, including Birmingham and Tuscaloosa in Alabama, Meridian and Jackson in Mississippi, Baton Rouge and Lafayette in Louisiana, Houston and San Antonio in Texas, and Las Cruces in New Mexico. Each town and city has plenty of attractions, restaurants, and accommodations you can explore during your trip. 

Alternatively, if the car shipper has time, he can take a more scenic route through the southern states, such as the Natchez Trace Parkway or the Great River Road. These routes may take longer, but they offer stunning countryside views, historic sites, and charming small towns he would need help finding on the interstate.

Auto Transport Company Reputation and Experience

Research the reputation and experience of the car shipping companies on your shortlist from San Diego to Tampa. Of course, the best car shipping company, hands down, is Direct Express Auto Transport. With over twenty years of experience and the absolute expert in car shipping cost calculations, you cannot do better than us because we originated the instant quote concept. 

You always want to look for reviews and ratings from previous customers on trusted websites like the Better Business Bureau, Google, or TrustPilot. Check if the company has complaints or legal issues and how they resolve them. There again, we shine as an auto transport service with thousands of five-star reviews across the board.  

Types of car shipping services from San Diego to Tampa

Car shipping services offer several shipping options to meet different needs and budgets. 

Open-Air or Enclosed Auto Transport Service

Open-Air transport

There are really two main choices every car shipping customer needs to make regarding the type of transport carrier they prefer. Each has pros and cons, and the cost is a significant consideration. 

Open transport is the most popular and affordable type of car shipping service. It involves loading your car onto an open-air carrier that can transport up to 10 cars at a time. Your car will be exposed to the elements and road debris during transit, but it is generally a safe way to ship. About 97% of all vehicle shipments are open-air. Why? Because it is roughly 33% cheaper auto transport than enclosed.

You see car manufacturers delivering cars to dealerships on open-air carriers. Why? Because it is both cheap and safe. Damages are rare. Open-air transport is suitable for most types of cars, including sedans, SUVs, and trucks. Your vehicle will arrive dirty from the road, but that washes off easily. 

Enclosed transport

Enclosed transport, on the other hand, offers more protection for your car and involves transporting it in an enclosed trailer. Because fewer vehicles can fit inside an enclosed trailer, it tends to be more expensive. If you have an expensive car, consider it insurance. People with antique or classic collector cars also should strongly consider shipping enclosed. 

Low-ground clearance vehicles that are 4.5″ inches or lower should go enclosed too. Why? Because enclosed transport carriers can load those vehicles without scratching or damaging the vehicle’s undercarriage. 

Enclosed transport provides greater protection and security for your car during transit. It involves loading your car onto an enclosed carrier that can typically transport up to 6 cars at a time. Your car will be shielded from the elements and road debris, reducing the risk of damages or losses. 

Enclosed transport is ideal for luxury cars, classic cars, and high-value vehicles that require extra care and attention. If your vehicle is worth close to $100k or more, come on, protect it by going Enclosed. Think of it as added insurance. 

Door-to-Door or Terminal-to-Terminal Car Transport Service

There are two main types of delivery in the auto transport industry, and those are door-to-door and terminal-to-terminal. The overwhelming majority of customers choose door-to-door delivery.

Door-to-door delivery

Door-to-door delivery is the most convenient and hassle-free option that involves picking up your car from close to your door and delivering it to close to your destination address. The car shipping company will coordinate with you to schedule the pickup and delivery times and ensure your car is safely loaded and unloaded. 

Door-to-door delivery usually means that an auto transport carrier will meet you within a couple miles of addresses. That’s very good and convenient. It is in the spirit of door-to-door car shipping. We highly recommend door-to-door auto transport service from San Diego to Tampa. 

Terminal-to-terminal delivery

Terminal-to-terminal delivery is a budget-friendly option that involves dropping off your car at a designated terminal and picking it up at the terminal near your new address. It is frankly a pain for most people. Terminal-to-terminal delivery is less convenient than door-to-door delivery but can save you money. However, it is out of your control once your vehicle is placed at a terminal. It can take many weeks to deliver your car. Many of our customers get frustrated with terminals. We say avoid terminals if at all possible. 

Tips for Preparing Your Vehicle for Car Shipping from San Diego to Tampa

Before transporting your vehicle, there are several things you can do to prepare it for transport:

  1. Be sure to clean your vehicle thoroughly, both inside and out. That will help you identify any pre-existing damage and ensure your vehicle is in good condition before transport.
  2. Be sure to remove any personal items from your vehicle, as most auto transport companies do not allow personal items to be transported. They are mindful of the weight. 
  3. Disable any alarms or anti-theft devices and remove external accessories like bike racks or spoilers. Height is a concern to auto shippers. 
  4. Take plenty of photos documenting your vehicle’s condition before handing it over to the truck driver. A picture is worth a thousand words.
  5. Reduce your gas tank to about 1/4 full, or no more than half a tank. Once again, weight is the concern, and gasoline is heavy.
  6. Secure loose parts and accessories, such as antennas, spoilers, and mirrors, or remove them if possible.
  7. Check the tires, brakes, and battery and ensure they are in good condition.

Insurance Coverage for Auto Transport from San Diego to Tampa

When transporting your vehicle, ensuring it is adequately insured is essential. Most auto transport companies offer insurance coverage for your car during transport. However, the amount of coverage may vary from company to company. Maintaining your insurance on your vehicle is an excellent idea. 

Comparing Direct Express Auto Transport Quotes from San Diego to Tampa

When choosing an auto transport company, comparing quotes from different companies is essential. That will help you understand how much you can expect to pay for transportation and what services are included in the price. Direct Express Auto Transport uniquely offers three levels, or tiers, of pricing and service.

Standard Tier, or rate, is usually assigned to a carrier within several days from the first date available. And then typically picked up one or two days after being assigned. It is the most basic market rate; we suggest using it if you are not in a hurry. 

Expedited Tier, or rate, is usually assigned to a carrier within a few days from the first date available. And then typically picked up one or two days after being assigned. We highly recommend using the expedited rate as our customers report high satisfaction with it.

Rush Tier, or rate, is usually assigned to a carrier within one or two days from the first date available. And then typically picked up one or two days after being assigned to a carrier. It is ideal for last-minute orders or for people who are in a huge hurry. 

The Original Car Shipping Quote Calculator

Direct Express Auto Transport originated the instant car shipping quote calculator in 2004. It is still the best, most sophisticated, and reliable auto transport cost calculator available anywhere online. We are the experts in car shipping cost calculations anywhere in the USA, which goes from San Diego to Tampa too!

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