Shipping a car from Miami to Chicago Guide

Car Shipping

Learn how auto transport Miami to Chicago works and request a car shipping quote online.

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What options do I have when shipping a car?

When you need to move a vehicle across the country, the first alternative is to hop in and drive. Driving may be a good cost-effective option, if the distance is no greater than 300 miles, your car is in an excellent driving condition, and you don’t mind embarking on days-long road trip. What if the distance is longer than 300 miles? Do you have more than one vehicle and not enough drivers? Do you own a collectible classic car or an expensive luxury vehicle that you wouldn’t want to expose to adverse road conditions? Your car doesn’t run under its own power? If any of these circumstances apply to you, then hiring a professional auto transport company would be your most affordable and convenient option. In fact, private customers and businesses alike contract vehicle transport companies daily.

What to look for when choosing an auto transport company?

On your quest for a vehicle shipping company you will come across the following entities: carriers and brokers, car shipping lead generator websites and auction websites. We recommend that you stay away from the last two because they are not actual licensed auto transport companies. And if you choose to work with some other company, whether that is a broker or a carrier, make sure it is a reputable company just like us!

Look at your potential shipper’s consumer ratings and read online reviews to learn about other customers’ experience. Check FMCSA for the shipper’s licensing and background information as well as safety ratings. Pick up the phone and call. Ask questions. All the good companies will be transparent with you about their process and car shipping costs. They understand that in business, as in life, all the successful relationships run on trust.

What services does an auto transport company offer?

We offer a few solutions for you. You will have a choice between open and enclosed transport, standard and expedited car shipping that are all door-to-door deliveries. Additionally, you’ll be able to request top-load for your vehicle for an extra fee. It all depends on your budget, time frame, the level of protection you want for your vehicle, and pick up/delivery locations. Open auto transport is a standard shipping method and also the most affordable. Your car will be shipped on a double-deck trailer designed to carry up to 10 vehicles at a time. Small one or two-car open carriers are used for local and expedited deliveries.

If you are looking to add an extra layer of protection for your vehicle, you can choose enclosed service. Enclosed trailers have soft or hard side walls that protect vehicles from weather and road elements. Due to the extra protection it offers, enclosed auto transport is a pricier option.

Additionally, whether you choose open or enclosed, you can always request a top-load for your vehicle. For an extra fee, your car will travel on a top-deck of a trailer, which ensures against possible leaks from other vehicles and flying road debris. If you are on a tight timeline and need your vehicle to be delivered on or by an exact date, request expedited shipping. Guaranteed delivery is a premium service that comes with a premium price. Door-to-door delivery is a standard service among auto transporters.

How much does it cost to ship a car from Miami to Chicago?

Beyond the figure, it’s important to understand the economics of a vehicle shipping quote. The cost to ship a car depends on a few factors: vehicle’s make and model, any added modifications, operability of your vehicle, distance and pick up/drop off locations, type of transport, and supply and demand fluctuations.

Make, model, and modifications set the base price. The bigger and heavier your vehicle is, the more it’ll cost to transport it. Also, don’t forget to mention any modifications done to your vehicle. For example, lower vehicle clearance or 4X4 lift kit will require additional equipment or more space on the truck that may add to the cost of shipping.

Vehicle condition really matters too. If your vehicle can not move under its own power, the carrier will need to engage some extra help (a winch or a forklift); therefore, you’ll have to pay extra.

Distance and exact pick-up and delivery locations also matter. The longer the distance the more expensive it’ll be to transport your vehicle. However, it’s also important to consider how far off the interstate and state highways the pick-up and delivery points are. If your car is traveling between popular destinations where truckers have more opportunities to pick up and deliver vehicles, you have a pretty good chance of getting a break on price.

The type of auto transport carrier you choose always affects the price. The most popular method of transporting vehicles is via open trailers. This type of transport is considered standard and more economical as well. If you are shipping a luxury, classic, or collectible automobile we always recommend an enclosed trailer. It’s more expensive, but in return offers extra protection from road elements and hazards as well as inclement weather effects.

Supply and demand fluctuations is often the final deciding factor. Supply and demand fluctuations dictate prices on most routes. When the demand peaks, prices can go up in a matter of hours. Seasonal fluctuations also have an effect on vehicle shipping costs. For example, between May and September, the most popular months for moving and traveling, as well as during the snowbirds season, prepare to pay a higher price due to an increased demand. Due to the fickle nature of supply and demand in the auto transport industry, it’s extremely important to track daily price fluctuations on national dispatch boards.

Is my vehicle insured during transport?

Absolutely. Legally all carriers must carry a minimum amount of insurance (usually $250,000). Carrier’s cargo insurance protects your vehicle against damages during loading, unloading, and transit and covers anything from theft, dents, and scratches to a total loss. Liability limits, though, will vary from carrier to carrier. If your vehicle is especially valuable, make sure to discuss the insurance information with your potential shipper.

Can I ship personal items in my car?

Although most carriers allow you to include a box or suitcase in the trunk of your car, many would prefer to load an empty vehicle. If you decide to leave personal items in your vehicle, there are a few things you need to know. A carrier can refuse to ship a vehicle packed with personal items due to strict DOT weight limitations. Also, no carrier will accept responsibility for damages caused to your car interior by personal items you didn’t remove, nor for theft. Personal items left in your vehicle will not be protected by the carrier’s cargo insurance.

How long does it take to ship a car from Miami to Chicago?

Usually the carrier picks up your vehicle one to five business days from your first available date. After the pick up, delivery from Miami to Chicago takes between 3 and 5 days. Due to the nature of the industry, carriers can only provide you with estimated pick up and delivery dates. Unplanned for issues such as emergency breakdowns, traffic and weather conditions can cause potential delays. If you need your car delivered on or by a specific date, make sure to mention it when requesting a quote.


From Miami to the Windy City …


Away from shores of Lake Michigan, you can certainly see Chicago. The city with the most beautiful skyline in the US.

The third largest city in the US with a population of around 2.7 million. And more are moving to Chicago every year. Chicago Metro area has a population of over 9.5 million where, besides English, which is the official language, you will hear many other languages such as Spanish, Arabic, Polish, Russian and Chinese. It is a melting pot of cultures. This busy and densely populated city is vibrant, colorful, diverse and welcoming.

When moving from Miami to Chicago, the weather will be your biggest issue. We have to be honest here. Compared to Miami’s tropical climate with hot and humid summers and short, warm winters, Chicago is cold and snowy. Especially during the months of January and February when snow quickly turns into ice. They don’t call it the Windy City for nothing! But don’t sweat it. When spring and summer finally arrive, you will see what the fuss is all about. Those lovely months of spring and summer will be totally worth the wait. Fall as well. Chicago is different from Miami’s Art Deco style mixed with palm trees and colorful skies. You will soon notice Chicago’s huge variety of architectural styles, both historic and contemporary high-rise buildings that attract architecture students from all over the world.


Compared to Miami, and many other cities in the US, Chicago’s neighborhoods are all distinct and you need to research properly before deciding where you want to move. Furthermore, Miami is 11% more expensive in overall costs while housing is 39% more expensive. So, don’t be surprised to find high-quality housing for way less when you move to Chicago. It all depends on the area you will eventually pick, but if you decide to move anywhere near the heart of the city, expect the median prices of one-bedroom houses to vary from $700 to $2000.

When looking for a house to buy or rent make sure you find a neighborhood that fits your personality and lifestyle. In the end, the neighborhood you choose will define your lifestyle. Downtown, the Loop, River North, and the New East Side tend to be the most preferred areas. They are the most convenient to commute from and offer plenty of things to see and do daily.

Public Transportation and Employment

With a robust and affordable public transportation system, it’s very easy to get around Chicago without a car. Chicago is also a bike-friendly city with a bike score of 70 and more than 200 miles of biking paths throughout most neighborhoods. Home to 29 Fortune 500 companies, Chicago and its suburbs has the third-largest GMP and the most balanced economy in the US. You will find plenty of job openings in these areas: manufacturing, government, real estate, publishing, insurance, healthcare, food processing, and more.

What to do in Chicago

First, you will enjoy its social scene, the fresh produce of farmer’s market, the streets, the music, the food and beer festivals, all the great restaurants and bars. Lake Michigan and parks such as Millennium Park, Lincoln Park, Grant Park, and Jackson Park are a real gem. With 26 miles of shoreline along Lake Michigan, you will also have plenty of beaches to visit in the summer. The 31st Street Beach, Montrose Beach, North Avenue Beach, Loyola Beach are just a few we recommend.

Don’t forget to make some time for its many museums, galleries, fancy dinners, and theaters. The city is perfect for dogs as well so if you have a dog, use the time when you need to walk your pet to take a stroll down the city and discover new places on your own. Let yourself get lost in the history and sounds of the city. Bonus points if you get actually lost!

Moving to Chicago with a car

As with any other urban area, owning a car in Chicago is going to be somewhat expensive. Besides gas, car payments, insurance, you will also have to pay parking costs and depending on where you live in the city, you may also need a parking permit. Keep in mind that you will need to register your car within 30 days of after you become an Illinois resident. Check all requirements with your local DMV. Before getting your car licensed, you also need to obtain an Illinois auto insurance. If you own an electric vehicle, according to the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC), you can apply for a registration fee reduction.