Listen to this article

Advertiser Disclosure

If you’ve got a new home in California and need to move your car there, consider booking a car transport service so you don’t have to drive your vehicle all the way there yourself. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the process of car shipping in California, what to expect, and the average costs and requirements. We will also recommend two of the best car shipping companies for your California auto transport needs.

 

In this article:

What To Expect When Shipping A Car In California

Since California has high traffic levels and generally poor road conditions, there could be some issues during your vehicle’s delivery. Your car shipment could be delayed, or your vehicle could arrive dirty from the trip.

You should also factor in the time of year when shipping a car to California. The peak season is usually during the summer, so try to get a locked-in price well beforehand.

As expected, long-distance moves will have higher price tags. So, if you’re headed from Florida to the Bay Area or from New York to Southern California, expect a larger overall cost even if your price per mile goes down.


Cost Of California Car Shipping

Vehicle transport costs largely depend on the origin and destination of your vehicle, but prices will generally range from $700 to $1,500 for vehicle shipping to California.  

Here are factors that often affect car shipping costs in California:

  • Vehicle size and weight: Large cars cost more to ship than smaller ones.
  • Vehicle type and operability: Luxury vehicles and inoperable cars take extra work to move, so shipping them costs more.
  • Distance: The longer the distance between pickup and delivery locations, the more expensive overall but the cheaper per mile.
  • Shipping method: Enclosed transport offers more protection than open transport but comes with a higher price tag.
  • Time of year: The summer months and January are priciest for vehicle transport.
  • Popularity of route: Car shipments out of Los Angeles, San Jose, and Oakland will be pretty affordable. Similarly, deliveries to Nevada, Oregon, and Arizona will cost less.

To give you a better idea of how much car shipping to California costs, we gathered a few shipping quotes from uShip and Montway Auto Transport, two of the best car transport companies for cheap car shipping in California.

uShip Quotes For California Car Shipping

The cost of California car shipping increases for out-of-state transport, but city-to-city moving costs within California are very affordable with uShip.

Car Shipping Route Cost
Bakersfield, Calif., to Los Angeles (113 miles) $218
Sacramento, Calif., to Reno, Nev. (132 miles) $329
Fresno, Calif., to Phoenix (591 miles) $779
Long Beach, Calif., to Miami (2,741 miles) $1,246
 

*These examples from uShip’s quote tool are based on the lowest rate offered for an operable 2014 Honda Accord.

Montway Auto Transport Quotes For California Car Shipping

Long-distance transport can cost up to $1,500, but car shipping within the state of California can cost less than $700 with Montway Auto Transport.

Car Shipping Route Cost
Sacramento, Calif., to Los Angeles (386 miles) $479
San Diego to Fresno, Calif. (338 miles) $609
San Francisco to Portland, Ore. (634 miles) $769
Orlando, Fla., to Long Beach, Calif. (2,514 miles) $939
New York City to Riverside, Calif. (2,756 miles) $1,509
 

*These examples from Montway Auto Transport’s quote tool are based on the lowest rate offered for an operable 2015 Toyota Corolla.


Requirements For California Car Shipping

Before booking a car shipping service, you will need to have a few documents and pieces of information in hand. It’s important that you meet all of the requirements ahead of time so you won’t have any issues during the vehicle transport process.

Make sure you have the following materials ready to go before booking your car shipment in California:

  • Photo identification such as a driver’s license or passport
  • Vehicle details such as make, model, year, vehicle identification number (VIN), and license plate number
  • Proof of car insurance
  • Proof of ownership, such as vehicle registration or title
  • Shipper and consignee information

These are the basic requirements for how to ship a car in California, but each company has slightly different requirements and standards.


Recommendations For California Car Shipping

We researched the best auto transportation companies and found which ones offer the best service for car shipping in California. Our research found that Montway Auto Transport and uShip lead the pack for quality service and affordable pricing.

Montway Auto Transport: Best Overall

Montway Auto Transport is a popular choice for car shipping in California because of its variety of shipping services, such as door-to-door transport, expedited delivery, guaranteed pickup dates, and options for shipping a car to Hawaii or Alaska.

The company holds an A+ rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Customers enjoy using Montway Auto Transport, as seen by its 4.5-star out of 5.0 rating on Google Reviews. In our review of the best car shipping companies, we gave Montway Auto Transport 4.6 out of 5.0 stars for its excellent customer service and reputation.

Learn more about the company by checking out our Montway Auto Transport review.

 

uShip: Best Car Shipping Marketplace

You can get car shipping quotes online through uShip’s marketplace, which reveals a wide range of rates to choose from. The average cost of transporting your vehicle to California with uShip ranges from $500 up to $1,500, depending on the distance between pickup and delivery locations.

With its strong reputation and excellent customer service ratings, uShip stands out as one of the industry’s best car shipping companies. We gave uShip 4.4 out of 5.0-stars for its marketplace platform and affordable car shipping rates.

See whether uShip could cover your California car shipping needs in our full uShip review.

 

FAQ: Car Shipping In California

How much does it cost to ship a car?

The cost of shipping a car can depend on various factors, but the price typically ranges from $700 to $1,500. Shipments that cover less than 500 miles average around $1 per mile, while costs per mile decrease as distance goes up.

How long is an auto transport quoted price good for?

Auto transport prices are constantly in flux, so rates only remain the same once a customer accepts a car shipping offer. Even then, certain companies may unexpectedly raise costs mid-shipment. By choosing car carriers that offer guaranteed pricing, you can eliminate this potential issue.

How far in advance should I book?

Book your shipment as soon as possible. Providing your auto transporter with a longer lead time allows the company extra time to find the best driver and the lowest price for your needs.

How long does it take to ship a vehicle?

The average shipment length will range from one to six days, but there are many variables that can affect pickup and delivery dates. If you choose enclosed transport or have a long-distance delivery, the shipping process might take longer.

Can I leave personal items in my vehicle?

Most vehicle transport companies won’t let you leave personal items in your vehicle, as they are not covered under standard carrier or cargo insurance. Even if a company doesn’t stop you from transporting personal items in your car, it’s still a risky move to make.


Methodology

In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of car shipping companies to formulate rankings of the best transporters. Providers receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.

  • Reputation: Shippers with a history of strong business practices and endorsements from experts receive the highest scores in this category.
  • Cost: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of shipping routes, distances, and vehicles. Companies with lower prices and many discount opportunities receive the best scores.
  • Services: This rating is based on types of auto transport services available, insurance coverage, and the ability to guarantee pickup and dropoff dates.
  • Customer Experience: We comb through customer reviews and perform our own shopper analysis to get a sense of the responsiveness and helpfulness of each car transporter.