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Can I ship my car from California to another state?

Published by Joe Webster.

What's in this article?
  1. Understanding the Basics of Car Shipping
  2. How to Prepare Your Car for Shipping
  3. Choosing the Right Auto Transport Company
  4. Cost Factors and How to Save Money
  5. Conclusion
Can I ship my car from California to another state?

Are you pondering over the question, "Can I ship my car from California to another state?" Whether you're relocating for a new job, sending a vehicle to a family member, or buying/selling a car, understanding your options for car transport services is crucial. Shipping a car across state lines might seem daunting, but with the right information and a reliable auto transport company, the process can be smooth and stress-free. This article aims to provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to safely and efficiently transport your vehicle from California to any other state, ensuring peace of mind throughout the journey.

Yes, you absolutely can ship your car from California to another state. Numerous auto transport services specialize in moving vehicles across state lines safely and efficiently. When choosing a car shipping company, it's essential to consider factors such as the type of transport (open or enclosed), insurance coverage, and the company's reputation. The process typically involves getting a quote, preparing your car for shipping, and arranging for pickup and delivery. With the right car transport company, you can expect a straightforward and secure transport process, freeing you from the hassle and risks associated with long-distance driving.


Understanding the Basics of Car Shipping

When it comes to shipping cars from California to another state, knowing the basics of car transport can help you make informed decisions. Here are the key points to consider:

Types of Car Shipping Options:

  • Open Transport: The most common and cost-effective option, where your car is transported on an open trailer. It's safe for most vehicles, though they are exposed to the elements.
  • Enclosed transport : provides additional protection against weather and road debris, making it the ideal choice for luxury, classic, or high-value vehicles. This option is more expensive but provides peace of mind for those with special cars.
  • Door-to-Door vs. Terminal-to-Terminal Delivery:
  • Door-to-Door: The auto transport service picks up and delivers your vehicle as close to your specified locations as possible. It offers convenience but can be pricier.
  • Terminal-to-Terminal: Requires you to drop off and pick up your car at the auto transport company’s terminals. It's more affordable and can be convenient if the terminals are close to your locations.

Choosing the right service depends on your budget, the level of protection you want for your vehicle, and your convenience preferences. Regardless of your choice, ensure you're working with a reputable auto transport company. Researching auto transport companies, reading reviews, and comparing quotes can help you find a service that meets your needs and budget, ensuring a smooth and successful car transport experience from California to your destination state.

How to Prepare Your Car for Shipping

Before you ship a car to another state, it's essential to prepare it properly to ensure a smooth and hassle-free process. Here are some steps to follow:

  • Clean Your Car: A thorough cleaning allows for a more accurate inspection, helping you identify any existing damage before the car shipping service takes over. This step is crucial for your peace of mind and for the accurate assessment of your vehicle's condition.
  • Remove Personal Belongings: Auto transport companies typically advise against leaving personal items in your vehicle during transport. Not only can personal belongings add unnecessary weight, but they are also not covered by the transporter’s insurance. Removing these items protects you from potential loss or damage.
  • Document Pre-existing Damage: Take detailed photos and notes of any existing damage on your vehicle. This documentation will be invaluable in the rare event that you need to file a claim for damage incurred during transport.
  • Check Fluids and Battery: Ensure that all fluids are at the proper level and that your battery is fully charged. This step is crucial for loading and unloading your vehicle.
  • Disable Alarms: If your car has an alarm system, make sure to disable it to prevent it from going off during transport.
  • Lock the Car: Once your car is loaded onto the truck, there's no need for it to be opened until delivery. Locking your car helps to secure it during transit.

Preparing your car for shipping not only protects your vehicle but also assists the car shipping service in providing the best possible care during its journey from California to your new destination.

Choosing the Right Auto Transport Company

Selecting a reliable auto transport company is crucial when planning to ship your car from California to another state. Here’s how to ensure you choose the right service:

  • Research and Reputation: Start by researching potential auto transport companies. Look for businesses with a strong reputation for reliability and customer service. Online reviews and ratings can provide insight into past customers' experiences.
  • Insurance Coverage: Ensure that the car shipping company offers adequate insurance coverage. This protection is vital in case of unexpected damage during transport. Don't hesitate to ask for proof of insurance and understand what is covered.
  • Experience: Experience in the california car shipping industry matters. Companies with extensive experience are more likely to provide smooth and efficient service, as they understand the nuances of interstate transport regulations and logistics.
  • Quotes and Pricing: Get quotes from multiple car shipping services to compare prices. However, the cheapest option isn't always the best. Consider the value you're getting for your money, including insurance, service options (like enclosed transport), and customer service quality.
  • Communication and Customer Service: A reliable auto transport company should offer excellent communication throughout the process. From the moment you request a quote to the delivery of your car, timely updates and clear information are essential for peace of mind.

By taking these steps, you can find a car shipping service that meets your needs, ensuring your vehicle is transported safely and efficiently from California to your chosen destination.


Cost Factors and How to Save Money

The cost to ship a car to another state can vary widely based on several factors. Understanding these can help you manage your budget and possibly save money:

  • Distance: The further the delivery locations, the higher the cost. Shipping rates are typically calculated based on mileage.
  • Type of Transport: Enclosed transport offers more protection but is more expensive than open transport. Consider your vehicle's value and your comfort level with exposure to elements when choosing.
  • Vehicle Size and Condition: Larger vehicles cost more to ship due to their weight and space they occupy. Additionally, if your car is not running, it may incur extra charges because of the additional labor and equipment needed for loading and unloading.
  • Time of Year: Demand for car shipping services fluctuates throughout the year. Prices may be higher during peak moving seasons or in adverse weather conditions.
  • Flexibility: Being flexible with your pickup and delivery dates can lead to lower costs. Auto transport companies might offer discounts for flexibility that aligns with their scheduling efficiencies.
  • Terminal-to-Terminal Shipping: Choosing terminal-to-terminal shipping over door-to-door service can save money. However, consider the convenience factor and potential storage fees at the terminal.

To save money, ask for quotes from several reputable auto transport companies and don't hesitate to inquire about discounts or more affordable options. Planning ahead and being flexible with your shipping dates and options can significantly reduce the cost of shipping your car from California to another state.


Shipping your car safely and efficiently from California to another state is crucial for a stress-free transition. It's crucial to select a trusted auto transport company that prioritizes the safety of your vehicle and caters to your individual requirements. Thorough preparation of your car for shipping, including cleaning and removing personal items, plays a significant role in the process. By selecting the right service and preparing your vehicle properly, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing your car is in good hands.

Ready to ship your car with confidence? Contact A1 Auto Transport today for a free quote and consultation. Our team of professionals is dedicated to meeting your car shipping needs with the utmost care and efficiency. Let us handle the details, so you can focus on your journey ahead.

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Joe Webster always knew the auto transport industry would be a great career option. And with decades of experience, Joe is now an established consultant for A1 Auto Transport.

Joe was born in Santa Cruz, California. During high school, Joe worked as a mechanic; a job continued to work part-time during his bachelor's degree.

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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.
★★★★★ choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

A1 Auto Transport... From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

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Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them... Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd,
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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