Gift Icon
Get a 20% discount from our partners! Discount code will get added automatically when you submit the form.
Auto Transport Truck on Highway
4.7 Star Rating4.7 (67,926 reviews)
96.3% positive
No Surprises, Just Savings: Verified Carriers, Instant Quotes, and Best Price Guarantee!
You save 20% compared to other companies
Get quotes from trusted carriers, thoroughly vetted and fully insured. Enjoy trackable deliveries, fair pricing, and hassle-free transport from start to finish. Transport any type of vehicle and drive away worry-free.
Customer Images
7790 people shipped using A-1 Auto Transport last week
Scratch-Free Guarantee
Vetted Carriers
Transparent Costs
Customer Ratings By Feature
Value for Money ★★★★★ 4.9
Vehicle Care ★★★★★ 4.9
Fast Delivery ★★★★★ 4.9
Friendly Staff ★★★★★ 4.9
Dave loved the fast deliveryDave C.
Dave loved the fast delivery
My relocation to Chicago was fast, smooth and without any delay thanks to A1 Auto.
Courtney enjoyed the honest guidanceCourtney J.
Courtney enjoyed the honest guidance
Just what you need when trusting someone with your wheels! Kudos to this company!
Jeff enjoyed the fair priceJeff D.
Jeff enjoyed the fair price
Moved my ride hassle-free with these folks.Fair pricing, no surprises. Definitely recommend them!
Maria enjoyed the special care and safetyMaria L.
Maria enjoyed the special care and safety
Huge thanks to the movers – they were meticulous with my car. Love these guys.
Recently featured on USA Today

“A1 Auto Transport became synonymous with top-notch service delivery, unfailing punctuality and constantly preoccupied with customer satisfaction.

See Article— USA Today

How long does it take to ship a car within California?

Published by Joe Webster.

What's in this article?
  1. Factors Influencing Shipping Time
  2. Distance
  3. Type of Transport
  4. Pickup and Delivery Locations
  5. Time of Year
  6. Carrier Availability
  7. Preparing Your Car for Transport
  8. Choosing the Right Auto Transport Company
  9. Tips for a Faster Shipping Process
  10. Conclusion
How long does it take to ship a car within California?

When it comes to moving a vehicle across the Golden State, one of the first questions that comes to mind is, "How long does it take to ship a car within California?" Whether you're relocating, selling a vehicle, or sending a car to a family member, understanding the timeframe for auto transport is crucial. This article aims to provide a clear answer to this question, taking into account various factors that can influence shipping times. Additionally, we'll offer insights into choosing the right car shipping company and preparing your vehicle for transport, ensuring a smooth and efficient process. With the right information, you can plan your car shipping with confidence, knowing what to expect every step of the way.

On average, shipping a car within California can take from 1 to 5 days. This timeframe is influenced by several factors, including the distance between pickup and delivery locations, the type of transport service selected, and the overall demand for car shipping services at the time of your booking. For instance, shipping a car from Los Angeles to San Francisco can be quicker than shipping from a major city to a remote area due to the shorter distance and better accessibility. It is worth considering that while these are average estimates, each car shipping company may offer different timelines based on their specific operations and current schedule. Therefore, when planning to ship a car, it's advisable to consult with your chosen auto transport service provider for a more accurate estimate.


Factors Influencing Shipping Time


The distance between the pickup and delivery locations is one of the primary factors affecting how long it takes to ship a car within California. Shipping from city to city, such as from San Diego to Sacramento, is generally faster than transporting a vehicle to or from more remote areas of the state. The longer the distance, the more time it will take for the vehicle transport to be completed.

Type of Transport

The choice between open and enclosed transport options also plays a significant role in shipping times. Open transport, which is more common and affordable, typically has more availability and can lead to quicker shipping times. Enclosed transport, offering more protection for the vehicle, might have less frequent departures due to its specialized nature, potentially extending the delivery schedule.

Pickup and Delivery Locations

Accessibility of the pickup and delivery locations can significantly impact the timeline. Urban areas with good infrastructure allow for easier and quicker loading and unloading, whereas locations with challenging access might add to the delivery time due to the extra effort required to safely transport the vehicle.

Time of Year

Seasonal demand influences car shipping timelines as well. During peak seasons, such as summer months and holiday periods, there is a higher demand for auto transport services. This increased demand can lead to longer shipping times due to the higher volume of shipments and potential delays.

Carrier Availability

Finally, the availability of carriers can affect how quickly a car is shipped. Car shipping companies manage their logistics based on the number of available carriers and the current demand. Limited availability can extend the wait time for pickup, especially if there's a surge in demand or logistical challenges specific to the region.

Understanding these factors can help set realistic expectations when planning to ship a car within California. By considering distance, transport type, location accessibility, seasonal demand, and carrier availability, you can better anticipate the time frame for your vehicle's transport and plan accordingly.


Preparing Your Car for Transport

Before your vehicle embarks on its journey across California, preparing it for the trip is essential. This preparation can significantly influence the car shipping time, ensuring the process is as smooth and efficient as possible. Start by giving your car a thorough clean, both inside and out. This is not just about making a good impression; a clean vehicle allows for easier inspection, ensuring any pre-existing damages are well-documented.

Remove all personal items and valuables from the car. Auto shipping services are not responsible for personal items left in the vehicle, and these items can shift during transport, potentially causing damage. Additionally, reduce your fuel level to about a quarter of the tank. This reduces the weight of your car, which is especially important for the transport company when managing load limits and helps ensure safety during the transport process.

Ensure that all loose parts on your vehicle, such as antennas and spoilers, are secured or removed. Also, make sure that your car is in good running condition, with no leaks or mechanical problems. If your vehicle has any peculiarities, like a tricky ignition or a specific way to handle the brakes, inform the car shipping California service beforehand. This preparation helps carriers avoid any surprises during pickup and delivery, facilitating a smoother loading and unloading process.

Choosing the Right Auto Transport Company

Selecting a reliable auto transport company is crucial for a hassle-free car shipping experience in California. Look for an insured car shipping company with a solid reputation for providing quality car transport services. Insurance is vital as it protects your vehicle against any unforeseen incidents during transport. Researching and reading reviews from previous customers can give you insight into the company's reliability and the quality of their service.

When comparing car shipping companies, consider their experience in handling shipments within California. A company familiar with the state's logistics, including the best routes and the challenges of different pickup and delivery locations, can provide more accurate shipping times and a smoother transport process.

Transparency in pricing is another critical factor. A trustworthy company will provide you with a detailed quote, outlining all the costs involved in shipping your car. This transparency helps avoid any unexpected charges, ensuring you understand exactly what you're paying for.

Lastly, consider the level of customer service offered. The best California car shipping services will have responsive customer support, ready to answer your questions and keep you updated throughout the shipping process. This communication is crucial for peace of mind and ensuring that your vehicle transport services meet your expectations.

Tips for a Faster Shipping Process

To expedite your car shipping within California, consider these actionable tips. First, be flexible with your pickup and delivery dates. The more flexible you are, the easier it is for the car shipping company to schedule your transport, potentially reducing the wait time. Early booking can also make a significant difference. By scheduling your auto shipping services in advance, you secure a spot on the carrier's schedule, avoiding the peak season rush that could delay your shipping time.

Clear communication with your chosen car transport service is essential. Provide all necessary information about your vehicle and its condition, and discuss your expectations and any concerns you might have regarding the shipping process. This clarity helps prevent any misunderstandings and ensures that the company can meet your needs effectively.

Lastly, consider choosing a pickup and delivery location that is easily accessible. While door-to-door service is convenient, opting for a location that is easy for the carrier to access can reduce the overall car shipping time. Sometimes, choosing a central location in a city or town, rather than a remote or difficult-to-navigate area, can expedite the shipping process.

By preparing your vehicle correctly, choosing the right auto transport company, and following these tips, you can enjoy a smoother and potentially quicker car shipping experience within California.



Shipping a car within California typically takes between 1 to 5 days, but this timeframe can be influenced by several factors, including the distance between pickup and delivery locations, the type of transport, and seasonal demands. By understanding these factors and properly preparing your vehicle for transport, you can ensure a smoother and more efficient shipping process. Remember, choosing the right auto transport company is crucial to the success of shipping your vehicle within the state.

Ready to ship your car within California? Contact A1 Auto Transport for personalized information on shipping times and to request a quote tailored to your specific needs. Visit our website's quote page or reach out to our customer service team today. Let us help you navigate the car shipping process with ease and confidence.

Share this content on social media for a chance to get up to 20% off your next shipment.
Copy link

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.

Email Me

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!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
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.

Visit our social, and see what our clients are saying about us:

Ship Your Vehicle With A-1 Auto Today
Get an instant free Quote Now

Or Call Us Today and Speak Directly to Our Sales Team:

Call Us 1-888-230-9116

Our Partners:

Better Business Bureau Accredited
FMCSA Member
INC. 500 Member
VeriSign Secured
AMSA Member

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
Copyright © 1988-2024, A-1 Auto Transport - All Rights Reserved.