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What is the cost of shipping a car to or from Los Angeles?

Published by Joe Webster.

What is the cost of shipping a car to or from Los Angeles?

When considering auto transport services to or from a bustling hub like Los Angeles, understanding the associated costs is crucial for anyone looking to ship a car. Los Angeles, a major node in the national and international car shipping networks, sees thousands of vehicles come and go every month. Whether you're relocating for work, sending a car to a family member, or dealing with a sale or purchase, knowing the financial aspects of car shipping can significantly ease your planning and execution. This guide aims to provide a clear breakdown of the costs involved in car shipping to or from Los Angeles, highlighting what influences these costs and how you can potentially minimize them.

When asking, "what is the cost of shipping a car to or from Los Angeles?" it's important to note that prices can vary widely based on several factors. Generally, the car shipping cost to ship a car to Los Angeles ranges from $500 to $1,500 for domestic routes. Conversely, shipping a car from Los Angeles to other major cities in the U.S. might cost roughly the same, depending on the destination's distance and accessibility.

Several car shipping companies offer varying tiers of service which also influence the overall cost. For example, the choice between open-air transport or enclosed transport can affect the price, with enclosed transport generally being more expensive due to the increased protection it offers the vehicle. Additionally, the urgency with which you need to ship a car can affect cost; expedited shipping options are available but come at a premium.


Factors Affecting the Cost of Shipping a Car

Several key factors influence the shipping cost when it comes to car transport to or from Los Angeles. Here are some of the primary considerations:

  • Distance and Route Specifics: Naturally, the further the car needs to travel, the higher the cost. Shipping routes that are more commonly used might offer more competitive pricing due to higher volume. For instance, shipping from Los Angeles to nearby states like Nevada or Arizona will be less expensive than shipping to the East Coast due to the shorter distance.
  • Type of Transport Service Used: As mentioned, you have choices like open or enclosed transport. Most car shipping companies recommend enclosed transport for high-end, luxury, or classic cars, as it provides protection from the elements and road debris. On the other hand, open transport is more cost-effective and is suitable for most standard vehicle types.
  • Type of Vehicle: Larger vehicles such as SUVs or trucks take up more space on a carrier, which can increase the cost compared to compact cars. The weight of the vehicle also plays a critical role; heavier cars add more burden to the transporter, increasing fuel costs.
  • Seasonality and Timing: The auto transport industry experiences high and low seasons. Summer months tend to be busier due to a higher volume of moves and car sales, which can drive prices up. Conversely, shipping during the winter months might be less expensive, although potentially slower due to weather conditions affecting travel routes.
  • Residential or Business Location: Picking up or delivering a vehicle to a residential area might be more expensive than a business location due to the additional labor and smaller, less accessible roads. Some areas in Los Angeles, particularly those with narrow or congested streets, might incur additional fees.

Understanding these factors can help you navigate the complexities of car shipping costs and choose the right car shipping company for your needs, ensuring that your vehicle arrives safely and economically.

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Additional Costs to Consider

While the basic shipping costs associated with moving a car to or from Los Angeles are straightforward, there are additional expenses that you might encounter during the shipping process. Understanding these can help you budget more accurately and avoid surprises.

  • Insurance Coverage: Most reputable auto transport companies provide basic insurance coverage in their quotes, but it may not cover the full value of your vehicle in case of damage. It’s wise to consider purchasing additional coverage, especially for luxury or antique cars that exceed the typical value covered under standard policies.
  • Terminal-to-Terminal vs. Door-to-Door Service: Terminal-to-terminal services can be less expensive than door-to-door deliveries. However, this requires you to drop off and pick up your car at specified locations, which might not always be convenient. Door-to-door delivery offers greater convenience as the car carrier comes to your specified business location or residential address, but it will cost more due to the extra labor and logistics involved.
  • Fees for Extra Services: If your vehicle requires additional handling or services—such as top-load placement on the carrier for additional safety from road debris, or if you need to transport personal belongings inside the vehicle—expect to pay more. It's important to discuss what's allowed with your transport provider, as not all allow items inside the car due to weight and safety regulations.

Comparing Costs: Los Angeles vs. Other Major Cities

When considering auto transport companies for shipping a car from Los Angeles, it’s useful to compare the potential costs with services in other major cities. This comparison not only highlights competitive pricing but also can influence your decision based on your specific needs and locations.

  • Fuel Prices: Fluctuating fuel prices significantly affect shipping costs. Since Los Angeles is a major hub for car shipping, prices might be more competitive compared to cities with less frequent service routes.
  • Geographic and Economic Factors: The cost of shipping from Los Angeles to places like New York or Miami could differ due to the distance, the availability of transport companies, and regional economic factors. For example, routes from Los Angeles to Texas might offer more competitive pricing due to higher demand and the presence of major interstate highways that facilitate easier transport.

Understanding these aspects helps in making informed decisions about which transport companies offer the best value for your specific route and vehicle type.


Tips for Reducing Car Shipping Costs

To ensure that you get the best deal on shipping your car to or from Los Angeles, consider these tips:

  • Get Competitive Quotes: Don’t settle for the first quote you receive. Ask for estimates from multiple transport companies to compare prices and services. Use online tools and platforms that allow you to quickly view multiple quotes at once.
  • Timing Your Shipment: If possible, plan your car shipping during off-peak seasons. Avoid the rush during summer or right before the winter holidays to take advantage of lower rates. Shipping during these times can also result in faster delivery as fewer vehicles are being transported.
  • Choosing the Right Transport Option: Opting for open auto transport over enclosed transport can save money if you don’t have a luxury or classic car. Open carriers are more common and offer substantial safety measures, making them a cost-effective choice for most vehicles.

By employing these strategies, you can effectively manage the costs associated with transporting your vehicle while ensuring that it arrives safely at its destination.

How to Find and Choose the Right Shipping Company

Selecting the right auto transport company is crucial for ensuring a smooth and secure shipping process for your vehicle. Here’s how you can find and choose the most reliable service provider:

  1. Research and Reviews: Start by researching various car shipping companies online. Look for companies with positive reviews and ratings on trusted consumer review websites. Feedback from previous customers can provide insights into the company’s reliability and quality of service.
  2. Quotes and Contracts: Contact multiple companies to get quotes. This will not only give you a sense of the competitive pricing but also how transparent companies are with their pricing structures. When reviewing contracts, ensure all services are clearly outlined along with their respective costs. Pay attention to details regarding insurance coverage, cancellation policies, and any potential hidden fees.
  3. Licenses and Insurance: Ensure that the auto transport company is licensed and insured. Check their registration with the Department of Transportation and verify their insurance policy details. This step is vital as it protects your vehicle under the company’s insurance during transportation.
  4. Customer Service: Gauge the quality of the company's customer service by how they handle your inquiries. A company that provides clear, timely, and helpful responses is likely to provide reliable service throughout the shipping process.

By thoroughly vetting potential car shipping companies, you can confidently select one that meets your needs, ensuring your vehicle is in good hands.



Choosing the right auto transport service for shipping a car to or from Los Angeles requires understanding the associated costs, factors affecting prices, and preparing your vehicle properly. Armed with this knowledge, you can ensure a cost-effective and secure transport experience.

Ready to ship your car with confidence? Visit A1 Auto Transport today for reliable, efficient, and competitively priced auto transport services. Whether you're shipping to or from Los Angeles, trust us to deliver your vehicle safely and on time. Get your free quote now and experience hassle-free car shipping!

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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.

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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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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.

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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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