5 Tips to Shipping Your Car to California Cross-Country

People use cars to get from one place to another, whether across town or the country. But sometimes people need to transport the car itself, maybe even across the country. California is the most populous state in the country and is still a destination for thousands of people a year who move there for work or other reasons.

Getting a car from across the country to California isn’t always as simple as driving it. Sometimes the car isn’t in good enough condition to drive the whole way, or the owner might not have the time or the ability to drive the car. With road construction, possible detours, and weather issues, it could take several days to a week to get to California from another part of the country. If crunched for time, driving the car does not make much sense and can add unnecessary stress.

Pros and Cons to Shipping Your Car to California Cross-Country

Because of this, many people choose to ship their cars with a shipping company. There are pros and cons to shipping a car. But with a little careful planning, people can make shipping their cars a positive experience. Here are five tips if you are looking into how to ship a car to California cross-country.

shipping your car to california

Get Shipping Quotes

With so many people moving to and from California, getting quotes from several shipping companies is easy. The sooner a person requests a quote, the better. Last-minute shipping will cause the cost to skyrocket.

Other things people should ask about when seeking quotes from companies is whether the company will drop the car off or the owner will have to pick it up and when the owner needs to ship the car. Shipping your car to California during the busier moving seasons will affect the quote.

Open or Closed Transport

One important decision to make when shipping a car to California is whether to go with an open-top or closed-top transport service. In this case, the most important point to consider is the value of the car. Closed transport provides more protection from damage and inclement weather. But an enclosed transport can’t move as many cars as an open transport vehicle can, driving up the cost.

For many people, open-top transport is more economical and realistic. People shipping luxury vehicles across the country into California may prefer to shield their cars in closed-top transport.

Staying Insured During Shipping

Even though no one is behind the wheel while a car ships across the country, it is still essential to maintain a car insurance policy on the vehicle during shipping. Shipping your car to California from across the country is a terrific time to reassess the insurance policy on the car. Premiums can change considerably depending on the final zip code destination of the car.

The car insurance companies with the lowest prices and best ratings in one state may not be the same in another. There may also be some insurance company options available in California that aren’t available elsewhere in the country, so calling around to get quotes is a smart thing to do.

Convenience Versus Price

There’s almost always a price to pay for convenience, and shipping a car to California is no exception. Some companies can ship cars at short notice and provide a lot of protection, but the cost for this will be much higher than if there is no rush.

People hoping to ship their car as inexpensively as possible should plan and schedule the shipment at least a couple of weeks ahead. They may also have to wait longer for their car to arrive.

Prepare the Car

Before dropping off the car, people should prepare it for shipping. Take anything valuable or challenging to replace from the inside of the vehicle. Accidents can happen, and items can easily be lost in transit.

Another aspect to consider is the weight of the car. Some shipping companies factor in the weight of the car in the total price, so a car full of personal items will cost more to ship than an empty car.

Reducing the stress of the expense and coordination of shipping a car to California is possible. With a little careful planning, shipping a car can be a convenient and helpful way to get a car across the country.

Jasper has been an enthusiast of the automotive and IT industries since the age of 16. He independently writes on the auto industry's recent happenings.