Affiliate Disclosure

Each year, hundreds of thousands of people either move to or away from California, and many take their vehicles with them. If you’re one of them, you’ll want to know how to find affordable auto shipping to and from California. 

Since the state is so populous, it’s easy to find a California auto transport company that can deliver your car anywhere from San Diego to Fresno to Redding. The climate allows for door-to-door service any time of year, too. We’ve reviewed the best car shipping companies and our top picks all operate in The Golden State. Start getting free auto transport quotes from our recommended shippers below.

Table of Contents:



What to Expect When Shipping a Car to or from California

With about 12% of the U.S. population, California is the most populous state in the country. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 39 million people called the state home in 2019, which is more than the total population of Canada or Australia. California is also home to a wide range of natural landscapes and sprawling cityscapes. You can find rolling hills and winding desert roads as well as gridlocked highways that seem to be in a perpetual state of rush hour. 

Most auto transport companies offer services in California, so it isn’t hard to find and compare multiple quotes. If your pickup or dropoff location is in the Los Angeles area, you should have a flexible schedule when dealing with your car transport company. Traffic can be unpredictable, so it may take a bit longer to meet the car carrier. About a quarter of the population of California lives in Los Angeles County, which includes famous spots like Long Beach and Hollywood. 



Cost of Shipping to and from California

Below are a few sample quotes for auto shipping to and from California. These come from the broker Montway Auto Transport, which is our top pick for California car shipping. All of these quotes are for a 2018 Honda Accord on an open auto transporter trailer. You’ll pay more for larger trucks or SUVs and for enclosed vehicle shipping. 

California City Origin/Destination City Distance Cost of Auto Shipping To California Cost of Auto Shipping From California
San Francisco Portland, OR 634 miles $669 $939
San Francisco Boulder, CO 1,249 miles $799 $1,159
San Francisco Austin, TX 1,759 miles $889 $1,349
San Francisco Washington, DC 2,849 miles $1,189 $1,679


As you can see, it’s cheaper to ship a car into California than to ship a car out of the state. You can also see that the price per mile decreases as you book a longer shipment. However, if you need auto shipping from Alaska to California or even car shipping from Puerto Rico, you’ll pay quite a bit more for car shipping services than standard long-distance rates.

Another thing to keep in mind is your distance from major cities or highways. It’s a bit cheaper to ship a car directly to a metro area like the Bay Area or Sacramento than it is to ship a car to a rural area. Wherever your destination is, the best way to find a good price is to compare rates for auto transport services from multiple brokers.



Frequently Asked Questions About Auto Transport

How can I ship my car cheaply?

To find cheap car shipping rates, choose an open car transport method over an enclosed truck. Book your shipment at least two weeks in advance, and compare prices from multiple shipping services. Also, avoid peak moving seasons, including the summer months and January.

How much does it cost to ship a car from state to state?

Car shipping costs are based largely on the total mileage and the type of shipment. Shipping to your neighboring state will cost less than shipping across the country. A 500-mile trip can cost about $600, for example. 

How much does it cost to transport a car 1,000 miles?

According to Montway Auto Transport, it costs about $930 to ship your car a distance of 1,000 miles. This is an average cost, so the shipping quotes you find may be higher or lower depending on many factors, including your vehicle and whether you want open or closed transport.

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