June 11th, 2023

How to Ship Your Car To & From California

Learn the step-by-step process of car shipping, including how to choose a reliable company, negotiate a fair price, prepare your car for shipping, and understand the shipping process. This guide also helps you navigate the post-delivery procedures and legalities involved in car shipping to and from California.

How to Ship Your Car To & From California

Understanding Car Shipping

To begin, let’s unravel the concept of car shipping. It refers to the process of transporting a vehicle from one location to another using specific services. Typically, these services utilize various types of carriers, depending on the car’s model, value, and the customer’s preferences.

Choosing a Reliable Car Shipping Company

Firstly, you must select a trustworthy car shipping company. To do so, research widely, seeking out customer reviews and ratings. Besides, you should verify the company’s legitimacy by checking its registration with the Department of Transportation.

Negotiating a Fair Shipping Price

Title: Calculating Costs

Once you’ve chosen a company, you’ll need to negotiate a fair shipping price. Various factors influence the cost of shipping a car, such as distance, vehicle size, and transport type. Furthermore, the time of year can also significantly impact the price.

Title: Securing a Quote

However, before you finalize the deal, secure a shipping quote from the company. It should include details about pick-up and delivery dates, insurance coverage, and any possible additional charges.

Preparing Your Car for Shipping

Title: Inspection and Documentation

After sealing the deal, it’s time to prepare your car for shipping. Start with a thorough inspection of the vehicle, documenting any existing damage. It serves as a useful record in case of any disputes later on.

Title: Cleaning and Securing

Next, give your car a good clean, inside and out. Remove personal items and secure or remove any loose parts to prevent potential damage during transit.

Understanding the Shipping Process

Title: Pickup and Delivery

Typically, the shipping process includes both pickup and delivery. A truck driver will collect your car from a designated location and securely load it onto the truck. Upon reaching the destination, the driver will unload and deliver the vehicle.

Title: Transit Time

Importantly, you should note that transit times vary. Factors like distance, traffic, and weather conditions can influence how long it will take for your car to arrive at its destination.

What to Do Once Your Car Arrives

Title: Post-Delivery Inspection

Upon your car’s arrival, conduct a post-delivery inspection. Check for any potential damage that may have occurred during shipping. If you notice any discrepancies, report them immediately to the shipping company.

Title: Receiving Documentation

Lastly, you should receive documentation from the shipping company that confirms the completion of the service. This documentation is crucial for resolving any potential issues that might arise later.

Navigating Car Shipping Legalities

When shipping your car to and from California, you should be aware of specific legalities. For instance, the company you choose must be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Furthermore, ensure that the carrier holds valid insurance that covers your vehicle during transit.


In conclusion, shipping a car to and from California involves a series of systematic steps, from selecting a reliable shipping company and negotiating a fair price to preparing your car for shipping and understanding the process. Once your car arrives, conduct a thorough post-delivery inspection and ensure you receive the appropriate documentation. By being well-informed and attentive, you can navigate the process smoothly.


1. How much does it cost to ship a car to and from California?
The cost to ship a car to and from California varies depending on several factors such as distance, vehicle size, and transport type. Always secure a detailed quote before finalizing the service.

2. How long does it take to ship a car to and from California?
The shipping duration can vary based on factors like the distance of the shipping route, weather conditions, and traffic. Most shipping companies provide an estimated delivery window.