Moving from California to Texas: Cost and Tips

The cost of moving from California to Texas will vary depending on factors such as when the move occurs, the distance of the move, how much you’re moving, and the method you choose to move. Use this guide to compare costs for your interstate move.

It’s no secret in the moving industry that Californians are packing up for other states more than anyone else.What’s their favorite destination? Texas.

In fact, the only interstate move more popular than California to Texas is New York to Florida.

In this article, we will talk about how much it costs to move to Texas from California, why people are making the move, and where you should consider relocating to in the Lone Star State.

For your convenience, here’s a quick answer for how much this popular move will cost you.

Quick Answer The average price to move from California to Texas is from $2,200-$4,100 depending on the size, route, distance, and timing of the move. Hiring a professional moving company will be on the more expensive side. Renting a truck or using a moving container will save you money but also require a lot more work.

Before we get into the details, you must know that the move and its cost will be different for everyone. To get a good idea of how much it’ll cost for you to move, get a free quote using our moving cost calculator.

Now let’s dive into it.

How Much Does It Cost to Move from California to Texas?

Professional Moving Company Moving Container Company Freight Trailer Company Truck Rental Company*
Studio/One Bedroom $1,680-$1,890 $1,923-$2,429 $1520-$1,920 $1,093-$1,476
2-3 Bedrooms $2,200-3,550 $2,442-$3,085 $2,185-$2,760 $1,142-$1,542
4+ Bedrooms $3,885-$6,500 $3,273-$4,134 $2,850-$3,200 $1,444-$1,949

*Estimate includes fuel cost but no other costs associated such as lodging, tolls, or parking.

Why the Wide Variation in Prices?

Both Texas and California are big states. Where in the state you are moving and what time of year you are moving all affect pricing.

Some states also have a higher demand as a preferred moving destination, which can increase the cost of your move.

Get quotes for all moving options so you can decide on the most economical and worry-free approach to making your move.

Inbound vs. Outbound Moving Demand Impacts Price

California continues to lose population, About 691,000 people left California to live in other states in 2018.

In the last twenty years, California has lost more people to other states than it has gained according to the US Census.

Meanwhile, Texas as an inbound state continues to outperform states like California as well as many other states in the United States. Texas maintains its status as a place for mostly inbound moves in 2019.

56.1 percent of shipments to Texas were inbound, a leap from 2018 when only 52.4 percent of the moves were inbound.

The popularity of Texas may impact the cost of the move, along with timing.

The impact of Moving Season

Summer is moving season, which means a spike in moving costs. Completing your move during offseason periods such as the fall or winter months (even early spring) can save you money.

See how the cost of a 3-bedroom house with professional movers in March compares to the same move in July.

March 30: $3,885-$6,500
July 30: $6,288-$10,300

Use the moving cost calculator to get a customized estimate based on your moving dates and the size of your move.

Shipping Your Car From California to Texas

According to the US Census Bureau 700,000 Californians moved to Texas in the last decade.

That makes it the country’s most heavily traveled relocation lane, and though their reasons for moving vary, it’s high taxes and a slowing economy that drive most families to the Lone Star State.

The routes from Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Francisco to Dallas cover about 1,430 and 1,730 miles respectively.

Depending on their age and schedules, most travelers can make the drive in 3 or 4 days.

Piece of cake, right?

Under ideal conditions it may be, but hiring a professional auto transport company is the safest and most convenient way to handle the entire process of having your car moved.

And thankfully, we’ve already cross-referenced customer reviews, license, insurance, and federal complaint data from dozens of auto shipping companies. Check out our list of the 5 Best Car Shipping Companies 2021 and get a free quote and great rates from top companies.

Driving Your Car from California to Texas vs. Shipping It

Due to high demand for outbound auto transportation, rates from California to Texas are often significantly higher than they are from Texas to California.

Though you’ll need to get quotes based on your particular vehicle type, transportation needs and dates, expect to pay between $800 and $1,500.

But keep in mind that using auto transporters between May and September (peak season) generally means higher prices and limited availability as car carriers reach maximum capacity.

To avoid seasonal rate hikes and full trucks, it’s best to book your car move weeks or even a month in advance.

Also consider the following when considering vehicle shipping –

  • Portions of Interstate 40 in California, Arizona and New Mexico are subject to heavy snow and dangerous road conditions in the winter
  • Much of Interstate 10 passes through remote desert areas, making it a dangerous place to break down during the blistering summer months
  • Gas, food and lodging options along rural stretches of interstate can be few and far between
  • Many young drivers can make the trip in 2 or 3 days, while elderly travelers should plan on 4 or 5
  • Delivery windows during peak months can be a week or more from your pick up date
  • Shipping your car or truck is almost always safer and less stressful than driving it

Things to See and Do

If you plan on taking your time and enjoying the trip, consider checking out these attractions between California and Texas –

  • Grand Canyon National Park – Near Williams, Arizona (80 miles from I-40)
  • Historic Tombstone, Arizona – Site of the gunfight at the OK Corral (70 miles from I-10)
  • White Sands National Monument – The world’s largest gypsum dunes (45 miles from Las Cruces, New Mexico off I-10)
  • The Alamo Texas History Museum – San Antonio, Texas (1 mile north of I-10)

Factors to Consider When Shipping Your Car from California to Texas

  • Time of Year – Car shipping services during the fall and winter may be significantly cheaper than it is during the summer
  • Route – During the winter months car transport companies may calculate mileage based on the southern I-10 route to avoid hazardous road conditions, even if you’re moving to a north Texas city like Amarillo or Fort Worth
  • Open or Enclosed Transport – Unless you’re transporting a classic collector’s car or an exotic sports car, shipping via open transport is probably the best bet
  • Type of vehicle – Large heavy vehicles like pickup trucks and SUVs cost more to transport than small and midsize cars
  • Delivery Requirements – Many auto transport services offer discounts to customers who are flexible with their delivery dates
  • Pick up and Drop-Off Options – Instead of pricey door-to-door service, consider taking your vehicle to one of the company’s terminals at origin and having it delivered to one of their terminals at destination. This can be ore of a hassle on your part, but it’s relatively easy if you’re moving between large cities like San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco and Austin, Dallas, El Paso or Houston.

Why Are People Moving from California to Texas?

Lower Cost of Living

The migration out of California is mostly due to the high cost of living and high tax rates. The attraction of perfect weather is proving not strong enough to retain residents in the state.

No matter where you are in The Golden State, you’ll be paying some of the highest housing costs in the country. In Texas, you have the option of paying much lower housing prices.

Map by The Tax Foundation

Income taxes are a perfect example. California has the highest in the country, Texas, has income taxes of 0%.

Low Unemployment Rates

Texas continues to draw residents with an ample availability of jobs throughout the state, including the oil industry. Booming tech and trade industries add to Texas’ job growth.

Best Places to Move in Texas

Bear with us here, it’s going to be a long list. Texas is so big and diverse, it really has something for everyone.

Dallas

Dallas, Texas offers a high median annual salary, a robust job market and fairly inexpensive cost of living. For those looking for options of big city life and tranquil suburbs, then the Dallas-Fort Worth area provides comfortable living for both.

Dallas prides itself on a small-town feel in the big city, so friendliness abounds whether on the city streets or at suburban shopping malls.


Houston

Coming from Los Angeles or San Francisco? Houston is another go-to favorite for metropolitan lifestyles. Like Dallas a robust job market and lower cost of living drives migrants from other states. Houston residents make a median salary of $43,820, more than $3000 above the national average.

With more than 11,000 restaurants and affordable family attractions, Houston is also a place to enjoy life whether you are single or with family.

Whether you love urban life or suburban life, Houston, like Dallas, offers a combination of both. Considering Houston? Use our moving to Houston guide for more details and information.


San Antonio

Central Texas is becoming one of the coolest hubs in the country. This is thanks in good part to San Antonio.

San Antonio, Texas continues to be an attractive migration city with a flexible pace to the lifestyle. Tex-Mex barbecue joints offer relaxing nights out and the year-round Six Flags amusement park provides fun for the family.

These are just a few of the diverse activities that San Antonio has to offer. More than 50 fairs and festivals help keep everyone busy in San Antonio. Thinking about moving to San Antonio? Use our relocation guide to San Antonio for more details and information.


Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi, Texas has become the mecca for the new generation of Texas life. You won’t find much of the stereotype Texan here, cowboy hats and boots.

Next-gen is more bicycles along the beachfront and bustling farmer’s markets. The energy sector and a long-standing shipping industry influence has induced tremendous growth into this Texas city, offering employment opportunities and reasonable cost of living.

Hate long commutes? The city of Corpus Christi boasts a door-to-door 20-minute commute for most residents.


Beaumont

One of the best-kept secrets in the state of Texas is Beaumont.

Close to Louisiana, Beaumont is bustling with natural gas and petrochemical economic growth and a low cost of living. While others flock to the metro centers of Texas, Beaumont has quietly made a name as a growing family city.


Austin

Remember what we said about Central Texas becoming really cool? Enter: Austin.

Austin, Texas has become known for its energetic entertainment scene, yet it is also becoming a center for young professionals.

Neighboring towns like Allendale offer a comfortable suburb not far from the city limits. Cherrywood is a mix of students and hipsters and serves a younger crowd. For the artistic, East Austin serves the bohemian community of Austin residents. Considering making Austin your new home? Use our moving to Austin guide for more details and information.


Plano

For comfortable suburban living, Plano, Texas is gaining in popularity for families migrating from around the country.

The diverse school system and low crime rate offer a safe and prosperous community for families to settle.

Plano actually made the #1 spot in our list of best cities in Texas for dog owners.


College Station

Where can you find a home in Texas for roughly under $200,000? College Station is a quiet city in central Texas about 100 miles north of Houston.

Like its name, it is a bustling college town, hosting the famous A&M University. The local college economy has made College Station a great starter community for families and singles.

Residents love the small-town feel with a sophisticated college town foundation. Diversity is rich and life affordable.


The Lone Star State is big enough and diverse enough to accommodate all lifestyles from around the country. Its strong economic growth makes it a prime state for individuals and families looking for a reasonable cost of living, stable job markets and lots of things to do on the weekends.

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