The lower price point is for small and compact cars moving during the non-peak fall and winter months, whereas the upper end is for full-size sedans, pickup trucks, and SUVs shipped between June and August.
To ship a car from New York to California typically takes between 7 to 15 days. Car shipping companies offer better pricing for customers who have flexible delivery timeframes.
Of course, mileage, supply and demand, and fuel prices will affect pricing too. For these reasons and others, using a vetted auto shipping company with verified customer reviews is almost always the safest and most convenient way to have your vehicle moved.But here’s the catch –
Finding a reputable car transporter on your own isn’t easy.
Thankfully, we’ve compiled and verified customer reviews, license, insurance, and federal complaint data from dozens of car transport companies.
And here are the 5 Best Car Shipping Companies.
Getting a free quote couldn’t be easier.
That said, if shipping a car from California to New York is on your “to-do” list, you’ll want to read on.
Factors to Consider When Shipping a Car from New York to California
Each year thousands of people move from New York to California.
Now let’s get down to business.
When it comes to shipping a car, the cost is definitely important.
But when factoring in travel expenses like gas, lodging, and food, shipping your car is often just as cheap as driving it.
But you’ll also need to think about –
- Personal limitations (like finances, age, physical impairments)
More on these shortly, but first, let’s address the things that affect cost.
1. Distance – The mileage between your old and new homes is the most significant factor in how much vehicle shipping will cost
2. Time of Year – The peak summer months between June and August have the highest volumes and are the most expensive, while winter and fall are cheaper
3. Open Carrier or Enclosed Trailer – Most new cars from ports and factories are moved on open auto carriers, while race cars, vintage collector’s cars, and high-dollar luxury cars get enclosed transport
4. Size, Weight, and Type of Vehicle – The larger and heavier your vehicle, the more shipping will cost
5. Delivery Expectations – Because it’ll make their job easier, your auto shipper may give you a pricing discount if you’re flexible on delivery dates
6. Pick up and Drop-Off Options – Instead of door-to-door service, consider taking your vehicle to the nearest company terminal at origin and having it delivered to the one closest to your new home. It’s more work for you, but if you’re moving between major cities like Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, and NYC, it could save you a bundle
Did You Know?
Minor damage from ice, hail, and road debris like sand, rocks, and salt is common when shipping your vehicle on an open trailer.
Having your vehicle transported by professionals is –
- Safe – let them deal with traffic jams, bad weather, and highway bandits
- Affordable – it’s often not much more expensive than driving yourself
- Convenient – you can take a train, snag a cheap flight, or drive a second vehicle
Did You Know?
Elderly travelers are more likely to have accidents and be victims of crime while on the road.
How to Ship a Car from New York to California
There are multiple options for shipping your car cross country, and though most customers use an auto transport services company or drive their vehicle themselves, the others are worth checking out.
Use an Auto Transport Company
From the cost, convenience, and safety perspectives, we recommend shipping your ride with a reputable auto transport company.
Drive it Yourself
For the young, fit, and fearless, cross-country road trips can be epic adventures.
The country is full of beautiful scenery and worthwhile attractions like the Hoover Dam on the Arizona-Nevada border and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.
On the downside, multi-day journeys through unfamiliar territory in inclement weather and mountainous terrain can be dangerous, especially for families traveling with kids.
In addition, the costs associated with minor fender benders and having to wait out a freak winter storm in a hotel can exceed the price of shipping your car, so consider things carefully before deciding which option is best.
Ship it Inside the Moving Van
Professional movers often put cars inside moving vans with their customer’s household goods and personal belongings.
This option is only available on long-distance intrastate and interstate moves and may only be offered in the fall and winter when van space isn’t in such high demand.
Sometimes movers charge for this shipping service based on the car or truck’s actual weight, and they may tack on a “bulky item” charge.
Better yet, ask for a flat-rate based on the manufacturer’s vehicle weight rating.
Use Your Mover’s In-House Car Hauler
Some big national movers like United Van Lines and Allied Van Lines have their own in-house car hauling fleets.
They use the same equipment as regular car haulers. Since most of their business comes from national account customers who demand on-time deliveries and damage-free service, they only hire experienced drivers.
On the downside, they’re usually more expensive.
With drive away service, you hire a company to provide a driver to drive your car from point A to point B.
Needless to say, vetting each prospective company thoroughly is imperative.
Ask if they –
- Give fixed prices
- Do background and drug checks
- Exclusively hire drivers with clean driving records
- Have guaranteed pick up and delivery dates
- Provide insurance for accidents or theft
In most cases, it’s wise to steer clear of driveaway companies because the risks outweigh the cost savings.
Driving Your Car vs. Shipping It – The Verdict
The verdict is in…
Though it’s not always the cheapest way to have a car moved, by nearly every measure hiring professionals is the way to go.
- Ask friends, family, and coworkers for referrals
- Don’t settle for one car shipping quote, get two or three
- If you had a great experience with a company transporting your car between Orlando, Florida, and Honolulu, Hawaii, chances are they can move one from San Diego to Albany too
- Having the company drop off your car at their terminal may save you big bucks
Again, we highly recommend hiring professionals when shipping your car. It will save you time and the headache of figuring out the logistics. Check out our complete list of the top auto transport companies.
And if the reason you’re shipping your car is that you’re moving across the country, we’ve also compiled our list of the best auto transport companies who can help you make your move and car shipping process more seamless.
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