Alabama to California Car Shipping (2024 Cost Guide)

Quick answer: The average cost to ship a car 2,161 miles from Alabama to California ranges from $1,552 to $2,464 and takes 4–12 days depending on factors like the transport type and season. For a more detailed quote, use our car shipping cost calculator.

Shipping a car the reverse route? We’ve got you covered with our California to Alabama car shipping guide.

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Alabama to California auto transport costs and transit times

The tables below details the costs and estimated transit times for shipping a car between popular cities in Alabama and California. The average travel distance is about 2,161 miles, with shipping times typically ranging from 4 to 12 days.

Cost to ship a car from Huntsville, AL to California

From Alabama to California Cost Distance Estimated transit time
Huntsville, AL to Los Angeles, CA $1,615 – $2,599 2,008 miles 4 – 12 days
Huntsville, AL to San Diego, CA $1,561 – $2,321 1,991 miles 3 – 11 days
Huntsville, AL to San Jose, CA $1,611 – $2,547 2,263 miles 5 – 13 days
Huntsville, AL to San Francisco, CA $1,665 – $2,702 2,305 miles 5 – 13 days
Huntsville, AL to Fresno, CA $1,568 – $2,489 2,131 miles 4 – 12 days
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Cost to ship a car from Birmingham, AL to California

From Alabama to California Cost Distance Estimated transit time
Birmingham, AL to Los Angeles, CA $1,663 – $2,574 2,037 miles 4 – 12 days
Birmingham, AL to San Diego, CA $1,561 – $2,345 1,995 miles 3 – 11 days
Birmingham, AL to San Jose, CA $1,644 – $2,573 2,293 miles 5 – 13 days
Birmingham, AL to San Francisco, CA $1,551 – $2,546 2,335 miles 5 – 13 days
Birmingham, AL to Fresno, CA $1,633 – $2,540 2,161 miles 4 – 12 days
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Cost to ship a car from Montgomery, AL to California

From Alabama to California Cost Distance Estimated transit time
Montgomery, AL to Los Angeles, CA $1,647 – $2,624 2,083 miles 4 – 12 days
Montgomery, AL to San Diego, CA $1,615 – $2,449 2,006 miles 4 – 12 days
Montgomery, AL to San Jose, CA $1,632 – $2,676 2,381 miles 5 – 13 days
Montgomery, AL to San Francisco, CA $1,582 – $2,720 2,423 miles 5 – 13 days
Montgomery, AL to Fresno, CA $1,579 – $2,496 2,249 miles 4 – 12 days
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Cost to ship a car from Mobile, AL to California

From Alabama to California Cost Distance Estimated transit time
Mobile, AL to Los Angeles, CA $1,615 – $2,424 2,013 miles 4 – 12 days
Mobile, AL to San Diego, CA $1,576 – $2,345 1,936 miles 3 – 11 days
Mobile, AL to San Jose, CA $1,644 – $2,496 2,274 miles 5 – 13 days
Mobile, AL to San Francisco, CA $1,649 – $2,728 2,316 miles 5 – 13 days
Mobile, AL to Fresno, CA $1,536 – $2,515 2,141 miles 4 – 12 days
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Cost to ship a car from Tuscaloosa, AL to California

From Alabama to California Cost Distance Estimated transit time
Tuscaloosa, AL to Los Angeles, CA $1,535 – $2,374 2,021 miles 4 – 12 days
Tuscaloosa, AL to San Diego, CA $1,655 – $2,441 1,943 miles 3 – 11 days
Tuscaloosa, AL to San Jose, CA $1,692 – $2,702 2,270 miles 5 – 13 days
Tuscaloosa, AL to San Francisco, CA $1,681 – $2,572 2,313 miles 5 – 13 days
Tuscaloosa, AL to Fresno, CA $1,633 – $2,591 2,138 miles 4 – 12 days
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Shipping an SUV or truck from Alabama to California

Since vehicles like SUV, trucks, and vans are larger and heavier, it’s a bit more expensive to ship them than a sedan. How much more?

If you’re shipping a larger vehicle from Alabama to California you should expect to pay between $1,940 and $3,080.

Factors that affect the price of shipping a car from Alabama to California

When transporting your vehicle from the Heart of Dixie to the Golden State, these factors will influence your final price:

  • Type of transport: Options like open, enclosed, or top-loaded transport cater to different needs. Open carriers are cost-effective, while enclosed transport provides added protection for luxury or classic cars. If you’re not sure, check out our guide comparing open vs. enclosed car shipping.
  • Vehicle size and type: The dimensions and weight of your vehicle directly affect shipping costs. The larger and heavier your vehicle, the more it will cost to ship your car to California.
  • Distance and route: The journey from Alabama to California spans approximately 2,161 miles, influencing fuel and labor costs. The longer the distance, the bigger the price tag.
  • Time of the year: Seasonal demand impacts the price of getting your car out of Alabama, with summer and winter holidays often seeing a spike due to increased moving and travel activity.
  • Fuel prices: Fluctuating fuel prices can significantly affect transport costs. This is an important consideration given the distance between Alabama and California and the varying gas prices across the country.
  • 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. That being said, getting your car from Alabama to California should take between 4 and 12 days. Expedited services are available but come at a higher cost.

The best Alabama to California car shipping companies

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We’ve done the research and these are the best car shipping companies to help transport your vehicle from Alabama to California:

Best for Overall Value
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At A Glance
  • Transparent, all-inclusive pricing with no hidden fees
  • Free online quotes; binding quotes available over the phone
  • Door-to-door service available in 48 states
  • Exact pick-up dates available
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Alternative ways to ship your car from Alabama to California

What else should you know about shipping a car from Alabama to California?

  • Car insurance requirements: The minimum car insurance requirement in California is $15,000 for individual injury, $30,000 per accident, and $5,000 for property damage in the case of an accident involving another driver.
  • Vehicle inspection: California requires an annual safety inspection to ensure that all vehicles used on public roads are in good condition and safe to operate. The inspection can be carried out at any California Department of Transportation approved service station.
  • Driver’s license: If you move to California and become a resident, you are required to obtain a California driver's license within 10 days.
  • Additional taxes: You are required to pay taxes on a car purchased in another state if you used it for less than 12 months outside of California before bringing it into the state.

Learn more with our car shipping checklist

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moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.75 / 5
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  • No deposit
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moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.35 / 5
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Transporting your vehicle from Alabama

Over 39 million people call Alabama home. Nicknamed the Heart of Dixie, Alabama has one of the hottest summers in the US and mild winters with copious amounts of precipitation throughout the year. Areas around the Gulf in Alabama are prone to tropical storms and hurricanes. Alabama also has tornado activity, which typically occurs in the spring It would be a good idea to check for tornado activity in the area you are looking to move to.

Transporting your vehicle to California

About 22 million people are living in the Golden State of California. California has a great Mediterranean climate throughout most of the state. In the Southeast, you may experience colder winters and hotter summers. The northern part of California experiences more rain than the rest of the state. Before your move be sure to check for rain or very hot days.

FAQ

Does someone have to be present when picking up my car in Alabama and when dropping off my car in California?

Most companies will require someone that is at least 18 years old to be present when picking up your car in Alabama and when dropping it off in California.

Do you need car insurance when shipping your car from Alabama to California?

If you’re not driving the vehicle from Alabama to California, you aren't required to have typical car insurance. Your car hauler should have adequate insurance if an accident happened on the drive to California, which you should verify before loading your car in Alabama.

If you’re driving your car at all in either state, you should understand the requirements. Alabama state government requires motorists possess liability insurance, which must provide a minimum coverage of 25/50/25. This specification includes coverage for bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident, and property damage per accident.

If you’re driving your car at all in either state, you should understand the requirements. The minimum car insurance requirement in California is $15,000 for individual injury, $30,000 per accident, and $5,000 for property damage in the case of an accident involving another driver.

How long does it take to ship a car from Alabama to California?

Car shipping companies can travel about 500 miles per day. The trip from Alabama to California is about 2161 miles, and that’s as fast as about 5 days. However, most car transport companies will take 4-12 days to travel from Alabama to California.

Will I be required to have a vehicle inspection in either state?

In Alabama, a safety inspection must be completed prior to selling a vehicle and a VIN inspection is mandatory when registering an out-of-state vehicle. Emissions inspections are not required by the state, though cities and municipalities may have their own laws mandating them.

California requires an annual safety inspection to ensure that all vehicles used on public roads are in good condition and safe to operate. The inspection can be carried out at any California Department of Transportation approved service station.

If I have a driver’s license in Alabama, will I need one in California?

If you move to California and become a resident, you are required to obtain a California driver's license within 10 days.

If I bought a car in Alabama, will I be required to pay sales tax in California after shipping it there?

It’s important to understand any tax implications if you’re having a car shipped from Alabama to California after purchasing it.

You are required to pay taxes on a car purchased in another state if you used it for less than 12 months outside of California before bringing it into the state.

We recommend that you always check for updated tax information in both Alabama and California to avoid any hidden costs.

Helpful Alabama resources