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How to Ship a Car From California to Virginia


It’s more than 2,500 miles from California to Virginia, which is a long way if you ever need to move your car. You might be relocating and want to take your precious Chevy with you or you might need to get it to one of Virginia’s car shows. On the other hand, you might have bought a car online from Virginia and need to get it back to your home in California. 

Whatever the reason you need to ship your car, you might be wondering what the process is. Shipping a car from California to Virginia is a straightforward process, especially when you’ve got an experienced auto transport management company like SGT Auto Transport working in your corner. 

In this post, you’ll find all the important California car shipping information, including the cost to ship a car from California to Virginia. However, if you’ve got any more questions, don’t be afraid to ask.

How much will it cost to ship my car from California to Virginia?

We often get asked, “How much to ship a car from California to Virginia?” and there’s no one-size fits all answer. 

California to Virginia is one of the longest regular vehicle shipping routes in the United States, but while mileage plays a pivotal role in calculating the overall costs, there are several other factors to consider. Any of the following factors could add or subtract from your total due.

  • Shipping from West to East vs. East to West: The former tends to be cheaper overall, which means it might be possible to mitigate some of the costs related to distance by direction alone. 
  • Metro vs. rural location: If your vehicle is located in a major city or right off a main highway it will cost less than locations that are in rural areas with limited main-road access.
  • Make model and year of your vehicle: Carriers are bound by weight restrictions. This means they want to maximize each load. The heavier and bigger your vehicle, the more it will cost to transport it. 
  • Is your car running or not?: Shipping a car that’s not running isn’t usually a problem, but the carrier will need to use special equipment. Loading and unloading will also take longer. Both of these factors add to the cost of shipping a car from California to Virginia. 
  • Type of auto transport service: The standard way to ship a car is using open auto transport. It’s affordable, safe, and secure. Another option is enclosed auto transport, but the cost is 30% - 40% more. Enclosed auto transport is a popular option for people with classic, antique, custom, or modified vehicles. 

If you want to know how much to ship a car from California to Virginia, get a quote today.   

What time of year is best to ship a car from California to Virginia?

One factor we didn’t mention above is the time of year. There are times of the year when car shipping is more expensive. Between the months of January and March, the auto shipping industry enjoys downtime. Driver availability and demand for such routes are lower than usual. This is reflected in a higher price.

The months of April and May, on the other hand, are better times for both vehicle shipping companies and customers. There are more drivers taking more loads across the country in both directions. However, there may be delays because of backlogs from the winter months.  

The potential for delays is much lower between June and August. Demand for California to Virginia shipping is also at its highest. However, there’s a very good chance you’ll be able to swing a great deal and enjoy the benefits of quick shipment turnaround. 

During the months of September through to early November is another good time to ship your car because demand is down, but there are still plenty of drivers. 

As you might expect, the holidays are a troublesome time for anyone wanting to ship a car. Demond is low and there are fewer drivers available which translates into high prices. 

How long does car shipping to/from California take?  

You can split the time it takes to ship a car into two time frames. First is the time frame for picking up your car, which is usually one to four business days. Second is the time it takes to travel from Virginia to California, which is around 7 business days.

How to ship a car from California to Virginia and vice versa

It’s only natural that you’re wondering how the process of shipping a car works. You’ll be pleased to learn that it’s very simple. 

Step 1: Get a quote and make your booking

Your first step is to get a quote. SGT Auto Transport offers a very quick and easy solution in the form of an instant online quote calculator. You also have the option of getting your personalized quote by phone or Live Chat. 

All you have to do is provide a few details, such as pick up and delivery locations, vehicle details, condition of the vehicle, and transport type. You also have to state the first date your car will be ready for pick-up. 

If you're happy with the price, you confirm the shipping information and make your booking. 

Step 2: The carrier collects your vehicle

The carrier will pick up your vehicle at the pre-arranged time. But they will call a few hours ahead of the scheduled pick up time to confirm the arrangements. When they pick up your vehicle, both you and the driver must inspect its condition and note any existing damage on the Bill of Lading. Once the paperwork is complete, your vehicle will be on its way.

Step 3: The carrier delivers your vehicle  

The carrier will contact you again when they’re close to the delivery location. This is to make sure you’re available to receive your vehicle. When they deliver your vehicle you must inspect it to make sure everything is in order and then sign the Bill of Lading to accept your order.   

We’re proud to be an auto transport management company with a good reputation and have had the pleasure of moving thousands of vehicles between California and Virginia. If you want to know more about our services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can speak directly with our shipping advisors by calling (864) 546-5038 or use our Live Chat option.  

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