Shipping a Car From California to New York

Shipping a Car from California to New York (and Vice Versa)


California and New York are on different sides of the US. The lifestyle found in both are almost opposites, so if you’re moving from one to the other, you can expect quite a change. There’s one thing, however, you can keep the same, and that’s the car or vehicle you drive around in.

The distance is around 3,000 miles, but there’s no reason why you should leave your car behind. If you want to ship a car from New York to Los Angeles or anywhere else in California, there are plenty of options. For example, you could drive, but it might take several days, even weeks, to drive such a distance safely.

The best option by far is to ship a car, and in this blog, you’ll find out how easy it is. There will also be some tips and all the vital information you need. Consider this the ultimate guide if you want to ship a car from Los Angeles to New York or anywhere else in the country.  

How to ship a car from California to New York and vice versa

Shipping a car from California to New York and vice versa is a very straightforward process. It takes just three simple steps:

  1. Get a quote and book your service

    Here on our website, you’ll find a handy quote calculator. Input a few details, and you’ll be emailed a quote in just a couple of minutes. We require the following details:

    • Pick-up city and state
    • Delivery city and state
    • Vehicle make, model, and year
    • Condition of the vehicle (whether it is running or not)
    • Type of auto transport you require (whether you want an open or enclosed service)
    • First available pick-up date (the date when your vehicle is ready for the carrier to pick up)

    If you like the price you’re quoted, go ahead and book your order with one of our shipping advisors. 

  2. Your car is picked up

    Your assigned carrier will contact you a few hours before the pre-arranged pick-up time. They’ll want to confirm the pick-up information, verify the location is accessible for a large commercial vehicle, and confirm you’ll be available to release the car into their care. 

    When the carrier arrives, you must first inspect your car for any damage. You do this with the driver and record any dings, dents, or scratches on the Bill of Lading. 

    As soon as the paperwork is complete, the driver will load your car onto the trailer and be on their way. 

    We like to keep all our customers informed throughout the transportation service, so we provide regular updates by email, (864) 546-5038, or Live Chat.

  3. Your car is delivered

    Just before the driver arrives at the final destination, you’ll receive a telephone call to let you know they’re not far away and to check you’ll be available to receive your car. 

    When your car is delivered, you have an opportunity to inspect your car once again to make sure everything is in order. Then you sign the Bill of Lading to accept delivery of your car. 

What are the transport options?

When you want to ship a car from New York to Los Angeles or anywhere else in California, you have several auto transport options to choose from. 

Open car transport

Open car transport is the most widely used auto transport service. It’s a popular option for the general public, but also car dealerships. A carrier that offers this service transports the vehicles in an open trailer. The trailer has no sides, which means the vehicles are exposed to the elements and the surrounding environment, but that doesn’t mean the vehicles aren’t safe.

Enclosed auto transport

Enclosed auto transport is a little different because the carrier uses an enclosed trailer for transporting the vehicles. The trailer has a roof, four sides, and a floor, so the vehicles inside are completely protected. 

This option is around 30% to 40% more expensive than open car transport, but it’s still a popular option, especially for owners of custom, classic, antique, luxury, high-end, and modified vehicles. 

Express auto transport

The industry standard timeline for a car transport pick-up is between five and seven days. If you want to ship your car quicker than the standard service time, express auto transport is the service to pick. 

With express auto transport, the service time is reduced to between one and two business days. In other words, you can arrange the pick-up of your vehicle to be within 48 hours of the first available pick-up date. 

Express auto transport costs, on average, are around 30% more than the standard service. 

Guaranteed pick-up

With a guaranteed pick-up service, you can make your booking within a 24-hour window, rather than the standard 1-4 days. However, a guaranteed pick-up service is more expensive. 

If you want to find out how much, get an instant quote for shipping your car across country. Our shipping advisors will be happy to help. Telephone (864) 546-5038 or use our Live Chat option. 

How much does it cost to ship a car from California?

It’s almost impossible to give a one-price-fits-all when it comes to shipping a car from California to New York or in the other direction. Several factors influence the ultimate cost. These factors include:


  • The vehicle’s weight and dimensions
  • The actual shipping distance
  • The route taken during transportation
  • The current price of fuel
  • The type of shipping service you choose
  • Supply and demand
  • The time of year 

Request a quote

If you want to know the exact price for shipping your car from California to New York or anywhere else in the country, use our instant quote calculator. Alternatively, pick up the phone, dial (864) 546 5038, and speak directly with our dedicated shipping advisors. We also have a Live Chat option.

Get an instant quote for shipping your car across country today!

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

Much the same as an exact cost, it’s also exceedingly difficult to be precise about the time it takes to ship a car to California. A driver can cover around 500 miles in one day, but many factors can affect the timeline. For example:

  • Distance: The greater the distance between the pick-up and delivery, the longer it will take.  
  • Location: If the pick-up or delivery location is in or near a metropolitan area or along a major interstate, it’s much easier and quicker for the carrier.  
  • Weather: Inclement weather such as heavy rain, ice, snow, hail, thunderstorms, a tornado, or a hurricane will affect the speed of the carrier. 
  • Issues on the route: Road construction, heavy traffic, and detours can hamper the driver’s progress.
  • Drivers' hours: The Department of Transportation limits the number of hours truck drivers can be on the road. For their own safety and the safety of other road users, drivers’ hours are limited to seventy per week.

Getting your car ready for cross country car shipping

As soon as you’ve made your booking, there are some things you need to do to get your car ready for its upcoming journey. Before the pre-arranged pick-up date, make sure you do the following:

Clean the interior and wash the outside

It’s always a good idea to thoroughly clean your car before shipping it, both inside and outside. Then, when it arrives at its final destination, it’ll be clean and ready to drive away. But that’s not the only reason. 

While you’re giving your car a good clean, you’ll be able to spot any dings, cracks, scratches, scuffs, and any other blemishes. Make sure you take a picture of them for your records and remember to mark the existing damage on the Bill of Lading when your car is collected.  

Fill your gas tank to around a quarter full

You don’t need to fill your tank any more than a quarter full. It’s more than enough to get you from the trailer to your home and allow for the safe loading and unloading of your vehicle. It’s also beneficial for the shipping company because it keeps the trailer payload to a minimum. 

Remove all your personal belongings from the vehicle

You should always remove any personal belongings from your vehicle before it’s transported. Such items are not covered by the carrier’s insurance, plus they add weight to your car.  

Perform a maintenance check

Your vehicle won’t be driven much during the car shipping service, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be in a safe, working condition. Arrangements can be made for transporting an inoperable vehicle, but this is not the norm. 

Before your car is shipped, you should check:

  • Tires are correctly inflated.
  • All fluids are topped off, including the brake fluid, washer fluid, transmission fluid, oil, power steering fluid, and coolant. 
  • Brakes, including the emergency brake, should be operational.
  • There should be no leaking fluids.

What you should do after shipping your car from California to New York or vice versa

If you’re shipping a car from California to New York because you’re relocating, there are a few things you need to do once your car has been delivered. 

You must contact the local DMV to update some valuable information relating to your vehicle. This includes:

  • Your driver’s license: When you relocate to a new state, you must update your driver’s license. How long you’ve got to do this depends on the individual state. Generally, you get between 10 and 30 days to update your license. 
  • License plates for your car: You must also re-register your car when you move to a new state. Again, there’s a specific time frame, but it tends to be between 30 and 60 days. 
  • You may have to arrange certain inspections: Depending on which state you move to, your car must pass specific inspections. In California, for example, your vehicle must pass an emission inspection. 
  • Car insurance: When you move to a new state, you must let your insurance company know. They may have to adjust your coverage. 

Now you know all there is to know about shipping a car from California to New York, or vice versa. We’ve got plenty of experience in the industry and have been shipping vehicles across the country for several years. So next time you need to ship a car, let us make the arrangements. If you want to know more, get in touch today.

Get a quote banner