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How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Car From California to Washington


Should you ever need to relocate across the country, across state lines or from California to Washington, driving your car might not be the best option. You might be moving because you’ve landed yourself a new job or are up for promotion. Perhaps you’re moving so that you’re nearer to relatives. On the other hand, maybe you want to spend the winter somewhere warmer and would like to have the luxury of driving your own car. 

Whatever the reason, flying to your new location is possibly easiest for you and using a mover for all your possessions is generally the safest option. However, have you thought about what you’re going to do with your car? 

Many people think that shipping a car from California to Washington State, or anywhere else in the country, is bound to be expensive. You’ll actually be pleasantly surprised how affordable car shipping to or from California is. You’re also going to be amazed at how easy it is to ship a car

If you want to know the exact price for California car shipping services, the best thing to do is get a quote.

There are a number of factors that affect the actual cost of shipping a car to or from Washington. Keep reading to find out what these are.

The type of vehicle

The size and dimension of your vehicle will make a big difference to the cost of shipping. Shipping a compact or sedan will cost less than an SUV, van or pickup truck. Whether the car has been modified in any way (for example, oversized tires or being lowered or lifted), can also affect the price.  

How the car will be delivered

There are two options when it comes to delivery: terminal-to-terminal or door-to-door. 

Terminal-to-terminal means you’re responsible for dropping your car at the company’s terminal or storage location. Your chosen carrier will then take it from there to the terminal or service location closest to your preferred final destination. You then have to go and pick it up from there and drive it home. 

Door-to-door is the other option. Your chosen carrier is responsible for picking your car up from either your office or home and transporting it to your preferred final destination. 

The cost of this type of service tends to be higher, but it does save you the stress and time involved in dropping off and picking up your car from a terminal or storage location. 

If the pick up or drop off location is difficult to access, you may be required to make alternative arrangements. But this shouldn’t be a problem as there is bound to be somewhere suitable nearby.  

Type of car transport

Your auto transport carrier will give you the choice between open car and enclosed car transport. 

Open car transport is a very popular option when you want to ship a car to Washington or across the US, because it tends to be cheaper. You might also find the options for shipping dates far more flexible, due to the volume of shipments. 

Your car will be exposed to the elements and road debris, however, the risk of damage is low and any chips or dings may be covered by the carrier's cargo insurance. 

Top loading a vehicle can reduce the chance of most types of damage that can occur, but it will cost a little extra. 

If the vehicle you want transported is high class or high-end, enclosed car transport is the best option as your vehicle will be completely protected against the weather, and traffic detritus. It is more expensive than open car shipping, but worth the expense if your vehicle is very precious to you.  

Distance traveled

It goes without saying that the distance your vehicle needs to travel is going to affect the price, but it’s worth reminding you of the fact.  

Time of year

In the car shipping industry, there are high and low times of the year. Summer months are considered to be peak times, with the fall being the best time to ship your vehicle. This is because temperatures are low and the number of vehicles being shipped is lower. 

Holiday times, such as the 4th of July, Christmas and Thanksgiving can also be very busy times of the year and might be worth avoiding unless necessary. 

Delivery time

You can expect to pay more if you need your vehicle delivered within a couple of days. Generally, companies such as SGT Auto Transport require 1-5 business days to pick up your car, and 7-10 calendar days to ship it across the country. There is, however, an express service that can get your car delivered between 24 and 48 hours.   

Is the vehicle operable?

A car that can be driven onto the truck directly and unloaded without any special equipment is going to cost less. If your vehicle cannot be driven directly onto the truck, the carrier will need to use specialist equipment to load and unload it. This means there will be an additional cost. 

Cost of fuel

The price of fuel is something that is always going up and down and it can vary from area to area. One of the biggest variable costs in the auto transport industry is the fuel and is generally something that is passed onto the customer.  


Choose a reputable shipping company and your vehicle will be covered under the carrier’s cargo insurance. Always request a copy of the insurance so you can check what’s covered. You’ll probably find that any personal possessions are not covered by the insurance, so make sure these are removed. 

Requesting a Quote

Now you know some of the factors that can affect the cost of a shipping service you can start requesting quotes. SGT Auto Transport, for example, provides a free online calculator. Input various details, such as pick up and drop-off location, vehicle details, condition of vehicle and type of service and a quote is made available instantly. Prices quoted include all taxes, insurance and all shipping costs. There are no hidden fees.

Get a quote today!  

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 Washington. 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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