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How to Ship a Car From California to Georgia


Georgia is known for its laid-back atmosphere, southern hospitality, and fantastic food, but these aren’t the only reasons so many people choose to move there every year. The Peach State has top-rated school systems, beautiful scenery, a growing job market, and lots of historical landmarks.

If you want to make the most of Georgia when you move there you’ll need a car. Driving your car more than 2,000 miles across the country is quite an undertaking and not necessarily the best way to get your car to Georgia from California.

Is there a better option? Absolutely, yes there is. Ship your car from California to Georgia rather than driving and you could save money, time, and stress. It will also be safer and cause less wear and tear on your vehicle.

Want to know more? Keep reading to find out much it costs to ship a car from California to Georgia. We’ll also explain the process, explore the timeframe, and share some valuable tips.

Driving a car vs. shipping a car from California to Georgia

When planning a long-distance move, you’re going to wonder whether driving your car or shipping it to your new home is the better option. A road trip is going to seem exciting, but there are lots of additional costs to consider. 

The cost of food, lodging, and tolls along the way are going to quickly add up. Driving long distances also adds wear and tear to your vehicle.

Let’s look at the pros and cons to help you decide.

The pros and cons of car shipping


  • Shipping is faster than driving
  • You only pay shipping costs
  • No added mileage or wear and tear on your car


  • Pick up and delivery dates are not always guaranteed
  • Shipping personal items in your car may cost extra, plus there is the risk of them getting damaged or stolen
  • If you choose open car shipping, your vehicle is exposed to the elements and road debris

The pros and cons of driving long distance


  • You can pack personal items in your car which can cut your moving costs
  • You have control over the schedule
  • A road trip could be fun and an opportunity to explore new sights


  • Driving increases mileage on your car and adds wear and tear
  • You have to budget for extra costs such as food, accommodation, tolls, gas, and potential breakdowns
  • Long-distance driving can be exhausting
  • Increased risk of an accident

Different types of car shipping services

If you have yet to gain experience with car shipping, understanding your options will help you make the right decision. The first decision you have to make is whether you want open transport or enclosed transport. Let’s explain the difference.

Open auto transport

If you’re wondering how much to ship a car from California to Georgia, open auto transport is the cheapest option. Auto transport companies can transport multiple cars over long distances using a truck and open trailer. The carrier could make several stops along the route to pick up and drop off vehicles.

Open car shipping companies can keep prices low because the cost of shipping the vehicles is divided between several customers. One thing to bear in mind, however, is that with open transport, your car is exposed to potential bad weather and road debris.    

Enclosed auto transport

For owners of high-end or classic cars, enclosed auto transport is better because it offers complete protection. Your car is transported in an enclosed trailer that will keep your car safe from bad weather, dust, and debris. However, the cost of enclosed transport is between 30% and 40% higher. 

How does the car shipping process work?

Before we examine the cost to ship a car from California to Georgia, we’ll start by explaining how the shipping process works. It’s not at all complicated. All it takes is three steps.

Step 1: Get a quote and book your order

If you want to know how much to ship a car from Georgia to California, the best thing to do is get a quote. Here at SGT Auto Transport, we offer an instant quote calculator right here on our website. All it takes is a couple of minutes of your time.

Get a free, instant quote today

Alternatively, you can contact our shipping advisors on (864) 546-5038 or Live Chat. You’ll need to provide a few simple details such as:

  • City in California where you want your vehicle to be picked up from
  • City in Georgia where you want your vehicle delivered
  • The make, model, and year of the vehicle
  • Whether you want open or enclosed transport
  • Whether your car is running or not
  • When your car is ready for pick-up (first available pick-up date)

The quote we give you is all-inclusive. That means it includes all taxes, fees, and full insurance coverage. No upfront payment is required and our services are door-to-door.  

Step 2: The carrier picks up your vehicle

A carrier will be assigned to your shipment and they will contact you a few hours in advance to let you know they’re on their way. 

When the carrier contacts you, they’ll want to know whether there are any parking restrictions, low-hanging trees, or overhead power cables that might get in the way.

If there is an issue, you can easily arrange a more suitable location. There might be a nearby street that has no restrictions or a parking lot that’s more suitable.

When the carrier arrives, you and the driver must check over your vehicle for any existing damage. Any dings, dents, or scratches must be noted on the Bill of Lading and then you’ve got to sign this important document and keep a copy safe. 

If you want to check on the progress of your vehicle, you can ask for regular updates. There is also the option of checking in with the driver. However, don’t forget they’re going to be driving and it might not be safe to answer the phone.  

Step 3: You receive your vehicle

Before you know it, the carrier will be getting in touch to let you know they’re close to the delivery location. The call is to check that you’re going to be available to receive your car. If you’re going to be busy, you can make alternative arrangements. For example, you could ask a friend or neighbor to accept the car.

When the carrier arrives, you’ll need to check the condition of your vehicle, comparing it with the Bill of Lading. If you’re happy, the driver will unload your car. 

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

The average cost to ship a car across country is between $2 and $0.58 per mile. The actual price depends on the length of the journey and several other factors. It’s always a good idea to request several quotes from different shipping companies and then compare them.

Car shipping companies in Georgia and across the US in general, consider the following elements when calculating shipping costs. 

Shipping distance

The cost of shipping a car from California to Georgia is going to cost more than shipping one from California to Colorado or Texas. The longer the distance, the higher the cost.  

Pick-up and drop-off locations

Rural locations tend to cost more than metropolitan areas. 

Type of transport

Choose open car transport and you can expect to pay less. Enclosed car shipping is between 30% and 40% more expensive, but your car is completely protected from the elements and road debris. 

Type of vehicle

If you want to ship a small car such as a Ford Focus or Honda Civic, it will cost less than shipping a pickup truck or SUV.   

Condition of vehicle

Cars that are not running require specialist equipment for loading and unloading. This means the service costs more than if your car was running. 

Time of year

There are certain times of the year when car shipping is more expensive. During holidays and summer months, prices tend to be higher. 

Gas prices 

If pump prices are high, carriers are going to pass the cost onto the customer. 

What to look for in a car shipping company

When you buy a car it’s a significant investment, so you’ll want to find a reliable shipper to move it from California to Georgia. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re choosing a vehicle shipping company:

  • Experience: a company that’s been working in the industry for a decade or more will have had the time to build their services and quality. They are more likely to have a good reputation and provide nationwide car shipping. 
  • Rates: There are lots of competitively-priced car shipping companies, but you’ll also find some that are happy to sweeten their deals with guaranteed pricing limits and special discounts. 
  • Reviews: Check out sites such as the Better Business Bureau, Google, Trustpilot, and Transport Reviews. These are all great places to find honest and detailed customer testimonials for different auto transport companies. 
  • Registration: Always ask whether a company is registered with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

Getting your car ready for shipping

Getting your car ready for car shipping is an important part of the process and will help to ensure it’s a smooth and hassle-free experience. Here are some things you need to think about:

  • Clean your vehicle: Wash the exterior of the vehicle so that when the carrier arrives to collect your vehicle it’ll be easy to do a vehicle condition report. You’ll be able to see any existing dents, dings, scratches, paint chips, or other damage. 
  • Take pictures of your vehicle: When you’ve finished cleaning your vehicle, take some good-quality photos. Don’t focus on the damaged areas, take general photos of your vehicle as well, from different angles. Include a photo of the odometer so you can check that the carrier hasn’t taken your car for a joy ride. 
  • Clean the interior of your vehicle: If there are any loose items inside your car they’re likely to move around during the shipping process. Remove any items not secured to reduce the risk of them causing damage.
  • Remove or secure accessories: if you can’t secure the accessories, consider removing them. Accessories include items such as luggage racks, bike racks, custom spoilers, or ski racks. You should also remove the antenna if possible and fold in the side mirrors.
  • Check for fluid leaks: Check for fluid leaks and get any that you find fixed as soon as possible. If your car has a bad leak, the carrier may refuse to transport your car. 
  • Address any mechanical or engine problems: Check your car for any mechanical and engine problems. If you find some, have a mechanic fix them before your car is picked up for transport. 
  • Leave the gas tank 1/8 to 1/4 full: You only need to leave enough gas for the car to drive and off the trailer. The lighter your car the better.
  • Disable alarms, remove or deactivate toll tags: The carrier isn’t going to be too impressed if the alarm keeps going off so make sure to disable it. You can avoid any unnecessary headaches by removing or deactivating any toll tags in your car.

If you’re ready to ship your car from California to Georgia, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at (864) 546-5038. Alternatively, we have a Live Chat option you can use. 

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