Best Car Shipping Companies in California


California is a popular destination for car enthusiasts and movers. Selecting the best vehicle shipping company is essential to safe and easy shipping.We analyze top California car shipping companies based on key factors like experience, dependability, and customer service. Verified info by industry experts ensures a thorough assessment to help you choose the perfect car shipper for your California move.

Key Highlights

  • Based on our search result, the best car shipping companies in California are AutoStar Transport Express, Montway Auto Transport, Sherpa Auto Transport, AmeriFreight and Easy Auto Ship.
  • The average cost to ship a regular car to or from California falls in the $700 to $1,500 range (miles), with many specific factors influencing the final price. It is always recommended to get multiple quotes.
  • To save on car shipping, compare quotes, choose open transport if possible, be flexible with dates, consider terminal-to-terminal shipping, and ship during off-peak seasons.

Why You Trust Us

Our dedication lies in delivering reliable, impartial assessments and insights. We rely on both data analysis and expert counsel to shape our content. Moreover, our team of professionals verifies and assesses our information to guarantee accuracy and relevance. We prioritize transparency and accuracy in our recommendations. Through comprehensive research and analysis, we evaluate car shipping companies across various factors, ultimately aiming to provide you with the most informed decision-making experience.

Top 5 Best Car Shipping Companies in California

AutoStar Transport Express: Specializes in expedited car shipping services, with a strong focus on customer satisfaction and a network of high-quality carriers.
Montway Auto Transport: Specializes in nationwide and international car shipping with a large network of carriers.
Sherpa Auto Transport: Provides transparent pricing and flexible transport options like open and enclosed carriers.
AmeriFreight: Offers a variety of vehicle transport services including motorcycles and boats.
Easy Auto Ship: Known for excellent customer service and a user-friendly platform for booking shipments.

AutoStar Transport Express

AutoStar Transport Express, founded in 2007, is a top car shipping broker boasting a network of over 20,000 carriers nationwide. They specialize in domestic and international vehicle transport, including Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Notably, they excel in Caribbean auto shipping.

Renowned for their quality service, AutoStar Transport Express consistently ranks among the best car transport companies due to their positive reviews, exceptional customer support, and competitive pricing. It has a network of over 20,000 vehicle carriers nationwide, enabling them to offer auto transport services in approximately 50 states. With a proven track record of success and thousands of satisfied customers, they can handle various vehicle types, including classic cars, sports cars, military equipment, motorcycles, and SUVs.

Why AutoStar Transport Express

AutoStar Transport Express specializes in transporting luxury cars within the state, handling international shipping, and managing oversized vehicles. As one of the top-rated car transport companies in the U.S.A., you can rely on them to pair your requirements with dependable carriers. While going through reviews, We learned that their drivers are professional, and some customers expressed a desire to use their services again, with some already having used them repetitively.


  • Open Car Transport
  • Enclosed Auto Transport
  • Door-to-Door Transport
  • Terminal-to-Terminal Shipping
  • Expedited Car Transport


  • Transport all kinds of vehicles in U.S.A and Internationally
  • Luxury cars shipping specialization
  • Dealerships and bulk car shipping options
  • 17+ years of experience
  • Rated on 21+ review platforms
  • Door-to-Door car shipping as default.​
  • Updated information on website
  • Carrier insurance ​​
  • Vehicle Tracking​
  • Great customer support in English and Spanish language


  • No 24/7 support
  • No mobile app

Montway Auto Transport

Founded in 2006, Montway Auto Transport operates as a fully licensed and bonded auto transport management company, holding broker license number 2239816 with the USDOT.

Renowned for its competitive rates and positive online reputation, Montway ensures that quoted rates closely align with the final costs and consistently meets delivery timelines, a fact affirmed by numerous satisfied clients.

Today, Montway stands as one of the nation’s largest and most respected auto transport firms, catering to a diverse clientele, including individuals and corporate entities in industries such as moving, dealership, auctions, and OEM. Montway exclusively collaborates with licensed carriers and maintains a minimum cargo insurance requirement of $100,000.

Why Montway Auto Transport?

Montway Auto Transport stands out with its extended customer service hours available throughout the week and weekends, a rarity among car transport companies. With a track record dating back to 2006, Montway boasts a robust physical and virtual network. Their website proudly declares the safe shipment of over 1,000,000 vehicles to all 50 states, supported by an impressive 90,000+ online reviews attesting to their top-notch 5-star customer service. Their review section shows that some customers have been using them for a long time. Customers praise their friendly drivers and note that pickup and delivery were on time and satisfactory.


  • Open and enclosed auto transport.
  • Door-to-Door shipping
  • Expedited shipping


  • Competitive auto shipping quotes​
  • vehicle shipping and insurance​
  • Online chat is available 24/7​
  • Guaranteed pickup dates​


  • Quotes may change
  • Focus on cars and motorcycles, excluding boats, RVs, and larger specialty vehicles

Sherpa Auto Transport

For those seeking assurance with locked-in pricing, Sherpa Auto Transport stands out as the ideal choice for car shipping services. This reputable broker offers a comprehensive range of shipping options and distinguishes itself through precise pricing and exceptional communication during every step of the shipping journey—an aspect often lacking in other auto transport companies.

Additionally, Sherpa ensures your confidence by mandating that all auto carriers operating across 48 states maintain $100,000 in cargo insurance and $1 million in commercial auto liability insurance.

Why Sherpa Auto Transport

Sherpa Auto Transport stands out from other car shipping companies with its Price Lock Promise, ensuring that the rate you’re quoted remains unchanged throughout the process. This commitment provides peace of mind in an industry where fluctuating quotes are common.

Moreover, Sherpa simplifies transportation planning by offering this assurance. Additionally, their Clean Car Guarantee reimburses the cost of car washing upon your vehicle’s arrival, adding an extra layer of care to their service. Their reviews indicate that there are no hidden fees. Delivery is quick and safe, and customers are updated on pickup and arrival. Additionally, the drivers are professional and communicative.


  • Open Auto Transport
  • Enclosed car Transport
  • Door-to-Door shipment
  • expedited car shipping
  • Car Washing


  • Price lock promise ensures pricing stability​
  • Networks are vetted​
  • Excellent reviews​
  • Instant online quotes​


  • List No guaranteed pickup dates​
  • Returns are not accepted​


AmeriFreight offers multiple levels of extra insurance protection for assurance while your car is on a trailer. AmeriFreight is one of the top auto shipping companies in the country, serving almost 50 states. Shipping a car with AmeriFreight is a smart choice.

The company has excellent customer reviews, offers extra coverage in case your car gets damaged, and provides tons of discounts. Despite its lack of online quotes and GPS tracking capabilities, AmeriFreight has numerous advantages to counterbalance its weaknesses. AmeriFreight also provides additional insurance in case of damage.

Why AmeriFreight

AmeriFreight diligently screens all carriers to guarantee they possess adequate insurance coverage. However, there might be instances where a carrier’s insurance policy excludes specific types of damage or where their deductible exceeds $200,000.

To address such situations, the AFTA plan by AmeriFreight provides additional insurance coverage during shipments, offering customers a choice between three levels of coverage. Their Customers mention favorably the helpful and patient representatives, along with the outstanding customer service. They also mention the nice and pleasant drivers who contribute to a smooth car shipping experience.


  • Open Car Transport
  • Enclosed car shipping
  • Door-to-Door shipment
  • Terminal-to-Terminal shippings
  • Alternative Vehicle Transport
  • Expedited vehicle shipping


  • Provides Allied Fidelity Total Assurance (AFTA)​
  • Various pricing options​
  • Rated A+ by the BBB​
  • A vetted network​


  • Costs may differ from quoted prices​
  • No real-time GPS tracking​
  • Quotes are not available instantly​

Easy Auto Ship

Opting for Easy Auto Ship for your transportation needs could result in savings of up to $150. This is particularly beneficial if you intend to settle the payment in cash upon delivery of your vehicle. Moreover, with Easy Auto Ship, you won’t incur additional costs for cleaning or detailing if your vehicle arrives dirty.

In case the transportation takes longer than 14 days, the company provides a rental car. Notably, Easy Auto Ship specializes in transporting antique cars and heavy equipment, meticulously evaluating each carrier for reliability. Additionally, the company offers contingent insurance coverage options for added protection, with mandatory cargo insurance for all carriers.

Why Easy Auto Ship

Easy Auto Ship offers unique perks for its customers. If your shipment extends beyond 14 days from pickup to delivery, the company covers the cost of a rental car. Additionally, if your vehicle arrives dirty, Easy Auto Ship arranges and pays for a professional car wash after drop-off. Paying with cash might also snag you a generous discount, and drivers particularly value cash payments upon delivery.

The review section shows that their team is amazing and communicative, the drivers are professional and friendly, the transaction process is smooth, and some customers want to use their service again.


  • Open and Enclosed Modes of Transportation
  • Expedited shipping
  • Door-to-Door delivery service
  • International shipping
  • U.S. shipping


  • No payment on booking
  • Shipping internationally and nationwide​
  • Shipping RVs and non-standard vehicles​
  • Instant Quotes Available​


  • No mobile app
  • available twelve hours a day

Highlights of all the Companies

Company NameAverage RatingNationwide CoveragePrice TransparencySpecial Features
AutoStar Transport Express4.79YesYesPersonalized customer service,Money-back guarantee
Montway Auto Transport4.06YesYesExpedited shipping, online tracking
Sherpa Auto Transport4.12YesYesClean Car Guarantee, online reservation
AmeriFreight4.7YesYesDiscount programs, AFta gap coverage
Easy Auto Ship3.94YesYesFree damage protection, Expedited shipping

Key Considerations for Selecting a Car Shipping Company

Reputation and Reviews: Look for a car shipping company with a solid reputation and positive reviews from past customers.This can assist in assessing their reliability and the quality of service they provide.
Licensing and Insurance: Ensure the company is licensed and insured to transport vehicles. This protects your car in case of any damage or loss during transit.
Transparency: Seek companies that provide clear pricing structures without hidden fees. Given California’s vast distances, clear upfront cost information to prevent unexpected surprises.
Pricing and Quotes: Compare pricing quotes from multiple car shipping companies to ensure you’re getting a competitive rate. Be wary of overly low prices, as they may indicate inferior service or hidden fees.
Experience and Expertise: Choose a company with experience in transporting vehicles, particularly if you have a specialty vehicle or specific transport requirements.
Customer Support: Evaluate the level of customer support provided by the company. Responsive communication and assistance can be crucial throughout the shipping process, from initial inquiry to delivery.

Cost to Ship a Vehicle in California

Shipping a car within California can have varying costs depending on the distance and specific locations involved. Here are some estimated figures based on recent search findings.

For shorter distances within the state, the typical rate is around $1 per mile. For instance, transporting a car 400 miles within California would amount to approximately $400.

Over longer distances across the state, the cost per mile tends to decrease. Shipping a car around 1,200 miles within California might cost roughly $720, equating to about 55-60 cents per mile.

Some specific routes Cost for shipping to and from California:

From/ToEstimated DistanceEstimated Price
San Francisco/Los Angeles380 miles$380 to $500
Los Angeles/Seattle1,135 miles$1,147
Long Beach,CA/Honolulu, HI2,550 to 2,597 miles$1,931

Several factors influence the total cost, including the size/weight of the vehicle, the type of transport (open vs. enclosed), the chosen shipping company, the time of year, and any additional services required. It’s advisable to obtain quotes from multiple auto transport companies to secure the most favorable rate.

what factors affect the cost of shipping a car in california

The cost of shipping a car within or to/from California is influenced by several key factors:

Distance: The distance plays a significant role, with longer distances generally resulting in higher costs. Most companies charge a base rate per mile.
Vehicle Type and Size: Larger and heavier vehicles, such as trucks, tend to incur higher shipping costs due to occupying more trailer space and requiring increased fuel. Moreover, vehicle modifications like roof racks or larger tires can further elevate expenses.
Transport Type: The choice between open auto transport and enclosed transport also impacts costs. While open transport is cheaper, it offers less security compared to enclosed transport, which comes at a higher price.
Location: Shipping to or from major cities is generally more economical than to rural areas, owing to the higher concentration of auto transport companies in cities.
Timing and Season: Prices typically surge during peak seasons like the “snowbird” period when demand is high. Additionally, winter conditions can escalate costs due to challenging road conditions.
Delivery Preferences: Opting for door-to-door delivery, though more convenient, often comes at a higher cost compared to terminal-to-terminal transport.

Other factors that may influence shipping costs include the operational condition of the vehicle, potential discounts offered by companies, and flexibility regarding pickup/delivery schedules.

Saving Strategies for Car Shipping

Compare Multiple Quotes: Don’t settle for the first shipping company you find. Get quotes from several reputable auto transport companies. Make sure to compare not only the prices but also the services they offer.
Choose Open Transport: Open transport is usually cheaper than enclosed transport. While enclosed transport offers more protection, if your car isn’t a classic or luxury vehicle, open transport is a more economical choice.
Flexible Pickup and Delivery Dates: If you’re flexible with your pickup and delivery dates, you might be able to negotiate a lower rate. Shipping companies often have discounts for less busy times or for flexible customers.
Terminal-to-Terminal Shipping: Door-to-door shipping is convenient but can be more expensive. Terminal-to-terminal shipping, where you drop off and pick up your vehicle at designated terminals, is usually cheaper.
Season and Demand: Prices for car shipping can vary based on the time of year and demand. If possible, avoid peak seasons like summer when prices tend to be higher due to increased demand.
Prepare Your Car: Ensure your car is ready for shipping. Remove any personal belongings, fuel levels should be low (around 1/4 tank), and note any pre-existing damage. This prevents additional charges.
Check for Discounts: Some shipping companies offer discounts for military personnel, seniors, students, or for shipping multiple vehicles. Ask about available discounts when getting quotes.
Negotiate: Don’t hesitate to negotiate with the shipping company. Sometimes they can offer a better deal, especially if you’re shipping multiple vehicles or if you’ve received lower quotes from competitors.
Review the Contract Carefully: Before finalizing any agreement, review the contract thoroughly. Pay attention to hidden fees, insurance coverage, cancellation policies, and any other terms that could impact the total cost.

By implementing these strategies, you can save money while still ensuring your vehicle arrives safely at its destination.

Estimated Duration for Car Transport in California

According to the information gathered, the duration for shipping a car within California can affect based on the distance involved. Here are some standard estimates:

For shorter distances, typically between major cities, expect your car to be transported within 1-5 days. Some Specific routes:

From/ToEstimated DistanceEstimate Time Taken
Los Angeles/San Francisco380 miles1-2 days
Los Angeles/Phoenix, Arizona400 miles1-3 days
Los Angeles/Denver CO830 miles2-5 days

For longer distances across the state, spanning around 500-1000 miles, the transit time usually extends to 3-9 days. Some common routes:

From/ToEstimated DistanceEstimate Time Taken
California/North Carolina2,649 miles3 days
Los Angeles/Dallas, TX1,400 miles3-7 days
Florida/California2,700 – 3,000 miles5 days

If your shipment involves cross-country transportation to or from California, such as from New York, expect a longer transit time of around 7-10 days.

Factors Impacting Transit Time

Various factors can influence transit time, including weather conditions necessitating alternate routes or slower driving, road conditions such as construction or traffic, especially in major California areas, regulations concerning driver hours and rest periods, and peak moving seasons when demand is higher.

While most auto transport companies offer approximate timeframes, it’s advisable to incorporate a buffer for potential delays due to unforeseen circumstances during transit.

Essential Information for Using Car Transport Services in California

When using car transport companies to ship a vehicle within or to/from California, here are some key things You need to know:

Factors Affecting Costs
Longer shipments across California or cross-country will cost more than shorter, local moves. Larger vehicles like trucks or those requiring enclosed transport are more expensive to ship. Costs are typically higher during peak moving seasons like summer. Open transport is cheaper than enclosed transport which provides more protection.

Choosing a Company
Look for reputable, top-rated companies with positive customer reviews.
Consider the range of services offered to meet your needs (open, enclosed, cross-country, etc.). Get quotes from multiple companies to find the best rates.

Preparing Your Vehicle
Remove personal belongings to avoid potential damage during transport.
Inspect the vehicle condition before and after shipping to ensure proper delivery.

Saving Money
Book well in advance for better rates instead of last-minute.
Ship during the off-peak seasons of spring and fall rather than summer.
For longer distances, the cost per mile decreases, so door-to-door may be more economical than terminal-to-terminal.

Shipping Process
Companies evaluate your details, provide quotes, and pair you with an appropriate carrier. Carriers pick up and deliver the vehicle per the agreed timeframe and service level. Proximity of the transport company to major California cities can be a consideration.

By understanding the key cost factors, evaluating companies, properly preparing vehicles, timing shipments strategically, and being aware of the overall process, consumers can have a smoother and more cost-effective experience using car transport services in California.


In conclusion, shipping a car in California requires careful consideration of several factors to ensure a smooth and cost-effective experience. Choosing a reputable car shipping company is paramount, and factors like distance, vehicle type, chosen transport method, and even the time of year significantly impact the total cost.

By comparing quotes from multiple companies, understanding the various cost-saving strategies, and preparing your vehicle carefully, you can navigate the car shipping process in California with confidence.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

The cost varies depending on factors like car size, distance, shipping method (open vs. enclosed), and fuel prices. Generally, expect costs to range from $600-$1,500 within California.

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

Shipping times typically range from 1-2 weeks, with pickup times adding 1-3 days and delivery taking 5-8 days.

What is the difference in cost between open and enclosed car shipping in California?

Open car transport is more affordable, but your vehicle is exposed to the elements. Enclosed transport offers superior protection but comes at a premium.

How does the weather affect car shipping costs in California?

Extreme weather conditions like heavy rain, snow, or wildfires may lead to delays or require special precautions, potentially increasing costs.

How can I track my car shipment?

Most car shipping companies offer online tracking tools that allow you to monitor your vehicle’s progress in real-time. Additionally, you can often contact the company directly for updates on your shipment’s location and estimated arrival time.

How do you know if a car shipping company is legit?

Check for valid licensing and insurance, read online reviews, compare quotes from multiple companies, and ensure they are registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

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