All You Need To Know About Ship A Car From California To Michigan 

Jason Hilderbrand

01 Mar 2022 7 months ago


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The shift can be life-altering when you move to Michigan from California or vice versa. Of course, you will have to pack your stuff in boxes and hire movers & packers to make the shift easy. The entire process can be exhausting and overwhelming. 

In addition to this, you will have the task of finding the best way to move your car from California to Michigan. For this, you will have to look for a means that is most convenient for you, fits your budget, and meets your expectations. While there are many ways to ship a car to another state, each method has pros and cons.

This blog will explore how you can ship a car from Michigan to California, the best way to do so, and the things you need to keep in mind before doing so.

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5 Different Ways To Ship A Car From Michigan To California And Vice-Versa

There are 8-10 states between Michigan and California based on the route that is opted for. There are around 2,400 miles between both the states and taking the road will take 36 hours without taking any breaks when shipping a car from California to Michigan. 

There are multiple ways you can opt to ship your car from California to Michigan, from roadways to railways and even airways. A lot of it depends on your budget, how fast you want the car to be picked up and delivered, and the type of car you have. Let’s explore the top 5 ways to ship a car from Michigan to California. 

1. Drive The Car Yourself 

One of the first ideas that pop into your head would be to drive the car yourself. Many people would consider this a perfect opportunity to take a road trip with their friends and family. Many people would consider driving the car themselves as a cheap shipping method from California to Michigan. 

Although you can successfully treat this as a mini-vacation of sorts, you should know that driving it on your own will take you at least 8 days, given you drive for 300 miles each day. Being on the road for so long can not only take a toll on your physical health, but it can also lead to brain fog exhaustion and increase the possibility of accidents. You may start getting cranky, frustrated, and just tired. 

Additionally, if you’re wondering how much to ship a car from California to Michigan, the cost can be extremely high. You will be paying hundreds of dollars in tolls and taxes, different motels, hotels, and inns on your way, and spend an incredible amount of money on food, fuel, and car maintenance. 

2. Hire Someone To Drive Your Car For You 

If you are worried about driving 2,400 miles on your own and it harming your health, there is always the option of hiring a professional driver to do it. You can ship your car from Michigan to California using the services of a professional driver who can do it in less time. 

Moreover, such drivers will bring expertise and professionalism when shipping a car from California to Michigan. You can easily hitch a ride with them and save money on your plane ticket. However, this can be an expensive process. 

The cost to ship a car from California to Michigan via a driver is very high due to their professional fees. In addition to this, it can be not easy to find a reliable and trustworthy professional driver who will take care of your car. Not to mention, the long drive can wear your engine out and increase the cost for maintenance later. 

Use Railways To Ship Your Car From Michigan To California

You can also use a train service to transport your car from Michigan to California. Although this is not a popular mode to ship a car from Michigan to California, it can deliver your car in less time than it would take for you to drive the car. Using a train service, you can get your car shipped in a shorter time. 

All you will have to do is book a slot for your car, deliver it to the station, and get the car loaded on a coach. When the train arrives at its destination, you will have to take the delivery of the car and get it unloaded. 

However, the biggest downside of this service is that it is constrained and operates on select routes. Therefore, you will have to check with train carriers if they allow shipping cars and how much to ship a car from Michigan to California. 

Use Airways To Ship Your Car From Michigan To California

It might be shocking, but you can most definitely use an airplane to ship a car from Michigan to California. When you use the air freight medium, your car will be loaded into the cargo section of the plane securely while being shipped to Michigan from California or vice versa.  This medium’s most significant advantage over other mediums is how fast it can deliver your car from one state to the other. It only takes a few hours to reach California from Michigan and vice versa via air. Thus, you can have your car for a maximum of 1-2 days.   If you think about how much to ship a car from California to Michigan via air, it can cost you anywhere between $2000 and $4000.

Use The Services Of An Auto Transport Company

An auto transport company is the most cost-effective and budget-friendly way to ship a car from Michigan to California. Tens of thousands of people use this service every year to ship their cars from one state to another in the smoothest manner. These auto transport service companies ply on several routes and ship your car to wherever you want, most safely and securely.

Auto transport service companies are trustworthy carriers that will pick your car up from its current destination, load it onto a trailer or a truck, and drive it to its final destination. Not only is this process fast, but you also get the expertise of professional drivers who know the suitable routes to take to avoid bottlenecks and road closures. 

This is the most hassle-free way to ship your car, while the cost to ship a car from California to Michigan is also minimal. Moreover, you get door-to-door car shipping where you don’t have to make much effort to drop or fetch your car. Using this way, you can ensure that your car engine is not being put through too much stress and save time and money.

An auto transport company is your best bet if you want to ship a car from Michigan to California on a budget, safely and swiftly.

Want to know how much it costs to ship a car with SAKAEM?

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Different Types Of Car Shipping

When you choose to ship your car using an auto transport service, you will have to choose from the two types of auto transport options. This decision will primarily be based on the type of car in the shipment, the route is taken, and the time of the year when the trip is being planned. 

The two types of car shipping options are:

1. Open shipping

Open car shipping is one of the most commonly used car shipping options where your car is loaded onto a trailer that is open on all sides. This is a more affordable option and is suitable for all cars. However, it is important to note that it is exposed to environmental factors since the trailer is open from all sides.

2. Enclosed shipping

Enclosed car shipping is a car shipping service where your car is loaded onto a container before putting it on a trailer. The container is closed on all sides and is not exposed to environmental factors like rain, dust, snow, wind, or sun. This is the apt choice for luxury, rare, collectible, and antique cars that need to be shipped from California to Michigan.

Different Types Of Car Shipping Services

Typically, there are three different types of car shipping services you can opt from. These are: 

1. Express transport

This type of auto transport shipping lets you make bookings for last-minute car transport. You can expect your car to be picked up for shipping within 1-2 business days after you make a booking.

2. Guaranteed transport

This type of shipping is apt for people who have a shortage of time and need their car to be picked up for shipping as early as possible. Thus, you can get your car picked up in a 24-hour window right after making a booking. 

3. Military shipping

This type of auto transport is specially designed to discount the car shipping process for military personnel. 

How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Car From Michigan To California And Vice-Versa

How much to ship a car from Michigan to California is not definite. The final price depends on a series of factors whose price keeps on fluctuating, which have a deep impact on shipping a car from California to Michigan. These factors include: 

  • The time of the year the car is being shipped: When the weather is turbulent, the cost of shipping might be high. 
  • Type of auto transport service: Quite often, the prices for enclosed shipping differ from that of open shipping. Similarly, guaranteed auto transport might cost you more than express auto transport, while military auto transport translates into a discounted fare. 
  • The actual distance: The final distance between the pick-up and delivery addresses determines the ultimate shipping cost. 
  • The car’s model, make, and year also help determine the cost to ship a car from California to Michigan and vice versa. In addition to this, whether the car is operational also plays a significant role in deciding the final cost of shipping the car using an auto transport company. 
  • Fuel prices: This is one of the key indicators of the final price of shipping. Since fuel prices are dynamic, it can have a major impact on the cost to ship a car from California to Michigan. 

Want to know how much it costs to ship a car with SAKAEM?

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How Long Does It Take To Ship A Car From Michigan To California And Vice-Versa

The distance between Michigan and California is roughly 2,400 miles, and this distance can be covered in 36 hours when one drives continuously. Considering that a professional driver with an auto transport company drives for 400 miles in a day, it will take around 6 days to reach from California to Michigan or vice versa. 

However, traveling via roadways and driving is unpredictable. Therefore, the final time it takes to ship a car from Michigan to California can depend on several factors. Some of these are: 

  • The time of the year & weather: When there are storms, heavy rains, or snowfall, it takes relatively longer to travel from Michigan to California due to the unexpected pit stops the driver will have to make. 
  • The route taken: There are 8-10 states to cross to travel from California to Michigan and vice versa. Thus, the driver’s route defines the final time to complete the journey. If you require the driver to take a specific route, it can alter the duration of the trip as well.
  • Detours: If the driver has to take detours due to bottlenecks, road closures, road construction, or any other reason, it can make the final journey from Michigan to California longer than expected. 
  • Traffic: Unpredictably heavy traffic can stretch the trip out at certain points in the journey, making it longer. As a result, it may take a little longer to deliver your car to its final destination. 
  • Location of pick up and drop: If the specific area of pick up and drop is very remote, it can add to the time it takes to complete the journey. 

Want to know how much it costs to ship a car with SAKAEM?

Get an Instant Quote online or call us at (888)725-0005 for a personalized quote.

How Does The Process Of Shipping A Car From Michigan To California And Vice-Versa Works

If you think that the process to ship a car from Michigan to California is complicated, you will be surprised to know that it is a very straightforward process. Right from the moment you finalize a deal with an auto transport shipping company to the moment your car is delivered to you at its final destination- you will find that it is a very smooth, efficient, and stress-free process. 

Here is a breakdown of how does the process of shipping a car from Michigan to California and vice versa works:

Inquire and get a quote

The process starts with you inquiring about the charges and the time it takes to ship your car from Michigan to California. You will have to give the auto transport company accurate details about yourself, your car, and when you want the car to be shipped. This will help the auto transport company come up with the best quote. 

Finalize a deal and make a booking

Once you are happy with the quote, sign the agreement and formally make a booking for your car to be picked up on a specified day. 

Get your car picked up for shipping

A team from the auto transport company will arrive at your current location where the car is stationed to collect it. The team will arrive at the site to assess the car minutely and note any existing damage on the Bill of Lading. You will be made to sign the same before the car is picked up. Once the car is picked up, it will be loaded on the trailer as per your agreement and begin its journey from Michigan to California and vice versa. 

Get the delivery of the car

Once the car reaches the final destination in California or Michigan, you will get a call to check your availability. Before you take the delivery of the vehicle, you will check the car carefully for any damages and sign the Bill of Lading to complete the delivery. 

How To Get A Quote To Ship A Car From Michigan To California And Vice-Versa

The cost to ship a car from California to Michigan is very reasonable, given you get the right deal from an auto transport company. The key here is to get apt and suitable quotes from auto transport companies to ship your car from California to Michigan and vice versa. Since there are many such service providers in the market, you should reach out to multiple such companies and get quotes from them. 

To get a quote from an auto transport company to ship a car from California to Michigan, you must provide basic input information. This will include pick-up location, delivery location, the type of car shipping you want, whether you want to express or guarantee to ship, your contact details, and when you plan to get the car picked up for transit. You will also be required to give your car details like the type of the car, its make year, how many miles it has traveled, whether it is insured or not, whether the car is functional, etc.

Based on these details, the auto transport company will give you a quote about how much to ship a car from Michigan to California. However, it is essential that you check what is included and excluded in the quote you gave. After this, you can assess this quote and compare it with other quotes to settle for the most cost-effective and beneficial one. 

Want to know how much it costs to ship a car with SAKAEM?

Get an Instant Quote online or call us at (888)725-0005 for a personalized quote.

How To Find The Best Auto Transport Company To Ship My Car

To ship your car from Michigan to California and vice versa, you would want to choose the best auto transport company. With so many players in the market, it can become a little overwhelming to choose the best fit for you. However, if you want to choose an auto transport company that checks out all the boxes for you, here are a few things to look out for before you zero in one:

Cost

The first thing you would assess is how much to ship a car from California to Michigan. Compare the services, features, and charges to ensure that you get the cheapest deal. 

Experience

Your ideal auto transport shipping company should have considerable experience shipping cars, especially from California to Michigan. 

Reviews

Look for customer reviews about the auto transport shipping company. This will give you an idea about the reputation of the company. 

Licensing

Check if the auto transport company has an FMCSA license which is mandatory for carriers to ship vehicles in the country.

Shipping options

The company should offer all shipping options for you to choose from.

Personal item inclusion

The auto transport company you choose must put personal items in the car while being shipped from California to Michigan. 

Reading the fine print

You must go through all the fine print and terms & conditions before finalizing the deal to avoid miscommunication later. 

Faqs Regarding Shipping A Car From Michigan To California And Vice-Versa

What Documents Are Needed To Ship A Car From Michigan To California And Vice Versa?

With minimal paperwork, you can ship a car from Michigan to California and vice versa. The only document you need is the paperwork signed and given to you by the carrier when they picked your car up and the Bill of Lading.

How Long Is An Auto Transport Company’s Quote Valid For?

The duration of the quote’s validity differs for each auto transport company. However, as a standard practice, it is valid for at least 7 business days, after which the auto transport company can increase or decrease the prices. 

Should I Be Present At The Time Of Pick Up And Delivery?

Although it is recommended that you get the car picked up and delivered from the pickup address and the delivery address respectively, it is not mandatory. You can appoint any person you trust over the age of 18 years as your representative, and they can collect the car for you. 

How Can I Pay For The Auto Transport Service?

Trustworthy auto transport companies accept payments for their services using various means like debit cards, credit cards, net banking, and even mobile wallets like PayPal.

Does Insurance Cover My Car During Transit?

All auto transport companies in the country have a valid insurance policy. Thus, your car will be covered under insurance when it is in transit.

Pros and cons of moving to Michigan

There are many reasons why Michigan is a great place to live and do business. It is the Great Lakes State and has over 11,000 inland lakes. You will never run out of water activities to enjoy. Michigan also has the longest freshwater coastline in the world. But then again, there are also several reasons why Michigan should be avoided. Let’s first begin with the benefits of moving to this amazing state.

Pros: 

  • Small-town life at its finest
  • Growing economy 
  • Affordable housing
  • Beautiful tapestry to live next to
  • Low cost of living 

Cons:

  • High tourist influx in summers
  • Highly unpredictable weather 
  • Infrastructure issues 
  • High education costs 
  • Heavy accent needs getting used to 

Pros And Cons Of Moving To California

California has a lot going for it. The weather is good, you can surf and ski on the same day in the same state, the economy is booming, and there are tons of great startups in San Francisco and Los Angeles. But before you move there, you should know about some of the downsides too. Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of moving to this city.

Pros: 

  • Robust food & culture scenes 
  • Beautiful weather 
  • Immense job opportunities 
  • Relaxed life 
  • Great infrastructure 

Cons: 

  • Frequent wildfires 
  • High taxation 
  • Summer heat & drought
  • Traffic can be a nightmare 
  • Public schools aren’t great

Want to know how much it costs to ship a car with SAKAEM?

Get an Instant Quote online or call us at (888)725-0005 for a personalized quote.

Jason Hilderbrand