Shipping a Car to or from Los Angeles? Here’s Everything You Need to Know


Jason Hilderbrand

11 Apr 2022 1 month ago

Going through a move? Want to get your car transported to or from Los Angeles? Don’t know what, why, or how to do it? If you’re looking for answers to these questions, then you’ve definitely landed at the right place at the right time. 

Whether it’s the shipping methods, cost to ship a car, or preparations, this blog post has all the answers that you’re looking for. So what are we waiting for? Let’s get your vehicle transported in no time!

Five ways to ship the car to or from Los Angeles

You might be surprised to know that there are five different ways to get a car transported to or from Los Angeles. All these options come with their set of pros and cons. Thus, it would be best to choose what works for you and what doesn’t. Let’s understand what each option has to offer so that we can make the right choice to get your car transported to or from Los Angeles. 

1. Drive the car

Driving the car yourself might sound like the most straightforward option to you; it could be if you’re living close to the city of angels. However, it’s a different story if you don’t. If the distance is long, you’ll need to invest considerable time. 

If you decide to drive the car, you’ll need to spend after fuel, food, and accommodation. You’ll also need to consider the wear and tear your vehicle will go through because of long-distance driving. 

As a thumb rule, we suggest not doing it if you need to drive it for more than two days. Anything more will cause you fatigue and a considerable amount of money.

2. Hire a driver

Many refrain from driving due to the time and the stress that comes with it. Thus, the alternative is to find someone who’ll drive for you. As you’re giving your car to someone else to drive, you must find a trustworthy driver. This, as you’d expect, is a challenge in itself.

You can find companies and individuals who help you relocate your car by driving themselves. Many of these people are students or retirees. If you want to go with this option, you must do thorough due diligence and take legal precautions to get your car moved safely.

3. Ask a friend or family member to drive

If you find it difficult to trust a stranger with your car keys, you could request a friend or relative to drive it. It’ll give you a lot more peace to have someone you know behind the wheels. However, it only makes sense if they have good driving skills. You might feel awkward asking for such a favor, but it’s a logical option if the distance isn’t too long.

4. Ship it by a plane

Want to get your car home in no time? Ship it by plane. Granted, it’s a costly option that doesn’t make sense for most people. Having said that, it’s a good option if you want to ship a super-expensive luxury car or wish to ship a vehicle internationally. 

5. Hire an auto transport company 

Now comes the last and the most logical option you have at your disposal: hiring an auto transport company. Most people getting their cars transported to Los Angeles or any other state prefer hiring a car moving company. This is down to the reliability and end-to-end services these companies offer. 

Car transport companies are trustworthy as they’re verified and approved by the government. Plus, when you hire a car shipping company, your car remains protected through insurance coverage. 

Most of these companies offer door-to-door services. Thus you don’t need to move an inch. You need to sign a few documents and prepare your car for shipping. Your car will be home before you even know it.

Once you hire a car shipping company, you can relax as they’ll pick up your vehicle from your doorstep, do all the paperwork, and deliver it exactly where you want. Plus, the car shipping companies are vetted and licensed by the government; thus, you don’t need to worry about their trustworthiness. Plus, your car remains protected under insurance coverage in case of any damages occur along the way.

Hiring a car shipping company might seem like the perfect choice, except for the cost involved. Car shipping companies prove to be more expensive compared to other shipping methods. But once you hire them, they take care of all the troubles and allow you to focus on other, more important things. It’s a win-win!

Types of car shipping services to or from Los Angeles

There are two ways to ship your car either to or out of Los Angeles: open car shipping and enclosed car shipping. As you’d expect, both have advantages and disadvantages. Let’s understand them to help us determine which one is the best for you.

Open car shipping

It is clear from the name that open car shipping is the mode of transportation that allows your vehicle to be loaded on open trucks. This exposes the cargo as well as automobiles to weather conditions outside. There is no need to be concerned about it as companies take precautionary measures to prevent any damage caused by weather conditions.

Most people prefer going with this option as it’s cheaper than the one we’ll see next. Most car manufacturers ship their cars by open car shipping as it helps them reduce expenses.

Car shipping enclosed

If you choose to ship your car using an enclosed shipping method, shipping companies will place your vehicle in an enclosed truck. This protects your vehicle from weather extremes like rain, wind, and snow.

The cost of enclosed car shipping is 30% to 40% more than that of open car shipping. This option makes sense in extreme weather conditions or if you have expensive cars to ship.

How much will it cost to ship a vehicle to or from Los Angeles?

The shipping cost is one of the most crucial decision-making factors for most people. Be prepared to be disappointed as we don’t have a ball-park figure to give you. That’s because it depends on various factors. Let’s understand each of these factors to understand the bigger picture.

Distance

Distance is the leading factor that influences the cost of shipping the car as it directly affects the wage of the driver and the cost of fuel for trucks. Thus, it’ll cost you more if the distance is long and vice-versa.

You’ll need to consider door-to-door distance and not the distance between two states/cities. Your car shipping company will quote more if your pickup and/or drop location is far from the city. In case you don’t want to pay the extra money, you can choose to pick up and deliver the car at their boarding and dropping points.

Shipping type

Whether you’re opting for open or enclosed car shipping. 

Car type

The car you want to ship will also play a part in determining the car shipping cost. If you have a heavy and big car, you’ll need to pay more as it’ll occupy more space and weight. Companies will ask you for your car’s model, make, and year to give you the exact quotation.

Condition of car

If your car is not in running condition, the car shipping company will need to move it using a truck to get it to the pickup point and your delivery location. This will add extra expense.

Route

Different companies use different routes to transport the car. Thus, it affects the distance and, therefore, the overall shipping costs. 

Gas price

The fluctuations in gas prices affect the car shipping cost. Thus, don’t expect to pay the same money your friend paid you when they got their car shipped to or from Los Angeles.

Time of year

The weather conditions play a significant factor in determining the price of shipping vehicles since businesses generally are more costly in extreme weather conditions such as rain or snow.

We know you’re still not satisfied and want to know how much you’ll need to spend to ship your car to or from Los Angeles. Well, we’ve got it covered for you. Our real-time quote calculator gives you the exact idea of the cost. And if you want to know more, our team will answer each of your queries.

Tips to help you save money

Let’s look at some ideas for saving money while shipping a car to or from Los Angeles:

  • Ask if you’re eligible for discounts (students, veterans, etc.)
  • Select the appropriate shipping date 
  • Send multiple vehicles simultaneously
  • Choose the most appropriate method for shipping (open or closed)

How long does it take to ship a car to or from Los Angeles?

The time required to transport a car to Los Angeles can be divided into two parts: the time needed to collect your vehicle and the time needed to deliver or ship. Both these parts will depend on several variables, which are as shown below:

  • The number of stops made each day by the carrier
  • The traffic flow
  • Weather conditions
  • Detours
  • Road construction
  • Heavy traffic
  • Pickup/Delivery Locations

How does the process of shipping a car to or from Los Angeles work?

You know what! You don’t need to move outside your doorstep to get your car transported to L.A. Sounds too good to be true? Well, it’s not. As long as you have a phone and internet connection, you can ship your car without any hassle. All it takes is four easy steps!

Step 1 – Get multiple quotes

The first step? Getting quotes. How do you do it? Simple, by visiting websites of multiple car shipping companies. They’ll ask you for details such as zip codes of pickup/delivery locations, car details, and the shipping mode you want to choose. You’ll receive a quotation within seconds.

As a thumb rule, get at least three quotations so that you have good enough data to compare and make the best choice.

Step 2 – Book the shipping

Once you’ve received the quotes and selected a car shipping company, the next step is to confirm the booking by placing an order. But before you do that, make sure you verify all details, such as terms, offerings, costs, etc., so that it doesn’t create problems later on.

Step 3 – Get your car picked up

After placing the order, the car shipping company will call you to confirm your availability for the pickup. They’ll come and inspect your car to note any damages on the Bill of Lading (BoL) and get it signed by you. The vehicle will be loaded only after you’ve signed the BoL.

How to get a quote to ship a car to or from Los Angeles

Getting the quote to ship a car to or from Los Angeles is super easy. First, look for car shipping companies, visit their websites and generate quotes. Once you get them, make sure you examine each quotation in detail, as some companies add additional fees later. Get all the details in writing to avoid any miscommunication. 

To generate a quote, you’ll need to enter the following details to generate quotes:

  • Pickup and delivery locations (zip codes)
  • Shipping method (open/enclosed)
  • Information about the vehicle, such as its model, year of manufacture, and company
  • First available pickup date
  • Phone number and email address

Once you’ve submitted the information, you’ll be able to check the quotes on your browser. You’ll also receive it via your email address so that you can use it for a longer time. 

A typical car shipping quote will have the following details:

  • Shipping costs
  • Your vehicle details
  • The delivery address and pickup location
  • Car condition
  • Type of service: Open or Closed
  • First shipping date
  • Distance to be covered
  • Timeframe for delivery

How to find the best auto transport company to ship my car?

Your car shipping company will determine your experience while shipping your vehicle. Thus, you must perform this step with utmost care and extensive due diligence. 

Let’s have a look at some considerations that you must not miss.

License & insurance

Interstate shipping companies require that car shipping companies hold authorization to provide their services. You can check the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator (FMCSA) website to check the US DOT number of car shipping companies. In addition, you must check out the type of insurance coverage they will offer.

BBB Rating

Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a great platform to learn about a company’s credibility as it accredits companies. Thus, it’s a must-do step in finding the best car shipping company.

Customer testimonials

In addition to the BBB rating, testimonials written by previous customers can be a great tool to understand the quality of service the business provides. You can check independent websites and social media platforms to see the kind of experience they offer.

Mode of transport

No matter how great a car shipping company is, it’s no use if they’re not offering your preferred car shipping mode. 

Service experience

More than BBB rating or customer testimonials, what will tell you the most about the company is the kind of support they provide. Thus, you must get on a call and throw all your queries at them to learn about their operations. The type of experience they provide will help you learn a great deal about them.

FAQs about shipping a car to or from Los Angeles

Let’s go through some of the most frequently asked questions about transporting a car to or from Los Angeles.

What documentation do I require to get ready to ship my vehicle?

It is essential to keep the following documents in your possession before the car shipping company professionals arrive to pick up the car:

  • Vehicle registration documents
  • Insurance documents
  • Bill of sale/Bill of Lading (BoL)
  • The original title of the vehicle
  • Unexpired identification (i.e., driver’s license or passport)

How do I prepare my car to be shipped?

  • Take away personal documents and other items from your vehicle
  • Keep one-fourth of the fuel in your tank
  • Maintain the battery fully charged condition.
  • Check that your tires are in good shape
  • Take photos of your vehicle to check for damage later

What happens if my vehicle is damaged in the process of shipping?

Car shipping companies offer insurance protection to ensure that your vehicle is insured against damages. But, you need to confirm the specifics of insurance with the company that ships your car before you finalize your order.

What can I do to pay the auto transportation company?

The majority of car shipping companies accept debit and credit cards. Some also accept PayPal payments.

What is the Bill of Lading (BoL)? What is the reason for its use?

A bill of lading (BoL) is a form of documentation that outlines the vehicle’s condition, including damages to date and the model, make, and year. You must sign the document at the time of pickup and delivery to testify your acceptance. This document creates an open and transparent relationship between the customer and the shipping company.

What is expedited shipping?

Expedited shipping allows your car to be delivered quicker. It’s an ideal option if you need your vehicle to be shipped on an urgent basis. This will cost you extra money, but your car will be delivered in a few days.

What is top load service?

If you select the top-loading option, your car will be placed close to the very top of the shipping truck. Thus, it stays safe from rocks and dirt. 

How long does a quote last?

There might be a difference in the validity of a quote based on the shipping company you select. The majority of quotes are valid for seven working days. Prices could change based on the variables we’ve discussed before.

Pros and Cons of Moving to Los Angeles

Not sure about the kind of life you’ll lead in L.A.? Well, let’s see the pros and cons it involves.

Pros:

  • Pleasant climate throughout the year
  • Wide economic opportunities
  • Plenty of outdoor activities
  • Diverse population and cultures

Cons:

  • High cost of living
  • Poor public transportation
  • High state income tax

Jason Hilderbrand