Shipping a Car to or from San Diego: Everything You Need to Know

Brantley Kendall

26 Apr 2022 2 years ago

San Diego is a great place to live, with year-round sunny weather, a lively downtown area for entertainment, and even miles of pristine beaches where you can go swimming, surfing, and boogie boarding on. It’s also an excellent place for many outdoor activities like wine tasting and mountain biking. San Diego is also home to many tourist attractions, such as SeaWorld, Legoland, and the San Diego Zoo.

If you have to leave town (or move here from another city), you’ll need to figure out how to get your car from point A to point B! If you’re planning on shipping a vehicle to or from San Diego, you should know a few things. We’ve created this comprehensive blog post strictly for anyone considering car transport in the San Diego area (and vice-versa).

Five Different Ways to Ship a Car To or From San Diego

There are five different ways to transport a car from San Diego (and vice versa), and each one has its pros and cons. We’ll go over all of them here to figure out which one is the best for you based on your situation.

Drive Yourself

You can drive your vehicle to or from San Diego by taking I-5 South from Los Angeles to the border, then I-8 West to San Diego. This is the most affordable option, but many risks are involved in transporting your vehicle yourself. The road is long, and there are many ways you could be delayed while driving. You could get a flat tire, or your car could break down far away from help. Plus, you may account for the food and lodging cost.

Hire Someone to Drive It For You 

If you’re going long distances, this is the route for you. First, you’ll need to find a driver who agrees to take your car from point A to B for a price. Ensure that everything is in writing, including the number of miles he will drive and the cost per mile. Also, make sure that the potential driver has all the correct licenses and permits for driving across state lines or internationally.

Hire driver

Use Air Transport

One option for car transport in San Diego is to use an air transport company. This is a good option if you’re looking for a fast and convenient way to ship your car, but it’s essential to remember that it will be more expensive than other shipping methods. You’ll also need to make sure that your vehicle is small enough to fit on the plane.

Use Rail Transport

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option for shipping your car to or from San Diego, you can use a rail transport service. This is a good option if you don’t mind your car taking a few extra days to arrive at its destination. You’ll need to make sure that you can load your car onto the train, and you’ll also need to have the proper paperwork in order.

 Hire an Auto Shipping Company

Suppose there is one best way you can pick to transport my car from San Diego (and vice versa) that’s an auto transport company. A car shipping company will pick up your vehicle from your location, ship it and deliver it. They take care of all the details and ensure that nothing goes wrong. They will take care of all of the logistics involved with getting your vehicle from point A to point B. This includes things like loading and unloading the car onto the transport truck and making sure that all necessary documentation is filled out correctly. Many people choose to ship their vehicles with auto transport companies because it is simply too much hassle to try and do everything themselves. But with an auto transport company, you just set up the shipment and let them handle the rest.

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.

Different Types of Car Shipping Options

When you opt for a shipping company to transport my car to San Diego, there are two types of transport: open and enclosed. Which style suits you best depends on the type of vehicle you want to transport and your budget.

Open Car Transport

As the name suggests, open auto transport is the most popular type of car shipping service. This type of service uses an open trailer to ship cars. Open trailers can carry multiple vehicles at once, making them very cost-effective. Using an open trailer exposes your vehicle to the elements during transit, so it’s vital to ensure that the carrier company appropriately protects it before shipping.

Open shipping

Enclosed Car Transport

This shipping option is more expensive than open transport, but it offers peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is well-protected during transit. The auto transport company will transport your car in an enclosed trailer, protecting it from the elements and potential damage from other vehicles. Enclosed transport is an excellent option if you are shipping a classic car, a luxury vehicle, or a new car.

Different Types of Car Shipping Services

Do you want quick car transport in San Diego? If yes, there are several options an auto transport company has on offer. 

Express Transport

Express auto transport is what it sounds like – a fast and convenient way of transporting a car from San Diego (and vice versa). Your vehicle will get priority treatment and be shipped as quickly as possible with express shipping. This service is perfect for those who need their car shipped urgently or don’t want to wait weeks for their vehicle to arrive. Of course, this convenience comes at a price, and express shipping tends to be significantly more expensive than standard shipping services.

Guaranteed Transport

This type of service guarantees that the experts will transport your vehicle to its destination within a specific time frame. They usually do it by reserving space in a particular carrier ahead of time, which can be more expensive than other methods. However, it offers peace of mind for those who need to ship their car quickly or have a tight schedule.

Military Auto Transport Service

Military Auto Transport Services help active-duty military personnel ship their vehicles. These services often offer discounts and special assistance to military members, making them a popular choice for those who need to transport their car. In addition, many companies that provide Military Auto Transport Services also have experience in shipping other items, such as motorcycles, RVs, and boats.

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 Much Does It Cost To Ship a Car to and from San Diego?

The cost to transport a car to San Diego and vice-versa can vary based on many factors. The most crucial factor is the distance the vehicle needs to travel, and other considerations include the type of vehicle, its size and weight, and whether it will be transported by land, sea, or air. Here’s a brief about each factor.

Type of Transport Service

If you are looking for the most affordable way to transport your vehicle, you may want to consider an open-air carrier. However, enclosed transportation is recommended if you are transporting an antique or classic car, and of course, it comes with a higher price tag.


The cost of shipping a car from San Diego to another city will vary based on the distance of the destination. A shorter length will generally lower shipping costs, while a longer distance will increase the price. The average cost to ship a car from San Diego to Los Angeles is usually between $.40-.60/mile, while the average cost to ship a car from San Diego to Seattle can range between $550-$1500 and more.

Vehicle Size and Weight

The cost of shipping a car also depends on the size and weight of the vehicle. A smaller and lighter car will cost less to ship than a more extensive and heavier SUV, and it could cost you as much as $2 per mile if you’re shipping a large SUV.


Generally speaking, the season can broadly impact the answer to your concern about “how much to transport a car to San Diego.” It costs more to ship a car in the summer than in the winter, and this is because demand is higher in the summer when people are more likely to be taking vacations. Additionally, gas prices tend to be higher in the summer, contributing to increased shipping costs.

Car Condition

If the car is inoperable, it will generally cost more to ship than if the vehicle is operable. Inoperable vehicles require special equipment and handling for a safe shipping experience.

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 Long Does It Take to Ship a Car to and from San Diego?

How much time car transport in San Diego will take depends on the factors, including but not limited to the distance, the weather, or if it needs any special accommodations.

Distance Between Pick Up and Drop Off

The further the distance, the longer car transport in San Diego will take. This is because carriers need to account for fueling up and taking breaks for rest. Additionally, if the route is particularly long or complicated, it could add even more time to the shipment.

Bad Weather Conditions

If the roads are icy or there is a lot of snow, it can make driving conditions more complex and potentially dangerous. This can lead to carriers taking longer to get from point A to point B. Additionally, bad weather could also cause delays in getting the car loaded onto the truck or unloaded at the destination.

Road Condition

Driving can be more complex and time-consuming if the roads are in poor condition. This is because carriers will need to consider things like potholes and traffic. Also, if the roads are particularly congested, that could add time to the shipment.

Time of the Year

The summer months are usually busier because people are more likely to move or go on vacation. Plus, the holidays can also be a busy time for shipping companies. So, if you’re looking to have your car shipped during a hectic time, it’s best to give yourself some extra time in case of delays.

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 to and from San Diego Works 

There are a few things to know before shipping a car to San Diego. Here is a step-by-step guide on what to do when shipping a car to San Diego.

Car shipping

Get a Quote and Book

The first step is to get a quote and book with the company of your choice. You will need to provide them with some information such as your name, contact information, pick-up location, and drop-off location. Once you have chosen a company, they will give you a quote based on the distance, the car’s weight, the type of car, and other factors.

Get the Documents

When you are ready to ship your car, the company will provide you with a bill of lading. This document will list the make, model, and VIN of your vehicle and your contact information. Be sure to double-check that all information is accurate before signing the document. The bill of lading will also list any special instructions for loading or unloading your vehicle.

Prepare the Vehicle

The next step is to prepare the vehicle. Here are the steps to prepare your vehicle

  • Make sure nothing is lost in the car that could roll around and damage something.
  • Check all of the fluids and top them off if necessary.
  • Make sure to charge the battery fully
  • Clean the inside of the car.

The company will also need a copy of the registration and proof of insurance. Once the car is ready, you will need to drop it off at the designated location on the shipping day if you haven’t opted for door-to-door delivery.

Schedule Pick Up

The next step is to schedule pick up with the shipping company for transporting a car from San Diego. They will usually give you a window of time to have the car ready, and someone will come to pick it up. It is essential to be present when they arrive, as you will need to sign some paperwork.

Shipping Time and Delivery

Once your car has been picked up, it will be loaded onto a truck or trailer and shipped to its destination. The driver will typically call or text you when they are getting close so that you can meet them at the agreed-upon location. Once the car arrives at its destination, someone will need to be there to sign for it and take possession of the vehicle. When you receive your vehicle, be sure to inspect it for any damage that may have occurred during shipping. The shipping time will depend on the distance, but it typically takes 1-5 days for cross-country shipments. Please receive the same.

How to Get a Quote to Ship a Car to and from San Diego

So, you have got the answer to your question, which company to choose to transport my car to San Diego? Great, it’s now the time to request a quote in a few simple steps:

  • Visit the website of an auto transport company that offers to ship to and from San Diego.
  • Request a quote by filling out the online form  
  • Provide the pick-up and drop-off locations and the make, model, and year of your car.
  • Choose a shipping method (open or enclosed carrier) and provide any other relevant information requested by the company.
  • Once you receive the quote, please review it carefully to ensure that everything is correct before making a payment.

How to Find the Best Auto Transport Company to Ship My Car?

There are a few different ways that you can go about finding the best company for the job. Here are five tips to help you find the best auto transport company to ship my car:


You want to look at companies that have been in business for a while and have a good reputation. You also want to read reviews from past customers to get an idea of their experience.

Get Quotes 

Once you have narrowed down your list of potential companies for car transport in San Diego, you will want to get quotes from each one. This will give you an idea of how much it will cost to ship your car to each company. Make sure to compare apples-to-apples when getting quotes to compare similar services.

Ask Questions 

When talking with potential companies, be sure to ask lots of questions. You want to get a feel for their level of customer service and if they seem knowledgeable about shipping cars. Be sure to ask about their insurance coverage so you know you will protect your vehicle if something happens during shipping.

 Check Credentials 

Before booking with any auto transport company, check their credentials. You can visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website containing their licensing and insurance information. This is important because it will ensure that the company is legitimate and have the proper insurance in place if something happens during shipping.

Go With Your Gut 

 It is essential to go with your gut feeling when choosing an auto transport company. If something doesn’t feel right or if you have any doubts, it is probably best not to move forward with that particular company.

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.

FAQs Regarding Shipping a Car to and from San Diego

 How to Get My Car Ready For Shipping?

The first step is to make sure your car is clean, both inside and out. You don’t want dirt or grime to accumulate during transit and cause problems later. Once you’ve given it a good cleaning, the next step is to check the fluid levels and tire pressure. If everything looks good there, then you’re ready to move on.

How Much To Transport A Vehicle To San Diego?

 The answer to your question about how much to transport a car to San Diego depends on the vehicle and how far it needs to be transported. The average cost to transport a car from LA to San Diego is about $250, but it could be more or less depending on the circumstances. If you need your vehicle shipped urgently, that will likely drive up the price. The size of the car will also impact how much it costs to transport.  

How Can I Pay The Auto Transport Shipping Company?

There are a few different options for paying for your auto transport. You can pay with cash, check, or credit card. Some companies may also offer financing options if you need help budgeting for the cost of shipping your vehicle. It’s important to read over the payment terms before booking to know what to expect.

Do I Have to Be Present at the Time of Delivery of my car?

No, you don’t have to be present at delivery time, and most people aren’t. However, it’s better to present yourself than ask someone else to do it for you. The auto transport company will let you know when the car has been delivered and provide any relevant paperwork. 

Pros and Cons of Moving to San Diego



  • Expensive housing
  • Lack of public transportation
  • Nightmare of traffic
  • High taxes

Brantley Kendall